We’ve been hotel hopping all week and by far, this stop takes the cake: For the price of 270SR, you get to go on a gustatory journey from 12 noon to 4PM amongst the four distinct restaurants housed by the Movenpick Hotel Riyadh. Yes, you read that right: FOUR (4) restaurants for the price of one! Hold your hands out to catch me please as I am about to faint at this fact. Seriously speaking though, this offer is legit. Horizon Flavours of the World (International & Oriental Cuisine), Anardana (Indian Restaurant), Naya (Lebanese Restaurant) and Acacia by Pierre Gagnaire (French Restaurant) are the main dining spaces of Movenpick and this brunch offering is a buffet bonanza you don’t want to miss (because the deal is too real!).
Now I know some of you might be thinking, brunch is a portmanteau (yes we just research that word right now. #fancy) of the words ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch’ — then why is it from 12 noon til 4PM? Well, in Saudi Arabia, we do things quite differently if you hadn’t noticed. Friday is the first day of the weekend and locals tend to sleep in longer and rise by noon for the Dhuhr prayer, after which is what is still considered in our parts as “morning.” Hence, brunch is considered to be within this timeframe in this part of the world. Semiotics aside, the star of the story here is the food…and there were A WHOLE LOT of it.
If you think one buffet is a feat to be conquered, what more if you added three? I marched in to the Movenpick Hotel last weekend with Janelle and her husband Alfred and intentionally skipped breakfast before going. Knowing that there were four restaurants to be eaten at, I felt like a soldier entering the battlefield…of food! And also in the back of my head, I asked: how on Earth will I ever stand to lose weight again at this rate? Pfft. C’est la vie! For now.
We filmed our Facebook Live video first, much to my growing hunger by the minute. We brought our online followers with us to see everything firsthand before we got to have a seat at a table ourselves. For those who missed it, here are the highlights of our visit:
Since there are four restaurants to choose from, you can also choose to seat in either Horizon, Anardana or Naya. You can go in and out of the restaurants with your plates in tow as there are live stations in each corner to entertain you anyhow (such as the Movenpick ice cream bar, crepe station, waffle station and fresh rotti station). Acacia is not included in the seating selection.
The Horizon buffet boasted of the lavish seafood selection that was hard to resist. The rows of bread, salads, soups, main dishes and Italian station were brimming with viands up for the taking. There were fresh juices and mocktails that sat on a bed of ice while an espresso machine stood beside it for those looking for a strong pick-me-up.
The international buffet at Horizon is as usual, extensive. Your intestines will surely get a good stretch should you decide to partake on every single thing. Take note that you can also have your own pizza, rissotto or pasta made at the Italian station. There’s also a selection of biryani, chicken barbecue, a luscious rib eye steak, sauteed shrimps and many more!
Truth be told, the Horizon is already enough for me. But since I’m given access to the other three, I might as well pay them a visit. I took a short walk towards Anardana, the newest restaurant of Movenpick Hotel Riyadh and saw their alignment of Indian dishes. It wasn’t as large-scale as the Horizon’s but the flavors indeed were just as enough.
There was a sizable crowd by the time we got to Naya so we weren’t able to take decent photos of the food but they were in our Facebook Live video. Most of them were authentic Lebanese dishes that also included a shawarma grill.
For dessert, we headed to Acacia where the display of sweet French and Arabic pastry awaits. There was dark chocolate and white chocolate fountains on both ends of the hall with a wide selection of fresh seasonal fruits including rambutan, figs and mangosteen. There were also delicate patisserie selection with names like “Hazelnut Success.” The rest featured traditional Middle Eastern desserts like Um Ali, Kunafa and so much more!
If you’re bringing your children along, it will also be a treat for them as there is an exclusive play area for them on the second floor! The entire playroom is designed for their entertainment, complete with board games, Playstation consoles and a clown to boot. Separate charges apply for children at 135 SAR (for 6 years old and above) and children below 6 years old can dine in for free.
So what are you waiting for? Like I said, the deal is hard to pass up! The brunch offering is only available every Friday at the Movenpick Hotel Riyadh. Call in advance to reserve but walk-ins are most welcome as well. It is worth every halala.
Movenpick Hotel Riyadh
Opposite the Ministry of Interior, Riyadh