Hong at The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh relaunches with a new chef at the helm
The restaurant offers a contemporary take on traditional Chinese cuisine…
It’s the reboot we’ve all been waiting for – a return of The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh’s Chinese fine dining restaurant, Hong, with a new chef at the helm.
Its recent relaunch sees the restaurant upgrading its menu, promising a delightful culinary journey through the diverse regions of China.
Situated on the second floor, overlooking the hotel’s picturesque indoor pool, Hong has been around for more than 10 years, and little has changed in its interior. Named after the Chinese word for red, it is no surprise that Hong maintains its style with red dominating the colour scheme.
The formal dining room, which seats about 50 guests, retains that opulent feel and has an added air of decorum, thanks to its rich colour palette, expensive fabrics and furniture, and heavy wooden tables set with colourful china.
The traditional décor is eye-catching, complete with oriental design elements such as hand-painted calligraphy panels, delicate floral wall motifs, and modern chandeliers that evoke Chinese lanterns floating in the air.
That sense of tradition flows seamlessly into the menu – a curation of classics with an elegant, contemporary twist and modern updates conceived by Chef de Cuisine Wang Linhua from Hunan, China. But if you’re looking for dim sum or roasted duck, you’ll find none of that here.
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Instead, the upgraded menu at Hong offers hallmark Hunan favourites and is a treasure trove of Chinese culinary delights, masterfully recreated to perfection. From tempting appetisers like Sichuan-style Kou Shui chicken to sumptuous signature dishes such as herbal lamb cutlet and steamed sea bass with soya sauce, this restaurant offers an unparalleled gastronomic adventure despite having a limited menu.
Vegetarians, too, have delectable options, including Yu Xiang eggplant tossed in chilli bean, mapo tofu (wok-fried tofu Sichuan chilli sauce), and egg and vegetable fried rice.
If we have to pick our favourite dish from the opening gala dinner at Hong, the king crab pumpkin soup will have to be it. We absolutely love how hearty and comforting the soup made us feel.
Hong also does a contemporary take on sweet treats instead of the typical Chinese desserts. Take for instance the cherry yuzu crème brulee. The contrast of texture and flavours between the sable cookie, yuzu jam and the custard is quite an interesting one.
There’s something particularly heartfelt and earnest about the food at Hong. Perhaps it’s the way Chef Wang has taken it upon himself to reinvent our expectations of how certain Chinese dishes and ingredients should be prepared and presented.
It may still be early days, but kudos to Chef Wang and his culinary team, who all hail from China. This relaunch brings a refreshed commitment to preserving the essence of Chinese cuisine, making it a must-visit destination for connoisseurs of Chinese fine dining in Riyadh.
Hong, Mon to Fri & Sun 6pm to 11pm, Second Floor, The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh, AlHada Area, Mekkah Road, Riyadh, 11493. Tel: 011 802 8020. @theritzcarltonruh