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Rating: 3.0/5 (24 votes cast)

Trader Vics

Panorama Mall, Thallia St, Riyadh   Info & mapWrite a Review
Tel: 01 2814782    visit website

| May 20, 2011 | Reviews (8)

Looking for a resto bar in the city? Go to Panorama Mall, Thallia St., and find Trader Vics! Trader Vic’s is known as the first restaurant with a bar concept but does not serve any liquor, (as we are in Saudi Arabia). As for me, I love the restaurant’s setting. It has unique and beautiful ornaments, like antique tribal masks, tiki carvings and the like, that beautify the surrounding. With its inviting ambiance, no one can resist to hit the resto.

Food and drinks are amazing! My favorite appetizer is the Beef Gho-Gho. It is not just delicious but it’s fun to eat as well for you are the one to roast using the hibachi they give. Vic’s steaks are mouth-watering. Try their Beef and Reef! When it comes to drinks, Vic’s has a lot to serve. There are even party drinks or so-called “Luau drinks” which are served in different cute bowls, like tiki bowl, rum giggle, etc.Your stay in Trader Vic’s becomes even greater if the service is excellent. And that’s what I salute Trader Vic’s for! Manager and crews are very friendly and hospitable. Call them anytime and they are always at your service. So what are you waiting for? Go hit Trader Vic’s and enjoy the memorable feast!

Trader Vics, 3.0 out of 5 based on 24 ratings

This post was submitted by Annizah Camid.

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Comments (8)

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  1. laylah says:

    Since Trader Vic’s landed a branch in Riyadh a few years ago I’ve been a frequent visitor and fan
    of their restaurant.

    The Saudi version of Trader Vic’s is similar to its counterparts worldwide but it has certain
    modesty to it. Riyadh’s only full bar complete with a range of non-alcoholic mock tails and a
    fancy bar table can be found here. It’s a nice change to the usual restaurant set ups in Riyadh.
    Keeping true to Saudi culture, customers can choose from open area or the closed booths.
    There’s even a large room which can be reserved for parties and the restaurant can also do
    birthdays at request.

    The restaurant is located in Panorama mall and it’s hugely popular with young Saudis, especially
    groups of women often frequent the family section of this restaurant.

    This restaurant has an indo pacific cuisine mixed with international foods. The mock tail menu is
    impressive and probably the best in Riyadh.

    As an avid fan of this restaurant I was excited to visit again. To my disappointment there were
    many changes that had taken place in the last few months, all to the worse.

    First off they had changed the menu. It used to look nice and match the theme of Trader Vic’s,
    full of creatively named and exotic foods. The new version however reminded me of something
    that would be handed out at a cheap American diner. It was plastic and the foods were all
    tackily pictured. I found it off-putting especially with the price tags that came with it.

    The prices all seemed to have been hiked up a notch. Trader Vic’s was always on the mid
    to high side of the price range but now we are talking about 5 star hotel prices. The waiter
    confirmed the change of menu and price changes occurred within the past month or so. To my
    disappointment many of the main courses and appetizers had been removed from the list and
    replaced with boring stuff like spaghetti Bolognese and burgers, accompanied with high prices.

    My all time favorite dish from Trader Vic’s, the Norwegian Salmon had a new price of 125sr. One
    of us ordered it to be able to compare it to previous times. The service here has always been
    immaculate and there are plenty of waiters present. A young and very polite Filipino waiter
    attended to us. We ordered some mock tails from the extensive selection. The Blue Tea was too
    syrupy for me to finish it but the other drinks were satisfactory, albeit borderline too sweet.

    When the main courses arrived the waiter had made a mistake on the order, bringing a steak
    instead of the ordered hammour filet. To replace it took around 15 minutes during which I
    was drooling over my friends salmon dish. Another setback for Trader Vic’s, the salmon was
    not served as it was on previous occasions, the taste was still good but the mashed potatoes,
    instead of being served on the side fluffy and whipped, were literally smashed underneath the
    fish in the most unappetizing way. So small a pile it was that we didn’t even notice it at first and
    asked the waiter where the mashed potatoes are! Being a Scandinavian I have a good idea how

    a Norwegian salmon should be served and this was a far cry from it.

    When the hammour finally arrived it was yet again another disappointment, to my taste it was
    extremely salty. The fish had the same pile of mashed potatoes under it and was served with
    a few tiny sticks of vegetables. Thankfully the pasta dish was much better in appearance, taste
    and the size of the dish was satisfactory.

    The desserts were all delicious but the waiter made two more mistakes in our order. We
    thought he might have been new, but he also made the mistake of not repeating the order back
    which might have prevented the mistakes. They did offer our coffees free of charge to make
    up for the mistakes, but nevertheless the bill for three persons was 550 sr. The price tag seems
    astronomical compared to what kind of food was served.

    All in all I must say, sadly Trader Vic’s is no longer on my top restaurants in Riyadh list. Although
    the place is great for the décor and the atmosphere, the hacking of the prices and the new style
    of menu and foods just seem to me like the place is only trying to cash out on its popularity,
    forgetting what made it popular in the first place.

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  2. baldrick2dogs says:

    Food was OK but nothing special. Drinks are what Trader Vic’s is famous for, however without the ‘kick’ the drinks are just a mix of sickly fruit juices. There was absolutely no atmosphere in the place. I thought I’d walked into a funeral parlour. As ‘Beezer’ said above, as franchises go, KSA is not the place for this one.

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  3. Mira says:

    I’ve been in this restaurant 4 times and might be back today (againnnn?) not because I love it, but because it’s in Panorama Mall AND because I dont know where else to go AND I got a 30% discount during lunch time and 25% discount during dinner! So, this is the best choice for me eat! Their food is not that great but not that bad as well while, the atmosphere plus the music and friendly staff makes it worth it to be back every now and then…

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  4. beezer says:

    Why is this even open in Riyadh? If I owned the rights to this place I’d close it down.

    If you’ve visited this place back stateside you’ll know that there is some quality and atmosphere.

    All you get here is an expensive mediocre at best meal.

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  5. hmasurg says:

    I have visited Trader Vicks in other GCC cities. The best thing about this restaurant in my opinion is the live and happening atmosphere. Sadly I can’t say the same about the Riyadh branch.

    When it first opened it was jam packed every night (like most new places in Riyadh) I chose not to go right away because I feel to make a more reliable opinion you need to go once the wind has blown, at that time I had heard mixed opinions from friends, but ALL had agreed that it was super expensive. Whiten a few months it had become deserted (at least that’s what I noticed in the parking lot when I passed by).

    When I finally went, It really was a waste of my time, money and sanity.

    Here we go….

    Greeting: no one was at the front desk, we stood for 2 minutes and I had to call to who seemed to be the manager as he passed by and was indifferent to our arrival.

    Seating/decor: The dining area is so big but it was totally empty except for us and another part of 4. The AC was substandard, and the decor not to my liking.

    Service: waiter would pass by look at our table and keep moving unless I firmly would ask him to come (and this was even before he had greeted us and handed us the menus) – it really seemed like he wanted to us to have a bad impression and not come back. Through out the dinner his attitude was the same.

    Menu selection: It seemed to me the drink selection was much more interesting the the food selection. Many cocktails and mixes (many of which seemed to be almost the same). Honestly, I went through the entire menu (and read the food description) and found nothing that garbed my eye.. except the ridiculous prices.. it was offensive, prices you may accept at a 5star plus hotel or beach front restaurant.

    Drinks: I ordered one of the mixes and it was light tasting due to all the ice.

    Food: I ordered two appetizers and tasted the food of my wife, she had ordered a king prawn stir fry. The appetizers were NOT appetizing in appearance or taste, were deep fried and still oily the condiments that came with it was obviously stored and nearing expiry. the 150+ SR plate of wife was horrid.. you would see the frost still on the plate and around the prawns, the stir fry veggies were minimal and the sauce in it was a dark brown viscous material that was clearly not warmed up, in fact the whole plate looked and tasted as if it were made and refrigerated in it’s entirety for months then thrown in a microwave, rather than being prepared an assembled.

    less than half of the food was consumed. We just wanted to leave.

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  6. Raed says:

    ok food nothing special….appetizers are nice…

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  7. Phantom of the Restaurants says:

    For those of you familiar with trader vics, you will know how ALIVE the restaurant is. Unfortunately the Riyadh branch is anything but buzzing with life and excitement. It’s quiet, dim and the tables are very very very spread out. The food will have to be reviewed into three parts, appetizers, main course and desert. They got the appetizers smack on in terms of flavor. The main unfortunately was not the case with flavors lacking, soggy bread and cold food. The one desert we did have was for the most part revolting.

    That being said though, the service was good, that’s about the only thing I enjoyed. That alone unfortunately would not get me to go there again. When your restaurant is a known franchise people go with certain expectations. Not meeting those expectations leaves room for comments like mine.

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