By Deepa Thomas-Sutcliffe
This week I had the pleasure of dining at the Riyadh branch of Urth Caffe, the famous California based organic food restaurant. Urth Caffe is buzzing on weekends and has a really welcoming vibe. My favourite bits of the décor were the two olive trees in the two sections. “Urth Caffé” was named because Urth is an old Welsh root spelling of Earth and Caffé is Italian for coffee. The founders wanted a name that embodied the natural richness of the earth and delicious organic, heirloom coffee.
The Urth Caffé Team including Chef Nihad Allahverdizade & Chef Mohammed Baz shared how they serve only the highest quality, all-natural ingredients—organically grown whenever possible. The Urth Caffee menu caters to all kinds of diets—from strict vegan to pure decadence – with all the food made from 100% natural ingredients supplied directly from local and or organic farms. None of the products contain any artificial ingredients or GMOs. Urth Caffe offers organic, gluten-free and vegan dishes for diners.
Urth Caffe is also renowned for their organic coffee and teas, most of it sourced from the Pacific North West. Urth standards for coffee include 100% certified organically grown, heirloom, sustainable agriculture, shade-grown, direct trade, and award-winning quality. Urth fine teas come from organic estates or ancient tea farms that use traditional, sustainable methods. You can opt for soy, rice, almond or organic milk substitutions.
My trusty dining partner, the hubby, had an Urth Boba – these are exotic tea cocktails made with organic tea, natural flavours, milk & tapioca pearls. His was a blended Organic Green Tea Boba and he loved the creamy chunks of tapioca and the mild green tea taste. I had a refreshing Berry Refresher with a flavourful mix of berry, apple, lime & mint flavours.
To eat, the chef recommended the delicious Urth Farmer’s Salad. You could taste the freshness of the ingredients ranging from baby spinach, grilled artichokes, tomatoes, French radishes, red onion and glazed pecans. We also tried the Caravan Kale salad with yams and quinoa, pita chips tossed in a pomegranate vinaigrette.
We then feasted on the Wild Mushroom Pizza which was a new favourite dish. I do love a good mushroom dish. It had Sautéed wild mushrooms, balsamic onions, wild arugula and 3 kinds of cheeses. They were kind enough to just serve a couple of tasting slices so we could taste our way through dessert as well. I tried the Panini Portabella and loved the earthy taste of portabella mushrooms, pesto goat cheese & grilled artichokes. Something very satisfying about the food here as it feels very wholesome and flavourful. My husband had a steak sandwich which was really good, he said. The thinly cut steak was done just right and the cherry tomato relish and mustard was the perfect compliment.
We took a break before dessert to talk to the chefs again and on their urging, we ordered a chilled Spanish Latte (one of the most popular coffees here as the condensed milk infusion seems to suit the local taste). I could definitely order that again. My husband decided to try the chef’s recommendation of Moroccan Mint Tea which he enjoyed. The chef told us how they try their best to cater to diner requests and to create vegan or gluten-free options of popular dishes. The pastry chef talked about their introduction of the Earl Grey Tiramisu which he hopes will be a crowd pleaser.
We tried the yummy Honey Cake dessert which was so good. I was in a happy food coma. My husband had the Hazelnut chocolate cake which is a must try for chocoholics. The rich dark sauce in the middle and mix of the chocolate sponge and hazelnut pairing proved a winner.
All in all, Urth Caffe is a great all-day dining restaurant and offers both a Breakfast and a Lunch & Dinner Menu. Go there for coffee & cake, for a healthy or decadent meal and you will go away happy. We can’t wait for them to open in the DQ early next year.
How to find Urth Caffe
Urth Tahliya – Riyadh
5090 Prince Muhammed Bin Abdulaziz Road
As Sulaimaniya District, Riyadh 12243-7058 Saudi Arabia
+966 9200 07498
Saturday through Thursday: 7:00 am to 1:00 am
Friday: 7:00 am to 11:00 am / 12:30 pm to 1:00 am