One thing that is hard to find in Jeddah is inexpensive food that is prepared quickly and is also healthy. Most ‘fast’ food options are pretty greasy. So for that reason, Sayadiyah Express deserves praise. It is my favorite mall eatery, hands down.
Sayadiyah has locations in three food courts: Andalus Mall, Roshan Mall and Sultan Mall. I have been to all, but mainly visit the one in Sultan. As an aside, I would vote Sultan Mall as the best mall food court in the city. With Sayadiyah, Al Baik, a stand that serves koshari, Hanviv Brazilian, it has an assortment of great choices. Plus it’s always easy to find a seat (which can be impossible at Red Sea Mall).
Back to Sayadiyah, the concept is simple and is based on the popular seafood dish of the same name. There are six variations served, each is made with a good-sized piece of tasty white fish and cooked in a different sauce. When you first see the operation, it looks like Sayadiyah may fall into the trap of every dish tasting the same. However, this is not the case. The Coriander Fish is tart and tangy from the lemon and vinegar. The Lebanese Harra Fish kicks up heat with a spicy tomato-based sauce that is my personal favorite on the menu. The Spicy Fish is a bit of a misnomer since it’s less spicy than the Harra – in fact, it has a very nice garlic sauce with just a touch of spiciness.
Sayadiyah also makes a few shrimp and calamari entrees, though the fish outshines everything else. And of course, this would not be Saudi Arabia unless something on the menu was fried, so there are a handful of fried options for those who are OK missing out on the delicious sauces described above.
There is also a cream-based fish soup on the menu, which resembles chowder. Unfortunately the soup is a bit bland, but if you crumble the crisp fried bread they serve with it and put it in your soup, then squeeze in two pieces of lemon and a half packet of salt, it makes a good appetizer.
There is a limited selection of sides, but you really don’t need them anyways. The Sayadiyah rice is a nice option rather than plain white rice, and it is not greasy. No desserts are served but that works out perfectly because you are in the mall, and of course you were going to go to Baskin Robbins anyways.
So overall, two thumbs up for Sayadiyah. It’s not just a ‘safe bet’ when you find yourself at the mall, it’s actually a reason to go!Read more