It had been almost 4 years since my last visit to Riyadh and I wanted to make it count. Looking up @googlemaps we came across “Najd Village” on Abu Bakr road. Now I have never experienced Najdi cuisine and since this is authentically Saudi, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity.
Setup to replicate the traditional Najdi environment, the settings and the architecture were marvellous. The interiors and seating area are very cosy and you will also find a lot of memorabilia of times gone by. We decided to wait for the private seating area and after about 15 minutes of waiting, we were guided to our seats.
The menu is quite simple and is available in English too which made things easier for us. They had varieties of Kabsa, Badya, Saleek, Magloba and other Najdiah dishes and also a few traditional desserts.
I ordered the “Hashi Badya” (SR. 48 – Hashi is camel meat) that comes served with Jareesh, Goursan and white rice topped with pieces of cooked camel meat. I’ve had Jareesh before, but Goursan was something new. After looking it up, I found this was lamb cuts cooked with courgettes and mixed with a type of bread called Goursan.
The camel meat was tender and I wasn’t sure how this was cooked (I’m guessing steamed), but it had no real flavour of its own. The jareesh goursan combo was hearty and the rice did well to bring them all together. The quantity is just right and there isn’t any chance of the food being wasted.
Sylish ordered the “Lamb Kabsa” with red rice and though the lamb was a little salty, the rice compensated for it and this was also quite enjoyable. It was a great insight into how unique the najdi cuisine is compared to other regions of the kingdom.
They also have a family section if any of you are interested in visiting.