We received a few questions a while back on what other steak houses are present in the city. Wow, you Riyadhizens must be die-hard steak fans… you’ve tried and eaten in almost all the steak restaurants in Riyadh that now, you’re asking for more options! I can feel you. I think I’m getting tired of the usual steaks in the city that I need something new! Wait, I’m not a steak connoisseur, far from it. Serve me any steak and I’m gonna gobble that up like there’s no tomorrow, except when it’s the Black Rock of Steakhouse then I’ll have to ask my husband to cook it for me and wait ’til he gives me strips of the rib-eye. I love my steak glistening with fat! Yummy! It is only the past few months that I discovered the importance of ordering my steak cooked medium. I ordered them in medium well before and they turn out okay. But medium… oh that doneness that feels slightly firm and springy with a mostly pink center peeking through. This is now my favorite doneness of steak and I suggest you try it, if you haven’t been ordering your steak like this before. It’s just the right in-between, not raw but not well done. Just right.
Anyway, why do I write this long introductions all the time? Haha! I’ve read about Gala Steak-Inn for a while now but I only managed to go a week ago. My husband I are celebrating our anniversary and I thought Gala Steak-Inn will be a good place to have a quiet dinner away from the crowds. Location is one of the things I like about Gala. It’s tucked in one of the Cercon Buildings in Olaya. It’s still in the city center, close to almost everything, but it’s not too busy. The streets surrounding it are filled with construction but once we turned left to Gala, it’s already devoid of activities. Just the way we like our nights: calm, quiet, and romantic.
Gala Steak-Inn welcomes diners with a soft glow. Outside, it’s all black and gold and inside, rich dark brown wood and leather dominate the restaurant. The black frames hanging on the wall look heavy but well-lit. A center sculpture carries tea light candles that give the place a romantic vibe. It’s one of those places that look elegant and expensive in the interiors but when you look at the menu, it’s actually quite affordable.
We settled for an order of their salad and soup, appetizer platter, Fettucine Alfredo, and a Rib-eye steak. They have a salad bar with just the right amount of choices, most of them vegetables. For SR 28, it’s amenable especially if you’re into leafy salads. They also have “wine” to go with the food. Without the alcohol of course and it says so in the rack.
We tried both of their Onion Soup and Corn Soup. Neither hit my tastebuds right. They were a bit too sweet for me. And they were a bit lukewarm. I like my soup to be hot and comforting. The Corn Soup even tasted like mais con yelo, only a warm version, haha. Skip the soup and go straight to the appetizers which completely surprised me.
I was against ordering the Pane Platter (SR 40) because they were just a bunch of fried food. Who couldn’t fry squid rings, onion rings, and chicken nuggets at home?! But my husband was insistent because he likes fried appetizers. When it came, I look at them and told my husband we’ll probably be too full for the pasta and steak once we’re done with this platter.
I took a bite of the fried shrimp and I kind of like it. It was hot and properly seasoned. Then I tried the squid rings and onion rings. I’m loving the batter used in this starters. It’s light and crunchy. Then I tried the mozzarella sticks which I tend to dislike in any platter in any restaurants because they’re heavy on the stomach and doesn’t provide much flavor. I choked on my own words because these mozzarella sticks were actually decent. The batter and cheese complemented each other; the former light and thin, the latter not too thick with hints of melting in between. The chicken tenders or fingers was our favorite though. It was juicy and tasty. Nothing like the commercial nuggets we get in hypermarkets or fast food. All in all, this platter is worth ordering!
The pasta and the steak were served at the same time. It took quite a while though so we just entertained ourselves by looking at the food served in another table. There was fire and so much sizzling involved in their orders and I wondered if we ordered the same thing. At one point, a blow torch was used in their meats and I was kind of getting envious there was no fanfare involved in our order of rib-eye. Haha! It came in an ordinary huge plate with mashed potatoes and vegetables on the side. By “vegetables” they mean sauteed mushrooms, broccoli and corn. There’s also gravy.
Gala Steak-Inn serves steak that comes from Canada. It’s the first time I’m eating a Canadian steak, guys! The Rib-Eye Steak was grilled to perfection. It’s a bit thin but for SR 100, I think it was okay. I’m a fan of rib-eye because of its extra marbling and moisture. I kept my eyes glued to the flat, thin steak while my husband made the first cut across. The reddish brown juices oozed out of the meat and pooled at the plate. Ahhh I know I was having a good steak even before it touched my lips. I put a block of herb butter (from the bread basket) on top of my steak and it melts instantly. I poured the peppery gravy next. I take a small piece of the steak and put it in my mouth. I chew slowly and let the meat’s, gravy’s and butter’s flavors come together in an intricate, complex taste. Delicious, tender, and soulful. I want to try the other steaks to see if their quality is consistent. Next time!
We loved the steak so much we hardly paid attention to the Fettuccine Alfredo. And rightly so. I tried a forkful of the pasta and left disappointed. It was just bland. I couldn’t eat another bite of it. I want the steak’s taste to linger in my tastebuds rather than the taste of the lackluster pasta. We ordered dessert because what’s a dinner date without a sweet ending? Our waiter suggested the Brownie because it involved a pouring of liquid that catches fire, or something like that. But I ended up ordering the Chocolate Fondue, the test of a good dessert that we always do in restaurants that offer it. If your fondue is good, we tend to go back for more. If it’s not, we do not order any dessert from the restaurant anymore.
Their Chocolate Fondue arrived with ice cream, a piece of strawberry, and drizzles of chocolate sauce. We cut the cake in the middle and the liquid chocolate in the middle flooded the plate. The chocolate was dark and not being a fan of it, I just ate the cake itself starting from the edges going to the middle. Each piece got better when paired with a spoonful of ice cream. They got along good. I can’t say it’s the best chocolate fondue ever but it’s adequate.
Prices at Gala Steak-Inn is affordable with steaks beginning at SR 85 up. Most of their appetizers and pasta are at SR 40 up and their desserts do not go beyond SR 30. We used Cobone vouchers, by the way, and you’ll save more if you use it. For SR 69, we got a voucher worth SR 100. Our entire bill was SR 227 and because we had two Cobone vouchers (bought for SR 69 x 2 = SR 138), we only paid SR 27. It’s a good deal so if you can avail of it, get it! The staff of Gala Steak-Inn are attentive and friendly too. When you go to Gala Steak-Inn, prepare your hearty appetite.
Cercon Building 1, Musa Bin Nusair Street
Suleimania, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
T: +966-11-4640060 / +966-53-3754774