When my family and I stepped out of our car into the parking lot outside the Gate of Jazeera Palace Restaurant in Riyadh, we were already welcomed by one of its staff. He was standing on the door surrounded with ornate details and neon lights proclaiming a fusion of Chinese and Indian offering. When we stepped inside, my father had to go “Uh-oh!” thinking that this restaurant is another sister company of the Chinese restaurants scattered in the city, which we visited before but was not too impressed. Good thing, this restaurant is somewhat different.
Somewhat because the interiors are still not unique. The aquariums, the lit floors, the curtain-closed spaces the sofas, and the ceiling dotted with small lights to appear as the night sky… we’ve seen them in other restos. We are hoping their menu is different… well it’s not. They offer the same dishes as others but the good thing is-and this is very important- they taste better! We ordered a lobster dish in a sweet and spicy sauce. Also a shrimp with mushroom dish. They were great. The plating is simple but the flavors of the dishes are intense. The mixture of flavors-sweet, sour, spicy, tangy- sat well in our taste buds. We also had the fried rice with pineapple and I must say that I probably ate half of it (shame on my fats!) because the pineapple provided a wonderful surprise in the rather boring rice. We had to order the beef teppanyaki too because we’re curious to find out if the waiters will shout “Yummy! Yummy!” They did… after a series of “musical” beatings of the spoon against the plate! And they were more upbeat and jolly in doing so.
The beef cuts were tender; the sweetness of the sauce not at all cloying. The shrimp dumpling was a disappointment though. It was bland and the shrimp served as a mere topping. Their dessert, like in most Chinese restos, are simple. Just ice cream with lychee or fried bananas. We wanted more kinds of desserts please, especially after eating a hearty meal.
The Gate of Jazeera restaurant offers a variety of dishes good for large gatherings and events. Their prices are affordable and they give a loyalty card, which gives patrons a 10% discount every visit for a year. They also offer Indian dishes but we haven’t tried it. Maybe next time… because with this restaurant, there’s definitely a second time around for my family and I. (Also, I need to find out the history of the resto’s name because it sounds so “legendary” and “historical,” doesnt it?Gate of Jazeera Palace,