Saturday Brunch at Aroma Restaurant
Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski, Riyadh
By: Leyla wa Leyla
The wonderful thing about brunch is that two meals can be combined entirely guilt-free into one long indulgence: breakfast running seamlessly into lunch and beyond. The antics of the previous evening being soothed into a distant memory without recrimination by the delicious, comforting, gastronomic transition through lazy, late morning to even lazier, late afternoon.
What better place to allow the pizazz of the night’s glamour and lights to gently regress than in the cool, linen-fresh, airy morning subtleness of the Burj Rafal Kempinski’s Aroma Restaurant? It’s a delightfully tranquil room to be in. What better way to ease yourself considerately into this most indulgent of repasts with a kind, calming papaya-decorated iced tea. Sip and chat, sip and chat, and take the time to meet yourselves where you’re at but cast a glance or two at the treats in store on display.
Fill your first plate with a small taste of each seafood option – petites terrines, creamy, dill gravadlax, ceviche, and crab salad. The second course can include samples of all the Middle Eastern morning favourites – moutabel, hummus, olives and pickles. Accept some casualties – don’t bother with the waraq einab as the hot dolma later are far superior. Some sacrifices must be made.
Aroma is rightly proud of its Eurasian fusion brunch, but to be frank, I would try the Middle Eastern main buffet station first, with a substantial helping of the incredible Ouzi lamb and rice, a splodge of savoury Dawood Basha, and one or two of those mentioned hot dolma, reminiscent of grandmother’s farmhouse cookery. You may not do justice to the vast array of options on the European side, but it is likely that some dishes, such as spicy shrimps or even a hand-crafted, stone-baked pizza, might require a sneaky exploration nevertheless.
Break for a hot, strong, caramel or hazelnut coffee, and load up the penultimate treat, of what has now developed into, mellow, late afternoon: a fine, sugar-hazed selection of rich, desserts and sweets. Sip and nibble, sip and nibble, and before you know it, it will be time to head home for the last comforting indulgence of your Saturday – a small, delicious, restorative snooze.
Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski Riyadh