Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Under the Sea Restaurant

I recently had the pleasure of enjoying dinner at the Under the Sea Restaurant in Jeddah.

I was part of a group of about 25 ex-pat wives and we were treated to a special buffet dinner which is available for groups only.

The Under the Sea Restaurant is aptly named. It is located on the Corniche which runs along the Red Sea and is in the below ground level of a commerical center.

Stairs in the main lobby lead down to the delightful and cozy family restaurant below.

Inside, there are 18 huge aquariums - some are fresh water and some are salt water - which are home to a large variety of colorful fish, an enormous sea turtle, and a moray eel.

In addition, another walk-over aquarium waterway runs underneath the glass floor which contains even more fish visible through the glass below.

All in all, the restaurant is home to about 500 live fish in all their aquariums.

Blue lighting intensifies the feeling of being under water.

The buffet spread was not only visually beautiful, but it tasted great as well.

There was a terrific salad bar with a variety of fresh produce, as well as gorgeous platters of hummus, stuffed grape leaves, and babaganoush.

Plenty of deliciously prepared fish and shrimp entrees and steamed crab were included in the buffet plus some Italian pasta dishes and rice.

And the stuffed crab on a shell was absolutely divine.

Special group buffets must be reserved three days in advance. Groups can range in size from 20 up to 50 people and are priced accordingly.

Here are the prices for the full buffet spread for groups: SR1800 for 20 people. SR2400 for 30 people. SR3000 for 40 people. SR3600 for 50 people.

This averages out to about SR72 - SR90 per person, which converts to about $18 - 22 US per person.

Not bad for a full all-you-can-eat seafood buffet!

Under the Sea offers a regular daytime menu from 9am - 4pm from which you can choose mostly lighter fare such as snacks, sandwiches, fresh juices and coffees.

From 4pm - 2am, the restaurant has a dinner menu and cafe service with selections ranging in price from SR20 - SR50.
A specialty of the restaurant is their tasty Cream of Seafood Soup, and another favorite is their seafood platter which is loaded with two types of shrimp, fish, calamari, rice and french fries.

Sheesha or Hookah water pipes are also available in a variety of flavors to enjoy after your meal.

Under the Sea has been in business in the Jeddah Commercial Center in the Al Hamra District right on the Corniche Road in Jeddah for nine years.

Owned and operated by Mr. Saleh Al-Samaan and his wife Sara, Under the Sea offers great tasting seafood for a great value.

If you are in Jeddah, try them out for a unique dining experience - you won't be disappointed.

For more great information on local Jeddah restaurants, w onderful resource is JeddahFood.com.


  1. Susie, that looks like a really nice place to go to and it looks as if you enjoyed yourself. Nice pictures!

  2. Oh girl that is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!

  3. What a cool place. It looks like you actually had a dining experience. These days when my family goes out to eat we try to feed the family as quickly and cheaply as we can.lol I'm not talking something as cheap and icky as macaroni and cheese with cut up hot dogs, but it is only slightly better.

    Cool pics. Love your blog.

  4. Yummm! I just ate, but I'm hungry again, lol. Was it just a get-together dinner for the ex-pat wives or was it a special event with dinner?

  5. Linda D.
    Wow, Schmoozie,
    I am envious. Wish there was a place like that around here.

    And darn it, now I'm going to get me some hummus.

    You and Adnan made some good hummus.

  6. First, let me say that I LOVE your music Susie! I've been wanting to say so for a long time. I really like how the generations are reflected in our choices, and I come over here so happy to just relax and listen.

    This restaurant looks wonderful. Is it easy to find a decent restaurant for an ex-pat?

    The only thing is~does that snake- looking fish have enough room to move in that tank? :)

    Also, I like this because it looks like the food is as good as the ambiance. We have a restaurant in Galveston owned by the Landry's guy called Rainforest Cafe. You may have seen it or heard of it. They have the most beautiful aquarium. But the food is awful, absolutely terrible. We paid $15 for a volcano chocolate cake that included real fireworks, but it tasted like rubber :)

    The baba ganoush or is that hummus (?) looks great!

    And wow, we paid about $150 at that darned Rainforest Cafe for three with tip. Your price is good! Love you!

  7. A beautiful looking restaurant and beautiful looking food! I reminds me of a couple of great places in Florida!

  8. Susie,
    This is wonderful and looks great. Now I am hungry, smile.

  9. Wow, Susie, you've made my mouth water. What a delightful place. And must have been fun to be with Ex-Pat women. Was it private enough to unveil?

  10. I was kind of thinking I would check this place out on our next trip to Jeddah. Until you mentioned one can smoke sheesha there. Hard for me to enjoy my meal if I have to suffer with others smoking sheesha!! blahh

  11. This looks like a very impressive restaurant. I was salivating just looking at all the photos. Wow!

  12. Sounds a fantastic culinary experience, with the seaworld surrounding you. And eating without burning a hole in the pocket too!! Cheers!

  13. What a wonderfully-sounding restaurant. And is that last photo hummus? Looks delicious!

  14. Thanks, Maryann - We had a marvelous time!

    Hi Yoli - I thought you would like it!

    Hi Anon - Thanks! It WAS an experience - we were there for hours...

    Hi EasternReflections - It was just a planned get together - meeting some new faces and reconnecting with others.

    Hi Anon/Linda - Maybe I'll make you some hummus this summer!

    Hi Lisa - Thanks about the music. I went through the list and tried to keep more easier to read to type music. I did have some more distracting music on there before, like Jethro Tull, Zeppelin, and the Stones, so now I have them on a separate playlist.
    Jeddah has many fine restaurants and there is a great resource: http://www.jeddahfood.com/
    where customers can write up their own reviews of their favorite restaurants.

  15. Hi Chiara - Wish I would have known about those restaurants in FL - I lived there for 15 years!

    Hi Jessie - Being on the Res Sea, there are many terrific seafood restaurants here...

    Hi Gaelyn - We were in a whole section of the restaurant just for us so some of the women uncovered their hair, and then there was one woman who wore her face veil the entire time.

    Hi Nzingha - The sheesha was in a whole separate lounge type area, so we weren't bothered by it all. It was very pleasant and your kids would love the aquariums!

    Hi Kay - I was impressed - that's why I wanted to do a write up about it!

    Hi Keats - Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I think their prices are very reasonable too.

    Hi LadyFi - Yes, the last photo is hummus - and it was as delicious as it looks in the photo!

  16. I really like the flooring of that restaurant - very neat! I would have gone crazy with the seafood - I love it, but it's kind of expensive when you live in the middle of the prairies!! I went to Alaska one year, and there was no beef or chicken to be had anywhere near my plate the whole time! I went to this salmon bake outdoor restaurant in Juneau, where they grill you freshly caught salmon, and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!! I definitely do not belong on the prairies :) Perhaps when I'm done school I will try to find a place close to the coast.

  17. That hummus platter looks amazing!
    A friend of mine has an egyptian mother and was raised in the UAE and makes THE BEST hummus I have ever tasted! All of the food looks so delish, Im glad you had a good time.
    Do you like Hookah Susie?

  18. Hi Mel - Fresh grilled salmon - yum! I hope you wind up in a place near water where you can get all the fresh seafood you want!!

    Hi Chanelle - My hubby taught me how to make hummus and it's really pretty easy - even for me and I'm not great in the kitchen! I have been known to smoke a little hookah every now and then, but the last time I did, I overdid it and got really nauseous and light-headed, so I haven't had it in quite a while!

  19. My kids would love that place, how cool!

  20. that restaurant looks beautiful!! I can only imagine how yummy the food is, what a great find!

  21. Wonderful place! It reminds me of some Chinese restaurants in NYC where you can pick your meal from a fish tank!

  22. Nice place and nice pics.

    Hope u enjoyed ur menu.


  23. what a fun place to go...the food looks yummy