30 Mar Azure Restaurant Review
Beside An Azure Sea.
Out of the blue Aegean comes a menu with a difference. Greek and Turkish cuisines are harmoniously combined to transport you to quaint fishing harbours and rustic, village farmhouses. Mezes are included, of course, but here you can sample some more unusual or traditional delights from across the Aegean region.
Smoothly slip into chilled-out holiday mood with their creative and delicious juices – try the frozen mastiha with lemon and aromatic basil. Enjoy, not only one of their irresistible starters, but also treat yourself to a soup course, as the awesome fish and shellfish pot really should not be missed with its original, aromatic cumin rouille. The fresh combination of fig and feta might tempt you to the salad, with toasted, crunchy hazelnuts adding texture. Alternatively, you might be more inspired by the spicy shrimp and grilled halloumi served in a guvec – a Turkish earthenware pot. Curiously, artisan farmhouse cheeses ingeniously partnered with dark, sticky honey, feature as a starter. Preferably, leave room for further amazing courses by saving the cheeses until later in the evening.
The main course offers plenty of reminders of sultry al fresco evening gatherings. They evoke warm, summer nights veiled in the persuasive aroma of local meats roasting in a wood-burning stove. None being more evocative than the barbecued lamb ribs, smoked eggplant purée and yoghurt sauce. Each dish has its own appropriate accompaniment – chickpeas, broccolini, okra or oven roasted vegetables. With these southern European flavours, you may even for a moment quite forget where you are.
Take care with your choices though and beware of ending up with an unintentional fig fest. They are everywhere: tossed in the salad, placed aside the cheeses, and baked into the pastry dessert. If you happen to be a fig lover, then wait until the autumn season when they will be even more succulent and juicy.
Inspired by the Azure coast, the restaurant’s beautiful, striking, central artwork sensitively suggests a swimmer diving in the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. Let it also play its own part in transporting you there to complete your heady, summer, Aegean escape.
A Leyla wa Leyla.
Azure, Hyatt Regency, Olaya, Riyadh.
6:30 p.m.–11:30 p.m. daily
Smart casual and local dress code.
T: +966 11 288 1234 or email