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Archive for the tag “eating out”

Naan Restaurant: A Review

Eating out is one of the most-favoured hobbies of Jeddawis and thankfully, we’ve always been spoilt for choice. The wonderful diversity among the residents of Jeddah is expressed in its food culture too.

It is quite common to see new restaurants and cafés opening up all the time, and Jeddah Blog’s very own foodie Abdullah Yahya never misses a chance to try out the latest offering. In his latest review exclusively for Jeddah Blog, Abdullah tries out Naan Restaurant, located behind Souk Shatee.

One of my new favourite restaurants in Jeddah is the elegant Naan in Al-Zahra district. It is roomy and it’s chic, with great service and even better food. The one downside is that they have a ‘no children under 5’ policy but to be fair, I have taken my toddler along twice and they let us in with a polite warning that if she starts crying I should take her to a room to calm her down, and luckily my girl behaved both times.

So why do I like it so much? The reason is quite simply that its menu is very extensive and can meet all tastes. Although their food is not hugely different from what you’d find in many other Indians restaurants, it just tastes better. Proof of that is that I thoroughly enjoyed the Chicken Biryani even though I am not much of a rice person.

naan08First up, appetizers. We opted for the vegetable samosa which was quite good. The serving consisted of four pieces accompanied by a tangy tamarind dip, but I say skip the dip for the samosa itself is very crispy from the outside and juicy and colourful on the inside.


Crispy and moreish samosas.


The Murg Tikka comes in this showy presentation hanging vertically on skewers. But it’s not all show, it actually tastes amazing. Very juicy and flavourful – it tingles your tastebuds and leaves you wanting more!


The juicy Murg Tikka packed with flavour.

As for the curries, I have tried several during my visits. The one I tried last was the Bombay Beef Curry, which I liked quite a bit. My only gripe was that the quantity of beef in the dish wasn’t as generous as the amount of gravy.


For dessert, we are predictable and play safe as we always opt for the Gulab Jamun. This never fails and is consistently good, albeit the serving is too tiny for its price.

Naan Restaurant

Gulab Jamun, always a safe bet.

When it comes to refreshments, I’ve tried their Mango Lassi before which is decent. This time I opted for their Gagajeer mocktail, which has among other things a weird mix of ginger, arugula, avocado, and honey. I was happy to give it a go, but it’s too weird even for me.


Are you adventurous enough for the Gagajeer Mocktail?

Price-wise, Naan is not the cheapest of Indian restaurants (not the priciest either), but it’s classy, clean, and serves great food. It definitely should be on your radar if you value some spice in your food.

Jeddah Blog rating

Ambience: 9/10

Food: 9/10

Service: 8/10

Value: 8/10

Cost per head: SR120-150

Jeddah Food: Beyond Fast Food and Five Star Hotels

Regular readers of Jeddah Blog will know by now that we adore anything to do with food. We’ve covered a range of eateries from business lunches to Teayana, PF Chang’s and Al Baik and we love them all. But where is the local food, I hear you ask?

What is especially exciting about this particular blog post is that it has been written by a true insider of Jeddah. A person who has lived here for nearly all of her life, and who knows Jeddah like the back of her hand.

Today’s guest blogger Qurratulain Sikander lets us in on her favourite haunts where real, local food is served. If you want to experience Jeddah the way that locals do, then you just might want to bookmark this page.

With unlimited social posts, and physical presence of International Food Chains and high-end restaurants in Jeddah, it is no wonder, that one is led to believe that good food is only available in these dine-in scenarios.

Do not underestimate the power of local food and non-international food places to get your taste buds dancing. Today, I will share a select few of my favorite food places, which apologetically do not necessarily host a luxurious interior, but serve up delish food!

  1. Foul and Tameez from your local street vendor

Residing in Al Zahra District, we had a local place which served foul (pronounced ‘fool’), as well as, hot yummy crisp bread called tameez. You do not really need a brand to find this local food. Check your area and for sure you can find one shop selling it. Mostly, it is eaten for breakfast, but can be partaken at any possible time. Priced at less than SR 10 for bread and the lentil (foul), you really can’t go wrong with it! To get an extra kick try squeezing lemon on top of the foul, and pairing the food with an ice cold laban. Simple and yum!

  1. Nakheel Super Market

You can find these non-auspicious grocery stores throughout Jeddah. Despite its humble setting, the bakery serves up some zesty spinach fataeer! These are bread triangles baked with a zesty spinach filling. You can walk in in the morning and request a fresh one to be made.

Zaatar Manaeesh

                        Zaatar Manaeesh

While you’re there, ask for a Manaeesh Labnah; a thin round bread topped with a yoghurt consistency cheese. To get the real local taste, ask for zaatar atop the labneh. Zaatar is a dry herb, which will add several levels of flavor to your Manaeesh. A good point to note, zaatar is known to be great for weight loss. So yes ladies, you can have this with no-guilt. Just do not over-eat the yummy carbs. Pair this with a chilled mushshakil (mixed) juice from the juice section.

  1. Wazzan for fast shawarma and quick fresh juice

Located just across from Ikea on Tahlia Street, this place is no small fish, but considering its presence for more than two decades, it’s definitely worth mentioning. Known to serve up Lebanese cuisine, you can opt to dine in or take-away. The Shawarma is juicy and well paired with pickle and thoum (garlic). I usually do not leave without a tray of Falafeel and Wark-el-Anab (stuffed grape leaves). The taste has been consistently good quality, and considering its long-time presence, I doubt any local who may not have eaten here. So to be a true Jeddahian, hop on to the band-wagon as well!

  1. Kudu for its no-nonsense value breakfast, and a mean Quatro

An Arab brand, you can see Kudu throughout Jeddah, as both stand-alone and food court counters. The breakfast is surely sufficient and value for money. On days of an early morning shopping spree, this was my best choice to eat and hop to retail therapy, while remaining within the mall. Nothing lavish, but simple and clean. What did make Kudu stand out for me, is their introduction of Quatro Sandwich. Now this is not really a local cuisine, but the spicy chicken stuffed into the bun with creamy sauce, is both an ordeal to finish, and a struggle to leave unfinished. Do make sure you get the meal, otherwise, you may regret not having a drink to stop the fire on your tongue. Do not let this stop you though! It is a flavour-bursting wonder!

  1. Ruz Bukhari from the local road shop

Another value for money, with simple succulent meal offering, is the Ruz-Bukhari (ruz is Arabic for rice). This is a pairing of cooked rice, with either grilled whole or half chicken. This comes with sauces like tomato sauce and Tahini (sesame seed) sauce, and the usual salad of onion rings and gerger.

ruz bukhari

The meal is a perfectly satisfying mix for dinner, where the serving is sufficient for more than one person. Make it your weekly take-out. My place of choice was a local shop in Al- Zahra, and before that, in Al-Azizia. So shop around and look for a local provider. This meal is a yummy quick buy and completely satisfies meat eaters.

  1. Mandi

Now Mandi can be either chicken, lamb or even a camel! It’s cooked such that the meat is so tender that it literally slides off the bones.

Chicken and Lamb Mandi

Chicken and Lamb Mandi

The traditional way is to cook the meat while buried in the ground in the desert. However, in the city, pressure cookers seem to be doing this job for the sellers. In terms of where I like my Mandi from, I am loyal to Raydan Mandi. You can find several shops throughout the city. The one I frequent is on Heera Street. Your meat will come with abundant rice, and of course the sauces and salad. Another meal with completely different flavorus to enjoy.

The above are just some of my local treats. What are your local foods of choice? Leave a comment and let us know!

Qurratulain Sikander blogs at Quezz Lifestyle.

Fun Hat Parade Lunch

Thanks to my friend Uzma for sending in details of this event. A little pricey, but might be fun for the kids?


Hat Parade Family Lunch


For further details and tickets call Mona on 0503358347
If you decide to go, drop us a line and let us know what you wore.

11 Scrumptious Jeddah Breakfasts

Are you and your friends planning a breakfast morning and can’t decide where to go? Jeddah has some awesome places for a wholesome and healthy breakfast plan, and even those who wake up with a sweet tooth. Zareen Muzaffar and Ayesha Nigar take up this delicious task with gusto and present their choices of early morning haunts that will not just satisfy your food cravings but will also charge you up for an active day.


Although they have branches in Attalah Center, the Corniche, Malik Road, and Prince Sultan Street, I frequently visit the one on Prince Sultan Street. Delifrance offers a range of breakfast options and lunch/ dinner meals. Besides the traditional eggs, you can have your sandwiches made according to your particular preference. The tuna and chicken paninis are delicious, and don’t forget to gobble up try their mini chocolate croissants. Their freshly baked whole wheat bread is also something you would want to take home.


The atmosphere is enough to make you feel you made the right decision to come here. Situated off Tahlia Street (behind Coral Mall, next to Sands Hotel) Paul is a great place for a cozy family breakfast or one that includes your group of friends. Their cheese plate comes with walnuts, bread, raisins, variety of cheese and salad. Great start to the day, right? Their display of baked goods is mouth-watering and makes it difficult to choose from. It’s like picking one piece from a box of chocolates. Who can resist when there’s so much to choose from?

Don’t miss their melt-in-the-mouth almond croissants though. They are so moreish, they’ll have you hooked. For salmon lovers, their potato pancake topped with smoked salmon is simply divine. I guarantee that their hot chocolate is the richest and thickest you’ll have tasted yet. On Fridays, they are open from 8-11 am and from 1 pm to 1 am. It’s busy though on weekends, so try to get there early if you want to be seated quickly.

Update: Paul now have a brighter, better, newer branch in Mall of Arabia. Under different management, they have a different menu too. The best part is the friendly service and no queues!

The Crêpe Café

I went to the one in Mall of Arabia and I must say their menu impressed me. We tried the spinach and cheese omelet and my taste buds suggested it was definitely made with fresh ingredients. If you are in the mood for something sweet try their Canadian style waffle which is drizzled with maple syrup and topped with ice cream of your choice. They also have a wide variety of crepes and waffles, and the Vanilla Chai Latte was simply amazing.

One should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast. ― Robert A. Heinlein.


Regular Teayana visitors know by now about the variety of tea available at the restaurant. Healthy herbal teas, as well as Chai Latte and Caramel Latte are some of the delicious drinks that will wake you up. Try their fresh manaeesh with your choice of drink or go for some wholesome egg dish. Great for brunch as they offer hot sandwiches and bagels too.

Update: Sadly, Teayana is now closed. Hoping it will open up again in the city.

Le Croissant Shop

This place is really good if you are in the mood for some croissant sandwiches; otherwise also known as“crois-sandwiches”. They have a variety of muffins, sandwiches, pastries and croissants that you can have at the restaurant or just take home for tea time.


Situated in The Courtyard on Rawdah Street, a beautifully open and bright location for many eateries, Kalila is a wonderful addition to cosy cafes in Jeddah. Their rustic decor is a delight in the mornings and outdoor seating is lovely when the weather is cool. Must-haves are Sajj with feta dip and their fresh pomegranate juice. Open from 8am. Perfect!


Who would have thought that IKEA would become a popular spot for breakfasts and other meals, but you’d be surprised. Their restaurant section is often jam-packed and their traditional Saudi breakfast is a big hit with families in the mornings. I’m quite partial to their salmon salad and can never say no to sausages. The prices are very reasonable and the seating plan is open, perfect for an early morning get-together. And you can even walk it all off with a trip round the store.

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?” 

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?” 

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet. 

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”


IHOP (International House of Pancakes) just opened its doors to the people of Jeddah, who appreciate a good cuisine wholeheartedly. Located in a prime spot on fashionable Tahlia Street (opposite Debenhams), this international franchise is a paradise for breakfast lovers.

The size of the restaurant and the proximity between the tables is a little downside, but as soon as you take that first glance at the menu your mood brightens up. They have a tremendous variety of breakfast options the likes of which I have never seen in Jeddah before. From omelets to sandwiches, pancakes to waffles and crepes, they have everything that one can desire at breakfast time, all under one roof.

I would recommend the steak omelet and the hash browns with turkey. If you’re going as a family, try their fresh orange juice jug.

Portion sizes are quite big. Nearly all breakfasts come with a complementary plate of pancakes and the blueberry ones were packed with their namesake. Four delicious syrups are provided at each table: Butter Pecan, Blueberry, Strawberry and Regular.

The staff is highly professional and competent, and will even help you to decide your order – a must try!

Average per person SR 65-75 including drinks.

Insider tip: If you’re heading there on the weekend, get in early to avoid the queues.


The quote “You first eat with your eyes, then your nose, then your mouth” is quite true for Amara, an international cuisine presented with a twist to treat all your senses. The ambiance is fresh, classy and comfortable. Amara welcomes its guests from 8 am till 1 pm for breakfast daily, with an amazing view to enjoy. The menu explains the dishes very nicely and one can feel that due attention is given to each and every small detail.

My friends and I were perplexed as to what to order, as everything sounded so tempting. At long last, we mutually decided to go with French Toast with Peanut Butter Sauce, Eggs Benedict (English muffin served with layers of spinach, poached eggs and smoked salmon and finished with Hollandaise sauce), Black forest waffles, two-eggs your way (choice of boiled, fried and poached eggs served with potato wedges and bread), a platter of European cheese and fresh orange juice. The juices were served instantly and were followed by the rest of our order. The food was spectacular, really a feast for our eyes and taste, and we enjoyed every bit of it. We finished off our breakfast with a cappuccino.

Average per person: SR 120

Tim Hortons

Are you annoyed when you’ve arrived so early at the Mall that even the shops haven’t opened? Now, at the Mall of Arabia, the best part of arriving before 10am is being able to saunter into Tim Hortons with a friend or two, and enjoy a light and tasty breakfast bagel before beginning some serious shopping.

Being quite partial to bagels, I order a different one at each visit – the BLT is an all-time favourite. Their hot chocolate is rich and satisfying and the chocolate doughnut deliciously light.

The downside is the close seating space. Getting in early ensures one gets a table.

Average per person: SR 25


With a huge seating area, awash in beautiful, natural light flooding in from the high glass ceiling, Papaya is simply breathtaking. I have never seen so much greenery in one space before in Jeddah with foliage growing abundantly throughout the restaurant. Add to that the sounds of trickling water from various water features scattered within and the sounds of birds chirping – it was like stepping through a portal and walking straight into a tropical rainforest.

My friend and I ordered a stack of cinnamon pancakes which were topped with just the right amount of cream cheese frosting and extra pancake syrup on the side. They were the fluffiest pancakes I have ever eaten and we both agreed that they were delicious.

The cheese and zaatar manaeesh was very fresh-tasting and the flat bread was soft and not dry as I have found to be the case in many other eateries. With just the right combination of pineapple and coconut, the pinacolada was refreshing and hit all the right tastebuds. One of the best I’ve tasted here in Jeddah.

The service was very good with waiters greeting us as we entered and making sure we had everything we needed. Prices were very reasonable at SR 60 per head. Portion sizes were generous, as we even had some pancakes left over to take away. Will definitely go back.

Do you think we’ve missed a great breakfast spot?Leave us a comment or write us a review, and let us know.

A Taste of the Orient: P.F. Chang’s Comes to Jeddah

P.F. Chang’s stylish Chinese restaurant is one of the 6 new internationally renowned brands that Alshaya is introducing to Jeddah, others being The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, IHOP, Texas Roadhouse and Pizza Express. All of these gorgeous eateries are the talk of the town, and are collectively housed in Le Mall, on Tahlia Street (opposite Debenhams).

If you’re anything like me, you simply can’t get enough Chinese food, and are always on the lookout for that perfect combination of sweet and sour, salt and spice. My good friend Ayesha Nigar visited P.F. Chang’s recently with her family, wondering what the fuss was all about and reports back exclusively to Jeddah Blog.

Jeddah has slowly been gaining a reputation as a destination of food diversity. I have witnessed  this first-hand as I have been dining in some of Jeddah’s most exquisite restaurants which have been sprouting like mushrooms in this Western region of the Kingdom. If your taste buds are craving full flavour and a great culinary experience like no other, look no further than P.F. Chang’s.


P.F. Chang’s selected menu.

Located in the Le Mall Complex on the fashionable Tahlia Street and nestled amid the other five internationally acclaimed restaurant brands operated by Alshaya International Trading Co., P.F. Chang’s sits proudly at the center of attention. It is the namesake of its founders Paul Fleming (P.F.) and Philip Chiang (whose surname is shortened to Chang), who opened up their first restaurant in Arizona in 1993, and now they have numerous branches worldwide.

Modern decor at PF Chang's, Jeddah.

Chic and classy decor.

Finding parking space was a hassle as we went on a Saturday afternoon for lunch and the entire area was flooded with hungry customers. After circling Le Mall twice, we were fortunate to get one right outside the American Gallery. Upon entering the restaurant our faces brightened as a smart looking waiter, dressed in a black professional uniform greeted us warmly, and escorted us to our table. Contrary to its appearance from without, the restaurant is actually pretty spacious with seating arrangements nicely spread out in different wings. The décor is chic and classy which is an unconventional departure from regular Chinese restaurants where the whole ambiance is completely taken over by traditional red lanterns.

Additional sauces specially mixed by our waiter.

Additional condiments mixed by our waiter.

As you browse through the menu you might feel that although there is not a wide variety of dishes on offer, but a very wise selection of a tasteful menu.

Delicious egg rolls.

Delicious egg rolls.

We began with the Hot and Sour Soup that was promptly served within five minutes of the time of the order – a great start! In addition to this, our waiter offered an explanation of some additional sauces and prepared his special concoction as we watched. The Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Egg Rolls were served next, and were thoroughly enjoyed by all of us; my five year old daughter, in particular, fell totally in love with the egg rolls.

Crispy Shrims in a zesty sauce

Dynamite Shrimps

Then came the most talked about ‘Dynamite Shrimps’. Crispy shrimps with a zesty sauce served in margarita glasses lived up to their reputation. They were truly remarkable and cooked to perfection. My husband and I shared one, and both of my young daughters shared the second one.

PF Chang's Fried Rice with Chicken.

P.F. Chang’s Fried Rice with Chicken.

For the main course we had Chang’s Spicy Chicken, Sesame Chicken, Mongolian beef, P.F. Chang’s Fried Rice with Chicken and Singaporean Street Noodles. All of the dishes were executed perfectly, and special mention must be made here to the vibrant colours of the ingredients in the Sesame Chicken which were as much a feast for the eyes as for the stomach.

Sesame Chicken

Sesame Chicken

I am not much of a beef person, but my red meat loving husband enjoyed every mouthful. Although the restaurant was packed, yet the service was surprisingly quite efficient and the food was served right on time. For myself, the food fulfilled all the possible criteria that are important to me as a foodie; it looked inviting, tasted divine and felt exquisite. The staff members were always alert to help you with a smile, and above all the manager visited each and every table.

Sesame chicken

Chang’s Spicy Chicken

The servings were generous and a bit pricey, but it was all well worth it. I believe that one should not mind paying a little extra when you are getting such great quality in return. Unfortunately, there was no room left for us to try the desserts, but we definitely would love to do so on our next visit. My entire family had a great time and look forward to going back.

Expect to pay: SR 125 per head. Portion sizes are large, so there will be plenty to pack up and take home.

Online Home Delivery in Jeddah

Have you ever been caught up during the day, had a sudden bout of laziness, not cooked at home, or simply wanted to order in for a change? Great idea! But wait… what happens if you don’t have a driver at hand, or really can’t imagine battling that notorious Jeddah traffic outside?

Hello Food, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

We at Jeddah Blog have discovered a great new service, perfect for those of us who like to order in every once in a while without having to leave the comfort of our homes.

Meet your soon-to-be best friend, Hello Food!

This is a super-easy way to order food online in 3 simple steps:

1. You tell them your location.

2. Pick a restaurant (and your favourite dish).

3. Receive your delivery.

The best part of it is, you pay the very nominal delivery charge in cash on your doorstep. No need to set up an account, or have a credit card handy. Their delivery service is available in Jeddah, Riyadh, Dhahran, Dammam and Khobar.

There’s also a hellofood app which you can download to your smartphones, making the whole process even easier. Saudi hellofood is dealing with the largest and well-known food outlets such as Pizza Hut, Burger King, Tako Hut, Quiznon, Romaway and Canton.

What are you waiting for? Click on the links above to take you to the hellofood website. Be sure to write in to us and share your home delivery experience!

The Perfect Cup of Tea at Teayana

Teayana has been a firm favourite of mine for years. Their Belgian Waffles, Chocofruit Mana’eesh (with lashings of Nutella), Apple Strudel (sadly discontinued) and Golden Assam Tea can lift my family’s mood on any given evening. Their breakfasts are yummy too, and will totally need a blog post of their own. For this week’s review, however, our adventurous Zareen Muzaffar visits Teayana and bravely experiments with some new and exotic blends of tea.

For all tea lovers out there, I have some good news for you. The Teayana tea lounge is the place to be if you want to try out different kinds of tea flavours. I tried Teayana’s Spicy Tea Latte and although the blend was too spicy for me, the overall experience was good and I promised myself to try the simple Tea Latte on my next visit.

Teayana Spiced Chai Latte Jeddah Saudi Arabia

Teayana Spiced Chai Latte.

My friends ordered the Relaxation Tea and Digestion Tea. Digesting tea is a  classic combination of multiple herbs which act to calm the nerves and settle the digestive system. Ingredients include Chamomile flowers, peppermint, fennel and anise seed. After being infused, it is light yellow with a taste of mild minty anise sweetness. It may be enjoyed plain at any time of the day, but best drunk after meals. Relaxation tea includes fine cut organic rooibos herb with leaves of strawberry, lemon, nettle, fennel and a few orange peels. The taste is extremely mellow and calming.

Teayana’s food menu boasts of paninis, sandwiches, man’eesh, and desserts include their all-time favourite carrot cake, waffles, crêpes and a bunch of other options.

We received our tea with a small attractive timer that made us feel tea is serious business. To get the best from your tea, the correct amount of time must be allowed in order to diffuse the flavours, which enhances the taste and effects intended. We were asked to give approximately five minutes before trying the healthy blends of tea. The aroma emanating from freshly brewed pots of tea is worth a visit, and the food is a cherry on the top. Although I was in the mood for tea during my visit, the coffee lover in me really wanted to try out the caramel latte.

The Awesome Tea Tower full of various tea leaves stored in colour-coded canisters, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The Awesome Tea Tower full of various tea leaves stored in colour-coded canisters.

The bottom floor is home to the wide variety of tea that Teayana offers, and you can buy 100 grams of loose leaf tea for SR 100. But if you’d rather give some blend a try before purchasing a lot of it, then you can ask them to give you 50 grams instead. This would be a better option for those who are still experimenting with flavors to find their personal favourite. The tea tower on the main floor displays tea canisters that contain 150 tea types in three main colours making them easy to identify and choose from. Each colour represents a tea category, so the green represents green tea, the red canisters contain black tea and the orange containers hold Herbal tea.

Teayana Tea Sets on Display 2 Jeddah Saudi Arabia

Exquisite tea Sets for sale.

The varieties of tea include black, white and green tea, along with oolong and herbal tea leaves. The indicators of tea strength will allow you to determine how much you need depending on whether you are in the mood for something mild or strong. They also sell a beautiful assortment of elegant tea pots, cups, mugs and loose leaf jars. There are some gift baskets available too making the perfect gift for that special friend who loves tea and would love receiving a gorgeous tea set complete with a great blend of tea.

Teayana Tea Sets on Display Jeddah Saudi Arabia

Perk up your daily sip of tea with these elegant Teayana Tea Sets.

I just hope the Teayana management can hire more staff members because the orders take too long to arrive, and I saw only two waiters rushing all over the place trying their best to serve everyone in a timely manner. The good news is that Teayana now offers delivery of certain food items from various locations. Details available on their website.

Teayana has three branches in Jeddah:

– Teayana Hamra, 
Andalus street, Planet food Mall
02-668 1660
– Teayana Khaldiyah,
Rawdah Street, Lines Mall
02-606 2646
– Teayana Redsea Mall, 

Malek Road, Redsea Mall, Gate #9
02-215 0620

If you liked this article, you might also like:

The Business Lunch Challenge

Delectable Desserts

Helen’s Kitchen

Delectable Desserts with Lama Al Khereiji

For our latest blog post, Zareen Muzaffar managed to chase down Lama Al Khereiji as she participated in the Brides Bazaar at Dar Al Hekma College held on the 5th and 6th of March 2013, and chatted with her about her love of baking.

Anyone who has been to Jeddah knows this city has an amazing variety of food to offer. International franchises and local delicacies offer a unique combination to food lovers. And who doesn’t like desserts? Making home-made desserts and baked goods is a fast growing business for home makers as well as professional connoisseurs. Lama Al Khereiji is a young and passionate chef who creates unique baked goods for her clients.

Could you resist these?

Could you resist these luscious chocolates?

“I discovered my passion for baking and dessert decoration when I was very young,” explains Lama. “I watched cooking channels and went through numerous printed recipes to begin with. Then I completed several courses to enhance my skills, and now I have more than 14 types of delicious desserts with unique presentations”.


Carrot cake – looks almost too good to eat?

For children, there is a wide variety of desserts to choose from: cupcakes, cake pops, and birthday cakes customized according to your preference of characters. For adults, there are some intricately designed cakes good for birthdays or any other special occasion.

Delightfully fun cupcakes.

Delightfully fun cupcakes.

She operates her business from Khalidiya district in Jeddah and one of her famous offerings include Nutella cookies, an all-time favorite for children and adults alike. Some of the popular items include Galaxy, Oreo and carrot cupcakes, Malteasers Mudcake, and pistachio cake. She also offers the famous local favourite Basbousa bites.

Oreo Cake

A cake for Oreo lovers.

Lama markets her desserts on Instagram and holds online competitions occasionally.

If you want to place an order or to inquire more about Lama’s desserts, she can be reached at 0506040909.

The Business Lunch Challenge

Many restaurants in the city are promoting Business Lunch deals, targeted at working people, presumably as ideal venues for casual business meetings. The lunches are usually a set number of options one can choose from at a fixed price, usually including a salad, a main course and a drink.

Jeddah Blog decided to try out 3 such restaurants, but to put them to their ultimate test, took along three tough customers; children aged 8 years to 12 years, in order to find out if these deals would be equally applicable to families. We then rated the restaurants out of 10. We would like to add here that the reviews were undertaken anonymously in order to gain the most objective results. None of the three restaurants were aware that they were serving Jeddah Blog that day.

Read more…

Papaya: A Tropical Breakfast Experience

Regular Jeddah Blog reader Amreen Najmi visited Papaya Restaurant and sent us her review. Amreen grew up and went to school in Jeddah, leaving to pursue her higher education from London and Pakistan. She obtained her Masters in English Literature and also studied Professional Photography and Film Making. These days, she is working as an English and Photography Instructor in the Millenium Institute for Technology and Management (MITM). She is also working on scripts for a play and a documentary.

Author and journalist John Gunther once said, "All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast". Thus, when one morning, two of my colleagues and I were having a particularly slow start to the day, we latched on to the notion of going out for breakfast. One of my friends suggested Papaya, and I not having heard of this eatery before, immediately opted to give it a try.

The restaurant was a beautiful place behind Sawary Mall adjacent to ‘Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’.  As soon as I set foot out of the car, I knew that no matter how the food tasted, I was sure to enjoy the atmosphere. As we passed through a narrow corridor to reach the gate of the restaurant, I could see beautiful plants and banana trees covering the walls. There was a small lounge with very artistic benches and lamps. As I entered the restaurant, I felt as if I were in a greenhouse, surrounded and filled with exotic plants and trees. The roof was made of glass and I am quite sure the effect would be enchanting on a rainy day.


The interior was spectacular with very comfortable chairs and lovely plants and waterfalls. The sound of the birds chirping made us feel as if we were seated in a tropical forest. Since we reached there at 9:30 in the morning, the restaurant was practically empty. But as time passed, people began to pour in; mostly ladies and students with their teachers.

Soon after, our waiter brought us the menus, and I was pleasantly surprised to see very reasonable prices. We ordered steak and eggs with hash browns, french toast, a cheddar cheese omelette, manaeesh and a chocolate mousse dome. For beverages, we ordered coffee, hot chocolate, and pacific paradise instead of coconut. I asked the waiter to add strawberries.

Our food was served within 15 minutes. The waiters were well-trained and very polite, and I was very pleased with my order. Extra bread and butter was served. Although the steak would have tasted better with some extra sauce but with a little sprinkle of salt and pepper it was delicious.  My co-workers were wearing a very satisfactory look on their faces, and everybody was delighted with their food.

The average cost of the breakfast was SR 35, or SR 65, depending on the order. Lunch or dinner, however, may cost up to SR 60 – 80.

I will definitely go there again, maybe for lunch or coffee. If you want to enjoy a lazy day or simply have fun with your family or friends do visit Papaya. I would really recommend going there during the day-time in order to truly appreciate the ambience.

If you would like to submit a review to be published on Jeddah Blog, email us at


It’s the start of a brand new working week, and we present to you a review of recently opened Yogette sent in to us by Shamama, a fellow blogger and keen follower of Jeddah Blog. Shamama is an LSE graduate and has been teaching business related courses at various institutes of higher education for the past seven years. She is a long-time resident of Jeddah. Shamama says, “I’m really happy to be a part of the Jeddah Blog community. The updates on events are really interesting.”

Yogette is one of the latest frozen yoghurt cafes to make an appearance in Jeddah and Shamama was one of the first to visit the cafe and report back.

We were at Park Hyatt to see the Edge of Arabia art exhibition and decided to drop by Yogette, which is having their soft opening these days. Yogette emphasises that it uses all natural non-fat yoghurt. We decided to order a mango flavoured fro-yo but were told that they’d just run out, so went we went for plain fro-yo, with a topping of fresh raspberries, blueberries, and chunks of Cadbury’s Flake. (I will always associate Flake with ice cream, I’ve had my fair share of soft ice cream with a stick of Flake in London).

The fro-yo was just the right consistency, and not too sweet. The fresh fruit and chocolate added an interesting addition to texture and flavour. You are free to choose your own toppings. The number of toppings depends on the size of the fro-yo; the smallest size has four toppings to go with it. There are nuts, chocolates, and my favourite fresh berries and fruit to choose from. It is rare to find fresh raspberries or even blueberries, or blackberries here.

I ordered a blueberry flavoured bubble tea, and my Mum ordered a pineapple flavoured bubble tea. We were later informed that they had run out of pineapple. So we replaced it with kiwi flavoured bubble tea which was thankfully available.

The Blueberry Bubble Tea

We chose to sit outside as there was a wonderful breeze blowing, and the Jeddah Marina looked particularly serene from the terrace. The décor inside was white with a splash of neon colours and interactive tabletops. Seems like a tech-savvy teenager’s dream.

The Kiwi Bubble Tea

The bubble tea arrived. Mine was garnished with a blueberry and Mum’s with slice of kiwi respectively.  Bubble teas are of Far East Asian origin and can be chosen from a choice of black or green tea and additional fruit flavours. It is a type of iced tea and the term ‘bubble’ refers to the tapioca pearl balls that are at the bottom of the drink, and which provide a chewy contrast to the sweetness and texture of the drink.

The drink was served accompanied by an oversized straw to enable the tapioca pearl balls to fit in your straw. The tapioca balls are soft and unexpectedly squishy and chewy. The tea was just the right sweetness and had a great fresh tangy flavour. I suggest that everyone try Yogette’s bubble tea at least once, as it is a new experience when it comes to drinks in Jeddah, but you may want to wait until their soft opening is over, in order to be able to enjoy the full variety of flavours.

– Sabaa Ali

Il Villaggio Competition !

Il Villaggio LogoI attended a funfair at one of the compounds in Jeddah last weekend, and one of the stalls which stood out for me was the Il Villaggio Restaurants & Lounges Stall. The organizers of the stall were offering a selection of delicacies to sample, some of which were breads accompanied by various condiments (pesto, chilli, black and green olives) to tickle one’s taste buds. Out of the sweet items, I tried the almond biscuits which were delicious. Sweet and nutty, but very subtle – not as strong as marzipan.

Il Villagio is located on Al Andalus Street, just next to Chilis. The restaurant offers authentic Italian food with family dining, a kids playground, smoking and non-smoking areas, outdoor dining, a Friday lunch buffet, homemade cookies and cakes, a single’s section, cigar lounge with its own humidor, shisha and take aways. They even do educational mornings for playgroups, kindergarten and elementary schools using fresh ingredients, organic ingredients and much more !

For more information you can click here to visit the Il Villaggio website or the Il Villaggio Facebook page which is updated regularly.

Competition Time!

When the nice people at Il Villaggio heard about Jeddah Blog, they offered to give one of our lucky readers a FREE voucher to either their Tea Rose Cafe or the Luigi Restaurant ! In order to win this competition, all you have to do is leave a comment telling us whether you would like to win the Romantic Candle Light Dinner for Two in their Tea Rose Cafe, or a Family Lunch on Fridays at the Luigi Restaurant. The winner will be chosen at random. Don’t forget to leave your name and email address so we can contact you.

The last date for entry is Friday, 10th December 2010. The winner will be announced here.

Good Luck !

The Winner !

Firstly, thank you to everyone who participated. This was our first competition on Jeddah Blog and we are planning to follow with more exciting competitions, so do keep returning to the blog and look out for them.

Now on to the matter at hand. Using the services of to choose a random response, the lucky winner of the Il Villaggio Restaurants & Lounges Competition is…


Can the lucky winner please contact Jeddah Blog to claim your prize !!

Helen’s Kitchen

When I read rave reviews about Helen’s Kitchen on Jeddah Food I was curious to find out if it was worth all the hype. The bakery is open at regular times and is a small outlet which can easily be overlooked at the intersection of Kayyal Street and Prince Sultan Street if one does not look out for it.

When we stepped inside, the atmosphere was immediately homely and cosy. The bakery items on display did indeed look delicious but we wondered if they would taste just as good. We ordered the chocolate cake, a muffin and a tropical cake to take away, and while settling the bill took a look at the seating area inside. It really was unique. Whereas most food courts at malls are noisy and impersonal, here was a place to sit down where one might believe he or she was eating at Helen’s own home. Every detail had been paid attention to down to the decorations on the wall and the magazines on display.

Once we were home, we unpacked the goodies and I’m pleased to announce that they were some of the best cakes I’d tasted in Jeddah. They were sweet without being overpowering with a truly homemade feel. We will definitely be stopping by Helen’s Kitchen for more.

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