Restaurant review: Business lunch at Signor Sassi, Riyadh

A fantastic midweek business lunch spot…

An Italian restaurant housed in a grand villa in the middle of Sulimaniyah (where you’ll find a bevy of other high-end restaurants), Signor Sassi has charm in spades.

Signor Sassi interiors

The décor is elegant, with beautiful, sumptuous interiors and colourful florals that make for super chic surroundings. There’s a charming bar that might just be the loveliest place to sip mocktails, and you’ll fall in love with the expansive dining room, bathed in warm, flattering light. That’s all before mentioning the food, which is beautifully presented.

Having recently launched its business lunch set menu, Signor Sassi offers an attractive three-course set lunch (SAR280) that runs from Sunday to Thursday. But as far as business lunches go, Signor Sassi’s is among the less corporate. And we’re here to tell you why Signor Sassi is a fantastic midweek business lunch spot.

It’s a quiet Wednesday afternoon, and we are taken to the indoor garden area, where the sun streams in through the glorious skylight. Our waiter brings us a bread basket (SAR59) featuring seven different types of warm, homemade bread. We’re also introduced to their latest beverage creation, detox pineapple-infused water (SAR50) – perfect for those who prefer to drink more water with some extra flavour.

Signor Sassi

We then take our time to review the business lunch menu. What stands out immediately is the variety of options given for the starters, mains, and desserts. But what’s more interesting is the way they are served – on a high tea stand. Perhaps this is so that diners never have to wait too long nor feel rushed between courses. Pretty clever, nonetheless.

We have the burrata and deep-fried baby calamari to start. It is everything Italian food is best known for: simple flavours and fresh produce.

For mains, we order what comes recommended. The thin cutlets of tender veal Scallopini work perfectly with the zingy butter-lemon sauce in this light Italian dish. Plus, you simply can’t have Italian cuisine without pasta, and we happily dig into the penne Arrabiata next.

Moving on to desserts, we go with the Chocolate Lover and the silky smooth panna cotta with mixed berries. Do as the Italians do, and have them with espresso.

Overall, the portion sizes are perfect so you aren’t left hungry nor stuffed. Service is polished but down-to-earth and friendly, and not at all overwhelming or pretentious. Everyone is knowledgable and well-trained, a very well-orchestrated service flow.

To complete your meal, dive into the excellent selection of mocktails (SAR35 each), which include the Spritz, Venezia (white peach blend with sparkling grape juice), and Signor Sassi Royal (blackberry and black cherry blend with sparkling grape juice), which have been curated by bar manager Javier. Although we’d highly recommend the near-perfect zero-proof Gin & Tonic that features his own homemade vermouth for a distinct taste.

Signor Sassi

Oh, and don’t forget to snap a selfie in the loos, which are the stuff of Instagram dreams come true.

Signor Sassi, 2605 Prince Abdulaziz Ibn Musaid Ibn Jalawi St, As Sulimaniyah, Business Lunch available on weekdays from 1pm to 5pm. @signorsassiriyadh

Images: Social