Brunch All You Want at Al-Orjouan
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Riyadh is known for its opulent facade and superlative services but their Al-Orjouan Restaurant’s recent all-day brunch takes them to a whole, higher level.
Let me break it down for you: From 9AM to 5PM every Friday, you can enjoy a whole day eating extravaganza of over 20 food stations, a complimentary bowling game and a kid’s club for you little ones to hang out in. With its eight-hour-long offering, it has been dubbed as the “longest brunch in Saudi Arabia.” You might be wondering though, “That’s no longer brunch!” — well, in Saudi Arabia we do things a little differently — especially on the weekends. Fridays, in particular are holy days and there is a noon prayer that almost everyone partakes it and lasts for at least half an hour or more. That’s why people/families only officially start their day after this prayer so technically, around 1PM is still “breakfast” for many.
All that glitters is gold.
Now that you’ve gotten the hang of things, let me show you what you can find from the glorious feast that The Ritz-Carlton Hotel’s Al-Orjouan Restaurant is ready to feed you and your entire league of noshers from start to finish.
To begin with, the restaurant has added a lot of perks to this brunch package that makes it a full-circle experience. From a few feet of the entrance, you can find cigar options for their newly installed Cigar Lounge and beside it, a selection of what they call the Sweets of Arabia. These two products and services are the newest additions to the Ritz-Carlton and the sneak peek is enough to pique our interest.
Fancy a Claro or Maduro?
Or maybe just Baklava sweets instead?
As you move forward, you will notice that they’ve placed a second “red carpet” at the doorway of the Al-Orjouan Restaurant (similar to the iconic one that they have at the foyer of the hotel itself). On your right, you will find the desk of their in-house calligrapher who will willingly draw a text of your choice using Arabic calligraphy and on your left, a welcome tray of refreshing towels and a cup of kahwa is available for guests to take a sip from.
Get your name or favorite world written in Arabic script.
Traditional Arabic welcome drink…
But wait, before you even get past the door itself, you will notice a Ritz-Carlton photo wall prompted by the door for your chance to feel like a Hollywood actor (on the red carpet, no less!). Just make sure you tag your photos online with #RCMemories, which is the official hastag of the Ritz-Carlton all over the world.
Stirke a pose.
Finally, we enter the premises of Al-Orjouan and are immediately ushered to the left side, where we found the Juice Station first. Welcome signature drinks such as the Rose of Taif and Ambrosia Bloom are a must try but they also offer freshly-squeezed juices that come in these cute light bulb containers and some more Arabic coffee with dates from Qassim.
How cute are these!
Cheers to the Rose of Taif.
More kahwa…perfect with dates.
The area behind the Juice Station is mainly the Arabic breakfast buffet. They have an array of honey, halwa, nuts, zaatar and minted labneh along with some cereals and kibbeh. It is the typical Arabic breakfast brought to life:
A mix of every thing.
Kibbeh is made of bulgur (cracked wheat), minced meat and onions.
Traditional Arabic spices.
Further on, there’s a line of gentlemen heading to one of the first live stations we saw, which was the Omelette Station. Make your own omelette by choosing the ingredients and have one of their professional chefs prepare it right in front of you. Behind the line, there’s the Soup Station as well and for that day, they had miso soup.
Flippin’ the omelette.
Soup of the Day: Miso Soup
The food tour continues as we moved on to the larger food station where food warmers were aligned filled with all kinds of international breakfast options. From there we found felafel, paratha, baked beans, dahl, masala, pad thai (yes, for some odd reason), steamed vegetables, a live Manakish Station, pastries and bread, sausages, bacon, baked eggs and salmon. Phew! Now that’s a trip around the world!
Open those warmers and select your breakfast favorite.
Manakish bread made right in front of you.
Pastry selection…everything looks pretty.
In the middle of the dining hall is the Italian food selection that also has live cooking stations for risotto and pasta. At that time, the chef was still busy making pasta for the lunch offering but there were some Italian breakfast items for picking already.
Staying here til lunch so I can taste the ravioli!
Their take on Prosciutto e Melone.
We also didn’t miss their Sushi Station which had prepared hundreds of maki rolls already on display. I wonder why we weren’t able to snap a photo of it though…just the condiments:
I’ll take a jar of Tobiko please.
There’s the other side of the dining hall now where in you can find the Salad Station, along with their pickle and olive selections, cold cuts of smoked duck, chicken and beef plus their cheese platter collection of over 10 kinds of cheese! Finally on that side is the Fresh Fruit Station.
Pink Tarha picked a pack of picked peppers.
At this point, we have finally gone through the first half of the restaurant. We went on towards the second half, whish hosted both the Ice Cream Station and live Crepe Station. There’s about 10 flavors of ice cream for you to choose from and there’s some waffles, crepes and pancakes if you wish as well.
The something new I found was the big display they had for the Bloody Mary drink. It appears to be the highlight of their second Juice Station that was in the other side of the restaurant.
The healthy, Bloody Mary.
Unlimited fresh juice.
Surrounding the second Juice Station are the staple Dessert Stations. They have a wide variety of compote that’d be great for your breads like figs and apples. The White Chocolate Fountain can also be found here along with the rest of their beautifully crafted desserts.
Jams and spreads.
More Sweets of Arabia.
You won’t miss it: the White Chocolate Fountain
Just when I thought the tour was over, we were taken by surprise when the staff who showed us around said, “There’s one more station…” and I was all like, “Whaaaaat!?” Where can you possibly have another station!”
The newly added station: The Grill Station!
It turns out, they have now included the outdoor area of the restaurant by turning it to an open-area Grill Station. For breakfast, you can select from sausages and burger patties to be grilled outside and select your favorite condiments that’d go well with it.
Get your condiments on.
After the tour, we were finally able to sit down and actually enjoy the brunch. With the lots to choose from, we tasted a little bit of every thing. Thirty minutes later, we were full and decided to use our complimentary bowling game to burn off some of the calories. You just need to get a receipt from the restaurant and present it to the Strike Bowling Alley downstairs. You can also come back to the brunch once you are done with your game.
Let’s have a “bowl”! LOL
Comfy lounge seats for you to relax while waiting your turn.
The Kid’s Club is also located inside the Bowling Alley. They have a dedicated section on the other side of the bowling area and there’s plenty of activities and toys for the kids to play with, including the large TV screen that shows animated films. They also have a small buffet of kid-friendly food should you let them stay there with the hotel’s nanny. Children under the age of six can join the brunch for free but for kids aged 6 to 12, their rates are at 145SAR.
Hello to the Kid’s Club!
Once we returned to the restaurant, it looked like they were starting to set up the lunch menu. The food selections are now different from 11:30am onwards and they begin serving the pastas, rissotto and have the Hong Station set up, where you can taste their unbeleivably amazing Peking Duck Rolls and the Asian stir-fried noodles. The Seafood Buffet is also on full display and since we were a bit worn out after our bowling game, our appetites went back up again. You can also expect the Grill Station to prepare steak options, kebabs and chicken tikkas.
The Hong Station was set up when we got back!
So was the seafood selection…
Who wants unlimited shrimp?
Like I said, as the day progresses, the food selection will start to shift from mainly breakfast items to mainly lunch items. So if you are planning to stay for the entire eight-hour timespan, by all means, stretch your gastrointestinal tracts to your heart’s desire. Our time record was at four hours, and that included our bowling game already! Either way, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Riyadh has definitely included a lot of new perks and flavors to their brunch offering and for sure, it’s one of those you won’t easily forget.
Al-Orjouan Restaurant Brunch
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Riyadh
Every FRIDAYS only, 9AM to 5PM
SAR 325 per adult
SAR 145 per child between 6-12
Children under 6 dine complimentary
Reservations and inquiries:
Tel: +966 11 8028333/8363