Restaurant Review: Olea Cafe at Courtyard by Marriott, Diplomatic Quarters

Restaurant Review: Olea Cafe at Courtyard by Marriott, Diplomatic Quarters

By Deepa Thomas-Sutcliffe

I recently checked out the Theme Nights at the Olea Café, a multi-cuisine restaurant at the Courtyard Marriott, Diplomatic Quarters. We went on a Thursday which is the Italian Theme Nights at Olea Café.  They have many other Theme Nights on other days as well ranging from Seafood to Lebanese to Egyptian. The Weekend theme nights are International and offer popular cuisines like Indian & Filipino for example. The theme night define the dishes on the buffet and live counter. On Thursday in keeping with the Italian theme, they have a live pasta counter. All days of the week, they have a live kebab barbecue station which is very popular with the guests. Many guests choose to sit outside and enjoy the pleasant weather in these months. I sat inside on a private table with my husband who was acting as the non-vegetarian taster for the review. I am a vegetarian foodie and do not eat meat or fish.

Italian is one of my favourite cuisines and I was delighted I chose a Thursday to check out Olea Café for the WSB Food Review. I started with the make-your-own-salad bar which had a lot of fresh ingredients and dressings, then I started nibbling on the appetisers especially the fried zucchini, the aubergine and the tomato, basil & cheese starter.   They also have ready to eat salads, a cheese platter & fruits and a wide range of bread freshly baked in the kitchen. My drink for the evening was a pitcher of Saudi Champagne.

My husband tried the mushroom soup and enjoyed the small mushroom pieces and the full-bodied taste. He loved the salmon and said it was cooked perfectly, moist and melting in the mouth. The smokey barbecue taste added to the experience. He also enjoyed the lamb chops which was very tender and cooked to the right consistency.

After a short break to talk to Chef Mohamed Rizk who has been with Olea Café for over 4 years, we resumed dining. This time I tried the live pasta counter (Arrabiatta pasta with olives, mushrooms and jalapenos) and a couple of the main course dishes. One of the must-try dishes according to the Chef was the Aubergine Melanzane layered with tomato and cheese dressing.  Then, I had a few tastes of the generous dessert counter. Some really tasty desserts and pastries there.All in all, a lovely evening.

From the Chef, we learnt that the Courtyard Marriott has Chefs who have specialised in most of the popular cuisines and can cook home dishes to suit their guest’s palette.  The buffet offers quite a variety of dishes but guests can also choose to opt for the A La Carte menu.Diners go there for the relaxed vibe and the fact that it isn’t too busy.


Theme Nights at the Olea Café 

Mondays – Seafood Night – 199 SAR per head

Tuesdays – Lebanese Night – 190 SAR per head

Wednesdays – Egyptian Night – 190 SAR per head 

Thursdays – Italian Night – 185 SAR per head 

Fridays – Saturdays – Sundays – International Theme Night  -165 SAR Per head


DQ Residents & Embassy staff have a special offer. So if you are a DQ resident or friends with one, head over to Dine at Olea Café at a special rate.

– 20%  at Olea Restaurant, Cafe & lounge

– 20 % Laundry services

– 20% discount on Massages services at the health club

– Advanced booking is required by calling : +966 11 2817300

How to go there:

Olea Café, Courtyard Marriott, Diplomatic Quarter

Al-Hada District

Abdullah bin Hufazah

Al-Sahmi Street

Riyadh 64819

Tel: +966 11 281 7300


1 Comment
  • Mani Thomas
    Posted at 17:28h, 01 November Reply

    A good write up.Hope they call you back for a meal every week

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