Explore Your City

Hiking in Riyadh’s Personal Grand Canyon: Tuwaiq Mountains

2a9d65c4-2d40-4320-9b92-f35df294cd9d-2

An unforgettable experience with team Rawasi. 


Recently, Rawasi Team had invited us over for hiking. After a work-heavy week, it was the ultimate stress-buster. Here’s my experience with Rawasi:

I’ve never been hiking before and this was my first-time. Rawasi Team organized the hike at Tuwaiq Mountains, which according to me are, Riyadh’s very own Grand Canyon. It has two levels; the easy trail for newbies, and the hard one for those who are up for an adrenaline rush.

01144ca6-03ce-46e8-9d55-dde9d411a758

The thrill kicked in when we started off-roading to the camp spot. The song Dinosaur by Cairokee was playing and the beat drop synced perfectly with our car’s ups and downs.

We met Sahara Club at our location, who volunteered to help us hike. We had a lovely spread of snacks and were encouraged to grab a bite before we could start hiking. After giving us instructions and assigning us in groups to experienced hikers/guides, we were off on our adventure; I selected the hard trail.

rawasi-pic

The speakers blasted with electronic music to keep us active and on our feet. We went downhill, and to be honest, I had already started stumbling. Nevertheless, our hiking guides were very helpful and guided us to the easy path down our trail. There were plenty of other first-timers who were hiking with us. It was encouraging watching them push themselves and accomplish this adventure. We came across plenty of beautiful sights that I wouldn’t normally see in our metropolitan desert. The high mountains of varying shades of yellow, orange, and brown were mesmerizing.

Our trail was covered in thorny shrubs, sharp rocks that pierced our skin, and at places, animal carcass. The toughest bit of the trail: the steep, 2000m climb back up to our camp. It seemed impossible at first, but the constant boost of confidence and support from Shereen Abulhassan, the senior leader of Rawasi Team, made the climb seem easier, even for a newbie like me.

ruwaisi-collage

After the hike, the grills were set up and a delicious late-lunch spread of freshly prepared burgers and kebabs was laid out. The setting sun colored the sky and the Tuwaiq Mountains in hues of pink and orange; it looked unbelievable. We relaxed, ate till our stomachs couldn’t take anymore, and enjoyed playing games and singing through the remaining time.

I loved how homey the Rawasi Team was. Like a family away from family. It was an amazing experience to hike with Shereen and her team. 

Instagram: rawasi_team1

Read More...

Explore Your City, Shop In Riyadh

Taibah: Thrift and Trinket Central

taibah-collage

Souq Taibah, where bohemians, housewives, hipsters, and grandmas collide.


Located just along King Fahad Rd, and interestingly, right before one of Riyadh’s go-to malls, is a souk where traditions meet novelty. This maze of stalls and stores is a gold mine for urban discovery and shopping adventures.

The imaginative would delight in the trinkets a dozen they can find while the pragmatists would feel victorious after haggling for their loot. From Najdi housewares, shalky fabrics, jalabiyas, spices, henna, to fireworks, lip kits, jewelry, leather goods, and lest we forget, street food, local and fusion cuisines; can all be had along its corridors.

You’ll find Saudi women setting up stalls here and a healthy community of makers have also taken their space to sell everything from flower crowns, spice boxes, carpets, and more. Local cooks set up shop on the pavements, where you can have a sampling of authentic Saudi cooking, as well as snacks, balila, and corn in a cup carts. There is at least one local ice cream truck parked here every day.

Have a journey to the place through our photos:

The souk comes alive a little after 4 pm, although mornings make for a nice quiet shopping experience. Not all shops would be open though.

3_taibah_dec_2017_riyadh_rawan-alzubaidi

Novelty figurines

Trinkets everywhere, admittedly so are brand knockoffs.

6-7-collage

Animal lovers can find something for themselves, too.

8_taibah_dec_2017_riyadh_rawan-alzubaidi

Traditional and local clothing sold here cheap- bargain, and you can give it modern upgrade by taking your find to the tailors also stationed in the souq.

9_taibah_dec_2017_riyadh_rawan-alzubaidi

You can buy henna here for SR 15/kg.

Dear millennials, see why you don’t have to spend $20 on fake henna plus shipping from the US?

10_taibah_dec_2017_riyadh_rawan-alzubaidi

Give your home a Najdi touch.

12_taibah_dec_2017_riyadh_rawan-alzubaidi

Every container you may need.

Read More...

Food, Healthy Living, Online Magazine, Showdown, Wellness

Healthy Eats

azure-restaurant

Whether you’re on a “see” food diet, or you’re on a fitness-friendly diet, these restaurants have something for everyone.


Verdure

Black Angus Striploin
Price: SR 210

1-1_verdure_healthyeats_november_2017_riyadh_shThis elegant restaurant makes sure that you get a taste of the healthy side of fusion European cuisine. For healthy options, you can opt for:

  • Verdure Salad is a good pick because it’s mostly herby. It’s made using boston and endive leaves, chervil, tarragon, apple, and parmesan. If you want some protein there, order a Tuna Nicoise Salad.
  • Healthy mains: Roasted corn-fed chicken breast, whole sea bass with vegetables.

Location: Tahlia St.
Tel: +966-11-2932664
Mob: +966-596115222
Web: verdure-ksa.com
Instagram: verdure_riyadh
Snapchat: verdure_riyadh

Indian Summer

Paneer Tikka
Price: SR 32

2-0_indian-summer_healthyeats_november_2017_riyadh_shIf you enjoy having Indian food, this is the place to be. Indian Summer isn’t all about the butter or ghee, they have healthy alternatives and vegetarian options too.

Paneer Tikka is basically cottage cheese, marinated with Tikka spice mix and barbecued.

  • Kali Mirch Kabab, which directly translates as black pepper, is a marinated chicken kabab with crushed black peppercorns and barbecued.
  • Please stick to roti (crisp flat bread) instead of naan for breads.

Location: Hamdan St., Sulaimania
Tel: +966-11-4545905
Web: indiansummerksa.com
Facebook: IndianSummerKSA

Instagram: indiansummerksa
Twitter: IndianSummerKsa

Azure

Oven Roasted
Dorado
Price: SR 120

azure-restaurantThis is a five-star signature, Aegean cuisine restaurant led by Greek Chef Konstantinos Arampatzis. For one thing, this cuisine already leans toward the healthy. Plus, their protein is mostly grilled, steamed or baked in a fire oven.

  • They have a special ‘Fish of the day’; opt for grilled or oven baked.
  • Oven-roasted dorado with fennel, peppers, olives and capers, is one of the healthiest seafood options.
  • They offer delicious baked organic lemon chicken with chickpeas and capsicum salad.

Location: Hyatt Regency, Olaya St.
Tel: +966-11-2881234
Instagram: azureriyadh
Twitter: AzureRiyadh

Pan Breeza Lounge

Fruit Explosion Salad
Price: SR 39

panbreeza-healthyoptions-riyadh-2017-jou-2Pan Breeza Lounge serves breakfast and brunch meals all day long.

Honest advice: if you’re trying to be healthy, don’t look at their crepe and desserts menu.

  • You can start your day with one of their healthy fruit smoothies and juices. The Berrysome Smoothie tastes berrylicious.
  • If you’re looking for a refreshing starter, try the watermelon-feta-mint-skewers.
  • All their salads lead to a fuzz-free and enjoyable diet.

Location: King Abdulaziz St.
Tel: +966-11-2298209
Facebook: Pan Breeza Lounge
Instagram: panbreezalounge
Twitter: PanBreeza

Fuddruckers

Grilled Salmon Fillet
Price: SR 68

fudds-2-zahra-anwer-riyadhLucky for health-addicts, this place offers meals to satisfy their dieting tummies. Their healthy menu is healthier compared to their regular meal options. Here’s what you can indulge into when you find yourself and your family dining at Fuddruckers:

The Caesar Salad with sautéed zesty shrimp or with grilled chicken breast is a great choice for those who aren’t willing to consume a lot of unhealthy calories.

Their grilled salmon fillet can help you achieve your daily dietary intake of Omega-3.

Location: King Abdullah Branch Rd.
Tel: +966-11-2459781
Web: fuddruckers.com
Facebook: fuddruckers
Instagram: fuddruckers
Twitter: fuddruckers

Read More...

Food, Food News, Foodie Corner, Restaurants, Reviews

DR’s Brilliant Breakfast At Bagel Brothers

bagelbros

This breakfast is BAE-Goals.


Team DR tasted the menu of Bagel Brothers today, and we are here to tell you all about our bagel-icious breakfast journey that turned into an unexpected brunch.

Here’s what you need to know when you visit Bagel Brothers:

All their bagels are soft and delicious.

img_8909

The two halves of the bagels were filled generously with whatever we liked. These weren’t just bagels, they were BAE-gals.

If you don’t have their cream cheese dip, you won’t know what you’re missing in life.

img_8939

This is a must-try. It’s a bliss.

The halloumi bagel is one of the healthiest items on the menu.

img_8923

The halloumi was grilled which made us like it more.

Bagel brothers have something called ‘bagel chips’.

img_8935

They are added to salads or you can order them separately. You’d definitely do the latter after tasting one of these.

Hole-y moly, you can customize your own bagels and decide what to stuff it with, too.
The restaurant provides vegan options for food and drinks, which was definitely a plus point.
 
Their desserts are equally good; the chocolate muffin and cinnamon roll were delicious and worth tasting.
Warning: banana muffin will win your heart.
 

img_8889

As we were about to leave, the staff insisted us to stay to try one of their special chocolate bagels. We decided to check out what’s so good about it and it was the best decision we made. The chocolate bagel is stuffed with Nutella spread and it’ll make a chocoholic’s taste buds dance in joy.

Overall, we had an unforgettable gastronomical experience, and we hope you go on this hole-y journey, too.

Instagram

Location: As Sulimaniyah (See map)

Photography by Zahra Anwer

Read More...

Explore Your City

Day Well Spent at Ennessi Farms

eenesee-farms_zahra-anwer

Last week, Destination Riyadh visited their nature-lovin’, organic-farming friends at the Ennessi Organic Farm.


Ennessi Farm is an organic farm where the vegetables and fruits are grown without the use of harsh chemicals or processed and hybrid seeds.

We were given a tour of the 5 acres farm located in Dir’yiah. The moment we got out of the car, we could hear the happy chirping of birds, and the clucks of hens. It didn’t feel as though we were living in a desert.

Karla, the field trip tutor (a.k.a. lead caretaker, a.k.a. farmer), enlightened us by teaching us about the history of the farm and the historic importance of the location of the farm. From the farm, you could spot the remains of UNESCO World Heritage Site, At Turaif. She gave us a detailed background of At-Turaif; about the Saudi Dynasty that found it in the 15th century, the importance of its architecture, and the significance of its location.

Karla mentioned that the vegetables taste delicious when they are grown naturally, without the use of chemicals. She imparted upon us the details of the kind of irrigation systems used to water the plants.

We were amazed to see healthy growing vegetables, like, lettuce, pumpkin, corn, different kinds of basil, and squash. The fruits growing there amazed us; there were lots of fig trees growing in the area as well.

At the end of the trip, our lovely friend, Karla, treated us with fresh farm produced vegetable from Ennessi Farm. We had a buffet spread of spring onions, arugula, romaine and iceberg lettuce, baby tomatoes, and lots more. They were fresh, vibrant in color and tasted great. (Great enough to make you love your veggies.)

Ennessi has been successfully running hands-on educational enrichment programs for a number of years, for children, adults and family groups.  For 2017-2018, they have introduced Field Trips which introduce young children (grades 1-6, ages 6-11) to ideas of organic growing, recycling, sustainability and healthy eating.

The programs are run by Karla Ptacek, who can be reached for bookings at broccoli@ennessifarm.com.

Instagram: ennessifarm

Facebook: ennessi.farm

Photography by Zahra Anwer

Read More...

Food, Foodie Corner, Online Magazine

RIYADHI FOOD FAVORITES

please-include-hole-in-wall-villarestaurant-riyadhifavorites2

Sing with us, for these are a few of our favorite things…


When it comes to Riyadh, the first thing that pops into our mind is: food! Riyadhis love to eat and are constantly on the lookout for the best restaurants around to try. Is there a better way to spend life? I don’t think so. After thorough research and help from YOU, we at Destination have found the spots to hit for your cherished favorites:

1. FAVORITE GAHWA – SWEET COMBINATION

1

In Riyadh, we go cukoo for coco when it comes to our gahwa-time snack. Nothing can top chocolates when it comes to our favorite gahwa-sweet combo, because chocolates taste good and make life worth living; simple as that. Our favorite picks include, Twix, Patchi Chocolates, Aani & Dani, and Bateel. The gahwa from Camel Step is becoming a local favorite, too.

Camel Step Coffee RoastersPatchi ChocolatesAani & DaniBateel

Location: Abi Bakr As Siddiq Branch Rd., At Taawun, Riyadh (Click  )

Tel: +966-534007676

Instagram: camelstep

Facebook: camelstep

Twitter: camelstep 

Website: camelstep.com

Location: Takhassousi Boutique, Patchi Building, Takhassousi St. (See Map)

Tel: +966-11-4834464

Website: patchi.com

E-mail: takasosi@patchi-sa.com

Instagram: patchichocolate 

Location: Takhassusi St., Ar Rahmaniyah (See Map)

Tel: +966-11-4186006

E-mail: info@aani-dani.com

Website: aani-dani.com

Instagram: aanidani 

Location: Kingdom Centre (See Map)

Tel: +966-11-2112042

Website: bateelonline.com

E-mail: info@bateel.com

Instagram: bateelgourmet 

2. OUR FAVORITE SHAWARMA SPOTS

2-0_mama-noura_peoplesfav_october_2017_riyadh_albandary

Mama Noura

You’re not a Riyadhi if you have never tried this restaurant. The combination of their mouthwatering shawarma with their rich mixed fruit juice does wonders on our taste buds.

Location: King Abdullah Rd., King Faisal St. (Click )

Tel: +966-11-2787555

Website: mamanoura.com.sa 

3. FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD : ICE CREAM

queenofsoftserve-riyadhifavorites4

Classic Cheap PickQueen of Soft Serve- Godiva

I scream for cheap ice cream! If you, like me, love having ice cream regularly, irrespective of the weather, there’s no way you’d go for something expensive. Ice cream trucks win at this. Delicious soft serve that comes in 3 different flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and chocolate and vanilla.

Godiva wins at creating the most delicious ice cream ever. It’s not your average, everyday soft serve; they’re extra. Godiva serves their real chocolate in form of ice cream, which makes this ice cream the most decadent one out there.

Location: Takhassusi St., Ar Rahmaniyah district (Click )

Tel: +966-11-2812000

Instagram: godivaarabia

4. FAVORITE JUNK FOOD: FRIES

shake-it27

French fries happen to be Riyadh’s favorite way to feel unhealthy, and by unhealthy, I mean really satisfied and happy!

Shake ItNew York FriesRobert’s Boutique

It is the first restaurant in Riyadh to serve flavored fries, which makes it one of our favorites. They season their fries with various flavored powders like cheese, lime, chili lemon, lime, and serve it with a good variety of sauces.

Location: Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz Branch Rd., Ar Rabwah (Click )

Tel: +966-11-4790069

Twitter: Shakeit_KSA 

If you love going heavy on the toppings, New York Fries is a must-try. They’ve personified poutine and may have improved on the classic fries by creating their famous butter chicken poutine and chili poutine.

Location: Uthman Ibn Affan Rd. (Click )
Website: newyorkfries.com 

Eye the new fry in town.

Location: King Abdullah Rd., Ar Rahmaniyah (Click )

Tel: +966-11-4824040

Twitter: RobertsB_RSB

5. FAVORITE COLD DRINK: Iced coffee

camelstep

Coffee makes our Sundays feel like a weekend; it makes us feel alive; it’s the elixir of youth and life. Well, you get the point. The coffee lovers have spoken and the two best places to grab a coffee are Camel Step and White Foam. Camel Step is great for good quality beans. White foam offers great coffee and vegan options, which is why it’s popular.

White Foam

Location: 2956 Ash Shaikh Abdullah Al Anqari (Click )

Tel: +966-11-4708567

Web: whitefoam.me

Instagram: whitefoam 

6. FAVORITE HOLE-IN-THE-WALL:

please-include-saeedalhas-riyadhifavorites2

The Villa RestaurantSa'ad AlHas

Modest venue, amazing food; The Villa Restaurant has been around since almost forever. Their authentic Thai, Chinese and Pinoy menu can win over the pickiest of taste-buds. If you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for? The flavorful larb and authentic pad thai are must’ves.

Location: Al-Uroubah St.(Click )

Tel: +966-11-4822749

More popularly known as Sa’ad Kebdah, this all time favorite shack came into business around 40 years ago and started gaining fame for its rich, savory, beef liver slapped inside a samuli. As the story goes: the name change occurred when the two friends, who started this restaurant together, had an argument a couple of years back. Due to that one of them left and the guy who stayed back renamed it to Sa’ad AlHas. Of course, liver is an acquired taste, and Saeed AlHas will make the process easier and make you fall in love with it.

Location: Boofiya Sa’ad, King Fahad Branch Rd, Al Wisham (Click )

7. FAVORITE CHILDHOOD FOOD

7

Samuli or Pita Bread with Cheese and Chips

As a kid growing up in Riyadh, Samuli/pita bread with cheese was a part of our staple diet. We had it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, as a snack during school or while watching our favorite Disney movies. Now as adults *cough* our favorite childhood food has been improvised by our genius minds and we’ve come up with lots of new ways to eat your classic samuli-cheese: cheese-honey, cheese-jam, and cheese-chili Tasali.

Location: Head to your nearest baqala.

Read More...

Food, Travel News

Food trails around the world

austin-texas-usa2

No need to pack instant ramen for these destinations. Get ready to travel around the world.


From tripe to curries to food trucks, get ready to go on a ride of culinary delight. DR picked some of the best cities from around the world to get a taste of local flavor and culture.

Austin, Texas, USA

austin-texas-usa

This city is popular for its food trucks. It doesn’t have as many food trucks as the other cities in USA, but, the ones present provide the best American food ever. Enjoy southern comfort food, like a slow smoked brisket, the weirdest fried food and pecan desserts like a pecan pie or pecan pralines. Or you can opt for their wide range of cuisines like Thai or Mexican, provided by food trucks. Austin food trucks live up to their motto: ‘Keep Austin Weird’.

DR RECOMMENDS: 

To satisfy your hearty appetite, try the fried sandwiches at Hey!… You Gonna Eat Or What? – Midway Food Park

Barcelona, Spain

copenhagen-denmark

Besides football and sightseeing, Barcelona has an amazing local cuisine. Seafood paella, made with rice, seafood broth, mussel, lobster, shrimp and cuttlefish, is a must try. Cannelloni (pasta with stewed meat), la bomba (potato croquette), Calçots (native catalan green onions) with romesco sauce and Pa amb tomaquet (bread smeared with tomato, olive oil and garlic) are some of the local savory dishes that you must try. Barcelona is also popular for its desserts: churros, crema catalana, mato and xuixos.

DR RECOMMENDS: 

Visit Bego & Ivan, warm home-chefs who live in Carrer de Sostres, to try their catalan menu. Especially their paella.

London, England, UK

greenwich-market-2-copy

If you find yourself in London, we suggest you to check out the Sunday marts. It’ll give you a peak of the local life, culture and food. Most of these Sunday marts are really large. It’ll take you hours to cover just one. They consist of organic fruits and vegetables, local and international savory and sweet food markets, and seafood markets. For your convenience, some of the food stalls are marked as ‘halal’.

Must Try:

  • Cheese
  • Fish and chips
  • Sunday roast with Yorkshire pudding
  • Cockles
  • Beef wellington
  • Pie and mash, or Bangers (sausage) and mash
  • Sticky toffee pudding
  • All the tea of London

DR RECOMMENDS: 

Borough Market, 8 Southwark St.

Try the blue cheese duck sandwich, desserts and check out the oyster market.

Lyon, France

lyon-france

This city is the gastronomical capital of France and the world. It’s famous for its offal specialties, cheese, wine, bread, chocolates and desserts. You can try these at the local bouchons, which are restaurants that serve traditional Lyonnaise cuisine, like tripe, chicken liver salad and quenelles (flour and cream dumplings).

Must Try:

  • Cervelle de Canut
  • Dayglo pink pralines in tart
  • Breaded and fried tripe
  • Brioche
  • Croissants
  • Saint Marcellin
  • Tomme du Beaujolais

DR RECOMMENDS: 

  • For a feast of senses, visit Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse at 102 Cours Lafayette, the central market for fresh produce and delicious local meals.
  • Chabert & Fils, a bouchon, at 11 Rue des Marronniers, for local taste.
  • Bernachon, a 42 Cours Franklin Roosevelt, for delightful chocolates and pastries.

Copenhagen, Denmark

copenhagen-denmark13

Copenhagen has a lot in store for you. Genuine, honest and aesthetic is the food motto of the city. It has a street filled with food trucks, music and art which aims to give you a taste of the amazing local food and international cuisines and the city also has a truly really super market to provide you with the freshest produce and exotic products. It is home to the Denmark’s biggest food court. Let’s just say that the country assures that you won’t go home hungry. Besides, the city gives you a chance to party like a Dutch.

Must Try: 

  • Smørrebrød (Open-Faced Sandwiches)
  • Grød (Porridge)
  • Rugbrød (Rye bread)
  • Hindbærsnitter (Raspberry Bars)
  • Wienerbrød (Danish pastry)
  • Tarteletter (Savory Danish pastry)
  • Coffee

DR RECOMMENDS:

  • Visit the Copenhagen Street Food – Hal 7 & 8 Papirøen, Trangravsvej 14, 7/8, 1436 København K – for local flavors, music and art.
  • For a quick meal or some freshly baked bread, visit denmark’s biggest food court, WestMarket – Vesterbrogade 97 1620 København V.
  • Check out Torvehallerne – Frederiksborggade 21, 1360 København K – for the freshest of the produce, gourmet chocolates, local cheese and exotic spices. This supermarket has everything Danish. You can also get your things specifically packed for travel.

(In Box) Other Notable Food Capitals:

  • Santorini, Greece (or Crete island)
  • Georgia
  • Amritsar, Punjab, India
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Manila, Philippines

Read More...

Food, Online Magazine, Restaurants

Watch Out For These Riyadhi Chefs

chef-collage

Meet Riyadh’s talented culinary artists.


Riyadh’s culinary landscape is changing. These chefs have worked hard to break the mold and live out their dreams, satiating your tastebuds and your belly with their deliciously prepared meals.

Riyadh’s Fusion Chef, RAKAN ALORIFI 

collage

“Don’t do it for the money. Become a chef if you’re passionate, that’s how you’ll grow and remain dedicated.”

With a degree in marketing, Rakan Aloraifi set out to start his own restaurant. But, due to mismanagement, his restaurant ended up beinglacked onwas short on chefs. Aloraifi took matters into his own hands and helped out in the kitchen, inadvertently discovering his passion for cooking. He eventually shut down the restaurant and moved to California to learn from the masters, working under Japanese celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa to learn Japanese techniques. Back in Riyadh, he found an opportunity to start working for Yokari, where he was one of the first few Saudi sushi chefs. Having found keen interest in hot kitchen and Asian cuisine and wanting to learn new techniques, Rakan shifted to Hualan Chinese Restaurant. He plans on starting his own fine dining Levantine restaurant.

Follow Rakan and his amusing life on

Snapchat: rakansss 

Instagram: @raloraifi

Or get a taste of his passion at: Hualan Chinese Restaurant (See map)

Web: hualan.sa

DR FACT: 

Chef Rakan will be appearing in a highly anticipated reality show for top chefs.

Breaking Barriers, WED REDA

“Love cooking from your heart; this love will help you leave a mark no matter where you go.”

Inspired by her mom and driven by her passionate craze for international cuisine since childhood, Wed Saleh Reda has chased her dreams by breaking barriers of all kinds. Wed started learning Arabic cuisine from her mother as it was her favorite. Once she aced it, she then trained herself in international cuisine. Over the past 10 years, she has been focusing on Italian and Japanese cuisines. She now works as a chef at Hyatt Regency, and also caters for the weddings taking place within the hotel. One year back

A year ago, when she started looking for a job, it was hard to get employed due to the conservative nature of the city. But, now the scene in Riyadh has changed drastically and caught up to her. “I hope to see plenty of girls getting employed as chefs and leaving their mark all across the city and the world,” Reda says.

Chef Wed is looking forward to starting her restaurant that serves fusion Saudi food, and she plans on competing in Top Chef Middle East – Season 3.

DR FACT: 

Chef Wed has a bachelor’s degree in management and had no experience in cooking. She taught herself what she knows from cookbooks written by famous chefs, Master Chef and Top Chef.

Enjoy a glimpse of her passion by following her on:

Snapchat: wedre

Instagram: @wedr

Indulge in her delicious meals here: Hyatt Regency (See map)

Web: riyadholaya.regency.hyatt

Ouzi with a Side of Funny, ALI ALYOUSEF

collage

“Don’t forget to laugh, enjoy what you are doing and have fun, it makes your cooking better. It makes you good company too. And that’s all you really need— good food, good company.”

Chef Ali Al Yousef chuckles as he tells us that the main reason he became a chef is to win a bet. A Chef friend of his told him that Saudis can’t do anything. He decided to prove him wrong.

And so, despite having a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Chef Ali decided to turn his career upside down and pursue his passion for cooking. While the “dare” made for a trigger, as a five-year-old boy, Chef Ali had already started making up his own concoctions and recipes in the kitchen.

Today, Chef Ali is the executive chef for traditional Saudi Dishes at Four Seasons Riyadh. People come to Elements restaurant for its Saudi-themed evening, and to have a generous helping of his renowned Ouzi.

Check out his tempting meals at his Instagram: @Chef_ali_alyousef

You can treat yourselves at: Elements, Four Seasons (See map)

Web: fourseasons.com/riyadh

 

Read More...

Offbeat

Thoughts You’ve While Traveling Solo

img_6599

“Wait… Am I on the right plane?” 


Plenty of people to socialize with, plenty of photos for Instagram #travel, and plenty of anxiety: this is what happens while traveling solo.

Here are some common thoughts almost everyone has when they’re traveling alone:

1. Why is everyone staring at me? Is my zipper down? 

ezgif-1-58f32fded8-1

2. Omg, do I have my boarding pass? I swear it was in one of my pockets. Or was it in my backpack? Oh, it’s in my hand.

ezgif-1-ffb0f3dd1c

3. Did I keep my passport? Did I leave it in the washroom? What if I lost it and I’m never allowed to travel or see my parents again.

ezgif-1-f77ce7653c-3

4. What if the person sitting next to me is annoying? Or has a baby?

ezgif-1-6ae28deab2

5. Can I get on another flight without anyone noticing? I don’t want to go back to work life/school life. I can call my parents later. 

ezgif-1-5292f59d6a-5

6. Drank lots of coffee again. I’m gonna have to pee in the flight. Or can I squirm in my seat for 5 hours?

ezgif-1-c0f08df50e-6

7. What would happen if the flight went down? Better pay extra attention to safety instructions.

ezgif-1-f6072c457f-7

8. *TURBULANCE HITS* Let’s start praying… after I update my twitter status so that everyone knows what happened to me. 

ezgif-1-6cba877215-8

9. *Baby laughs* NOOO… THERE’S A BABY ON THIS FLIGHT. ABORT MISSION. 

ezgif-1-77223f52e3-9

10. *Flight takes off – Baby cries* Ah, here we go. Hello dark circles. 

ezgif-1-318158f371-10

Read More...

Events & Happenings

5 Memorable Things About 87th Saudi National Day In Riyadh

Photo Credits: AlBandary Khaled AlJohar

Saudi National Day was literally lit.


The 87th Saudi National Day was different. The festivities, lighting and fireworks made Riyadh gleam bright green. Undoubtedly, it was by far the best National Day celebrations ever. Here are the five most memorable things that made this day special in Riyadh: 

1. Raise the Flag Event

collage1

Kingdom Tower hosted the Raise the Flag event on the National Day. It was the highlight of the night. The Kingdom Tower was shining green. Using 3D illusions, they portrayed the history and culture of the country and the history of the Royal family, on the Kingdom Tower. They ended the event with an amazing show of fireworks lighting up Riyadh night sky. 

2. Entertainment Boulevard 

ezgif-2-fe4d880400

The Tahlia street was transformed into a whole new place. The event taking place at the area was a called Entertainment Boulevard and the celebrations occurring there appealed to the youngsters and expats in the city. It had a line-up of food trucks of various cuisines, ready to serve hot and cold to the crowds. The games were entertaining and the surprise element was: The DJ event; people of all ages enjoyed their first rave ‘scene’ in Riyadh. 

3. The Discounts & Offers

screenshot-2017-09-26-12

We aren’t new to this concept of stores and restaurants; yet, we’re still surprised by the unbelievable offers that reach new heights every year on National day. Souq and Jarir went crazy with their online discount offers. AmoHamza promised a free meal to every person named Salman. There were unbelievable offers and free meals at all fast food restaurants. Don’t get us started on the discounts and entertainment provided by malls all around the city. 

 

4. National Day Fireworks at Diriyah & Kingdom Tower

ezgif-2-cb2b8f1352

It was more lit than the other celebrations. Fireworks of all colors and in all sizes were synchronized perfectly. The sparks gracefully danced with one another until they faded. And our Instagram/Snapchat stories were spammed with the videos and photos of this. It was awe-striking.

5. Security

This has to be mentioned. Last, but not least, the security was high and made us feel safe. As a lady, I could walk the busy streets of Riyadh, like, Tahlia, Talateen and King Fahad main road and not experience cat-calling or teasing. There were police cars at almost every corner scrutinizing the crowds and controlling anything that gets out of hand. The traffic was much organized compared to the ones we faced on the past National Days. 

 

Read More...