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 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.
Vegetarians, look away. The clue is in the name here, as it’s all about beef, glorious beef. Beefbar was born in Monte Carlo, Monaco in 2005 and has been striking it lucky with its restaurants in Dubai, London, Hong Kong and Mexico City. Beefbar loves to give street food a swanky upgrade and creates a modern yet luxurious dining experience. We can only hope that the Riyadh restaurant features dishes from across its international menus, for example beef shawarmas, beef burgers and miso black beef. You get the idea. So whatever carnivorous cravings you have, we are pretty sure they’ll be satisfied at Beefbar.
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?
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.