Restaurant review: Les Deux Magots at Via Riyadh

One of the oldest cafes in Paris is given a Riyadh glow-up…

With it’s impressive collection of culinary hotspots, you could be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed in knowing where best to start when it comes to dining at Via Riyadh. But rest assured, we’re here to guide you with reviews and roundups of the restaurants from across Via Riyadh, which this week takes us to Les Deux Magots.

Where the old meets new, Les Deux Magots is one of the oldest cafes in Paris, yet one of the newest restaurants in Riyadh. The venue feels like a throwback to 1930’s Paris, with décor oozing elegance, and subtle acknowledgments to those that had enjoyed the original venue in the past. Literary and artist visionaries made this café their home in Paris (with it being said Paris’s famous café culture began at Les Deux Magots), and it became a favored haunt of writers and artists including Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, Picasso and Camus.

Step back in time in Parisian style when visiting this new venue in Riyadh, where art meets fashion, literature meets politics, and they all come together to transport guests to a uniquely charming experience.

The day menu allows you to savor the iconic, classic Parisian favourite, croque monsieur or sip a signature hot chocolate while you soak up the literary heritage. Très bien! You can smell the smooth coffee from the street outside, and the menu features the likes of freshly baked viennoiseries, chunky steak with crispy fries (the best French kind), and the most quintessential sandwich of all, the club sandwich.

We took the time to enjoy the restaurant’s evening menu, which offers a whole host of Parisian delicacies. We start with a Fleur de Pommier mocktail (SAR46), as delicious as it sounds. Elderflower, passionfruit puree, green apple and lime. The menu is small, but perfected. You can tell the detail put into every single plate.

The starters are both seafood, with a tartare d’avocat et miettes de crab of avocado tartare and crab chunks in lime vinaigrette (SAR85), which was divine and definitely our favourite of the two starters. A selection of salads (SAR75-90) took us to the main course, where we continue on the seafood theme. We were recommended the crevettes marinees est grille, avec un risotto, which arrives as grilled marinated prawns with saffron risotto and sautéed spinach (SAR220) and Poelee de Merou poelee aux legumes sautes et sauce au beurre blanc, a seabass pan fried with sautéed vegetables and sauce beuree blanc (SAR175), both of which were full of flavour and impeccably well presented. We we’re told the Burger de boeuf et bacon grille, which is a beef burger and grilled bacon, comte cheese cream and tomato spread with a side of fries (SAR125) is the most popular choice amongst the current guests.

As no meal is complete without it, French dessert delights include Classique crème brulee (SAR45), and profiteroles (SAR55); both French favourites. Finishing with a calming Chamomile tea (SAR30), we we’re ready to walk off our delicious meal exploring the VIA stores and sights. The perfect start to our evening.

Les Deux Magots, VIA Riyadh Sun to Thurs 1pm to 12am, Fri 2pm to 12am, Sat 1pm to 12am. @lesdeuxmargot.sa