Review: Riyadh Italian restaurant Bal’harm brings regional specialities to the heart of the city

Bal'harm Riyadh Italian restaurant

Imagine the joy of biting into a perfectly crisp montenara, bursting with flavors of ripe tomato, melted mozzarella, and a hint of fragrant basil – the ultimate Neapolitan indulgence.

Or picture slicing through a beautifully plated melanzane alla parmigiana, each layer of eggplant and rich tomato sauce revealing the traditional charms of Sicily.

Traditionally, finding such authentic flavors would have required a journey across continents – but now Bal’harm, a new Italian restaurant in the heart of the As Sulimaniyah district, is bringing Italy’s rich culinary heritage to the heart of Riyadh.

Inspired by the diverse culinary regions of Bel Paese, the menu is a tour de force, taking diners on a ride from the sun-soaked shores of Naples to the bustling backstreets of Rome, tiramisu in hand.

Bal'harm Riyadh Italian restaurant

The cacio e pepe is a must-order. The spaghetti is perfectly al dente, with each strand bathed in an unassuming yet intensely flavorful mix of pecorino cheese and black pepper. It’s this simplicity that allows the pasta’s quality and freshness to truly shine.

Similarly, the montenara, while arguably less puffy than the Neapolitans might make, is an experience in itself. The light, crispy dough perfectly carries the balance of mozzarella and basil – a true testament to the skills of the chefs in the kitchen.

Then, there’s Bal’harm’s wild card – the Ravioli Di Cammello. An ingenious cobination of local and Italian cuisine, this dish pairs fresh homemade ravioli with succulent, slow-cooked camel meat. The result is a melody of flavors that stays true to the heart of Saudi Arabia while paying homage to Italian tradition. It’s an adventurous choice, but one that pays off and leaves you craving more.

As you’re enjoying the authentic cuisine, take a moment to sit back and enjoy the restaurant’s ambiance. The interiors at Bal’harm are both chic and inviting, with black marble tables and large, bright windows creating an atmosphere that’s both classy and comfortable.

Bal'harm Riyadh Italian restaurant

Add to this the soft, nostalgic strains of classic Italian melodies, and you would be forgiven for forgetting you’re not dining in a trendy trattoria in Rome.

Frequent jazz nights accompanied by themed set menus only enhance the allure of Bal’harm. It’s not just dinner, it’s an event – an evening that promises fine dining, artful presentation, and live music, making each visit a memorable experience.

It’s often said that when you’re in Rome, you should do as the Romans do. But when in Riyadh, you should instead make it a point to savor the captivating culinary tour of Italy that Bal’harm offers.

This is more than just a meal, it’s an experience – one that marries tradition and culinary innovation, and serves it up with a side of charm. And the best part? No passport needed.