Wednesday, 16 January 2013

In Hediards in the Dark


Hediard was plunged into darkness in Riyadh this evening.

Someone turned all the lights off. Sure it was salah but does that mean we need to be completely hidden while the Hai'a cruise the streets shooing everybody off to the mosque with their loud speakers.

It turns out, thankfully, that someone made a blue and much flicking of switches behind the cake display unit meant the mood lighting was soon taking the edge off the darkness, though a torch was still needed to read the menu.

This welcome, plus the smell of fried food assaulting the nostrils as soon as we entered what is supposedly a French restaurant, made us consider reconsidering our decision to come here.  We were, early on a Friday evening, the only two customers in the circular shaped family section with its large windows leaning out over Tahalia St.  The lack of other customers meant service was rapid.


Hediard must have been a beauty in its day with its French style chairs of dark wood and white upholstery against red decor and heavy timber dividers.  It has, of recent times, been going down the gurgler due, so we heard, to a falling out between Hediard HQ in France and the local Saudi partner.

The menu was more Middle Eastern than French.  We were after a light meal so decided to settle for starters only.  Hubster had Mushroom Soup that he described as 'nothing outstanding'.  I had Kibbeh - an Arab dish that is basically a minced meat croquette.  Having been raised on minced meat in all its many forms, Kibbeh is a food that reminds me of my childhood so I'm quite comfortable consuming it. The accompanying sauce was thick and fruity.

Our drinks, a lemon mint for myself and juice for the other half, were served in quirky glasses that Hubster took a fancy to because they were shaped so you could, literally, pour the liquid into your mouth.


The weather outside was cold, so we decided to stay for dessert and coffee.  The coffee, I have to say, was very nice and a decent sized serving in chic cups.  However, the Tiramisu was out of the frij and still damp in places - it's the only Tiramisu I have never finished.  Hubster's caramel slice was better quality - it must have been, he ate it all.


Hediard used to be a happening place on Tahalia.  We have passed it many times over the last three years, its cone shape towering over the single section patio has quite an imposing presence.  Perhaps the cold weather was keeping everyone away this night, though I tend to think people vote with their feet when food quality is not up to scratch.

There is an upstairs terrace at Hediard's which, for thermal reasons, we didn't go and investigate though, because I do like a good coffee out in the open air, I'm prepared to go back and suss it out when the current cold snap has settled down.

Location of Hediards


View Dining Out In Riyadh in a larger map



  Ka Kite,
Kiwi

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