Oi Lounge is a Japanese restaurant that serves sushi and maki on a conveyor belt; a fresh concept in Riyadh. Although not all seats and tables are near the belt, it’s still a novelty here in Riyadh. The whole restaurant is clean and sleek with touches of cute displays and decors. A huge beautiful teacup is sitting on the floor! How’s that for a welcoming committee? The colorful paints of the walls are quirky and refreshing to the eyes. We chose a corner near the conveyor belt where plates of sushi are revolving, the prices of which are based on the color of the plates ranging from SR24 to SR100.
We chose to order from the menu instead of picking dishes from the conveyor belt and tried the 8-piece Sanni combination from the Special Maki category upon the recommendation of the waiter. It’s salmon, tuna, and shrimp in one roll. While it came in a sleek, long plate, and looked really appetizing, it was disappointingly bland. The rice of the maki was wet and didn’t taste like the usual vinegared rice on sushis that we were accustomed to. If this is a fusion of some sort, we didn’t like it.
Up next was a bowl of their Shezhuan ramen (SR49). The spicy soup is bland but the noodles had a nice bite to it. The Tendon (SR35), a bed of steamed rice topped with assorted deep fried tempura, is okay; nothing to write home about. The tempura is crispy and the sauce is sweet and tangy. The saving grace of the meal and our favorite is the beef teriyaki. This teriyaki is special; it’s like eating steak doused with sweet sauce. The grade A American strip loin used is soft and juicy. The fresh vegetables with it complemented the meat. It’s a little bit expensive from the usual teriyaki though. This goes for SR75 a pop.
Service is impeccable and the chef is friendly. But while we enjoyed the trendy Oi Lounge, we’ll be coming back if they already have sushis and makis that are more Japanese in taste. And if we ever have budget for more of the beef teriyaki.Oi Lounge,