Restaurant Review: Raoul’s
A mix of French heritage, and obvious New York charm; we couldn’t wait to visit the newly launched Raoul’s within our favourite latest hotspot, VIA Riyadh…
Two brothers journeyed from Alsace, France, to Soho, New York, finding a little boutique restaurant for sale. They had little money to spend, but turned their Alsatian cooking skills to fine steak and fish, turning their small setup into a local favourite. They stood on the street encouraging passersby to enter and taste the delicacies, and while word of mouth grew the restaurant into the success it is today, the locals would complain about their best-kept secret. (Cue the Emily in Paris opening credits)
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With a dark colour palette and red velvet accents, we felt transported to New York immediately. We arrived at the chic-style bistro with old pictures on all the walls showcasing the restaurant’s story, with the original booth concept tables lining the perimeter of the boutique-style space. The drinks menu featured tea, coffee, soft drinks, fresh juices, and 0% beverage options, alongside a list of mocktails. We tried the Manhattan (it was a must!) (SAR58) and Elements (honeydew melon cordial, Italian spritz, and lemon juice) (SAR42) as a refreshing start to the meal.
We couldn’t resist trying every Petits Plats A Partager ahead of the Entrees, and we were right to do so. Warm sourdough baguette with farm butter, radishes and sel gris (SAR35) was everything we dreamed of. You can smell the baguette, can’t you? Alongside their iconic Artichoke vinaigrette with Raoul’s signature dressing (SAR85), and a selection of Oysters du jour with mignonette and cocktail sauce (SAR85 per piece), we could have easily been transported to an evening in Manhattan with some friends, or colleagues.
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Entrees introduced us to a delicious market greens warm goats cheese salad (85SAR) and one of the best seared Foie Gras with pickled red onion and Surette a la Pommes (SAR125) we have had in Riyadh. Adding Moules to the already glorious Oysters from the Petits Plates, we were in our seafood element. This menu also allowed for a lighter meal with these fantastic smaller bite options, perfect for sharing.
If you can still fit in a main, the Plats Principaux includes the pièce de résistance with the Buttered poached lobster (SAR740) and Lamb Navarin with chanterelles, bright lights chard (SAR155), as well as a Seabream option they created for us off the menu, which was impeccable customer service.
Polished off with a crème brulee (SAR65), and sticky date pudding (SAR65), we enjoyed a delicious meal encompassing the very best of the French, Manhattan mix.
Raoul’s, VIA Riyadh, Weekdays 6pm to midnight, Fri 2pm to midnight & Sat 1pm to midnight. @raoulsrestaurant.sa