Where We Are Going Today: Jeddah’s 'It. Caffe'

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Updated 25 November 2022

Where We Are Going Today: Jeddah’s 'It. Caffe'

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For a sweet and memorable breakfast or dessert, Jeddah’s “It. Caffe” has it all, and something new to offer too.

I always look for something unique when I visit a place, and this cafe and restaurant satisfied my curiosity. It has all the regular great foods, but also boasts the “croffle”, a mix between a croissant and waffle, and a circular croissant known as a “croll”.

I visited the caffe with my family and ordered different things to try together.

First was the Croque Madame: Sourdough bread, bechamel sauce, Gruyere cheese, smoked turkey, whole grain mustard, side salad, chili oil, and fried egg.

The It. Special French Toast was is a custard stuffed brioche served with custard dip, cream, blueberries, raspberries, corn crumble and creme anglaise sauce.

Honey, poached pears, berry coulis, and cinnamon powder took the cafe’s porridge to another level.

There are many items I was curious to try just for their name and look, such as Barbie’s choice, a chocolate sponge cake with ruby chocolate and Feuilletine mix) and a summer jam bubble waffle made with strawberry ice cream, berry compote, strawberries and white chocolate.

It. Caffe’s interior is mainly white and blue, with a giant glass window wall, allowing the sunbeams to light up the entire place.

If you like your food to look as gorgeous as it tastes, this is the place to visit. Dishes are always prepared and displayed in the most sophisticated manner.

Friendly staff with big smiles, who attended to all our needs, were the icing on the cake.

 

 


Where We Are Going Today: Beefbar restaurant in Riyadh

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Updated 27 January 2023

Where We Are Going Today: Beefbar restaurant in Riyadh

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  • 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.


Review: Shababik Restaurant — follow in Ronaldo’s footsteps at this authentic Lebanese hotspot in Saudi Arabia  

Review: Shababik Restaurant — follow in Ronaldo’s footsteps at this authentic Lebanese hotspot in Saudi Arabia  
Updated 26 January 2023

Review: Shababik Restaurant — follow in Ronaldo’s footsteps at this authentic Lebanese hotspot in Saudi Arabia  

Review: Shababik Restaurant — follow in Ronaldo’s footsteps at this authentic Lebanese hotspot in Saudi Arabia  

RIYADH: Shababik restaurant’s pop-up location in Diriyah, Riyadh, made headlines recently when Portuguese football legend Cristiano Ronaldo, who recently signed for local team Al Nassr, stopped by for dinner with Saudi Minister for Sport Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal.  

Shababik serves authentic Levantine cuisine. It launched in 2014 in Jeddah, and the pop-up will be open until Feb. 22 as part of Diriyah Nights. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Shababïk (@shababikksa)

Shababik’s outdoor terrace makes it an ideal place to visit while the weather is cool (there are heaters provided to make sure it’s not too chilly). Sitting outside gives you the opportunity to take in the surrounding palm trees and urban art, and the nearby architecture, which is inspired by the traditional Najdi style. It’s a relaxed, peaceful atmosphere — although the restaurant does occasionally host live music.   

We visited earlier this month to sample a little of the Ronaldo lifestyle.  

For starters, we selected the hummus with meat. It was fresh and tasty, but lacked the all-important final touch: a drizzle of olive oil. The Fattah — a staple dish of cooked eggplant and toasted croutons — was a great way to begin the meal, and we also enjoyed the cheese roll, which was dusted in wild thyme and served grilled rather than fried, giving it that slight crunch without the grease. 

The oriental potatoes were fine, if a little lackluster. They needed more flavor to really bring the dish to life.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Shababïk (@shababikksa)

From the seafood menu, we selected the grilled prawns in a marinade of buttery garlic and lemon sauce with chopped cilantro. The prawns were tender and beautifully cooked, and the sauce complemented them well.   

The highlight of the meal was the lamb shank oriental rice wrapped in pita bread. The cinnamon-and-pistachio aftertaste was especially interesting and really worked to enhance the flavors of the meat. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Shababïk (@shababikksa)

Throughout our visit, the staff were friendly, prompt and eager to help. 

As you might expect, given the restaurant’s recent high profile, those wishing to dine at Shababik must first reserve a table on the MyTable app and pay SR350 per person up front. 

Overall, the food was good, but it’s the Diriyah location that really makes a visit to Shababik worthwhile — giving it a vibe inspired by authentic Saudi roots. 


Recipes for success: Saudi celebrity chef Hatun Madani offers advice and a tasty saleeg recipe 

Recipes for success: Saudi celebrity chef Hatun Madani offers advice and a tasty saleeg recipe 
Updated 26 January 2023

Recipes for success: Saudi celebrity chef Hatun Madani offers advice and a tasty saleeg recipe 

Recipes for success: Saudi celebrity chef Hatun Madani offers advice and a tasty saleeg recipe 
  • Madani is the owner of Saudi restaurant Najabat in Dubai

TORONTO: Saudi chef and restaurant owner Hatun Madani is hoping to introduce the Hijazi cuisine native to her homeland to a wider audience and recently opened her restaurant Najabat in Dubai’s Dar Wasl Mall.  

The chef and TV presenter hails from Madinah in Saudi’s eastern province. The pilgrims who have passed through her hometown for centuries have influenced the local cuisine, which Madani describes as rich, but largely unknown.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Najabat (@najabat.ae)

“I’m trying to raise awareness of our cuisine, and revive it,” she tells Arab News. 

But more than that, she also hopes to carry forward the legacy of her late mother, Najabat. Madani was always intimidated by the prospect of cooking for her.  

“To me, she was the best cook,” she says. “After she passed away, cooking from her recipe book was the best way to carry on her legacy.”  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Najabat (@najabat.ae)

Here Madani discusses ‘unlearning,’ diplomacy among friends, and enjoying the process, and presents a recipe for a ‘Saudi risotto.’ 

When you started out as a professional, what was the most common mistake you were making when you were preparing or cooking a dish? 
I learned to cook from my mother – measuring everything with my eye and cooking (intuitively). But in the restaurant business you cannot cook like this. You need to have a proper recipe, measurements, manuals, and think about things like the cost. So, unlearning was my biggest challenge.  

What’s your top tip for amateur chefs or those cooking at home? 
There’s no right and wrong. Try to enjoy the process; it’s something you should enjoy. If it doesn’t work, keep trying until it does. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Najabat (@najabat.ae)

What’s one ingredient that can instantly improve any dish, and why? 
Ghee. It’s healthier than oil. All my rice dishes use ghee, and it’s a game changer. 

When you go out to eat, do you find yourself critiquing the food?  
I’m a perfectionist, but I try my best to keep it to myself and not criticize out loud. It’s embarrassing when friends cook for me and ask how I liked it. We all have our preferences, and I try to be as polite and diplomatic as possible. 

What’s your favorite cuisine? 
I could live on bread and cheese. Or pasta. But one thing I really love is seafood, maybe because it takes me back to Saudi and the food I grew up eating. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Najabat (@najabat.ae)

What’s your favorite dish to cook? 
Molokheya (jute leaf soup). We use a dry powder in Medina, it’s very thick. I remember my mother teaching me how to make it and whenever I talk about it, it takes me back to those times. That’s comfort food for me. 

What you are you like in the kitchen? Are you a disciplinarian or are you quite laidback?  
I try to treat my staff as family. I want them to relax and be happy with what they’re doing. Most of the time, I’m very laidback. But if I see a mistake being repeated, I do have the tendency to become a Gordon Ramsay. 

RECIPE 

Chef Hatun’s saleeg  

Ingredients: 

4 or 5 pieces of mastic 
500g chicken (preferably breast or quarter) 
1 onion, peeled 
2 cups water 
2 cups Egyptian rice 
2 cups milk 
2 tablespoons ghee 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Instructions: 

First, prepare the chicken stock by heating oil in a pan and adding two pieces of mastic. When the mastic has melted, add the chicken.  

Add the onion, salt, pepper, and water. Boil until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove chicken and keep aside. 

Strain the stock and return to pan. 

Add the rice and cook on low heat until the rice is mushy. 

Heat the milk and add it in. 

In a separate pan, melt ghee and the remaining mastic.  

Add the melted ghee and mastic to the rice and milk mixture. The rice should be cooked, and the mixture should be thick. 

Brush some of the ghee and mastic on the chicken and broil in the oven until golden brown. 

Serve the rice on a large platter with the chicken on top. 


Where We Are Going Today: Sumosan

Where We Are Going Today: Sumosan
Updated 20 January 2023

Where We Are Going Today: Sumosan

Where We Are Going Today: Sumosan
  • The modern Japanese food at Sumosan is inspired by traditional techniques and ingredients

Sumosan is a contemporary Japanese restaurant that has won many awards, with critics praising its food and ambience. 

It has outlets in some of the most vibrant cities in the world. In Riyadh it is in Laysen Valley, one of the capital city’s newest real estate projects, close to the Diplomatic Quarter.

The complex includes residences, offices, retail stores, and restaurants with cuisines from all over the world.

The modern Japanese food at Sumosan is inspired by traditional techniques and ingredients, and is of a high quality.

The fact that it has been in business for over 20 years is a sign of its success.

Sumosan serves the most remarkable sushi and sashimi, as well as new and interesting Japanese dishes.

You can select wagyu or prawn as the filling for the satisfying house-made gyoza. Freshly baked milk bread is used to make sandos with truffle fries.

The restaurant features live shows and the dining room boasts a theater kitchen where guests can watch the chefs at work.

The well-known interior design company, Paul Bishop, created the interior, which is sleek and ultra-modern with warm and earthy touches like wooden paneling and statement chandeliers.

The business lunch menu offers a selection of popular dishes from SR180 (about $48) per person, Mondays to Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Sumosan is a favorite among international A-list celebrities, foodies, and individuals looking for a meal that is both delicious and pleasing to the eye.

https://www.instagram.com/sumosan.riyadh/