Restaurants in Yanbu Al Bahr | My Take

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Another post on restaurants in this city in Madinah Province of western Saudi Arabia. These are my personal take and would help fellow Indians to know a little bit of these restaurants before they want to try them. You can read the earlier list here. These are in no particular order.

I have linked some of the listed restaurants to its FB page that might be helpful to you. 


The Ocean


When I crave for chicken biryani and I know Palace restaurant is not my taste, and I do not want to cook - F took me to this restaurant which has a dine in option. I liked the ambience and the vintage tables, the curtains and the tiles. The staff were also quick in service. So that's the first impression alright. But what was coming was not alright. As I went there craving for biryani, I was shocked to see the quantity of the rice. It was served in a little bigger than soup bowl and that was way less than Palace and charged a bomb.  Taste wise, they are not to my liking but can satiate the cravings in this land. The second time around we tried some Chinese and I decided I will never try them again or even go there for that matter. It is not good for the price they charge for food that is served cold and sometimes incorrect order. Owing to the very few options we have, I do not write off any restaurants with first try. But Ocean, I will rather not give any more chances.

Food: OK
Ambience: Good
Quantity: Poor
Quality: OK
Value for Money: Bad

Holiday Inn


This is a global brand and I am glad there is one in Yanbu. I am including this in the list of restaurants because of obvious reasons! Common let me increase the number of good restaurants in my city. This city is relatively new, thanks to the industry haven that the country has tapped here. So we have people from around the world and that has brought in a few of the best food chains and hotel chains and I hope lot more eat outs come here. 


Holiday Inn is close to where I live and so a lazy weekend morning we just hop to their restaurant and devour their breakfast buffet. This place makes me feel very relaxed just like their name suggests and I enjoy the meal every bit. It is not too crowded and you will find friendly faces. The buffet spread always includes both Arabian and Indian and sometimes Pakistani. I got lucky last time when we had Kerala beef masala.. Wish I could have met the chef and thanked him.

Food: Good
Ambience: Good
Quantity: Buffet so enjoy!
Quality: Good
Value for Money: worth it


Shaheen Restaurant


This was the first restaurant I had been for dinner and I heard so much of this place - all good points and so I had huge expectations. It is majorly a Pakistani cuisine and trust me, I would not dine in may be a take away is better. I am not sure why a restaurant with that stature would provide plastic cutlery and plastic cup for water. One of my biggest pet peeves is poor service and definitely the plastic spoons and forks..really??? The food is moderate and its a haven for the single men and families, coz both the times we went, we had to wait for a table. Guess people opted to overlook the plastics spoons and rejoice the food. I cant. 

Food: Moderate
Ambience: Dull
Quantity: Good
Quality: Good
Value for Money: OK


ShangriLa


I enjoy Indo-Chinese cuisine especially the noodles and momos. Yanbu's only Chinese place that serves bad Chinese food so far is ShangriLa. It is located in a beautiful locality and has a very strict timings of their own interests. They are closed whenever we go and so had just couple of chances to eat. Once we had to return as it was fully occupied. I prefer food to be served course wise.. Soup with starters, appetizers and then he main.  



First time I went there and we placed the order for soup, they insisted to order all, so the kitchen can work on it.. But they brought everything to the table and it was cold. It was overwhelming and killed my appetite. So second time around, we refused to order everything together and still the food was cold and tasteless. What surprised me was the whole lot of people who come there and the rush for tables etc. F explained that probably we Indians are looking for spicier Indo-Chinese unlike other nationalities. Maybe true. If you are for bland food then you might like this place.

Food: Moderate
Ambience: Good
Quantity: Good
Quality: Moderate
Value for Money: OK

I would not include Al Baik, KFC, Herfy, McD, and all those joints. They aren't in my "restaurants" list. I have no clue why people throng at Al Baik. To me to dine-in is an experience of food in a very friendly atmosphere, where our tastes and preferences are considered rather than treat us like a bunch of starving people who needs to eat and leave making place for the next set of customers.

Updated 31st July 2016:

Atbaq

This is again a Pakistani restaurant that serves amazing curries and flat-breads. The location is not very inviting for it is amidst all the garage and workshop areas. Dine-in option for family is there but we have always opted take-away. So the days I am lazy to cook or we are out shopping, we grab some breads, kebabs and curries. The quantity is also very generous that I will have some leftover for the next day too. Their bread also stays soft unlike other places that goes hard once it gets cold. 

Food: Good
Ambience: OK
Quantity: Good
Quality: Good
Value for Money: Good


Tandoori Nights

Yanbu Tandoori Nights

This is the only other close to fine-dine restaurant after Ostorah. We had been waiting for these people to open their space for almost a year. Yeah, they had their board up even before the furnishings started. We went on the Soft Opening day (whatever that means.) and ordered Naans and all kinds of north indian curries that our tongues craved for. The disappointment was that they made it super bland knowing that they are serving Indians Indian food! How and why would they do that? this inspite of ordering the most spicy dish they had in the menu. The pricing was way too high for the quantity and quality. I personally expected much better. But we didn't give up on them. It is the closest one next to Al Raya near Holiday Inn. We went again and then gave up. I rather make them myself at home rather pay through nose for a tasteless food. 



Food: OK

Ambience: Good

Quantity: OK
Quality: Good
Value for Money: OK

This is Closed down for long. 

Parwaz

Now, this is a small outlet that does not have dine-in option but they serve the best Hyderabadi Biryani in Yanbu. It is not the best you must have had, but the best you could get in this city of Yanbu. On Fridays, they serve only mutton biryani and I love it. They also have some tea time snacks like Iranian biscuits etc. I heard raving reviews about their tea and so the next time we went to pick our biryani packs, F got me a cup of tea. It is done exactly how I want my tea to be prepared, milk and water or tea boiled but their sugar quotient was too high. Quantity and quality is good and there is not much choice or menu card etc. They sell what they cook that day. And it is known for Biryani as far as I know. 

Food: Good
Ambience: Nil
Quantity: Good
Quality: Good
Value for Money: Good

Malabar Family Restaurant

Yanbu - Malabar Family Restaurant

Now, this is a like my prayers being answered! :-P A restaurant dedicated to my home cuisine (Malabar cuisine)! What more do I need? But I have not had all the items on their menu. Till today we have only tried their porotta, beef masala and beef dry fry. And also, never got to dine-in as it usually use to be the last minute thing so we just grab takeaway and get home to devour the food made exactly the way we want.

I will add more as time goes. You can check this post for few more restaurants. 

Aryaas


Located amidst the Gold Market on Yanbu, this is a haven for the south Indians and those who love street Indo-chinese food that we were used to back in India. We went to dine-in the week they opened and it was fully occupied with no space to even walk. Family sections are not private enough but they were doing their bit to cater to the customer. We only dined there once, and opted to take away as it was much relaxing to have at home. I am yet to try their breakfast spread which I see from their menu is truly south Indian with all idli, vada, dosa etc.

Ginger

This was the much awaited Indo-chinese restaurant. Located besides the New Al Raya complex, this is a small place with family and single section. We went only once just after they opened and unfortunately they had no momos :-( Their menu had a lot of typos that were very glaring to my eyes. :-P We opted for take away as usual and they kinda mixed up the orders. I shall forgive that as beginner's error but have to give them another chance as I heard that their soups are good. Quantity is great, we did have some leftovers that I used to top home made pizza. :-)



Cumin - Indian Cuisine Restaurant







They had their name board up during Ramadan 2016 and we kept going there only to return as they weren't opened. Slowly we just gave up checking only to get reminded by one of my readers who suggested I try that place. We did not waste any time, off we went for weekend lunch and it was the best food I had in a long time! Everything served was delicious! The chef is from Calcutta and the owner from Managlore and their food is so perfectly spiced and served hot. There was nothing I could complain about except that their seating arrangement that kinda feels claustrophobic. their four seater table is good for two because the quantity is really good and would fill up the table. :-) We brought home the leftovers and had for another meal.  A must try place for every one who loves to enjoy Indian food.




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