Check out the big brands, from Amazónico to Zuma.
Saudi Arabia is fast becoming a dining destination – there are celebrity chefs, from Jason Atherton to David Burke, and international brands, from ROKA to LPM. So, whether the words Nobu or Zuma get your mouth watering, there’ll soon be more extraordinary restaurants in the kingdom. Here are the most exciting new restaurants opening in Jeddah and Riyadh.
If the idea of a rainforest-themed restaurant has got you thinking about Rainforest Café, think again. Amazónico Riyadh is a luxury Latin American restaurant specialising in seafood, grilled meats and sushi. The restaurant originally opened in Madrid, Spain in 2010 by the husband-and-wife team, Sandro Silva and Marta Seco. It has since found a home across affluent addresses including DIFC, Dubai and Mayfair, London – the latter being the most expensive place on the Monopoly Board. Plus, a pop-up opened in Riyadh Oasis during Riyadh Season. So, we can see why they want to roll the dice and open a permanent location in Riyadh.
The beloved LA-based restaurant and bakery is set to open in 2023. Bianca is brought to you by Gianni and Nicola Vietina of Madeo Ristorante in partnership with former Four Seasons Hotel Executive Pastry Chef Federico Fernandez. The restaurant will be a day-to-night destination, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offering a menu influenced by the owners’ Italian, Argentinean and French roots. Expect a wide selection of organic bread and decadent pastries baked daily, in addition to tomato bisque avocado toast, Croque madame and grilled gamberoni.
Crustacean, the award-winning Beverly Hills institution, is set to debut in Jeddah, bringing guests in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a new twist to Modern Asian cuisine. With a menu rooted in Vietnamese-inspired cuisine and a focus on fresh seafood and healthy fares, Crustacean promises a stellar fine-dining experience in a beautifully designed, contemporary setting. Expect AN’s Famous Garlic Noodles and Dungeness Crab, as well as a diverse array of revamped and vegan dishes available exclusively at the Jeddah venue. With limited nightly seatings, the exclusive restaurant boasts lush, modern interiors featuring a neutral colour palette. In addition, a small outdoor patio area will offer al fresco dining.
CUT by Wolfgang Puck
One of the world’s most sought-after steakhouse concepts (you can already find it at Mondrian Doha and Four Seasons Bahrain Bay Bahrain) that started in Beverly Hills in 2006, is set to deliver innovation at every level through its unique combination of culinary, service and design. This modern American steakhouse impresses with superb meats.
Emily Hyland founded Emmy Squared Pizza in Williamsburg Brooklyn in 2016. Offering quality ingredients and deliciously unique toppings, the Detroit-style pizza is marked by its square shape, crispy bottom, fluffy dough, cheesy “frico” crust and signature sauce stripes. Following a successful opening in Abu Dhabi earlier this year, Emmy Squared is headed to Jeddah in 2023.
Ferdi, the cult favourite frequented by celebrities and royals visiting Paris, is bringing diners in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia the brand’s familial charm. Founded by husband-and-wife team, Alicia and Jacques Fontanier and named after their son Ferdinand, Ferdi started out as an intimate family-run operation, which over the years has transformed into a must-visit Parisian location. Signature dishes include the cheeseburger, Ferdi’s Macaroni and cheese and its Mexican beef enchiladas with melted cheese.
Inspired by the elite clubs of India where members of high society socialise, eat, drink, and play sports, Gymkhana has become synonymous with classic and contemporary boldly spiced Indian cuisine since its 2013 opening in London’s Mayfair. Now, the Michelin-starred restaurant is set to travel outside of London for the first time as Gymkhana Saudi opens its doors in Riyadh in 2023. All the restaurant’s signature dishes will make the trip to Riyadh, like Chettinad Duck Dosa with Coconut Chutney, Kid Goat Methi Keema with Salli and Pao, Wild Muntjac Biryani and Duck Egg Langoustine Bhurji with Malabar Paratha.
Joan’s On Third Riyadh
Created by entrepreneur, tastemaker and chef, Joan McNamara, Joan’s on Third is one of LA’s most beloved institutions. This eatery is known as much for its delicious menu as it is for its mouth-watering marketplace. The Riyadh outlet will reflect the LA outpost’s most distinctive features, including the neighbourhood-friendly atmosphere, communal tables, and charming decor. From a freshly prepared beverage menu comprising a variety of bottled fruit juices and ground coffee, warm pastries for the ultimate bakery and café experience; to an extensive selection of artisan cheeses and a deli counter, Joan’s on Third will be the ideal spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Le Comptoir de Nicole Jeddah
Le Comptoir de Nicole, one of France’s trendiest and most renowned bistros is coming to Jeddah. Le Comptoir de Nicole Jeddah will maintain the original restaurant’s perfect combination of sun, warmth and good life. The culinary experience starts with appetizing onion pissaladière, Niçoise salad, tuna carpaccio with Menton lemon dressing or mini Pan Bagnat – Nice’s famous tuna, egg and crudités sandwich. To follow, guests can choose from a selection of perfectly cooked meat, fish, and pasta such as the Australian Wagyu Tomahawk, the lamb chops with eggplant caviar, truffle Mafaldine or herb and almond crusted cod fillet.
Le Vésuvio Jeddah
Named after the famous volcano in Naples, Le Vésuvio, the contemporary Italian restaurant and pizzeria from Cannes, is set to open its first international outpost in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Yacht Club. Staying true to the flavours of Italy, Le Vésuvio’s menu will feature traditional Italian dishes using only the freshest ingredients available. Signature dishes from the restaurant’s Cannes heritage remain untouched, whilst other Italian favourites are reinvented with a dash of flair and modernity, including wood-fired pizzas and hand-crafted pastas.
Les Deux Magots
Transporting the scenic charm of quaint Parisian café to Saudi Arabia’s fine-dining scene, Les Deux Magots, has announced its opening in Riyadh. The menu will offer a selection of signature Parisian options, from smooth coffee blends and freshly baked viennoiseries to fluffy omelettes, steak with fries and club sandwiches. The intricate details, wooden interior, and luminosity of the space encapsulate the retro era perfectly.
Famed West Hollywood dining destination Madeo Ristorante plans to open two new restaurants across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A reservation-only destination, Madeo is a family business, owned and operated by Alfio Vietina along with his wife, Elvira Buffoni, and sons Gianni Vietina and Nicola Vietina. The menu will feature traditional Tuscan dishes, pairing the freshest local ingredients with premium European elements. The new venues in Riyadh and Jeddah will feature a warm colour palette with brass and wood accents, curved booths, and a semi-open kitchen.
Mashi no Mashi Jeddah
Meaning ‘eat more and more’ in Japanese, Mashi no Mashi is an innovative and vibrant ramen bar concept offering 100% wagyu ramen, giving guests the unique experience of authentic Japanese street cuisine with made-to-perfection bowls of Jiro-style wagyu ramen, complete with lively vibes. The brainchild of Chef-turned-wagyu-expert and entrepreneur, Hisato Hamada – who created fine dining, members-only restaurant WAGYUMAFIA – Mashi no Mashi is the ultimate symbol of comfort food, offering the most indulgent ramen bowls.
MayaBay is going global. The Monaco-born restaurant is expanding, having opened its second branch in Dubai in May, it is now set to open its third in Riyadh in early 2023. While little news has been revealed about MayaBay Riyadh, if MayaBay Monaco and MayaBay Dubai are anything to go by, it looks set to be a must-visit dining destination. According to the MayaBay Riyadh website, the new restaurant is expected to open in early 2023 on Prince Turki Ibn Abdulaziz Al Awwal Road. The venue will cover a spacious 600 square meters, including a terrace. We are hoping that the Riyadh restaurant includes some of MayaBay’s signature dishes such as the Maya crispy duck, pad thai, MayaBay sashimi and black cod with miso and honey. Plus, the more indulgent dishes include caviar dim sum wok-fried lobster and wagyu beef sashimi.
We can’t help falling in love with Mr Chow. The restaurant opened in London on Valentine’s Day in 1968, and customers have been swooning over its authentic Beijing cuisine (note: especially the duck) ever since. With restaurants across America, from Beverly Hills to New York City, it’s finally coming to the Middle East. Its first venue in the region will be in Riyadh, no less. We are expecting it to be a hip, arty hangout, as the previous restaurants attracted the likes of Jasper Johns, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol. We’re just hoping that the new venue has its signature open kitchen, so we can watch the chefs perform the complex, Insta-worthy task of noodle pulling.
You’ll be feeling the good vibes at Nammos. No matter what time of year it is, Nammos is bringing the Mykonos magic by the hammock load. The restaurant was created in 2003, and first opened on the beach of Psarou, Mykonos. The menu places an emphasis on high-quality ingredients, as it fuses the spirit of the Mediterranean with Asian influences. Nammos has been serving its signature seafood and sushi platters in Dubai and Courchevel. In 2021, Nammos opened a pop-up in Riyadh Oasis, as part of Riyadh Season, and is now set to open a permanent restaurant.
Nobu is to restaurants what Robert De Niro is to movies – an award-winning show stopper – which is fitting, given that the brand has the backing of the A-list actor himself. There are not one but two Nobu restaurants in the kingdom: one in Riyadh (which is reopening) and another in Jeddah (following a pop-up at Jeddah Season in 2019). This foodie favourite already has venues in Dubai, Las Vegas and London, and you can be sure that the Saudi spots will meet the same high standards. Plus, the classic Nobu staples await – the famous miso-marinated black cod, anyone?
Over Under Riyadh
Founded in 2017 by Ed Barry, Over Under strips back coffee culture to what really matters, including great coffee, incredible hospitality and simple but delicious food. Over Under Riyadh is the latest addition to the brand’s existing seven locations across London. Unlike other coffee shops, the Over Under experience continues after hours, as the shop ‘flips’ at 5pm, transforming from a café into an upbeat yet low-key mocktail bar – Over by Day, Under by Night. The Riyadh venue will carry the brand’s signature menu, comprising dishes such as spiced mascarpone and berry toast, the original Over Under granola bowl, Reuben toastie and smoked chicken wrap.
New York’s famed French bistro and star-studded hangout spot, Raoul’s is set to touchdown in Riyadh. The new outlet will feature traditional interior design, a dark colour palette, intimate spaces and red velvet accents. A spiral staircase will lead to an intimate upstairs lounge, allowing guests to look down on the vibrant restaurant downstairs. The restaurant’s carefully curated menu features cherry-picked favourites and seasonal classics, from foie gras and steak au poivre with frites to organic whole roast chicken, tarte tartin and the oyster tower. Elsewhere, Raoul’s signature fish tank will be replicated in the Riyadh venue, firmly binding the new restaurant to its New York roots.
Amongst the five oldest restaurants in London, Scott’s was originally opened as an oyster warehouse in 1851 by a young fishmonger named John Scott. When Scott’s moved to its current Mayfair location in 1968, it was one of the most glamorous seafood restaurants in town, frequented by London’s film stars and politicians. Scott’s Riyadh will pay homage to the Mayfair flagship with a timber-panelled dining room, burgundy leather banquettes, silver-leaf mirrored screens and a stingray-fronted bar. The menu will offer traditional fish and seafood dishes alongside a variety of meat and seasonal game favourites. Oysters, served at Scott’s elegant oyster bar, are a house speciality.
Sexy Fish Riyadh
Sexy Fish is an Asian restaurant and bar offering high-end glamour, surrealist décor and opulent culinary majesty. With opulent interiors, stunning artworks, and a diverse menu inspired by the seas of Asia, Sexy Fish offers all-day and late-night dining and entertainment experiences. The Riyadh outpost will retain the signature dishes of the original Sexy Fish in London’s Berkeley Square, such as duck salad, smoked tuna belly, crispy eringi mushroom, and black cod with king crab.
Spago by Wolfgang Puck
Wolfgang Puck’s first restaurant, Spago opened in 1982 at the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood before moving to Canon Drive in Beverly Hills in 1997. Spago’s sleek and simple design has become the epitome of fine dining for restaurants around the globe, along with its iconic, market-driven menus and unparalleled level of service, which have taken it to a truly legendary status. We cannot wait for the Riyadh opening.
Spring Place is a workspace and member’s only club located in New York and Beverly Hills. Founded by Francesco Costa, Alessandro Cajrati Crivelli and Imad Izemrane in 2016, Spring Place combines luxury, exclusivity and collaboration with selective membership programs that are aimed at people that are interested in networking, communicating, and collaborating with other pivotal members in adjacent industries.
WAGYUMAFIA celebrates the qualities and versatility of Japan’s most famous beef. With the title of serving the world’s number one beef, they are also a leader in the Kobe beef export business. Chef Founder Hisato Hamada consistently tours the world, evangelising their product through events and pop-ups. Launched in 2016, WAGYUMAFIA became a global sensation after introducing the world’s most expensive sandwich, the Kobe Beef Chateaubriand Cutlet Sandwich, which has since become an often-imitated creation. Taking signature elements from its Tokyo restaurants, WAGYUMAFIA Riyadh will offer an omakase menu with signature dishes, as well as original creations available only in Riyadh.
YAKINIKUMAFIA by WAGYUMAFIA
Redefining the age-old Japanese technique of grilling meat over a fire, YAKINIKUMAFIA by WAGYUMAFIA is a new addition to the dining scene of Saudi Arabia that celebrates sustainably raised, single-breed wagyu and cutting-edge butchery techniques that minimize wastage. The menu not only features a wide range of wagyu cuts but also centres on a buildable or customizable offering. The show stealer is the rare cut wagyu paired with signature wagyu bone broth. Depending on the availability of the meat, a different rare cut is offered every day, adding an element of surprise.
If you’ve never heard of Rainer Becker, we’re pretty sure you’ve heard of his restaurants: ROKA and Zuma. ROKA has already opened to rave reviews in Riyadh, and Zuma is expected to do the same. While Rainer could be seen as cannibalising on his own success – the UAE has Zuma Dubai and Zuma Abu Dhabi – we have to say that our stomachs are already rumbling at the thought of Zuma Riyadh. The restaurant aims to give the traditional Japanese izakaya dining experience a sophisticated twist, and is famous for its sushi and sashimi menu, plus seafood and meats from the robata grill.