Cool Inc, a luxury and lifestyle hospitality group, has thrown open the doors to 12 new restaurants in Saudi Arabia in collaboration with the General Entertainment Authority.
Four opened at the Jeddah Yacht Club on Wednesday, and eight launched at Via Riyadh entertainment hub on Friday.
Cool Inc will also bring three new dining concepts, Madeo, Ernestou by PJ, and Crustacean, to the kingdom by the end of this year.
Ghaith Al Johani, chief commercial officer of Cool Inc, tells The National that each of the restaurants has been cherry-picked keeping Saudi consumers in mind.
"They have a discerning taste that reflects an appreciation for quality, authenticity and innovation. The market has been thoroughly observed to be able to define their preferences and provide tailored offerings ... to exceed expectations and provide memorable experiences that resonate with their palate.
"The Saudi market is rapidly evolving. Riyadh and Jeddah were chosen as key locations based on their vibrant and dynamic nature, which offers a blend of traditional and modern ambiences," he adds.
Sinan Al Saadi, Cool Inc’s group chief executive, said: “We are confident that Via Riyadh and Jeddah's Yacht Club will become sought-after destinations in the kingdom for fine dining."
New restaurants in Jeddah:
Mashi No Mashi
Renowned Japanese ramen restaurant Mashi No Mashi, which translates as “eat more and more”, will bring its signature hot Jiro-style 100 per cent Wagyu ramen to Jeddah.
Other bestsellers include tokusei Wagyu tsukemen (slow-cooked beef served with 24-hour stewed Wagyu bone broth, whole wheat noodles and eggs) and spicy samurai bomb tsukemen (Wagyujiro dry ramen served with thick-cut Wagyu brisket char siu).
Mashi No Mashi was launched by chef and Wagyu expert Hisato Hamada, who is also known for creating the members-only fine-dining restaurant WagyuMafia.
Le Comptoir de Nicole
Le Comptoir de Nicole, the 30-year-old French bistro originating from the mountains of the Cote d’Azur, will launch in Jeddah in collaboration with mastermind Nicole Rubi, Domenico Laria and restaurateur Riccardo Giraudi.
The menu offers Mediterranean cuisine, with signatures such as burrata fraiche, tuna carpaccio, Australian Wagyu tomahawk, and lamb chops with aubergine caviar.
Emmy Squared Pizza
The American pizzeria from Brooklyn has brought its signature square-shaped Detroit-style pizza to the kingdom, soon after launching its second outpost in the UAE.
The Jeddah restaurant will have an exclusive addition to its menu: Le Big Matt Scorcher, aka Saudi’s hottest burger, which comes in two spice levels = the two million scoville and the nine million scoville.
Founded by Emily Hyland, Emmy Squared is all about melding ultimate comfort food with high-quality ingredients by way of signature sauces and cheesy frico crusts, with fluffy dough and crispy bottoms.
The Italian restaurant and pizzeria comes straight from Cannes to Jeddah Yacht Club.
The restaurant uses northern Italian cooking techniques to cook up wood-fired pizzas, handmade pasta and signature desserts, with a focus on the freshest of ingredients.
New restaurants in Riyadh:
Chi Spacca is a fine-dining Italian addition to Riyadh’s burgeoning culinary scene. Created by award-winning chef and restaurateur Nancy Silverton, it offers an array of LA-inspired meat specialities as well as newly crafted dishes exclusive to Riyadh.
The American-Italian restaurant, which will have candlelit tables, focuses on the art of woodfire cooking and dry curing techniques, all influenced by a Tuscan butchery and a Californian approach to “seasonal cooking”.
Best-sellers include affettati misti platters and lamb chops, although a number of seafood options will be available.
ManuH Cigar Lounge
ManuH Riyadh is a must-visit for those who enjoy premium cigars. The cigar lounge will open its doors in Via Riyadh to sit alongside its other outlets around the world, in Italy, France and the Ivory Coast.
The Riyadh outpost will also host monthly workshops and themed events.
Members can enjoy a cigar butler service and can also store their cigars in a humidifier room within the lounge, which has 200 lockers.
The dining menu, meanwhile, includes lobster, Wagyu beef sandwiches and dim sum, plus a range of drinks.
Spago by Wolfgang Puck
The flagship restaurant of internationally acclaimed chef Wolfgang Puck first opened in 1982 on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Spago draws inspiration from around the world, mixing American, Asian and Italian influences. It offers a seasonal menu and has a farm-to-table philosophy.
The bestsellers are tuna tartare cones, black sea bass and Chinois chicken salad.
The famed and cosy Parisian spot is now at Via Riyadh, where it has an upscale and elite setting.
Ferdi was founded by husband-wife duo Alicia and Jacques Fontanier, and named after their son Ferdinand.
Ferdi melds French cuisine with South American flavours, paying homage to the owner’s Venezuelan roots.
On the menu is the restaurant's award-winning cheeseburger, as well as macaroni and cheese and beef enchiladas.
New York City’s star-studded hangout is touching down at Via Riyadh, bringing its quintessential Soho dining experience to Saudi Arabia.
The two-level French bistro channels the glamour of 1970s New York with its intimate lounge area overseeing the restaurant.
Bestsellers include foie gras, steak au poivre and an Instagram-worthy oyster tower.
Les Deux Magots
Established in 1812, Les Deux Magots, meaning “two Chinese figurines”, has chosen Riyadh as the Parisian restaurant's first Middle Eastern outpost.
Here residents can enjoy signature coffee blends, traditional hot chocolate, viennoiseries, steaks and sandwiches.
Bringing London's coffee culture and food to Riyadh is Over Under, which offers “modern coffee” with a selection of light food and a mocktail bar.
On offer are healthy toasties, chicken wraps, granola bowls and the signature spiced mascarpone and berry toast.
Elle magazine's eponymous cafe is an attractive spot for afternoon tea with friends.
On offer are a range of desserts, glazed pastries and indulgent savoury snacks, to be paired with teas and coffees.