Checking Off Cafe Ceramique
Last year, S and I made a list of the restaurants we’d like to review for the Pink Tarha blog. Much to our “easily-distracted-at-malls mode” whenever we go out, we haven’t exactly crossed half that list off. Cafe Ceramique was a part of that list. Unfortunately, upon my visit of the restaurant, S was already on vacation (Sorry S! It was unplanned! I didn’t expect that I’d go there, I swear!). It only goes to show that some things are better left un-planned. 😛
Cafe Ceramique sits on the 3rd floor of the Sahara Mall here in Riyadh. It’s quite hidden from the main walkway of the public but their wall advertisements are visible throughout the mall. I’ve always wondered why it’s called “ceramique” as it seemed to be an odd name for a place of food. Obviously enough, the entire restaurant is actually filled with hundreds of ceramic figures for patrons (along with their children) who can pick and paint these ceramics before or after a meal.
Here is a view of the place:
Who likes Arts and Crafts? Seen above is the main area of the restaurant where you will see all the ceramics being displayed on shelves, as well as the tables where the patrons dine. On every table is a set of brushes and even a “placemat of palettes” to refer colors to.
I was with my friend J (a previous guest blogger of ours) and we were intent on filling ourselves up because we had a whole day of shopping ahead of us (note that we stayed at the mall for more than 8 hours! We arrived there at 9am on a Thursday and left at around 7pm). Once inside, we were courteously welcomed by the staff to our seats and were even offered organic hand sanitizers after ordering. Pretty neat huh? The rest will show you what we had:
Love Potion. Who wants to be intoxicated with the “Love Potion”? J did. This has all the fruits you want in it and you can tell by drinking it that any health-buff would go gulp it down. Though I did think it was quite expensive for SR20. I ordered my usual glass of H20.
We almost ordered this since it looked like a decent deal. Pictured above is their lunch promo of any meal+salad+Pepsi w/ refill for only SR35. I think the meal in the photo is their Shawarma.
One fabulous thing we loved about Cafe Ceramique is that they have an ALL-DAY BREAKFAST menu! I have always been wondering where can I find a “Pancake House” look -alike here in Riyadh and alas, I have found it! Even happier was my friend J, who is a sucker for waffles (day or night!). Since we already knew we’d be sashaying in and out of department stores the rest of the day, we knew we had to pack in the pounds. And besides, breakfast is the most important meal kaya!
Wahhhhfles! (say it like you’re Oprah). This was actually on the Kiddie Menu and is supposed to have M&M’s over them. Light and delish with their chocolate dip, it’s good enough for only SR19.
Traditional Breakfast. For only 33SR, I’d say this is worth it! It’s made of two grilled sausages, two hash browns, two eggs (cooked to your liking), grilled veal and tomatoes and two slices of toast with a cup of coffee/tea. Imagine that! I could not even finish off this platter with all that’s in it! My only comment is that the veal seemed to be too burnt on the edges and the sausages were a bit salty (but dipping them in ketchup helped).
They have other All-Day Breakfast items like Freshly-baked Croissants, Cheese and Mushroom Omelet, Morning Glory (Two eggs Benedict with bagels and sauce) and Arabian Treasure (which is their version of an Arabic breakfast). All of these are under 35SR.
We also tried their “Quick Bites” which are mostly starter items. We’re happy to report that they did not disappoint:
Fiery Buffalo Wings, 28SR. Deep fried chicken goodness smothered in a sauce that I can only say tastes like spaghetti sauce. Not that it’s a bad thing, I actually enjoyed licking these babies off my fingers. Some may find the sauce too sweet, but the creamy white dip on the side (I’m pretty sure that wasn’t blue cheese) evened out the taste. Having said that, I didn’t find this dish to be spicy (or fiery at all). But then again, the level of spicy food that I can endure is way up the charts, so don’t exactly take my word for that bit. The chicken was tender and did not require a wrestling match with my dentures. Kidding! :p
Spiced Calamari, 28 SR. Another tasty dish that did not fail to disappoint. The breading wasn’t overdone and the squid was actually a treat to chew on (no, it wasn’t tough at all). Served right off the pan, I suggest to eat it while it’s hot.
Vegetable Lasagna. This actually under their main meals menu (not from the quick bites). J thought it was interesting, so we tried it. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise for me as I have never really been a fan of vegetarian food (though I enjoy eating vegetables). The dish was tasty overall, perfect blend of cheese and baked pasta and vegetables. I would definitely recommend this to my friends, even to the non-veggie-eaters.
Can I just say...BURP!?!
All these meals for just two people. Yes, apart from being lakwatseras, matatakaw rin kami
. Too bad we weren’t able to try out the selling point of their restaurant, which were the ceramics
! From what we’ve learned though, you purchase the ceramics (prices range, depending on the size and design of the ceramic you choose) and the paint for use is free. You give the ‘art form’ back to them after painting it, and after seven days you can claim them once they’ve polished and varnished the ceramic for you. This activity can churn out a memorable experience for the diners as the ceramics serve as a memento of their time at Cafe Ceramique. It’s also targeted mostly at children, (and those who are children-at-heart) so that they may have something to do while their mothers and/or sisters are going about the mall. Some of the patrons we saw were father-children tandems. It is indeed a cleaner and more creative space for their children to spend their time than the arcades or the public playroom. Yes, I’d reckon that Cafe Ceramique is a place to bring the family to.
So what more can families ask for? Good food plus creative activities is a big fat check in my book. Next time I’m there, I’ll definitely do a plate art showing off The Pink Tarha blog. I’ll show it here once I get it done. S, I’ll wait for you to come back so that we can both check off the restaurants in that list.
The Pink Tarha Anniversary is coming up! Watch out for it! 😉