As our final exit from Saudi gets closer we are trying to squeeze in as much as possible, making the most of our last couple of weeks here. Last night I got to try one of the amazing new restaurants just opened in Khobar, The Pantry @thepantryksa. The wonderful Abeer of @sprinklez_ (best cakes ever!) messaged to invite me there and I am so glad she did!
When you pull up to The Pantry, it already feels different to lots of places around and definitely a very different vibe to the Khobar of a few years ago. The street outside is busy; full of cars pulling up, friends greeting each other, staff welcoming the diners. The restaurant is also open, with walls of glass. This is rare still in Saudi, as it is still fairly usual here for places to be split into Single (men only) and Family (women and mixed groups). Many places which have got rid of these sections are still fairly closed off for privacy. The glass and openness of The Pantry definitely adds to it’s modern, chilled out, party atmosphere. The décor is beautiful and very instagrammable, but also well thought out, with a bar area, an open kitchen and a mix of table layouts. The high ceilings and lightings really make it a gorgeous space to spend time in.
As the restaurant was Abeer’s recommendation I wanted her to suggest what she liked, which was a great call as she chose awesome stuff. The Pantry’s drinks options are fresh and delicious. Lots of juices and fruit cocktail options, plus a great version of my favourite Lemon Mint. We had the calamari, which was perfectly crunchy and came in a huge basket portion with a moreish dip.
We ordered the beetroot, feta and quinoa salad (amazing) and the slow cooked lamb shoulder with white beans and sweet potatoes (sooo delicious). Finally, although stuffed to bursting, we had to squeeze in the date cake with honeycomb and ice cream! The food here feels fresh and the ingredients taste like good quality, with no unnecessary sauces or fiddly bits, just deliciousness. The presentation is fun but not gimmicky or over thought. Even as I was trying to cram in one more mouthful of honeycomb, dishes were going past to other tables that looked and smelt so good. Their grilled cheese and burgers definitely look worth a try. Someone go order one and tell me what it’s like!
It was a lovely evening, with great food and company and I would definitely recommend everyone goes and checks this place out.