Where We Are Going Today: ‘Cwtch’ - European dining experience

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Updated 22 September 2023
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Where We Are Going Today: ‘Cwtch’ - European dining experience

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  • Cwtch’s menu showcases elevated European flavors, with a focus on quality ingredients and meticulous attention to detail

Located in Al-Murjan district, Jeddah, Cwtch is a culinary gem that offers a refined European dining experience, taking gastronomy to new heights. The restaurant’s name, derived from the Welsh language, perfectly captures the essence of comfort and affection that every guest is meant to experience through their delightful dishes.

Some may find the overall simplicity of the place to be slightly underwhelming. However, the focus on quality ingredients and attention to detail may overshadow the desire for bold and innovative culinary creations.

Whether you visit for a regular meal or to celebrate a special occasion like Saudi National Day, Cwtch promises to delight your senses and leave a lasting impression.

Cwtch’s menu showcases elevated European flavors, with a focus on quality ingredients and meticulous attention to detail. From the starters, such as the wagyu beef tartar mixed with Cwtch’s signature tartar sauce, to the Andalusian prawns PIL PIL served with homemade baguette, and the delectable Rockefeller oysters baked with a creamy white wine sauce, each dish is a testament to the culinary expertise of the kitchen team.

The salad bar at Cwtch offers exciting choices, including the creamy burratina salad served with serrano tomato carpaccio and rocket salad, as well as the prawn and kimchi salad, which combines flavors in a unique and refreshing way. The commitment to using the finest ingredients is evident in every dish, such as the slow-cooked chicken and the oven-baked gnocchi with cream, bacon, broccoli, mushroom and parmesan.

When it comes to the main courses, Cwtch delivers exceptional flavors. The Dover Sole Meuniere, pan-fried with butter, capers, and a white wine sauce, offers a delicate and delightful seafood experience. The roasted whole corn-fed chicken Provencale, cooked with Provencale herbs and served with roasted potatoes, is a mouthwatering option.

For meat lovers, the wagyu rib eye and the veal cutlet Milanese, with their golden and crunchy exteriors, are truly satisfying. The sides, including truffled mashed potatoes, asparagus and rainbow carrots, perfectly complement these main dishes. Do not forget to pair your meal with their curated drinks, such as the refreshing mojito passion fruit or the captivating blue unicorn.

The culinary delights at Cwtch are accompanied by exemplary service. The staff members are attentive, knowledgeable, and dedicated to ensuring that every guest’s needs are met. From the moment you step into the restaurant until the end of your meal, you are treated like a VIP, receiving personalized care and service that enhances the overall dining experience.

In addition to their regular menu, Cwtch offers special culinary creations to celebrate Saudi National Day. Indulge in the heavenly Pistachio White Chocolate Crisp Nebrow, a baked treat coated with luxurious white chocolate and sprinkled with pistachio slivers. The Grenisher’s Pistachio Mousse with white chocolate crumble is another must-try, with its dense and creamy texture that combines pistachio paste, fluffy egg whites, cream, and crumbles for a truly decadent experience.

 


Where We Are Going Today: Riyadh’s Pierre Herme Paris

Where We Are Going Today: Riyadh’s Pierre Herme Paris
Updated 23 February 2024
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Where We Are Going Today: Riyadh’s Pierre Herme Paris

Where We Are Going Today: Riyadh’s Pierre Herme Paris

Visitors to the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh can get a taste for luxury from more than just the decor and surroundings.

At Pierre Herme Paris they can sample pastries and sweets conceived by French pastry chef Herme, known as the “Picasso of pastry.”

Among the most popular desserts are French macarons, and vanille cakes infused with exotic vanilla cream from Tahiti, Mexico, and Madagascar.

Dacquoise biscuits are adorned with crunchy hazelnuts, hazelnut flakes, thin layers of milk chocolate, milk chocolate ganache, Chantilly cream, and several ice cream flavors, while the pink rose macarons from Isfahan, Iran are filled with rose petal cream and raspberries.

All the pastries are lovingly prepared in the hotel’s kitchens and showcased in museum- style class cabinets.

One of the things that  impressed me about Pierre Hermé Paris is that it is headed by the Executive Pastry Chef Steve Thiery from France, who joined the global pastry-making operations in 2019 after honing his talents for a decade and
a half in pastry kitchens from French Polynesia to France and Morocco.

 


Where We Are Going Today: Plenty Sld’s

Where We Are Going Today: Plenty Sld’s
Updated 21 February 2024
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Where We Are Going Today: Plenty Sld’s

Where We Are Going Today: Plenty Sld’s

Plenty Sld’s is a salad bar in Riyadh that lives up to its name, with plentiful salads that will surely satisfy your hunger. 

Located in Al-Mohammadiyah district, they serve a variety of mouthwatering salads featuring inventive flavor combinations and their signature crunch, which adds a pleasant texture to your salad.

Lulu zalat, their signature salad, consists of a substantial bed of rocket and lettuce with a variety of vegetables and fruits including sweet potato, carrot, crunchy okra, and pomegranate. It is topped with caramelized walnuts, salad dressing and feta cheese. 

The MENA salad features flavors from the Middle East and North Africa and includes cucumbers, roasted corn, fried eggplant, fried onions, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, goat cheese, and a special lemon vinaigrette dressing. It’s a great choice for people who want a hearty but light lunch. 

The Asian-inspired colorful crab salad features shredded cucumber, mango, carrots, crab sticks, sesame seeds, and beans — ideal for those who enjoy a mild flavor profile. 

The “make your own salad” option at Plenty Sld’s is great for those with allergies or discerning palates who wish to mix and match their own sauces.

They provide a variety of dressing options including spicy sauce, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and lemon, and lime peanut sauce.

They also offer nutritious juices that will keep you energized all day, such as a vitamin C shot and a ginger manuka shot.

The restaurant only serves takeout.

For updates and more details, check their Instagram @plenty.slds.


Where We Are Going Today: ‘Jazzar’ restaurant in Jeddah

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Updated 19 February 2024
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Where We Are Going Today: ‘Jazzar’ restaurant in Jeddah

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  • The shokaf was a grilled cut of fine tender meat that showcased the chef’s expertise

Jazzar is the ultimate destination for a carnivore’s feast in Jeddah.

Named after the Arabic term for “butcher,” Jazzar offers a wide range of fresh meat cuts. Upon entry, you are greeted by sensory delights — rows of coal bags, live cooking by skilled chefs, the aroma of freshly baked bread and grilled beef, and trays displaying an array of meats as well as a butcher inside a glass-walled room filled with meat on the second floor.

For those with a passion for meat, Jazzar is a culinary haven. However, vegetarians might find the scene a bit intimidating, as the restaurant proudly embraces its carnivorous identity.

During my visit to Jazzar, I opted for hamees — tiny, tender slices of meat and fat, delicately arranged on a bed of bread and adorned with tahini sauce and chopped green chilli. The tantalizing taste makes it a must-try dish.

My second choice was the tenderloin with entrecote sauce. While the tenderloin did not live up to its name entirely, the flavorful fries on the side compensated for any shortcomings.

The shokaf was a grilled cut of fine tender meat that showcased the chef’s expertise. Among the appetizers, the hummus stole the show, served with a thin slice of shawarma meat, adding a delightful touch to an already satisfying dish.

Each order at Jazzar comes with a complimentary shirazi salad, featuring a medley of grilled and fresh vegetables with a drizzle of tahini sauce, accompanied by a plate of cooked potatoes with savory gravy.

Situated on Prince Sultan Road, Jazzar not only boasts an enticing menu of meat and grill options but also offers a selection of refreshing juices. The service was great, with each order arriving at the table in less than 10 minutes.

For updates and more details, visit their Instagram @jazzar.ksa.

 


Bangkok: Ancient culture and cutting-edge health care 

Bangkok: Ancient culture and cutting-edge health care 
Updated 19 February 2024
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Bangkok: Ancient culture and cutting-edge health care 

Bangkok: Ancient culture and cutting-edge health care 
  • The Thai capital is becoming an increasingly popular destination for those seeking both traditional and preventive medical treatment 

BANGKOK: Thailand has long been a favorite destination for travelers from across the world, thanks to its beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, vibrant cultural heritage, and always-on-the-go cities. But another facet of Thailand is now attracting numerous visitors to the Southeast Asian nation every year: it’s cutting-edge healthcare. 

An increasing number of visitors are drawn to Bangkok not just for the Thai capital’s ancient temples and bustling markets, but by the promise of world-class medical treatment. 

 

Khalaf Al-Otaibi traveled from Riyadh to Bangkok for medical treatment this month. (AN photo)

Thailand has emerged as a global hub for healthcare seekers, offering a unique blend of traditional hospitality and state-of-the-art medical expertise — the pursuit of health is interwoven with the rich tapestry of Thai culture. 

 

Rajeev Rajan, the chief business development officer at Bumrungrad International Hospital, told Arab News that quality of care and winning the trust of patients are the staff’s main concerns. 

“A patient wanting to travel to Bumrungrad can (simply) send us an email with a medical report. We take that report, and we give them an expert opinion with the cost of everything in advance,” he said. “Once the patient receives the appointment confirmation, they provide us with their flight details. When the patient lands, he or she is received from the gate of the plane, and escorted through our fast-track immigration office. We also have a complimentary shuttle service every 15 minutes from the airport to the hospital or to a nearby guesthouse.” 

Typically, the patient will enter the hospital the next day, where Rajan said there is a support team of more than 170 people who speak Arabic. A member of the team will accompany the patient throughout their treatment. Several of the doctors also speak Arabic.  

The hospital also offers prayer areas and Halal food choices for Muslim guests, and Rajan explained that the hospital also remains in close contact with relevant embassies, offers visa extension services, and provides dedicated offices for medical liaisons from diplomatic missions. 

Chulalongkorn University, home to Thailand's oldest medical school. (Shutterstock)

Of the 1.2 million patients Bumrungrad receives each year, Rajan estimated that 50 percent are from overseas, and of those around a quarter are from the Gulf region. 

Rajan said the hospital will soon open a coordination office in Riyadh and noted that the ministries of health in both Thailand and Saudi Arabia are in discussions about technical collaboration opportunities. 

Rajan said that Thailand received 50,000 visitors from Saudi Arabia in the last four months of 2022, and that he expected the total figure for 2023 to be around 250,000 to 300,000. 

“If you look at anywhere in Europe (or elsewhere in the West), you know, it’s expensive (to visit from the Gulf),” Rajan said. “Thailand is very close. Flights are affordable, and the destination itself is very affordable. This might be one of the only destinations where you have 100 percent security, and you have the halal foods, mosques, beaches... So, it is a culturally favorable ecosystem.” 

At Bumrungrad, Arab News also interviewed Khalaf Al-Otaibi, a 55-year-old from Riyadh, who had come to the hospital for treatment. 

“Once I arrived here, it took less than 10 minutes to see my doctor. Their services are great. They respect their patients. They explain everything in detail, and doctors (really listen) to what you say,” Al-Otaibi said. 

One of the rooms at Bumrungrad Hospital. (Shutterstock)

Jiruth Sriratanaban, associate dean for planning and development at Chulalongkorn University’s faculty of medicine told Arab News that his university is the oldest medical school in Thailand. 

“We work closely with the King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, which belongs to the Thai Red Cross Society,” he said, adding the hospital is the only site in Thailand that provides proton therapy for cancer patients. 

Tanupol Virunhagarun, CEO of BDMS Wellness Clinic, part of Bangkok Dusit Medical Services, said that health and wellness was an increasingly important factor in people’s travel plans. 

“Our patients come twice a year, usually, to check their body fat and blood. Those from the Arab countries are mostly interested in advice about longevity, anti-aging, weight loss, and sexual health,” he said. 

“At our clinic, we pay attention to physical, mental, and even spiritual health, because we believe that to have a healthy body, you should have a healthy mind. That is how our clinic is different from a hospital; we do a lot of preventive medicine here,” he added. “We want people to check their health before they get sick.” 


Where We Are Going Today: Nomad Restaurant in Jeddah

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Updated 13 February 2024
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Where We Are Going Today: Nomad Restaurant in Jeddah

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  • The roast beef cannon with pale ale pie, charred cabbage and celeriac mash is a hearty choice, while the Sichuan seabass with crispy shrimp, charred squid and long beans offers a fusion of Asian flavors

Nomad, located at Sheraton Jeddah Hotel, offers a dining experience that takes guests on a culinary journey around the world. The menu, curated by chef James Kyle, a seasoned culinary nomad, showcases cuisines from across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and East Asia.

Using hand-picked locally sourced ingredients, the set menu is limited and changes slightly on a monthly basis.

Starters include the beetroot-cured salmon mosaic, accompanied by heritage beetroot and fennel. For diners seeking a fusion of flavors, the Korean barbecue beef pot stickers with kimchi are sure to please. The yeasted cauliflower with raisins, capers and mint provides a unique twist, while the aloo tikki naan, bhindi fry, tomato chutney and pine nut podi offer a delicious combination of Indian flavors.

When it comes to the main course, Nomad offers options like the 12-hour braised lamb kabsa.

The roast beef cannon with pale ale pie, charred cabbage and celeriac mash is a hearty choice, while the Sichuan seabass with crispy shrimp, charred squid and long beans offers a fusion of Asian flavors.

Desserts combine local and international influences. The minted bitter chocolate basbousa with beetroot sorbet is a refreshing treat, while the banoffee waffle pie with caramelized banana, toffee cream and vanilla cream sorbet offers a combination of textures and flavors.

The strawberry consomme with vanilla noodles and macerated strawberry is a light and fruity option, and the blood orange and honey brulee with sesame brittle and Saudi coffee cream is a true indulgence.

The drink menu at Nomad is thoughtfully curated, featuring a wide range of mocktails.

Nomad’s menu captures the essence of its name, taking diners on a journey of world cuisines.

Staff go above and beyond to meet the needs of diners, including any allergies or dietary restrictions.

Nomad is open from Saturday to Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. For updates and more information, visit @sheratonjeddah on Instagram.