Where We Are Going Today: Elemental introduces Saudi fine dining

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Where We Are Going Today: Elemental introduces Saudi fine dining
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Updated 06 November 2022

Where We Are Going Today: Elemental introduces Saudi fine dining

Photo/Elemental
  • Elemental’s menu offers various dishes, from light snacks to mains, most notably the zucchini fries served with light sour and cream dip, burrata salad with surprisingly sweet hints

Elemental officially opened up its doors on Thursday for a chance for visitors to engage in a sensuous experience involving the four elements: Earth, wind, fire and water, illustrating new and innovative food and beverage concepts.

The restaurant and modern bar concept is a high-end lounge, serving international cuisines and unique drinks — perfect for a night out with friends.

Entering the venue, visitors’ eyes go straight to the bar area, a newly introduced concept within the Saudi fine dining industry. Backdropped with locally made and internationally sourced non-alcoholic beverages, the bar serves a colorful array of smoky, sour and tangy cocktails. The decorative paintings and floor tiles all incorporate the elemental theme in clever but subtle ways.

Inspired by the fire element, the Alice in Wonderland cocktail gives a spicy kick through hints of raw red chili, demonstrating fine dining with a refreshing twist. Elemental aims to slowly introduce gastronomic concepts, such as emulsification, to the everyday Saudi diner.

A must-try is Elemental’s bartender special: Club clover, a drink inspired by a club in New York, made with homemade nonalcoholic gin. The drink includes a layer of raspberry foam made from the fruit’s natural juice, topped with a chip of pressed and dried raspberries and a spritz of edible glitter to finish.

“I love the food (in Riyadh), I love the ambience, but it’s not what I learned. To me, this isn’t high-end, it’s not fine dining,” Jihad El-Rassy, the restaurant’s founder, said.

“Fine dining food is gastronomic. It is art,” he added. With a considerable background in hospitality and a four-year degree from a Swiss institution, El-Rassy was determined to bring his passion and knowledge back to the place he grew up.

Elemental’s menu offers various dishes, from light snacks to mains, most notably the zucchini fries served with light sour and cream dip, burrata salad with surprisingly sweet hints, bresaola pizza, and autumn-infused almond-crusted chicken with a side of green apples, pumpkin and sauteed vegetable sauce.

The array of desserts is truly a wonder, from tiramisu to pain perdu. A must-try is Edmond’s favorite, a dish similar to chocolate fondant made from various types of chocolate topped with vanilla ice cream. The dish is inspired by the owner’s late grandfather, Edmond, and has become a signature at the restaurant.

Menu items are moderately priced, the most expensive being the restaurant’s own spin on paella with chicken and beef bacon bits that feeds four. A diner can comfortably have a meal with appetizers, mains, dessert and a few drinks for about SR180 ($48).

The upstairs lounge area gives a sports bar vibe, and is fully equipped with numerous screens just in time for diners to enjoy the 2022 FIFA World Cup in a comfortable space, imported German draft beer in hand — alcohol extracted.

The restaurant’s ultimate goal is to give guests an accessible but elevated experience, unlike what Saudi has seen so far, by introducing unique table service, distinctive cooking methods and fascinating drink creations while also respecting the cultural norms of the region.

 


Dubai’s Orfali Bros Bistro nabs top spot at MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants awards as Myazu voted Saudi Arabia’s best eatery

Dubai’s Orfali Bros Bistro nabs top spot at MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants awards as Myazu voted Saudi Arabia’s best eatery
Japanese eatery Myazu in Riyadh has been named the best restaurant in Saudi Arabia. (Instagram)
Updated 30 January 2023

Dubai’s Orfali Bros Bistro nabs top spot at MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants awards as Myazu voted Saudi Arabia’s best eatery

Dubai’s Orfali Bros Bistro nabs top spot at MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants awards as Myazu voted Saudi Arabia’s best eatery

ABU DHABI: Japanese eatery Myazu in Riyadh has been named the best restaurant in Saudi Arabia by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants MENA list in a ceremony held in Aby Dhabi on Monday night as Dubai’s Orfali Bros Bistro nabbed the overall top spot.  

The ranking is voted on by a body formed of 250 restaurant experts in the region, known as the Academy. Each member casts seven votes for those that are – in their expert opinion – the best dining experiences in the MENA region.

The top 10 consisted of eateries from around the region, with a heavy showing from Dubai, including Moonrise in Dubai at number 10, Zooba (Zamalek) in Cairo at number 9, Fakhreldin in Amman at number 8, Kinoya in Dubai at number 7, George & John in Tel Aviv at number 6, 3 Fils in Dubai at number 5, Ossiano in Dubai at number 4, Fusions by Tala in Manama at number 3, Trèsind Studio in Dubai at number 2 and Orfali Bros Bistro in Dubai at number 1.

“Also crowned The Best Restaurant in the UAE, this Dubai establishment is the restaurant embodiment of three brothers from Aleppo, Syria. The dining experience here is focused on storytelling, where every flavour, ingredient and technique has played a special part in the trio’s story. The atmosphere, with the rhythm set by the work in the two-storey kitchen overlooking the dining space, is fun, indulgent and at times nostalgic,” the organization posted on Instagram shortly after the announcement.

Commenting on Saudi Arabia’s best restaurant, the organization posted: “Under the leadership of chef Ian Pengelley, (Myazu) is a spot where harmony reigns in texture, aromas and flavors. Some dishes push the envelope of gastronomic craftsmanship while others focus on Japanese fan favorites, but all are set apart by a sophisticated presentation that has become part of this restaurant’s DNA.”

 

The eatery ranked number 18 on the list, just after Tawlet Mar Mikhael in Beirut.

Meanwhile, the Middle East & North Africa’s Best Female Chef Award 2023 went to Palestinian chef Salam Dakkak and this year’s Estrella Damm N.A. Chefs' Choice Award went to Moustafa Elrefaey of Zooba in Cairo.

 


’Constant danger’: Life after leprosy, a long neglected disease

’Constant danger’: Life after leprosy, a long neglected disease
Updated 30 January 2023

’Constant danger’: Life after leprosy, a long neglected disease

’Constant danger’: Life after leprosy, a long neglected disease
  • Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, has been haunting humanity for at least 4,000 years, often affecting the poorest communities

PARIS: Dan Izzett has lived with leprosy’s effects on his body for 70 years, and has lost much to what he calls an “ancient, fascinating, very unkind disease.”
The Zimbabwean former civil engineering technician and pastor was diagnosed at the age of 25 in 1972, but first contracted the disease when he was just five.
That long incubation period gave the bacteria that causes leprosy, Mycobacterium leprae, lots of time to spread through his body.
His right leg was amputated in 1980 in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare. Now 75, Izzett has no feeling above his elbows, below his knees or in 70 percent of his face.

Karim Sawadogo, a former leprosy, paints a picture at the Raoul Follereau Institute near Adzope, on January 26, 2023. Listed by the WHO as one of the 20 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), leprosy is transmitted from a sick person to healthy person. (AFP)

That lack of feeling poses a “constant danger,” Izzett told AFP in a phone call from his home in southwest England.
In October 2020, “I put my hands on a hot plate and hadn’t noticed it until I could smell my flesh burning,” he said, leading to the amputation of the middle finger of his right hand.
The following year, the little toe on his left foot was amputated. Last month, he lost another toe.
Izzett said he chose to speak out about his experience because millions of survivors who were less well off were unable to, partly because of the stigma and discrimination that still surrounds the disease.

Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, has been haunting humanity for at least 4,000 years, often affecting the poorest communities.
It is a considered a neglected tropical disease by the World Health Organization, and remains under researched and little discussed compared to many other illnesses.

Leprosy patients are seen at at the Raoul Follereau Institute near Adzope on January 25, 2023. (AFP)

In 2021, more than 140,500 new cases were detected worldwide, nearly three quarters of them in Brazil, India and Indonesia, according to the WHO.
However pandemic-related disruptions have led to nearly 40 percent fewer cases being detected a year, with fears that tens of thousands have gone undiagnosed.
Even before the pandemic, the official numbers likely did not reflect reality.
“We know the number of patients who have been tested, but we do not count the forgotten, undetected patients,” said Bertrand Cauchoix, a leprosy specialist at the Raoul Follereau Foundation in France.
This is in part because the disease’s incubation period can last up to 20 years. Testing and diagnosis also takes time, during which patients could potentially infect their family members.
Before he received his diagnosis, said Izzett, “my wife got the disease from me.”
Back in the 1970s, Izzett was given the antibiotic Dapsone, which was then a lifetime treatment.
In the mid-80s, a combination of drugs including Dapsone known as multidrug therapy (MDT) became available. It can cure leprosy over a 12-month course — though nerve damage and other remnants of the disease remain.
Mathias Duck, a former chaplain in Paraguay’s capital Asuncion, only needed six-months of MDT after being diagnosed with leprosy in 2010.
“I consider myself the luckiest person affected by leprosy because I was diagnosed and treated in time and so I have no impairments whatsoever,” the 44-year-old told AFP.
The WHO provides MDT to patients worldwide for free, with Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis donating doses since 2000.
However there has been little progress for new treatments.
“There is no money for leprosy, only charitable donations,” Cauchoix said.

Alexandra Aubry, a specialist at the Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases in France, evaluates whether every new antibiotic developed for other illnesses could also be used for leprosy.
Her laboratory is one of the few in the world able to carry out tests on the leprosy bacteria, which does not survive in a petri dish.
They are trying to find a way to “simplify” treatment so it can take less than six months, she said.
There are also a couple of vaccines being developed, though they remain in early phases of human testing.
“It is very complex to get funding for this,” Aubry said.
“To assess the effectiveness of a vaccine, you have to follow the vaccinated population for 10 to 15 years,” with the timeframe extended further by the disease’s long incubation period, she said.
In comparison to how swiftly the world responded to Covid, leprosy efforts are “a drop in the bucket,” Duck said, calling for far more research and political action.
But he added that there is something everyone can do for World Leprosy Day on Sunday — stop using the word “leper.”
“We call it the ‘L word’,” Duck said, describing it as discriminatory.
“It’s a little step that most people can do,” he added, “to give people affected by leprosy “the dignity they deserve.”

 


Where We Are Going Today: Trieste cafe in Riyadh

Photo/Supplied
Photo/Supplied
Updated 29 January 2023

Where We Are Going Today: Trieste cafe in Riyadh

Photo/Supplied
  • The menu also offers dishes inspired by countries around the globe including egg-bun sliders and eggs benedict, egg tornado served the Asian way, and Italian pesto sandwiches

Very few things brighten up the day like enjoying breakfast and coffee with friends at a bright and beautiful cafe. Newly opened on King Abdulaziz Road in Al-Shati district, Trieste has it all.

The cafe offers both outdoor and indoor seating options and an impressive international breakfast and brunch menu with plenty of choices.

The name is inspired by an eponymous seaport in northeast Italy. The eatery has bright walls enhanced by the sunlight streaming in through the tall windows. The high-ceiling interiors have a European and Nordic vibe that comes from the combination of rustic and modern aesthetics. The cafe’s musical playlist completes the mood.

For a refreshing early morning drink, I ordered Bungalow, a thirst-quenching mojito with passionfruit and mango. My breakfast involved two different options of the Trieste tartine, a French-style open sandwich. The first was a slice of sourdough bread topped with fried halloumi, labneh, figs and apples, and drizzled with sweet and sour balsamic sauce.

The tartine avocado was a sourdough bread paired with guacamole, creamy feta cheese, and roasted hazelnut, which added some exciting crunch to the dish. This was topped with a sprinkling of pomegranate and molasses.

The menu also offers dishes inspired by countries around the globe including egg-bun sliders and eggs benedict, egg tornado served the Asian way, and Italian pesto sandwiches. There are also Middle Eastern falafel bites, which are cheesy falafel balls served with pesto tahini sauce and a salad mix.

It’s hard to miss out on coffee and dessert at Trieste. I ordered a caffe latte to start the day along with the Trieste pancake which is covered with fresh blackberry jam, sprinkled with toasted oats, and topped with melted butter and labneh cream. The pancakes are served on a plate with a maple syrup base to double the joy in every bite.

Trieste has four branches in Riyadh. For more information visit their Instagram @trieste_sa.

 


Where We Are Going Today: Beefbar restaurant in Riyadh

Photo/Supplied
Photo/Supplied
Updated 27 January 2023

Where We Are Going Today: Beefbar restaurant in Riyadh

Photo/Supplied
  • Tacos made of Angus beef, tender wheat galette, Wagyu butter, and habanero form part of the beef offering along with Wagyu-stuffed gyoza with shitake, Chinese cabbage, and truffle

Beefbar, a restaurant first established in Monte Carlo, has now become a part of Riyadh’s bustling Tahlia Street.

International dishes and specially sourced meats are served in an opulent setting inspired by Art Nouveau.

Using top-quality products for its international and local recipes, the eatery offers street cuisine, entrees, and sides in the primary categories of beef, reef, and leaf.

Its architecture and romantic ambiance have made it a popular venue for couples as well as celebrities and influencers.

The leaf section of the menu includes rock corn, which is popcorn in tempura, spicy mayonnaise, and a Lebanese fattoush salad with fresh creamy stracciatella.

Tacos made of Angus beef, tender wheat galette, Wagyu butter, and habanero form part of the beef offering along with Wagyu-stuffed gyoza with shitake, Chinese cabbage, and truffle.

The reef category has the likes of hamachi crudo made from yellowtail fish with citrusy-soy sauce and black truffle, and crunchy calamari in tempura and curry.

Also on the menu is filet frites with black truffled butter sauce, and Wagyu tenderloin with pepper crust and pepper beef sauce.

Among the selection of desserts is chocolate crispy biscuit with melted caramel, and the French toast consists of caramelized brioche, salted caramel sauce, and yoghurt ice cream.

For more information visit Instagram https://www.instagram.com/beefbar_riyadh/

 

 


Where We Are Going Today: MYLK, café in Alkhobar

Where We Are Going Today: MYLK, café in Alkhobar
Updated 27 January 2023

Where We Are Going Today: MYLK, café in Alkhobar

Where We Are Going Today: MYLK, café in Alkhobar

JEDDAH: MYLK cafe in Alkhobar aims to provide customers with a relaxing environment in which to work or unwind.

Located in Pepsi Street, the modern bakery has a European-style interior and offers products made using ingredients sourced from local family-owned farms including baked goods, pastries, seasonal fruit jams, and dairy items.

Its chewy, rich New York chocolate chip cookies are irresistible, and the strawberry, peach, and mango jam brioche topped with fresh sour cream is a tasty combination of flavors.

Special winter treats include hot chocolate with torched marshmallows, cheesecake s’mores, and The Cube, a piece of brioche topped with fresh vanilla ice cream.

MYLK also offers freshly made granola options that can be accompanied with a bowl of milk and topped with mini marshmallows, caramelized rice crispy hazelnut, and mini meringue.

As the name of the cafe implies, milk is prominent on its menu, with fresh milk served in glass bottles, a peanut butter milkshake being its signature drink, and almond milk available as a non-dairy option.

For more information go to Instagram @mylk.sa.