FACT Review: Can Scott’s Riyadh live up to London’s legendary restaurant?

FACT Review: Can Scott’s Riyadh live up to London’s legendary restaurant?



The British seafood restaurant has opened in Via Riyadh.

Scott’s Mayfair restaurant sounds like the setting for a detective film. Not only did the author and intelligence officer, Ian Fleming, feature it in his James Bond novels as the spy’s favourite restaurant, but he himself used it as a location to lure German secrets during the Second World War. Now, the world-renowned restaurant has made its debut in Saudi Arabia and opened in Via Riyadh.

Scott’s in London boasts a fascinating heritage. In 1851, the concept started as an oyster warehouse by the fishmonger, John Scott. The brand evolved into Scott’s Oyster Rooms and a seafood restaurant. In 1967, it moved to its current site on Mount Street, Mayfair, and is famous for its fine dining British fish and shellfish dishes, and A-list clientele. 

Scott’s Riyadh

Scott’s Riyadh brings to life a British style and sensibility. The restaurant pays homage to the OG, and feels like a cross between a gentleman’s club and a library. The décor includes light to dark wooden floors, tables and walls, burgundy as well as teal chairs, soft lighting and white tablecloths. The service is professional without being pretentious, and the staff present each of those gold logo plates with a smile. 

Scott’s Riyadh’s menu is an ode to seafood. The menu spans oysters, caviar, shellfish, raw, starters, mains, lobster, meat, sides and dessert. For starters, we were served four jumbo sized Grilled Sea Prawns, which have a kick from the chilli jam and green papaya salad. The Yellowtail Sashimi was a pretty plate – the delicate slices were soaked in pickled cucumber, miso and sesame. 

Scott's Riyadh

The main Australian Wagyu Steak Striploin was crispy on the outside and oh-so soft on the inside. The meat was served with a mushroom and a wasabi dressing, but we would have preferred a more traditional sauce. The Chilean Sea Bass was a delicious delight, as the flaky finish absorbed the gyoza, mushroom and dashi sauce. Plus, we were served a side of freshly Steamed Spinach and creamy Mashed Potatoes.

The Paris Brest dessert will hit your sweet spot. The two pieces of pastry are filled with pistachio ice cream and Chantilly cream. And, just when you thought it couldn’t get any sweeter, it is topped with gold flakes and chocolate sauce. 

Scott's Riyadh

Scott’s Riyadh’s drinks menu includes marvellous mocktails. The signature drinks are the Bellinis, which are served in glasses decorated with colours reflecting the ingredients. So, the Moroccan Mint and Passionfruit Bellini comes in green, and the Pineapple and Lemongrass Bellini comes in yellow.

A special mention has to be given to Scott’s Riyadh’s toilets. The creators have injected British (toilet) humour into the design. In a nod to its seafood past, the corridor includes white sea shell shapes in the walls, and the room feels like an aquarium. 

On our visit, Scott’s Riyadh welcomed a mix of locals, expats and tourists. The venue served as a setting for date nights and business meetings. If the original restaurant, which attracted guests from US President Bill Clinton to American actor Tom Cruise, is anything to go by, it won’t be long till Scott’s Riyadh is the talk of the town.

Scott’s Riyadh: you’ll be shaken and stirred.

GO: Follow @scotts.saudi on Instagram for more information.