1. Kare-Kare (Oxtail in Peanut Stew) – Pinoy Restaurant in Batha
One of my favorite Filipino dishes! Kare-kare is a combination of stewed oxtail and vegetables in a stew flavored with ground roasted peanuts or peanut butter. Sometimes, they also put beef meat, offal or tripe. The veggies include eggplant, cabbage, and green beans. I personally like my the peanut gravy thick and a bit coarse. I also like the bagoong alamang (shrimp paste) that goes with it sweet and spicy. You can find the better kare-kare in Pinoy Restaurant in Batha, just across the Military Hospital (RKH). The consistency is just right and the stew is yummy. A runner-up for me would be the kare-kare in Dampa Restaurant and Peak Restaurant in Suleimania near French Corner (cheap too!).
*When I posted the kare-kare picture in our Facebook page, most commenters said the best can be found in D’ Potters Haus Restaurant. I agree. However, I was recently informed that the restaurant is already closed.
2. Sisig – Blue Ribbon Restaurant in Suleimania
Another favorite Filipino dish is sizzling sisig, a dish made from parts of pig’s head and liver seasoned with calamansi and chili peppers. It’s best paired with a beer. Of course, since pork is not allowed here in Saudi Arabia, sisig comes in either chicken or beef. And beer is also non-existent here, so settle for a regular ice cold Coke. There was a time when we were obsessed with the chicken sisig of Blue Ribbon, again located across the Military Hospital (RKH) in Suleimania. We order it every time we have food delivered from Blue Ribbon. I recently found out that the beef version is tastier. A runner up would be La Paz Batchoy’s sizzling beef sisig with egg. It’s oily, fatty, and hot — or what a sisig should be. It’s just a stone’s throw away from Blue Ribbon Restaurant.
3. Pancit – Pinoy Restaurant in Batha
|Pancit Bihon. Photo from MyPinoyRecipes|
In Filipino cuisine, pancit is the general term for noodles. We Filipinos (and the Chinese who gave this “convenient food” to us) mean business when it comes to pancit. We have a lot of varieties; it’s as if each province has their own take on this beloved dish. That doesn’t count the version we cook at home that’s why finding the best pancit some where else is tricky. The mixed pancit of Pinoy Restaurant in Batha is a family favorite. It’s a mix of canton (flour sticks) and bihon (rice vermicelli). A runner-up would be the pancit of Blue Ribbon Restaurant; chock full of ingredients and flavorful. Perfectly paired with their pan de sal (salt bread).
4. Sinigang – Goodah Soos Restaurant in Suleimania
|Healthy, sour sinigang. Photo from Live Less Ordinary.|
Sinigang, a popular Filipino viand, is a soup consisting of meat and vegetables in a clear, sour, savory broth. It’s quite good for this weather! And just about any other day. I’m not much a fan of soupy viands so I had to ask someone else for an opinion in this matter. My sinigang connoisseur (lol) picked the sinigang na tanigue (mackerel fish) of Goodah Soos Restaurant in Suleimania because of its balanced flavor. Not too sour. Runner up would be La Paz Batchoy’s.
5. Chicken Barbecue – Pasalubong Restaurant in Batha
|Grilled marinated chicken. Photo from Laurindaw|
This is not exactly a Filipino original. Not even sure if it’s considered a viand since it’s practically just chicken parts that are marinated and grilled. The Asian kind of barbecue is the one you find skewered and grilled but there’s also the variant you’ll see widely in Riyadh: the chicken pieces rubbed with spices and left in a mix of liquid condiments and grilled. Since I always look for the sweet and spicy kick in all things I eat, I recommend the Chicken Barbecue of Pasalubong Restaurant. There was a time that it’s the only pasalubong (treat given when you come from another place) I want from Batha. Try the chicken barbecue in stick of La Paz Batchoy in Suleimania too.
So there you go. Maybe you’ll agree with me, maybe you won’t. If it’s the latter, kindly suggest more Filipino dishes other expats can try and where they can avail of them. It’s a good way to introduce the Filipino cuisine to other Riyadhizens. Yallah, ro! 😉 ~ Sundrenched
I like to call this place “Little Batha” because most of the establishments important to expats (particularly for Filipinos) can be found here, just like in Batha. There’s Enjaz, Telemoney, Alrajhi Bank and Alrajhi Supermarkets. Most of the Filipino and Thai restaurants are also concentrated in this area.
Please disregard my lack of chronological placement of letters on the photo above, haha!
A. Blue Ribbon Restaurant – +966-50-665-7160
Other good dishes you can order are Spicy Chicken Wings and Sizzling Bangus.
B. D’ Potter’s Haus Restaurant (CLOSED)
C. La Paz Batchoy Restaurant – +966-11-477-9647
You can order online via Talabat.com
D. Peak Restaurant
They don’t deliver but they have the most affordable Filipino meals.
E. Goodah Soos Restaurant – +966-11-477-5995
They have lechon kawali but it’s beef (seryoso, umasa ka na pork yan?! Hehe!).
If you’re looking for a smorgasboard of Filipino dishes, then try the affordable buffets in Kamayan and Dampa which are located a mere meters away from the famous Filipino fast food restaurant Jollibee, which you can also visit for Chicken Joy and Yum Burger.
The famous Batha… the place where Filipino, Indian, and Pakistani expats converge. You’ll find a lot of Filipino/Thai/Chinese restaurants in this area too. Apart from the mentioned ones, you will find Quiapo, Cabalen, and Al Bahar restaurants here. Kruathai both in Suleimania and Batha, which is more of a Thai restaurant, also offers Filipino dishes.
A. Pinoy Restaurant
Try their sisig, lumpiang shanghai, and kare-kare too.
B. Pasalubong Restaurant
There are so many Filipino restaurants in Riyadh already! Wow! I think this entry deserves a part 2 noh?