Friday, December 14, 2012

Fish Fry with a Friend

I haven't had any visitors from back home since I moved to Saudi Arabia five years ago - until this past week when an old friend from my hometown of Douglas, Arizona, came to Jeddah for business.  Mike Brady has been living in Riyadh this past year on a work assignment with his company.  Mike's sister Margaret was in my class in school. 
 
My husband suggested that we take Mike out for a very typical Jeddah style meal, so we took him to an open air fish restaurant with Bedouin style seating.  Since Jeddah lies on the coastline of the Red Sea, there are many fish eateries around the city.  Some have individual dining tents or private rooms for families.  Most restaurants have a separate dining area for single men who are not accompanied by female family members. 
First we went inside to hand select the fish we wanted from today's catch.  The restaurant staff then gutted and cleaned the fish and cooked it to order.  We ordered the fish to be deep fried. 
There was a nice undersea mural painted on the outside walls of the restaurant.  
While the fish was being prepared, we went to our seating area, which consisted of red carpets and cushions.  There were no tables and chairs at this restaurant, but most seating areas did have TVs where some guys watched a soccer game.
 
Since the restaurant wasn't that crowded, we occupied an area in the far corner in the men's section away from the other diners, and I sat with my back to them.  It was great catching up with Mike while we waited for the food to come. 

The fried fish was brought to us along with big platters of three different kinds of rice, sauces, lemons and hot green chili peppers.  My husband likes to take a bite of hot chili pepper with each mouthful of food as sweat drips  down his face.
The weather was great sitting outside eating under the stars halfway around the world from where Mike and I grew up.


Next time Mike comes, we're hoping to take him out snorkeling and fishing on the Red Sea.

25 comments:

  1. How nice to have company for an excuse to go out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boy, I'll say, Gaelyn! My hubby usually just wants to stay home all the time, so it was great that he planned this evening for us. In fact, he keeps on asking when Mike is coming back because he wants to take him out on a boat next time.

      Delete
  2. I love the traditional fish eateries around Jeddah! The quality of the food is amazing and the environment makes for a very authentic Saudi experience :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Irene - We've been to a few of these fish places and I've always enjoyed it. Mike was happy because he had never been to a place like this in Riyadh and probably wouldn't have ever had the opportunity to go.

      Delete
  3. Looks like a nice evening! Although the fish looks a little gross, it probably tasted delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jeanette - The food is usually always excellent at places like this. The fried fish is amazing - crispy on the outside, tender on he inside, and spiced just right. They are experts at it.

      Delete
  4. How wonderful! Brings back memories of my time in the GCC. I lived in Dubai but spent a lot of time in SA. Enjoy your stay. I know life can be quite challenging out there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Fred - I'm glad you have good memories of your time in the GCC. Some expats I have met don't really try to embrace the culture and the lifestyle here. I think we should all try to make the most of our experiences while we are here.

      Delete
  5. Reminds me of my time in the GCC. I lived in Dubai but spent a lot of time in SA. Enjoy your stay there. I know life can be quite challenging out there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Fred - Challenging is a very descript word for it!

      Delete
  6. Thanks for taking us along to the restaurant. So different from anything I have experienced. Surprised to see the televisions in this setting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lori - I have been to places with individual tents for each dining party and those are usually equipped with TVs too. Seeing them outside in the open air and the elements though was a surprise.

      Delete
  7. How wonderful that you were able to spend time with Mike and catch up on old times and make some great new memories! I remember Mike as Margaret's "little" brother, and I'm sure Margaret will be thrilled when Mike is able to share memories of the evening spent with you and Adnan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a very special evening for us all. I could have never imagined meeting up where we did in a million years.

      Delete
  8. Susie,
    It was nice to see you looking so happy in your photo. Even the tone of your post felt happy.
    Laura

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Laura - I'm definitely trying to make the best out of living here. It's been much better for me this past year. I quit waiting for my husband to plan things or do things with me and I've started making plans on my own with or without him. It's working better for me.

      Delete
  9. Hey Nice article..by the way where is this place in jeddah?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you go out Medina Road to the north, you will begin to see a bunch of big places with ferris wheels. These are the fish places and there are some that don't have ferris wheels too, but in that same general area.

      Delete
  10. That looks delicious! How does one not get the carpet dirty though?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi djd-fr - For the meal, a plastic tablecloth is provided to spread out on the carpet. I would hope that they vacuum the carpets or beat them. They might roll them up when they close also.

      Delete
  11. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your content seem
    to be running off the screen in Safari. I'm not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I thought I'd post to let you
    know. The layout look great though! Hope you get the
    issue fixed soon. Many thanks
    My blog - thewhaleyfamily.org

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Susie,That restaurant sure is different than anything I've ever seen!
    Can
    t get over the televisions on the lawn......it sort of looks like installation art at a museum.......leaves me wondering what the artist is trying to convey? Lol :) Hugs, Chitra

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Always - Good to hear from you. I guess TVs outside are becoming more common. There are many huge screens at intersections here - I've seen them in the states too.

      Delete
  13. Fantastic Susie. PLease tell how you get up from the sitting/lying position,..... daintily?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! That's a good question. I don't know if there's a dainty way of doing it, but I prefer to get up on my knees and then stand up one leg at a time.

      Delete

I had to enable Word Verification due to spam comments - Sorry!
This is my personal blog and therefore it reflects MY personal opinions. If you don't agree with me, that's fine. But if you feel the need to let me know that you don't agree with me, you must do so in a civilized, kind and constructive manner, without namecalling or filthy language, or being rude or offensive. In other words: BE NICE, OR I WILL NOT PUBLISH YOUR COMMENT!