This past Saturday, we went to the Mall of Arabia in Jeddah and had lunch at one of our go-to places for Yemeni food. Yemeni cuisine is quite popular in Saudi Arabia and one can find different types of restaurants from food court places to high-end restaurants that offer this cuisine.
I’ve seen “Saba” in other malls too but have never really seen a proper restaurant so I am assuming that you can only find them at food courts. Even though its a food court place, they do not compromise on quality and customer experience *at all*. In order to enhance the true Yemeni flavour they serve all items in these black clay dishes which also keeps the food warm. Everything about Saba from the way the food is presented to the way their staff is dressed, is all about the authentic Yemeni experience.
Lets talk about the food now: We ordered a traditional “fool” (basically fava beans in a light tomato sauce), “laham mugalgal” (a bone-less mutton stew infused with a strong ginger garlic flavour) and “mushakal khudar” ( potatoes and zucchini in a light tomato sauce). All three of the dishes were quite nice and each had a distinct flavour of its own. My favorite was the “fool”. It was served with a huge crispy white bread sprinkled with sesame and black seeds.
On a side note, I think this place is called “Saba” after the Kingdom of Saba from the legend of the Queen of Sheba. She is said to have belonged to the area which is now present day Yemen. It would be interesting to find how this cuisine has changed over time and what kinds of foods they ate during her time?!