FACT Review: KAYZO Riyadh

FACT Review: KAYZO Riyadh



Japanese delights in the heart of Riyadh's Diplomatic Quarter.

It was no surprise when Myazu took the number 18 spot on the MENA 50 Best Restaurants list 2023, making it the highest-ranked restaurant in Saudi Arabia. But we're going to let you into a little secret. Whereas Zuma has ROKA, Myazu also has a younger culinary sibling serving up similar dishes in a casual environment with a cheaper price point. Get ready to meet KAYZO.

Located amidst the embassies of Riyadh's buzzing Diplomatic Quarter, KAYZO stands out from the coffee shops and casual eateries in Oud Square with its sleek design and a charming terrace. Inside, the restaurant embraces Japanese minimalism with a royal blue colour palette that traverses the walls and upholstery before giving way to natural wooden table tops. Simplicity is key and the dining room is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, giving the impression of dining within a glass cube.

Kayzo Riyadh

Colourful cocktails appear from the elongated bar stretching seductively along the back of the dining room. The alluring concoctions have whimsical names such as Blue Lagoon (fresh mint tea, apple, lime juice, tamarind and passion fruit) and Melon Kauri (fresh cantaloupe, cucumber, mint, lime and peach soda). They are as pleasing as they are colourful.

KAYZO's food menu comes from the culinary team behind Myazu. It offers expected Japanese favourites such as edamame (SAR 29), Volcano Shrimp (SAR 66) and the ever-popular Japanese Chicken Sando (SAR 58). We begin with a selection of raw items which appear to be KAYZO's strength. Thin slithers of Marinated Yellowtail (SAR 75) adorned with pickled daikon, shish ponzu and bell peppers salsa help to open the palate for the onslaught of spectacular Japanese flavours, while the Marinated Beef Tataki (SAR 75) douses the protein in ginger dressing and a generous amount of truffle shavings. 

Kayzo Riyadh

Similarly, the Crispy Duck Salad (SAR 75) is a testament to texture and flavour, combining pieces of crisp duck meat with fresh watermelon, sweet soy dressing and cashew nuts for added crunch. However, the restaurant's most ordered item, the Wagyu Beef Sliders (SAR 57), don't quite hit the mark. Despite a soft bun and a generous slathering of truffle butter, the patties are under-seasoned and a touch over-cooked. The Veal Katsu (SAR 78) from the specials menu suffers a similar fate, with the meat that should be oh-so-tender coming across dry despite the beautiful aromatics of the Katsu Sauce. 

The meal is quickly redeemed with Chansan Maki (SAR 75), a winning mix of Gulf prawns, red pepper, avocado and spicy mayo, which have been rolled together to startling effect. The Kimchee Fried Rice (SAR 74) is another must-order, offering a picture-perfect plate of short ribs and Japanese rice garnished with colourful herbs and topped with a velvety egg. When all the ingredients are mixed together, the dish really comes to life. 

Kayzo Riyadh

Dessert options include Mochi (SAR 28), Date Cake (SAR 31), Warm Miso Cake (SAR 36) and Chocolate Fondant (SAR 39).

Kayzo offers contemporary interpretations of Japanese classics in a simple yet upbeat setting. If you want a taste of Myazu at a fraction of the cost, then KAYZO Riyadh should be your go-to for Japanese eats when you hit those Riyadh streets.

GO: Follow @kayzosaudi on Instagram for more information.