Title sounds familiar? It’s been a while since we published the entry titled “The Night We Ate the SR 125 Steak“. Oh my goodness that was in 2011 and Shoegarfreeruby was still here in Riyadh. (She exited last 2015 and we miss hear dearly!) It was one of those momentous events in our culinary discoveries in this city; the first time I ever splurged on something with my salary. Imagine eating in a restaurant that only has steak and fries in their menu, coupled with some desserts. That’s what we got from Le Relaise De L’Entrecote. But did you know that there’s an older Entrecote restaurant in Riyadh? Apart from the steak and fries and desserts, they also have a great view when you dine in their classic, elegant restaurant in the higher floors of Faisaliah Tower. Welcome to L’Entrecote Cafe de Paris!
L’Entrecote Cafe de Paris is located on the 21st floor of Al-Faisaliah Tower. We entered through the main lobby of the Al-Faisaliah Tower (in between) the lobbies of the Faisaliah Hotel. They have a special “key card” to enter the elevator area; we were greeted by one of their personnel in the security area so that he can scan his card and let us through to use the elevators to the upper floors of the iconic Riyadh tower. Wow, we were feeing special already, haha! We stepped into the 21st floor and we were welcomed into a very fine brasserie which felt like a different world from where we are based. It felt like being in the heart of Paris (even though we haven’t been there; I guess we watched Ratatouille far too many times). Despite the dark, polished wood, red brown furniture, classic table setting and lamps with dangling crystals, the ambiance is relaxed and chill, especially with the view of Riyadh down below and the famous skyscrapers around. We were seated in a table row that has a grand view of the Riyadh sunset and while we wait for the food, we also wait for the sunset to transform Riyadh into the grid of lights it is.
It was Ramadan when we went and they had a special iftar set menu but on normal, regular days, L’Entrecote only has one menu: steak and fries served with their famous sauce. It looks pretty much simple but it contains a variety of ingredients, one of which is butter from Switzerland. There are two kinds of steak served in the restaurant: Striploin Filet at SR 125 and Tenderloin Filet at SR 198. Both comes with Green Salad and French Fries. And of course, the Cafe de Paris Sauce, a complex butter-based sauce that was first popularized in the 1940s by Arthur-Francois Dumont’s Cafe de Paris in Geneva. The sauce is now shipped to other Cafe de Paris restaurants in Lisbon, Porto, Dubai, Kuwait, Riyadh, Hong Kong, and Stockholm. The make of this sauce is of course a closely-guarded secret.
We had the Green Salad first and it’s quite refreshing. The greens are crisp and fresh with hints of sourness from the sauce. We also got some of their drinks. The Liquid Strawberry (SR 16) is refreshing and sweet. It has a sourness underneath but it balances the taste of the drink. The Saudi Cool (large, SR 44) is of course, the known “Saudi Champagne” and we can’t find any difference from the ones we tried in other restaurants. It’s bubbly with hints of fruitiness.
Then came the highlight of L’Entrecote dinner: the steak and fries. We ordered the Tenderloin Filet and since we didn’t specify the doneness, we were served a medium well steak doused in the butter sauce. We found the whole dish underwhelming. For one, the meat is a bit hard. I know I should have ordered it ‘medium.’ Like what we experienced in the Le Relaise, the sauce did not give us a “Wow!” moment; it was more of a wondering moment. Why is it salty, sour, and a tad bitter all at the same time? It’s not like it’s an ordinary sauce right? I mean, again, it’s heavily-guarded stuff and it’s not quite what we envisioned. Although I already have a prior experience with entrecote, I was just expecting something different. Overall, the meat is authentic in its simplicity. The fries are ordinary at best.
The desserts are what made our dinner great. I ordered the Chocolate Fondant and Reina ordered the Panacotta. Both came in long platters with sides of fruits and sauces.
The Chocolate Fondant was soft; slicing the cake tugged my heart especially when the warm chocolate sauce oozed out. Ahhhh what a moment, haha. A spoonful of cake, sauce, and ice cream gave me a burst of energy. Full of body and warm and cold sensations. Love! Reina also enjoyed her Panacotta. It was lightly sweet and went well with the sauce it came with. The slices of berries provided a sharp flavor that complemented the sweet panacotta. We both had a great time with these sweet endings.
The view, of course, makes the dinner in L’Entrecote worth it. It gives you a 360 degree view of Riyadh. This is probably better than going to the Globe Experience and paying for SR 60 for basically just the view. Go on and add a few riyals and you get a steak frites dinner and the view! You can stay in the restaurant and you can also go outdoors to savor the
sandstorm warm air and see the view without the glass panel separating you from it. This restaurant is a special date night place; it’s perfect for celebrating anniversaries. The ambiance makes sense.
The steak of L’Entrecote Cafe De Paris is more of a traditional one; the kind of steak loved by our fathers. It’s a classic, it’s stable and a staple, and it never goes out of style. However, we millenials (naks) have more experimental and adventurous tastes now and we can recommend better steaks where you can spend your SR 198 on. Although, the service in L’Entrecote is impeccable and attentive, something we don’t always get in commercial restaurants nowadays.
L’Entrecote Cafe De Paris
Al Faisaliah Tower
King Fahd Branch Rd, Al Olaya,
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
T: 9200 18998
*Reservation is a must.
Operating Hours: 1:00 PM – 12:00 AM