Intentionally we planned on visiting one of the newer Restaurants in Jeddah, which recently opened its doors. Unfortunately that particular Restaurant was for Families only, which we only found out upon entering, as it was not mentioned outside, nor on their webpage or facebook page. So we had to quickly find another place, which hasn’t been reviewed yet or anyone of us has been before, try to find that one in Jeddah, in a city where Restaurants are everywhere. We drove to ??? Square and yet another restaurant being closed which we have thought of visiting. We finally all agreed to have Chinese for today’s dinner and walk toward s Durrat al China. It is nestled in the corner of ??? square and brightly lit from the inside it looked very welcoming.
We were greeted friendly by one of the waiters and shown to the dining area, one could immediately notice that the interior design was a bit glamorous, with a high ceiling, kind of atrium like and big chandeliers. We were the only guests in the single section and chose a round table. Each of their table has a spinning disk in the center, so that is quite an advantage in a Chinese restaurant, since all is supposed to be served on platters and makes it easy to share.
The Menu was extensive and boosted a wide variety of appetizers, soups, noodles and rice to chicken, beef, fish and seafood dishes. After browsing the menu we noted that most dishes only vary with the meat but the sauce remained the same. We were looking for a particular dish, fried rice with pineapples, couldn’t find it in the menu and asked if it’s possible to get this special order prepared. Unfortunately that was not possible, here I would have appreciated if the waiter would have asked in the kitchen or checked with his supervisor, so to satisfy our request. Anyhow, we decided on steamed prawn dumplings, hot and sour soup, want ton soup, mixed fried rice, stir fried noodles with shrimps, sesame chicken, Szechuan beef and pineapple prawns. Some of the beverages were not available and the only choice on fresh juices was orange, a small let down here as most other restaurants have a bigger selection on fresh drinks, so two hot mugs of jasmine tea, one Lipton ice tea and a big bottle of water made our order complete.
We were all served a small cup of mixed crudities marinated in vinegar which gave the start of our dinner a nice touch. At first the steamed prawn dumplings arrived in a big bamboo basket, there were six pieces and it would have been too much for one person, for the three f us it was just perfect. The dumpling was well prepared, and stuffed with minced prawns and vegetables, together with one of the three dips (Chilly oil, chili sauce and sweet sauce) they tasted very good. The wanton soup came soon after and was well seasoned, not bland at all and with wantons, which looked more like Italian tortellini, and pieces of prawns which I enjoyed as well. My friends Hot and sour soup was according to him also very good and for a good change not so sticky and with loads of veggetable juliennes.
When our mains arrived we had them all placed in the center on the disk, so we could easily share them all. The presentation could have had some more garnishing in my opinion. The Sesame chicken came additionally with peas in the sauce, which was not as the picture from the menu, the Fried rice was a big portion, the beef already looked delicious on the plate same for the prawns with pineapple and the noodles. Soon after trying I found that the prawns were rather bland in taste and it didn’t have a tangy flavor, which you would expect when having something with pineapple. The beef was fried and coated in a thick, chili paste and was not too spicy though we enjoyed it. The fried rice was prepared with basmati and a large portion; it tasted well with any of the other dishes and was great to soak up some of the sauces from our plates. The chicken with sesame and the unwanted peas in it seemed to us like it had been prepared with some kind of ketchup, as it had this distinct taste which overpowered the sesame and only left the taste of the peas. My favorite actually was the noodles with prawns, not particular Chinese, more like a Indonesian bami goreng, yet delicious.
One personal note here, there were no chop sticks or were we offered any, that should be in any better Chinese restaurant.
The Jasmine tea which we ordered was served in an interesting cup, where a compartment prevented the leaves from floating around and one could enjoy the tea, made with loose tea and not a bag, without having the leaves drinking together with the tea. A first in a restaurant, never seen those mugs before.
We were not able to finish all the dishes but clearly noted that the appetizer, the dumplings were the best of the dinner and that there is a room for improvement, especially on the seasoning for the main dishes.
We got a little lost in conversing over so many various topics that we didn’t notice how fast the time flew by, but our finished plates were not cleared, nor were we asked for a dessert or coffee by any of the staff. When asking for the bill we were brought it promptly, together with wet tissues. All in all it was SAR 306.00 for the three of us, not too expensive for a place in such area but too expensive for the entire dinner based on the food and service.
We left with mixed feelings, being not sure if we would return for a second time but probably for a quick take away, since the food was prepared quickly.Durrat China,
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