Time and time again it happens: I try out a certain food store and if I like it (and I mean REALLY like it), I will be relentlessly addicted to it until my fanaticism has run its course. I would frequent their establishment as often as I can and I will even go out of my day to take my lunch break at their restaurant, even if it means having to take a cab. Its happened to me and The Noodle House, it’s happened to me and Burger Fuel and now it seems to be happening again with me and Shawarmer.
Lucky for me, they have a reliable delivery service. I’ve been having shawarma cravings at work since last week they were the only one who could heed to my need. As most of you know, regular street shawarmas are only served after 5PM. The only places I know that serves Shawarma from 12PM onwards is the Food Section of Lulu Hypermarket, Assaraya Turkish Restaurant and Shawarmer. The first two, unfortunately, do not offer delivery services. They also have a very hip and comprehensible website, where I found it very easy to find a copy of their menu and find out which of their branches could deliver.
But before we get into that, a little background on the Shawarmer brand itself. (I really like how creative their logo is — incorporating the Arabic name similar to a shawarma meatpile. Kudos to its designer!) The company and product originated in Riyadh itself back in 1999 and has since been the one and only “formalized shawarma sandwich chain” in the Kingdom. So as a true Riyadhizen, we get props for patronizing our city’s own. 🙂 Shawarmer can be found in most mall’s food courts and they also have their stand-alone restaurants for dine-in, take-out and delivery. In this case, I’m doing this article based on the food I’ve gotten delivered over the past two weeks.
Duo in Sajji Bread
Janelle ordered their version of a shawarma in Sajji bread (you can also have in in regular Arabic bread). It’s two of their regular shawarmas in white bread, accompanied with fries and a drink (as a meal, it’s at 18SR). If you’re ordering the sandwiches alone, they go for 6 SR each. As you can see, the shawarma itself isn’t so “bulky”. There’s meat, pickles and fries but not as much as you would hope there would be. Reality is, it’s not your typical street shawarma that’s often filled to the greasy nines at only 4SR a piece. The good news is, it tastes really good. So for a 6 SR shawarma that you didn’t have to stand in line outside a hot store by the street along with a lot of bustling men, I’d say it’s worth it.
Grandwich and Tannouri
The Grandwich is basically a big shawarma (like two normal shawarmas combined). It’s the same as the Duo but our officemate ordered it in the normal Arabic bread. The Tannouri on the other hand, is another big shawarma but the difference with the Grandwich is that the Tannouri has more vegetables included. If you’re not into veggies in your shawarma, don’t do as Janelle did. She had to pick out several veggies off until she could enjoy her Tannouri. Ordered ala carte is 12SR each.
Yeah, yeah, this did it for me right here! Most of our regular readers already have an idea of what kind of a spicy food aficionado I am. So if it’s labeled ‘Spicy’, I’m sure to try it. Ergo the beautiful relationship that has blossomed between me and the Shat’Shaweesh. And what do you know, they have it wrapped around this paper container that has hot sauce written all over it. Ironically enough, I don’t think it’s pure hot sauce inside the Shat’Shaweesh shawarma but it’s form of creamy sauce WITH some hot sauce. What makes it even more interesting is that instead of pickles, it’s embedded with jalapenos, living up to its spicy nature. There are also no fries in this selection so you get more meat and more heat! All for the same price of a big shawarma. Considering that I am on a diet though, I am still not ashamed to say that I can wolf down one of these bad boys any day of the week. It would be my ultimate cheat item. Must try for the spicy food lovahs!
Special Mention: Shawarma Bites / Bites Box
Though this wasn’t part of what we’ve been ordering in the past weeks, the Shawarmer Bites deserves a special mention since it’s one of the most unique items on the Shawarmer menu, imo. They’re small half-pockets of bread filled with some lettuce, chicken/beef shawarma meat, fries sand bits of tomatoes (I think). They are so cute and fun to eat, though it’s not necessarily a Kid’s Meal item (my mom loves it) so the young and old can both enjoy it. I just love the concept and it doesn’t hurt that it tastes alright as well.
Beef Rocca Salad and Chicken Cesar Salad
I’ve tried two out of their four featured salads and while it hasn’t necessarily gotten me jumping up and down, I consider that fair enough since their main focus is on shawarmas anyway. The Beef Rocca salad is tastier simply because of the onions and rocket leaves that are in the mix but the Chicken Cesar Salad was a pretty good adaptation of the classic ceasar salad, wherein they used fried khubus chips as croutons and instead of a grilled chicken breast, they of course used shreds of their own chicken shawarma meat.
Another special mention would be their tasty sauces, especially the Coriander+Garlic Sauce and the Jobni (Cheese) Sauce (both at 2SR each). I have tried their Tikka Sauce and it was more on the sour side for me than on the spicy side, so I wasn’t to keen about that. Their french fries are quite good too.
As for a restaurant experience, I can’t say much because for the one branch that I frequent in Takhassusi, doesn’t have a Family section. Although, women/families can enter to order but there is no seating for them. I did have one not-so-good experience in their Riyadh Gallery Food Court branch wherein the staff were seemingly disorganized and my order took forever. Their branch in Sahara Mall’s Food Court did a better job though. As for the delivery, there’s a waiting hour at less than one hour (in the five or six times we’ve ordered in the past week, more or less we got it within 40 mins), minimum order of 30SR and a delivery fee of 2SR.
So if you find yourself craving for a shawarma fix like in the middle of the day…you know who to call! SHAWARMER!
Twitter and Instagram: @ShawarmerSA
Shawarmer Takhasussi Branch for DELIVERY: 011-482-3660