Monday, 10 October 2011
Dining at Durrat China, Al-Hamra, Jeddah, Review
This Thursday night as our family wondered what to have for dinner, I had a craving for Chinese and as the closest option to us was Durrat China we hurried over as it was already midnight. We went upstairs and were shown a table but we requested the corner table which is has windows on two sides. To preserve local traditions the windows are adorned with a decorative gauze curtain. We asked for the curtains to be opened so that we could take in the view. Jeddah looks like a city of golden lights. The street lights glittered, and the traffic along the street next to the restaurant and all along Al-Andalus street glimmered and you felt the city was alive and well, thriving at midnight. The Masjid Al-Anani (popularly known as the ‘Golden Mosque’) is right opposite the restaurant and its golden dome stands majestically and adds the view.
Back to the restaurant, inside the decor is elegant with great big chandeliers, and red wallpaper, and plush sofas seats, as well as normal chairs. As we were taking in the view a waiter brought us the menu. We chose 2 Thai soups, a Hot and Sour Soup, Beef with Dry Chilli Sauce, Prawn Tepayanki (Sizzler), Prawn Fried Rice and Shanghai noodles. We ordered apple cider and Pepsi as dessert, if your party includes more than 3 individuals or if you are very thirsty, I recommend their jug of ‘Saudi champagne’ cocktail. The waiter also gave us the option of whether we wanted our food very hot/spicy or not.
Once we had ordered the waiter brought us finely chopped veggies soaked in white vinegar served in individual tiny bowls. Once we were the finished the bowls were promptly taken away. Soup was served shortly after. I really enjoyed my Thai soup, they put in a generous amount of Thai ginger, as well prawns, and I felt it wards off any sign of cold or flu that you may have. The Hot and Sour soup was also well received. We asked if they had any Chinese crackers (available at certain other Chines restaurants), or something similar, but were disappointed to find they didn’t.
The mains arrived before I was even finished with my soup (but the rest of my party were), the Prawn Tepayanki the ‘sizzling’ dish was served with much fanfare and clanging of lids rounded off by the waiter exclaiming ‘Yummy!’ I suggest that if you have kids, that you definitely order and a sizzling dish because they usually taste scrumptious and the little performance entertains and entices the little ones to eat. The mains were all well received and there was silence at our table as we all devoured the meal hungrily.
My only complaint was that the prawns lacked their original prawn taste, but the sauce did compensate for that. I’m not certain as to reason, were the prawn frozen, or naturally lacking the prawn taste, I don’t know. The Shanghai noodles did not taste like an authentic Chinese recipe, but as we enjoyed it, I wouldn’t complain; whatever variation had been made was a positive one. The bill was SR350, for 3 people, I felt that on the whole it was an enjoyable meal, though just a little overpriced. Considering other restaurants in Jeddah that are much more overpriced and the food really disappoints, I was happy with my choice of Durrat China. Would I be going again? Yes.