The Najd Village is a must for any expat living or traveling through Riyadh. Najdi refers to the old Riyadh and can refer to a person, dialect or food. The Najd Village specializes in this old fashioned cuisine and has expats who want to experience a real Saudi meal as well as Saudis who just adore the food. The restaurant has several locations throughout Riyadh with each being housed in a traditional mud house.
As soon as you enter the mud house you will be able to look around at all the antiques that adorn the wall such as dullahs, pictures and cooking utensils. Guests will walk up a narrow stairway into the main entrance to be served. Men sit in the floor making chai and qahwa over an open fire and the décor stays true to the Najdi customs with tables of spices adorning the top, dates hanging from the ceiling and more antiques that you will want to take your time to look at.
You will be able to choose an open area, a private area or a private room. The private rooms have televisions, a fireplace as well as Arabic seating and are also decorated. This is perfect for a large family gathering or a special night out. The open rooms have Arabic seating and the private areas have this as well as Arabic fabric around for privacy and you can choose rooms inside or outside. The restaurant also has a massive side for families as well as singles. Kids seem to love the setup of this old mud house and especially seem to be drawn to the old well placed in the middle of the main area.
You and your family will be able to take your shoes off and relax in your private area while you decide what dishes to order. You can order special packages that come with a little of everything or go a la’ carte. The menu is like that of an epic story with some of the best recipes and food that you will ever experience. Filled with salads, soups, bread, main and seasonal dishes as well as desserts. My personal favorite dishes on the menu would hands down be the moqalqal which is boneless lamb with pepper and tomatoes sauce, matazzez which is one of the oldest Najdi recipes consisting of boneless lamb cooked with vegetables and small round bread and for dessert you cannot go wrong with the sweet sabeeb; village brown bread topped with honey and a cup of hot black chai. For large parties the sofra alqarya is a must including a little bit of everything. And in the month of February the popular faqas also known as desert truffles are booming around Riyadh and can be found in dishes at Najd Village. Such dishes as lamb and chicken kabsa, rice, goursan, marqooq and alone of course. But the faqa does not come cheap seeing how the Saudis love the truffle for its so called aphrodisiac properties.
Over all the Najd Village is defiantly one of the cheaper places to dine out in Saudi and it’s a lot of fun for adults as well as kids. However, if you’re looking for a table and chair this is not the place Najd is as traditional as it gets even down to the metal bowls used to hold the drinks. You have to visit Najd Village at least once and then take everyone you know so they can as well. And never forget your camera as you will defiantly have some great photo opportunities.The Najd Village,