Summer is here and guess what? It will be the hottest one yet! Much as I like summer in my tropical native land, I don’t like Riyadh summers because it’s super hot outside and it’s giving me headaches. You know that instance when you’re inside in the comfort of your ACs for so long and then you have to go outside for an errand and you’re met with this gust of hot wind coupled with the being baked feeling? Yeah, that gives me headaches. In the morning, I usually joke around that when I go out with my hair still wet, it’s already dry when I reach our car which is just a few steps away from our building. Yep, that hot. But you know us! We Riyadhizens just go with the flow. And we thrive no matter what the temperatures outside is. Yes? Hell yeah!
So summer… what can quench our thirst this summer? Ice cold water (which I’m a fan of, I started bringing this insulated Fiz bottle that keeps my water cold for 24 hours, no kidding!). And juices and smoothies. And when it comes to these drinks, Riyadh is abundant of them. Just in your street, count how many juice shops you have or pass by every time? Two? Three? Reina and I discovered one juice shop in Alia Plaza (yes, that far) and we can’t help but feel we were juice zoned by Juice Zone. We were left amazed by their mixed juices and well, we can’t get it as fast as we want to because we’re living in the city center. Bummer!
Juice Zone is a juice and smoothie franchise from Canada. It prides itself in serving drinks and wrap sandwiches that have great taste and healthy benefits. Their juices are said to be keys to living a healthy life because they only use the freshest ingredients packed with nutrition and vitamins. Who doesn’t want that? For someone like me who doesn’t eat as much veggies and fruits as I should, drinking healthy veggie and fruit juices will save my life. I think, haha. Al Emtiaz Agencies Trading Establishment brought Juice Zone to Saudi Arabia so that its wide range of wholesome, convenient and tasty food and drink options becomes available for everyone here. As they said, “from smoothies and juices to wraps, paninis and salads – there is something to everyone’s taste!”
The Juice Zone shop in Aliah Plaza is a bit small but we like the design. Their colors of orange, red, and tiffany blue are lively and energetic and their icons of food and drinks are a lovely touch. Their staff welcomes us with huge smiles and they knew what their bestsellers are. However, they also offered us the chance to build our own wraps by choosing a bread, protein, and kind of cheese.
I went with a white bread filled with roast beef, onions, and yellow cheddar doused with honey mustard, BB, and ranch sauces. It was served sliced and warm and I like how the cheese was gooey and sharp. The roast beef was tender and flavorful. It was a filling sandwich. The Roast Beef Wrap in the menu is SR 18 a piece.
Reina went for the Spicy Chicken Fajita, one of the wraps in their menu. It was a white bread filled with spicy chicken breast, cheddar cheese, lettuce, onions, olives, jalapenos and hot chilli sauce. We were amazed by how tender their chicken slices were. This wrap is for lovers of spicy food as it’s really SPICY!
We also tried their Chicken Pesto in brown bread. It was filled with plain chicken breast, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce plus their pesto sauce. We found the sauce to be too salty. You have to bite in a way that you get every ingredient especially the tomato to downplay the saltiness of the pesto. But even that didn’t prevent us from telling the store manager that it was really salty. Hehe. So if you order this and it’s no longer too salty, you’re welcome. Haha!
We had a taste of their Fresh Fruit Salad Bowl which is so colorful and beautifully-presented I don’t want to destroy its pattern. Haha! It has slices of green and red apples, pineapple, strawberries, watermelon, mangoes, and cantaloupe. We didn’t find anything special with these though because they’re just sliced fruits in a bowl. No honey, no sauce, nothing. You can re-create this at home easily.
We also tried their Fruit and Yogurt Bowl which has yogurt and bananas, strawberries, organic granola, pumpkin seed, flax seed, sunflower seeds, bee pollen, oats, nuts, and a drizzle of honey. If the ingredients are to be taken into account, this is probably the healthiest thing we’ve had in Juice Zone. Naturally, it’s the least item I liked, hehe. It has an odd taste for me and I’m all for tastes that I recognize.
Now let’s go to the drinks that I truly enjoyed. All of Juice Zone’s juices are made fresh to order using the freshest products so you can actually watch them peel and blend the fruits.
We had the Diet drink which consisted of pineapple, lemon, orange, and kiwi. The orange here took much of the drink; it’s the only thing that we can taste. It’s not a bad thing though as this juice is tart and sour and sweet all at the same time. If I can only drink this every day with its promise of “diet” then I will. We also had their bestselling Mosel Juice which has pineapples, mangoes, and kiwi. I like this one because it’s so fresh and a bit sour. Obviously at this point we should have been full but I wanted to try their Watermelon juice and I wasn’t disappointed. The taste was clean, fresh, sweet watermelon and I emptied my cup in no time. My favorite though would have to be Golden. It has the right amount of pineapple, green apple, and mint. Thankfully the mint didn’t overpower the fruits and the end product was a refreshing tropical drink that’s tasty and oh-so-good (I’m craving for this now!). This is another bright idea on how to enjoy mint in your drinks, aside from the ever popular Lemon Mint that we’re used to drinking in this side of the world.
Nope, that’s not all when it comes to their power drinks. They have smoothies that can be turned to energy drinks with scoops of Acai powder or whey protein. While we didn’t add any of those to our order of Power Smoothie and Strwaberry Smoothie, we found these drinks to be super healthy. The former is a mix of mango, strawberry, milk and vanilla while the latter os with strawberry, raspberry, banana, milk and honey. They’re think and fruity and yummy! The Power Smoothie is our least fave drink though, hehe.
And now, for the coffee… wait, what coffee?! Yeah, we asked the same thing to the crew. If they’re the Juice Zone, why do they have coffee in their menu? The guys just said they’re following what the international franchise has and it has coffee in their menu so they have it too. Not that we’re complaining because we saw how they made their Chemex and Siphon coffee and we’re impressed!
The Chemex coffee is named after the brand of the coffeemaker they use. The Chemex Coffeemaker, invented in 1941, is made from non-porous, borosilicate glass and fastened with a wood collar and tie and it brews coffee without transferring flavors of its own. Filter is put on the glass vessel, the carefully measured ground coffee is put in the filter. The hot water follows after. After a few seconds, we got a cup of coffee in its purest form.
It was slightly bitter but we got a great aroma and really strong taste!
The Siphon coffee, on the other hand, is like brewing coffee in a science lab, lol. I won’t go through the entire process of making siphon coffee because it’s quite complex yet really cool. If you’re really interested, you can read the step-by-step guide here.
Siphon coffee is delicate and it also has a really strong taste that will make you feel like you won’t be able to sleep immediately. You’ll be awake for hours! Between the Chemex and the siphon, I go with the latter although truth be told, I’m not that hardcore of a coffee drinker to appreciate any. I like my coffee mild with sweeteners, milk, and various flavored syrup, thank you very much.
So that’s it for our time at the Juice Zone. We really enjoyed their offerings and if we’re only close to Aliah Plaza, we’re probably there once a week to sample more of their juices and smoothies that we haven’t tried when we were there. We’ll be honest though that it’s not something we’ll really go the distance for because we have a lot of juice and sandwich shops in the city center but if we’re in Alia Plaza then we’ll probably drop by. The good news to those who live within the area and within 30 minutes of distance is that they deliver! Details below.
Alia Plaza, corner of Takhasussi and Abu Bakr As Sidiq Roads,
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia [MAP]
T: +966 54 275 6010 (free delivery)
Disclaimer: We were invited by the PR agency of Juice Zone to visit and try their food and drinks. I wrote this article with my own observations and opinions.
THIS STORE IS ALREADY CLOSED.