Chotto Matte Riyadh is set to open this October in KAFD

Mark your diaries…

It’s been about three years since we first learned that upscale Japanese-Peruvian restaurant Chotto Matte, which boasts other locations in Doha, London, and Miami, was coming to a new space in Riyadh.

Now, the opening date is approaching — and while they haven’t given an exact date, founder and owner Kurt Zdesar has confirmed, in an interview with What’s On Saudi Arabia, that it will open this October at the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh.

Kurt Chotto Matte

The new opening will operate in partnership with Arabian Ocean Trading Company (AOTC), one of the fast-growing hospitality groups in Saudi Arabia.

“We are hugely looking forward to launching Chotto Matte Riyadh in such a flourishing destination,” says Kurt.

“Opening at KAFD has its longevity. Financial districts are always the most robust areas. New areas are always coming, but there’s also always going to be a financial district in every city. When all the other developments come into place, the financial district will be the central hub, which is integral to the economy. Plus, with tourism coming in, we need to be there to cater to that.”

Chotto Matte Riyadh will be well worth the wait

If you have yet to try out Chotto Matte, it’s all about Nikkei cuisine, the blend of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines, with ceviche, tiradito, anticucho BBQ, and sushi all on the menu.

And in case you’re wondering, Chotto Matte means “Wait a minute” in Japanese. Kurt quips, “I don’t like to correct people, but if you want to know the proper way of pronouncing Chotto Matte, just google it.”

So, what can we expect from Chotto Matte Riyadh?

Chotto Matte Riyadh will occupy a two-floor space in KAFD, with a beautiful vista overlooking the Wadi down to the park. Tropical foliage will be abundant throughout the restaurant, as a nod to the Peruvian landscape, and none of it will be fake.

The restaurant’s wrap-around glass will fully take advantage of its views and all-year-round sunshine, blurring the lines between the outdoors and in. The stylish and contemporary restaurant will also feature Chotto Matte’s signature design elements, such as an open sushi counter, robata grill, lava stone features, and graffiti-inspired artwork.


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Adding to the atmosphere, Latin-Afro and Japanese beats will frequently fill the air, enhancing the lively, immersive dining experience that Chotto Matte is known for.

The menu, inspired by Kurt’s passion for Nikkei cuisine, is as eclectic as it is exciting. It brings together the rich heritage of Japan and the spirit of Peru. All dishes – created by Group Executive Chef Jordan Sclare – will be artfully curated, combining Japanese and Peruvian flavours and culinary techniques, blending tradition with innovation on every plate.

Signature items include the pollo den miso (chicken marinated in miso paste), sato maki sushi (yellowtail and salmon with red pepper lime soy, flamed at the table), black cod aji miso (cod with a chilli-miso and yuzu marinade), and cordero Nikkei (lamb anticucho with pear and yellow tomato salsa).

Chotto Matte food

But the experience doesn’t end with the food. Chotto Matte will boast an exciting beverage programme, rounding out the immersive, sensory journey. The combination of stylish design, exotic mocktails, innovative cuisine, and entertainment will prove to be beyond desirable.

Interestingly, Chotto Matte Riyadh will also debut a café on the ground floor. Prepare to feast your eyes on beautiful rows of pretty pastries and indulge in a delicious array of sweet tooth-appeasing bites. We’ve been given a preview and can confirm that they are beautiful works of art.

The new space will be designed by Andy Martin (Superfutures Architecture & Design), a long-standing partner, who has collaborated with the group since its inception in 2013.

Kurt shares, “We are always looking to innovate and evolve, from the kitchen to design. Part of the creative things for Chotto Matte is not to do the same things twice. For certain elements, we do try to use the same materials, albeit slightly different each time. I like to give people a purpose. For instance, 70% of the menu will be similar, and another 30% will be localised, but that doesn’t necessarily mean using only local products because from territory to territory, it’s a challenge to do that. But if there are ingredients that we can incorporate into the menu, that will happen, but it’s also about respecting what’s already quite popular here and incorporating that into our menu.”

Chotto Matte food

“A cookie-cutter concept is a good business model, but it isn’t fun. It’s not exciting, and it doesn’t challenge me. I would rather do one concept but take it into each city where I’m introducing something new, and everyone’s excited by it, and people can’t wait for it. And what Chotto Matte is doing is to bring an authentic approach by introducing new elements that no one knows,” he adds.

Further expansion is planned with openings in Tbilisi and Dubai’s DIFC. But for those seeking a taste of more Japanese-Peruvian cuisine from Riyadh’s first location of chain Chotto Matte won’t have to wait much longer.

We’re already counting down the days…

Chotto Matte Riyadh, KAFD, opens in Oct 2024. @chottomatteruh

Images: Instagram