The food scene in Saudi Arabia is augmenting and these are exciting times for foodies in the Kingdom. One such restaurant is “BACO” (@baco.sa) that serves up Asian Fusion Food and thanks to my good friend Ahmed Darwish from the @thefoodies.sa fame, I got to experience something quite unique. Located in a posh shopping boulevard, we were quite famished by the time we sat down to eat.
Ahmed had been invited to try the food at BACO before so he was quite familiar with the menu and so I ran with his recommendations.
For starters, we ordered the “Asian Caesar Salad” (SR. 29) and under ‘Dishes’, we ordered the “Kimchi Rice” or ‘kimchi-bokkeum-bap’ (SR. 43) and “Ceviche” (SR. 27). We also ordered the “Karaage Chic Bao” (SR. 19) & “The Hotdog” (SR. 20) from the ‘Baos’ section of the menu. To complete the list, we decided to try some of the ‘Tacos’ as well, going for the “Prawnshee” (SR. 24) and “Steak Taco” (SR. 23). Ahmed also recommended we order the “Asian Fries” and that had to be the best decision we made that day.
The prices are reasonable but the portions are quite minuscule and this would be perfect if you are on a diet. I would enjoy this as part of an early evening snack before heading out for dinner elsewhere.
I would totally not recommend ordering the “Asian Caesar Salad” because the ingredients didn’t make for a good combination. It had elements like edamame, bacon bits, nori crackers and black sesame all of which didn’t really compliments the salad.
The “Kimchi Rice” was warm and appetizing with the bulgogi, kimchi and eggs bringing out the best of the rice. I would have however liked a bit more kimchi in the dish but no complaints.
I had never tried “Ceviche” before so I didn’t know what to expect. Originating in Peru, it is fresh raw fish seasoned with citrus juices and served with chillies and onions. There is nothing fishy about this dish since the citruses help mask that flavour. This was a new experience and I quite enjoyed it.
The ‘Baos” are tiny and would easily fit in the palm of my hand or less. The “Karaage Chic Bao” comes packed with a crispy chicken tender drizzled in harrisa mayo and stuffed with yuzu slaw. The bao was super soft and really mashed well with the crispy chicken and mayo. This ended in two bites and so did Ahmed’s “The Hotdog”. Ahmed had also ordered the “Take a Bao” (SR. 21) which we had completely forgotten about and this too disappeared from our plates in record time.
The “Prawnshee” was a good choice with the prawns poached in butter and served with grilled pineapple, jalapeno salsa and lemon mayo. The mix of sweet and sour components really went well with the prawns and the taco really held them well (zero drip). Ahmed’s had the “Steak Taco” and I will let him comment on his experience with “BACO”.
The “Asian Fries” had to be the highlight of our meal and I absolutely pounced on them. The fries were topped with braised brisket and drizzled in this heavenly hoisin hollandaise that had this buttery texture and really enhanced the taste of the beef and the fries. It was sweet and savoury at the same time and this has to be my new favourite version of fries.
The Desserts weren’t top notch with the “Coconut Galore” (SR. 23) having minimal traces of coconut and the rice half cooked. We brought this to their attention and they quickly replaced our dessert with “French Toast” (SR. 29) which we weren’t charged for.
Absolutely enjoyed my time at “BACO” and many thanks to Ahmed Darwish for recommending this place. You can follow him at @thefoodies.sa for the best joints in the city of Jeddah.