This isn’t somewhere we’re going to rush back to, mostly because we’re not intending to rush back to Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting record for the culture more than the food. Il Terrazzo is within the Al Faisaliah Hotel [A Rosewood Hotel] in Riyadh, overlooking a landscaped terrace where the atmosphere is made bearable all the year round by means of mist sprays, which cool and humidify the air. It’s unusual in that the dining isn’t gender separated. Progress in some small form?
Open air – it may be the city but it’s still just a harder form of desert – it only opens from 8pm to midnight. The food is based on a Brazilian barbecue theme, where a selection of meats [beef, lamb, goat, camel, venison, buffalo etc] and fish [including lobster and langoustines] are cooked on large skewers. You’re served with a small portion from the huge skewers, one meat at a time. You’re given a token – red on one side, green on the other – to place at the side of your plate. You start green-side up [could be Ireland] and when you can’t eat anymore, you turn it red side up. When we turned ours red side up, our host turned it back again. Apparently we hadn’t tried everything. And then there were the desserts…
As it was February, it was only about 25 degrees, so before we sat down at the table we were each kitted out in a full-length fur coat to keep the chill away…I think mine was tiger.
Restaurant Il Terrazzo, Riyadh