The Business Lunch Challenge
Many restaurants in the city are promoting Business Lunch deals, targeted at working people, presumably as ideal venues for casual business meetings. The lunches are usually a set number of options one can choose from at a fixed price, usually including a salad, a main course and a drink.
Jeddah Blog decided to try out 3 such restaurants, but to put them to their ultimate test, took along three tough customers; children aged 8 years to 12 years, in order to find out if these deals would be equally applicable to families. We then rated the restaurants out of 10. We would like to add here that the reviews were undertaken anonymously in order to gain the most objective results. None of the three restaurants were aware that they were serving Jeddah Blog that day.
This relatively new Italian restaurant on Malik Road, adjacent to Stars Avenue Mall has shown an increasing web presence. They are very active promoting their eatery on Facebook and Twitter, and we took up their Business Lunch offer first.
Piatto’s decor is one to please the eye and calm the spirit. Their use of a fountain inside the premises gives an air of coolness after walking in from the afternoon heat. Their floor tiles immediately reminded us of sidewalk cafes in Europe and set us in the mood to order some great Italian food.
The business lunch menu in Piatto is a salad bowl, bread basket, a choice of one of their pastas or pizzas, and a scoop of their Gelato icecream. The Salad was extremely refreshing. No complicated flavours or heavy ingredients but delicious, green and fresh.
The pizzas we felt were great, but nothing to shout about. If your children are used to the heavy and overloaded American-style pizzas, then they may not be too impressed by these. The crusts are thinner and toppings lighter. In all fairness they are truer to proper Italian-style pizzas. Portion sizes are quite good and dishes can be easily shared.
The dish we all thought was outstanding was the Fetuccini Alfredo with chicken and brocolli. It was creamy, delicious and bursting with flavour. This dish alone is worth a visit to Piatto.
Finally a visit to the Icecream stand. Piatto offers many flavours and we went for strawberry, mango and coffee. Personally I found the strawberry too tart, but one of the children loved it enough to want to go back just for the icecream. The mango did not impress, however the coffee icecream is one of the very best I’ve had lately.
Verdict: Great atmosphere, friendly waiters, amazing pasta. We give it 8/10.
Ruby Tuesday is another restaurant promoting their business lunch deal. They are situated a couple of shops away from Sony World, on the Iceland roundabout, opposite Sultan Mall.
Their business lunch includes a plate of salad from their salad bar, one of the main course choices and a drink. Disappointingly no dessert.
The salad we all felt was nothing special. Very similar to the salad one would get at Pizza Hut. The main courses were quite tasty, especially their fish and mini-burgers. Portion sizes were moderate. However, their biggest flaw was the number of flies hovering around our table. It was very difficult to enjoy the food while constantly waving away flies. When we complained to the waiter, he said there were too many flies that day because of a sandstorm outside, and the flies all wanted to come in!
Verdict: All in all, a disappointing experience. Average food and service. Unpleasant atmosphere. We give it 6/10.
This is a place we have visited more than once, however it was the first time we took children along with us. Steak House is situated on Tahlia Street in the Millenium Center. You can park in the basement and take the elevator up to the first floor.
The Steak House Business Lunch includes a choice of two soups, a salad from their salad bar, one of their main course options, but again no dessert.
The soups on offer were a mushroom soup and a meaty soup, both were delicious. Then came the visit to the salad bar. In our opinion, Steak House offers the best salad bar in Jeddah. They have an amazing variety of options in their salad bar, and everything is extremely fresh. Our clear favourites were the chicken salad, apple and pasta salads. It was the only place where the children enjoyed the salads tremendously. Tasty and healthy? What more can one ask for?
For the main course we ordered a Philly Steak Sandwich, a Roast Beef Sandwich and Quesadillas. Portion sizes are the way we like them; large. Be ready to have leftovers packed to take home. Their Philly Steak Sandwich was juicy and tender, and the children loved the Quesadillas. However we felt that the Roast Beef Sandwich was a little dry. Their glasses are fun and give a unique touch, and the large windows bring in plenty of light. Sitting next to the window provides a scenic view of the busy Tahlia Street below.
The waiters were very friendly and helpful, and the Manager is always very hands-on, making visits to each table to ensure his customers are satisfied.
Verdict: Amazing salad, delicious soups and tasty sandwiches. No dessert but the quality and portion sizes of the dishes makes up for it by far. We give it 9/10.