BenihanaWaiting area (man’s side)

segregation-walls-in-SaudiSegregation walls around each family’s table

japanese-saladJapanese salad and maki

japanese-onion-soupOnion Soup

TalalTalal loved that they did this

japanese-food-riyadhTeriyaki Chicken and Shrimp with fried rice and Habatchi Veggies

japanese-green-teaGreen Tea

The weather has been amazing in Riyadh this past week and I wanted to take advantage of it so we were going to go out for some fresh air and then my husband suggested we go eat at Benihana an American Japanese restaurant we have here and one of my long time favorite places. Back home my family and friends would eat there quite a bit and I could just never see myself tiring of the Japanese Fusion dishes they have.

We had never been to the Riyadh location because most things here are just not up to par as in they usually do not even taste or have anything on the menu the same. I am so impressed tonight and was mad at myself for not trying it out earlier. The place is super clean and the staff is really awesome. Every family gets a private room with a chef that comes in and prepares the meal for you. On our way Talal was crying because he did not want to eat there but I just knew he would love it once we got there and he saw what all they did. He ended up loving it like I knew he would and he adored the show and even ended up ordered filet mignon and rice. We all had such a great time and the chef (Steven) was great at his job. The food was really good but so much luckily I I will be able to have a nice lunch tomorrow.

Indonesian Dinner

{fried chicken and crumbs}
{fried fish}
 {chicken and beef satay}
{rice and sambal}
My husband found this little hole in the wall Indonesian restaurant about a month ago. We have been swooning ever since because we both have a huge love for Indonesian food. I think it’s actually one of my favorite cuisines. They usually have this sauce with vegetables and shrimp to put over your rice but they were out this particular day that I managed to snap a few photos before we devoured everything. One thing that I would have never thought to do before is to use the crispy pieces left in the pan when you fry chicken. Indonesians serve this on the side to sprinkle over your food and it’s amazing.

* Did you know that it is forbidden not to have a religion in Indonesia.

Another Iftar

I have told
you a million times how much my husband and I love eating at The Noodle House. It’s
a mix of Malay and Indonesian dishes two of our favorites. They have this lovely iftar menu where each person chooses an appetizer, soup, main dish and
dessert. It was a massive amount of food really but at that time we were all
for it. They brought fresh dates, water and Saudi coffee to us as soon as the
adan played so we could break our fast. 

Soto Ayum
is one of my favorite dishes ever and I have the recipe here if you all would
like to try it. That was a meal in itself to me and I took my main dish home. I
always order an espresso after we eat to go with my dessert because they have
the best espresso I have ever had. I adore the service they always treat us so well
each time we go and we know most of them by name. If you live in Saudi, UAE,
Oman, Qatar, Kuwait or Cyprus you should give them a try.

Shrimp Cakes

While vacationing in Southeast Asia I tried some of the most appealing shrimp cakes and have wanted to try to recreate them since we have been home.  You could easily add whatever flavorings you like into this dish I myself just made them very simple and served them with a side of soy as well as fish sauce. Remember that shrimp should not cooked very long or it will get a tough and plastic like texture.

2 pounds shrimp, cleaned
6 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons flour

1 white onion, quartered

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup breadcrumbs (finely ground)

Sunflower oil for frying

1. In a food processor add shrimp, garlic and onion, pulse until everything is ground. Pour into a large bowl then add flour, paprika and salt. Mix well.

2. In a sauté pan on medium heat add enough oil for lightly frying cakes. Add breadcrumbs into a medium sized bowl. Make medium sized patties with hand and lightly coat each side in the breadcrumbs. Place in the shallow oil for frying. Allow each side to lightly brown about 1 minute on each side. Drain on paper towel and serve.

Yields: 8 servings

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