…when it comes to lunch!
Most of the time, business meetings during the day can get so busy we forget to eat! Business lunch meetings should be fun, productive and delicious! Of course, we need satisfyingly good brain food right?! Also, even with the advent of technologies for communication, it’s still best to have lunch together with our colleagues, managers, and business partners. There’s nothing like being “present” for real.
There’s no better place to have a business meeting than at Azure Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Olaya. Azure serves Turkish and Greek cuisine as inspired by the Aegean Sea that connects them. I am in love with the flavors that come from the simplicity of preparation and cooking of the Aegean cuisine. The freshness of the seafood they serve and the use of basic ingredients that brings out the best of flavors are amazing! They really mean business at Azure!
I’ve seen the restaurant twice but I’m really captivated by how beautiful the place is. They have glass windows that show the street scene of Olaya. Sunshine pours in and it creates a nice natural lighting for food photos and selfies (although you shouldn’t be doing selfies during business meetings). The carpet of beige and blue is thick and pleasing to the eyes. The dining rooms are divided into several areas; the tables and chairs are sleek and the table setting elegant. Even the huge lamps are on fleek.
The business menu is short, just like their 4-pager dinner menu, but very much enough for a filling and fulfilling meal. The lunch begins with a basket of bread with a dip and olives.
The psomi is a classic Greek bread baked in wood-burnin ovens in villages around Greece. It’s denser than other types of bread and has a chewy outer crust and a soft inside. It went well with the dip.
After that comes a selection of mezze both of Greek and Turkish origins. These small dishes are a nice introduction to the main meal with their savory flavors. Included in the mezze is a good portion of hummus and cacık (yogurt with cucumber and garlic). There’s also one with eggplants which might be the patlıcan salatası. I didn’t want to overwhelm my palate with a lot of food that’s why I had spoonfuls here and there but didn’t linger too long in the mezze (they’re really good for sharing already)!
The Fig, Feta and Hazelnut Salad came next and looking at it, I wasn’t really impressed. First, because I have a natural aversion to anything “salad” and second, because these are all greens and I’m not the green salad kind of person (give me macaroni salad any time! haha). So it was a revelation that this is so good I finished ever thing in my plate!
OMG. Soooo delicious! The balsamic they used on this salad was tangy and sweet. The greens were so crisp and the fig slices were sweet. This is just a gorgeous medley and I truly enjoyed it.
The Spicy Shrimp and Haloumi Guvec was also a palate pleaser. Guvec is the earthenware pot used in Turkish cuisine and this particular shrimp dish is cooked in it. The earthy aroma the guvec lent on this dish is pretty nice. The flavors are subtle and don’t overpower each other. I also finished this dish even though I promised myself I’m going to leave room for my main course. The salad and guvec are staples of the business lunch menu. And I know why they placed it there. They will delight anyone who tastes them.
For main course, there are four options to choose from: Oven-Roasted Dorado Fillet, Chicken Kebab, or Spaghetti with Vongole and Calamari or Barbecued Lamb Ribs. Of course, I chose the latter. I just feel like I needed something heavy (ergo, meat) to tide me for the rest of my day. It was a really busy day for me when I visited Azure with lots of events to attend to. I ordered my ribs in medium. I was surprised when this huge plate (platter!) came to my table:
The bones were huge. The meats in the bone looks small but grilled well. There are tiny hills of smoked eggplant puree and dots of yoghurt sauce on the plate. I first tasted the eggplant puree and I was surprised that it was really good! It was creamy and the smoked flavor shone through. I love mixing it with the tender and juicy lamb (get it in medium, I swear!). The yoghurt also gave a refreshing flavor to the lamb. All in all, I think I made a good decision in ordering the lamb ribs for my main course.
For dessert, there are choices of Baklava, Kunefe, or Seasonal Fruits & Berries. I already tasted their kunefe before and I enjoyed it so I ordered it again to finish off this wonderful meal. Their kunefe is one of the best in Riyadh because it’s not too sweet. You now how kunefes here in Riyadh bleed sweet syrup? This one doesn’t. Even adding a spoon of ice cream doesn’t add to much sweetness. I wasn’t just sure if the kunefe they served me during this time was oven-fresh because it was a bit hard than I remembered it to be. The cheese was extra chewy and the threads were no longer as crispy. Anyway, just make sure when you order this to have it served slightly warm. The meal comes with a bottle of mineral water.
For SR 125 per person, you can’t get a better deal when it comes to business lunch meetings than this! The ambiance is bright, the food flavorful and light (unless you finish every thing), and the people are welcoming and friendly. Now, let’s talk business!
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Olaya Street, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
T: +966 11 288 1234 or email
Lunch: 12:30 p.m. -3:30 p.m.
Dinner: 6:30 p.m.–11:30 p.m.