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 LPM to ROKA. 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.
AB Steak by Chef Akira Back
Having already opened Dasha in the Saudi capital, Akira Back’s burgeoning restaurant empire shows no signs of slowing. Located inside the 1364 complex in Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter, AB Steak offers diners a modern American Steakhouse experience infused with a Korean flair. The concept has already proven popular in Beverley Hills, and diners in Riyadh can expect the finest cuts of beef, expertly dry-aged in AB Steak’s in-house ageing room.
GO: Visit https://unifiedhospitality.com for reservations and more information.
After seeing success in Dubai, London, Paris, Seoul, Singapore and Toronto, celebrity chef Akira Back brings his self-named concept to Riyadh. Taking up residence in the Diplomatic Quarter, Akira Back will offer a modern atmosphere, world-class cuisine and impeccable service. We’re hoping to see some FACT favourites such as Crispy Tofu, Crunchy Seabass and Korean Fried Chicken make it onto the menu.
GO: Visit https://unifiedhospitality.com for reservations and more information.
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.
GO: Visit www.amazonicorestaurant.com for reservations and more information.
Asador De Aranda
After wowing Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha, Asador De Aranda is opening in the heart of the capital’s Laysen Valley. Details of the Riyadh concept have not been unveiled, but if it’s anything like their UAE and Qatar branches, you’re in for an experience. The people behind Asador De Aranda believe in the magic of good food and the joy of being together. Previous Asador De Aranda menus feature spectacular Spanish dishes. Vegetable starters include a refreshing Gazpacho, delicious Beetroot Salad and Patatas Bravasand Caldoso. The mains include El Cuarto de Asado, which is a roasted lamb, and Las Chuletillas, which is grilled lamb chops.
GO: Visit https://asadordearandainternacional.com for more information.
London’s Bardo is the next restaurant to make its way to Riyadh. The fine dining Italian concept will be located in King Abdullah Financial District and is being created by Bluehaus Group. The team shared renders of the new restaurant, which looks set to be a sophisticated spot. The décor oozes Art Deco glamour, thanks to the chandeliers, red-hot chairs and sofas, and white tablecloths. We’re hoping that Bardo in Riyadh’s menu reflects the London locale. The original menu includes salads, antipasti and primi. The dishes include Black Truffle Tagliolini, Lobster Tagliatelle, Oven Roasted Lion of Lamb, and Roasted Sea Bass. Plus, the desserts include Cheesecake, Gelato and Tiramisu.
GO: Visit www.bardostjames.com for more information.
Benoit in Riyadh will draw inspiration from its OG in Paris, France. The venue prides itself on its bistro spirit and includes, brass, marble-like columns, paintings across the walls, and red velvet seats. If the original restaurant is anything to go by, we are expecting Benoit in Riyadh’s menu to include French classics. The tagline is: “At Benoit, drinking and feasting like kings”. The starters include Chilled Blue Lobster, Duck Foie Gras, Marinated Smoked Salmon, and Snails in their Shells. The mains include Organic Tigre calf’s head, Seared Fillet of Sea Bass, and Turbot cooked with half-salted butter. The desserts include Profiteroles, Classic Vanilla Millefeuille, and Minute Made Chocolate Biscuit.
GO: Visit www.benoit-paris.com for more information.
Get ready to be wowed by a new restaurant concept from the group behind Burger Boutique in Kuwait. B+F in Laysen Valley will offer upscale international cuisine, including open-flame cooking demonstrations and pizzas from the wood-fired oven. The concept look set to turn up the heat in Riyadh.
GO: Visit https://www.bandf.me for reservations and more information.
Launched in 2013 by Founder and Owner Kurt Zdesar, Chotto Matte currently has four locations in the UK, the US, and Canada. The upmarket concept is now set to expand into Riyadh’s buzzing KAFD. Experience the vibrant flavours of Nikkei cuisine, where Executive Chef Jordan Sclare skillfully blends Japanese and Peruvian culinary traditions with an artistic approach to every dish. We’re hoping the signature dishes like the miso black cod, tentaculos de pulpo, and Chotto Matte’s superb sushi make it to the Kingdom.
GO: Visit https://chotto-matte.com for more information.
Din Tai Fung
Sure, it’s a chain, but it’s a brilliant one. Din Tai Fung started life in Taiwan in 1980 and now has restaurants across the world from London to Sydney. The newcomer has made its mark in the Middle East with restaurants in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and soon you can experience those world-famous handmade dumplings in Riyadh.
GO: Follow @dintaifungae on Instagram for more information.
Em Sherif Sea Café
Located in Leysan Valley, Em Sherif Café presents authentic Lebanese delicacies in a new light. All ingredients are chosen with a personal touch, from the fresh produce to the succulent meats, to surprise and delight guests through innovative dishes. The menu features an extensive selection of seafood as well as cold and hot mezze, with signatures including the famous fresh Lebanese Tabbouleh in three equally delectable variations, a classic creamy hummus topped with roasted pine nuts. Em Sherif Sea Café is already present in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, and Doha.
GO: Follow @emsherifcafeksa on Instagram for more information.
Riyadh Season is back, and it’s bringing with it exciting restaurants. Fouquet’s opened in 1899 in Paris. The restaurant can now be found in Abu Dhabi, Cannes, Courchevel, Dubai, New York and Saint-Barth. The FACT Award-winner is now making its way to Riyadh. Famous for its fine dining French food, the dishes range from Classic Beef Bourguignon to Sea Bass Filet a la Plancha.
GO: Visit www.hotelsbarriere.com for reservations and more information.
Our love for Chef Izu Ani’s Gaia knows no bounds, so we were excited to hear that the FACT Award-winner was opening in the capital. With generosity and authenticity at the core of its ethos, GAIA serves humble cuisine where every dish is made with love and fuelled with flavours. The star of the show is undoubtedly Gaia’s signature Ice Market. Featuring an array of fresh fish and seafood, which is delivered daily, diners can not only select their fish and seafood but also have it cooked exactly to their preference. Taking the Kingdom by storm, Gaia will also be making its Riyadh debut very soon.
GO: Visit https://gaia-restaurants.com for reservations and more information.
Get ready for a new dining destination that promises to be a hit – IT Restaurant. This global brand is known for its chic interiors, soulful music, and exceptional Mediterranean cuisine. With locations in party hotspots around the world such as Ibiza, London, Mykonos and Tulum, IT restaurant is set to bring its signature vibe to East Park in Dubai.
GO: Visit www.itrestaurants.com for reservations and more information.
The popular Nikkei restaurant from Jeddah is making its way to KAFD very soon. Kuuru brings together the lively flavours of Japan and Peru in a fusion feast that’s both a treat for the taste buds and a feast for the eyes. We’re talking vibrant, colourful plates that are so stylish, you’ll want to take them home and hang them on your wall. Expect chicken panca truffle, black cod criollo and tiger shrimp anticuchero’s to feature on the menu when the restaurant opens its doors in the capital.
GO: Visit www.kuururestaurant.com for more information.
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
We have it on good authority that L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon is opening its doors soon in Al Murabba. The restaurant will be designed in distinct Joël Robuchon style, meaning diners can expect the brand’s signature red and black colour scheme, accentuated by touches of brass in a refined yet informal dining experience. Like its counterparts in Dubai and London, Paris and Tokyo, the menu is expected to revolve around seasonal ingredients, where classic Joel Robuchon signatures will be imbued with a modern twist.
GO: Visit www.joel-robuchon.com for reservations and more information.
La Californie is making its way from Cannes to Riyadh. While we do not yet know what the interiors will look like, we imagine it will draw inspiration from its original restaurant and be a chic spot. The restaurant serves French food including Grilled Octopus, Nicoise Salad, Salmon Ceviche, Tuna Steak and Veal Cutlet. Plus, desserts ranging from a Crème Brulee to Crème Caramel.
GO: Visit https://riyadhseason.com for more information.
La Cantine du Faubourg
La Cantine du Faubourg has gone from Paris to Dubai, Mykonos and now Riyadh. The restaurant is famed for its arty décor and French food, from escargots to foie gras terrine. The focus is on simplicity, as the ingredients speak for themselves and the food isn’t over-complicated with unnecessary embellishments. As for the Riyadh restaurant, it will be all about relaxed elegance in a way that only Parisians know-how.
GO: Follow @lacantinedubai on Instagram for reservations and more information.
La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie
La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie is aiming big, as it plans to open four new restaurants across Dubai, London, New York and Riyadh. If you want a sneak peek of what you can expect, the 500-seat Riyadh venue will be opening in KAFD soon. Here you can enjoy French cuisine and Parisian chic across a menu that ranges from crêpes and healthy salads to French onion soup, Rossini, French toast, pastries and viennoiseries.
GO: Visit www.laserre.com for reservations and more information.
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.
GO: Visit www.mayabayrestaurant.com/riyadh for more information.
We don’t know much about this one, but a source close to FACT tells us it’s happening. Mimi Kakushi, which opened in Dubai in 2021, will be opening in Riyadh. The Japanese restaurant and bar, transports you back to the swinging jazz age of 1920s Osaka. Plus, the menu’s signature dishes include sushi, sashimi and tempura.
GO: Follow @mimikakushi on Instagram for more information.
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.
GO: Visit www.nammos.com for reservations and more information.
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?
GO: Visit www.nobuhotels.com for reservations and more information.
London’s Pahli Hill will be coming to the King Abdullah Financial District. If the restaurant’s London menu is anything to go by, then you’re in for a treat. The menus are a nod to regional classics and are superb for sharing. Visitors can choose from a la carte, chef’s counter, early dinner set menu and Saturday lunch menu. Pahli Hill’s a la carte menu spans small plates, big plates, tandoor and grill and sides. The small plates range from Crispy Khakhra to Mangalore Bun and Scottish Crab Sukkha. The big plates range from Paneer Butter Masala to Wild Sea Bass Steamed in Banana Leaf.
GO: Visit www.pahlihillbandrabhai.com for more information.
Making the move Al Qassim Province to Riyadh, quaint and cosy cafe Samra is a celebration of art and food. The space at The Canopy by Oud celebrates the neo-baroque style, and will offer a selection of sweets and homely cuisine. Expect the highest international standards with a unique Saudi touch.
GO: Visit www.samra.com.sa for reservations and more information.
Named after its owner “Sassa,” Sass Café has been a firm fixture on Monaco’s dining scene since 1993. Following a successful pop-up in AlUla, Sass Cafe is making its way to Riyadh. Expect fine dining Mediterranean and Italian cuisine and exceptional drinks wrapped up in elegant décor and a timeless charm.
GO: Visit sasscafe.com for reservations and more information.
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.
GO: Visit https://coolinc.com.sa for reservations and more information.
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.
GO: Visit www.springplace.com for more information.
With restaurants in Dubai, London and Las Vegas, SUSHISAMBA’s latest opening will be in KAFD. Drawing influence from the culinary traditions created by the Japanese diaspora in Brazil and Peru during the early 20th century, SUSHISAMBA Riyadh’s menu will likely feature the likes of Crispy Hokkaido Scallop, Crispy Yellowtail Taquitos, Japanese A5 Wagyu Beef Gyoza, Pulpo Asado, Wagyu A4 Japanese Claypot, Seviche Platter and Peruvian Corn Salad. The vibrant spirit of Brazil and Peru, meanwhile, will be celebrated through striking textiles and finishes in warm, bright colours.
GO: Follow @sushisamba on Instagram for more information.
The Wolseley is one of London’s most iconic restaurants. Located on Piccadilly, it is famous for its excellent service, grand dining room and brilliant breakfast. Dilip Rajakarier, the new owner of The Wolseley, is behind the expansion plans. He plans to take the restaurant to Hong Kong, New York, Shanghai, Singapore and Saudi Arabia. If the original menu at The Wolseley is anything to go by, we are in for a treat. The European restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. The cold breakfast menu includes cereals, fruit and viennoiserie. The hot breakfast menu includes Bagel with Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese, French Toast and Mashed Avocado with Confit Tomato. Plus, The English is a classic and comes with fried, poached or scrambled eggs, baked beans, tomato, black pudding and mushroom.
GO: Visit www.thewolseley.com for more information.
We love Saudi Arabian cuisine at FACT, so we’re excited about this latest foodie news – Wadi is coming to Laysen Valley in Riyadh. Scheduled to open before the end of 2023, the new restaurant will specialise in Saudi fusion cuisine. When we visited Laysen Valley, we spotted the hoarding for Wadi. The name comes from the Arabic word for river. The concept aims to combine high-quality ingredients and a luxurious atmosphere to create a one-of-a-kind experience. Plus, it will offer a shisha menu.
GO: Visit https://laysenvalley.sa for more information.
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 when it opens in KAFD later this year. 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.
GO: Visit https://zumarestaurant.com for more information.