Brute Riyadh review: Get the steak. Any steak

Open-fire cooking takes centre stage at this Argentinian steakhouse

Brute specialises in open-fire cooking and serves a mean steak. Photo: Brute KSA
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A contemporary fine-dining venue, Brute is inspired by a fusion of Latin American and European flavours.

Set among an array of new contemporary restaurants at Ramla Terraza in Riyadh, Brute is already popular with locals and visitors despite only opening in February.

Where to expect and where to sit

The contemporary interior is warm with burgundy accents. Although the venue is packed on the night we visit, we enjoyed privacy and quick service thanks to the attentive staff.

Brute can seat up to 170 people, and has an outdoor seating area with chairs, cushioned sofas and heaters for when chilly days set in Riyadh.

The menu

My dining companion and I started with warm Argentine chapa and Colombian pandebono breads, with chimichurri sauce and a delectable hazelnut butter.

We selected the beef and cheese empanadas for appetisers. The crispy crust gave a pleasing texture to the hot and steamy fillings within. Next our waiter recommended Wagyu beef carpaccio; the meat was juicy and perfectly prepared, and the dish had a burst of subtle flavours thanks to the use of fresh capers, wasabi mayo and chives.

The dry-aged provoleta (served with bruschetta on the side) was not as impressive; it was overly limp and stretchy despite being served over a burner. Fortunately, the next course, a goat's cheese salad, was crunchy, fresh and enough for two.

For mains, we had the truffle and mushroom risotto, which was creamy yet without being overpowered by its two strong flavours. It was soul food done right. Staff also recommended the baked salmon, which was served with a light and flavourful guacamole, making it a good order for seafood lovers.

Finally it was time for the dishes Brute is best known for: the best Argentinian cuts of beef from grass-fed black Angus cattle from farms in the Pampas region.

The Churrasco de Lomo — spiral-cut meat marinated for 48 hours in garlic, parsley and olive oil — was seasoned to perfection; and the tender Wagyu tenderloin MB+5 was suitably succulent.

For dessert, we tried a light and scrumptious creme brulee, but the highlight was a dulce de leche cheesecake, which had just the right amount of sweet tones complemented by burnt meringue and tangy passion fruit.

Standout dish

If you eat meat, get the steak. Any steak.

A chat with the chef

Head chef Misha Djamalov, who is from Uzbekistan, describes Brute as a venue that aims to bring “a tantalising fusion of Latin American and European influences with bold flavours, imaginative combinations, and a commitment to open-fire cooking techniques”.

“Brute is for meat connoisseurs seeking the best Argentinian cuts,” Djamalov says.

Djamalov is a fan of open-fire cooking techniques and freestyling with grilled meats. “Cooking over an open flame adds a unique and delicious flavour that cannot be replicated with other cooking methods. It allows chefs to showcase high-quality ingredients, and offer flavour and texture in every dish.”

Other than the ones we tried, some chef-recommended dishes include: braised beef back ribs with S&S sauce, orange segments, sesame seeds and pickled jalapenos; padron pepper and beetroot salad; Peruvian ceviche; salmon with mango salsa; and herb sea bream.

Price point and contact information

Appetisers range from 59 Saudi Arabian riyals (about $16) and go up to SAR130; mains go from SAR120 to SAR1,300 depending on the grade of the meat; drinks are priced from SAR 55 to SAR70; and desserts go from SAR50 to SAR150.

Brute is open daily from 6pm to 1am; and reservations can be made through the Chefz app.

This review was conducted at the invitation of the restaurant

Updated: April 21, 2023, 6:02 PM