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The only Aegean restaurant in Riyadh, Azur offers great food and an electric vibe
Since opening its doors in January 2017, the five-star Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya has been making waves in the Saudi capital. Located in the prestigious downtown area, the property is fast becoming the place to stay and dine, for those visiting or living in the city.
The hotel is located within the Al Suwailem Tower, an iconic 28-storey tower with a concave curtain-wall façade. The business and leisure hotel is a striking architectural addition to the Olaya skyline close to Tahlia Street and Mousa Al Nasir Street. Its prime location off the King Fahad Expressway makes for easy parking and a great location to stay and to visit its outlets.
The property recently celebrated the inauguration of its Azure restaurant, a unique blend of Greek and Turkish cuisine reflecting the gastronomic heritage of the two countries, sourcing authentic ingredients both locally and internationally with fine flavours reflecting the rich multifaceted cultures that border the Aegean Sea.
Azure is a fusion of the rich and diverse cuisine available within the Aegean Sea located between the Greek and Anatolian peninsulas between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey with Mediterranean and Arab influences.
It is the only restaurant in Riyadh providing an authentic Aegean dining experience. Azure reflects its contemporary international style and the theme of azure blue resonates throughout the restaurant. On the hotel’s first floor, when one enters Azure, there is a cosy ante-room or meeting room to chat with friends with three corner sofas and high tables in a contemporary and warm setting. This could be anywhere in the world and is decidedly chic and sophisticated.
Azure replicates the dynamic style of an Aegean family restaurant and kitchen with animation, great food and an electric atmosphere such as one might find on Greek or Turkish islands. The open-plan kitchen including a wood-burning stove is surrounded by tables for up to 150 guests with each area sectioned off to provide superb views overlooking downtown Olaya.
Konstantinos Arampatzis, the highly ambitious executive chef who hails from Greece, is the maestro orchestrating the gastronomic proceedings at the restaurant.
‘From the Sea’ and ‘From the Land’ defines the scope of the menu, which is contained in an embossed blue folder outlining the Aegean Sea.
Drawing inspiration from carefully sourced ingredients from the wealth of Greek and Turkish gastronomic landscapes, the menu reaches as far south as Crete and Rhodes and to the Turkish Marmara Sea and Black Sea with gastronomic delights all to be explored. Extra virgin Greek olive oil and sea salt is standard to the menu. On any day, one can be offered seafood mixed grills, squid, rock lobster and tiger prawns through to duck, chicken, tenderloin, lamb, kebab and quail. There are also delightful specials such as lamb and pistachio kofte spinach tzatziki, char-grilled fish fillet and a host of desserts including baklawa and Turkish cotton candy.
Elegant and chic, Azure is much more than a traditional family restaurant. It places paramount importance on sourcing the very best and creates authentic recipes fused with a sophistication to raise the culinary bar. More importantly, it is a signature restaurant, and a first for Riyadh.
As well as the cuisine, the warm ambience is reflected by the décor and many fine artworks in striking blues and yellows tones. The artworks display an impressive attention to detail in the interiors, designed by Ong & Ong of Singapore.
At its heart, Azure is creating gastronomic ambition reflecting taste and style inspired by the cuisine of the Aegean but with a fusion of several cultural heritages and palates. Azure aims to attract not only hotel guests but also locals and expatriates looking to dine somewhere different.
The Hyatt Regency has 261 rooms including 40 suites. There is the Sokoun Spa and Fitness Centre, the Regency Club on the 26th floor, and extensive conference and banqueting facilities providing more than 1,000 sq m of event space.
As well as Azure, there is the 56th Avenue Diner, a version of an American diner, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the elegant Tea Lounge on the ground floor.
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