FACT Review: Chi Spacca is sure to appease your carnivorous cravings

FACT Review: Chi Spacca is sure to appease your carnivorous cravings



Nancy Silverton brings steakhouse sophistication to Via Riyadh.

It's all about meat, glorious meat at Chi Spacca. Inspired by Italy, born in Los Angeles and now open in Via Riyadh, the restaurant is famed for its succulent steaks. With a name that translates to "she or he who cleaves", Chi Spacca is all about prime cuts, pies and ribs.  

Led by chef and restaurateur Nancy Silverton, the original Chi Spacca can be found on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, where it quickly gained a reputation for combining urban Californian charm with the rustic flavours of Tuscany. In Via Riyadh, the restaurant features an appealing terrace where you can embark on a carnivorous adventure under the open sky.

Stepping inside, we're immediately enraptured by the rustic charm and a DJ spinning an eclectic mix of tunes. Anchored around a rustic dining room featuring an open kitchen, ornate wooden panelling, timber ceilings and elaborate brickwork, Chi Spacca stays true to its steakhouse roots.

Chi Spacca

With such a concept and expansion, does this mean compromising on ingredients? Nancy tells us: "The concept is 100 per cent market-driven. We need to pick those fresh ingredients that we know are available year-round. So here I'm finding eggplant, fennel, onions, and peppers. Most of the menu is what you'd get in Los Angeles."

Glancing at the menu, we begin our meal with the waiter's recommendation, the BLT salad. The fresh cherry tomatoes, crispy lettuce, and smoked beef bacon, perfectly complemented by the creaminess of sliced avocado were a delight. Packed with flavour, it set the benchmark for what was to come.

We also indulged in the signature Spiedini Meatball Veal. Tender and easy to enjoy, the meatballs were grilled to perfection. Served with whipped ricotta and tangy tomatoes, the dish offers an elevated take on an Italian classic.

Chi Spacca

When quizzed on whether any adaptations have been made for the Saudi market, Nancy tells FACT: "I'm not trying to do a fusion. We use coriander, cumin and Persian dry lime, but this steakhouse is rooted in Italian flavours. Our Focaccia Di Recco comes from a tiny town in Italy. It's not a yeasted focaccia. It's more of a stretched strudel filled with a very particular cheese called stracchino, which we get from a local importer. We're using Italian flour, salted capers, and anchovies from Spain."

For our main course, we indulged in an exquisite selection of steaks prepared for 28 days in the Himalayan Salt Chamber. Cooked medium-well, this was a choice we knew we wouldn't regret. On one side, the striploin boasted a juicy tenderness that left us longing for more, while the fillet mignon melted effortlessly in our mouths with every delectable bite. Paired with a generous serving of creamy mashed potatoes infused with the subtle aroma of garlic, each spoonful felt like an edible cloud.

We also tried the Whole Branzino Alla Piastra. Despite a promising look, the delicate sea bass with charred lemon lacked the flavour punch we were expecting, falling a bit flat compared to the other exceptional dishes. 

Chi Spacca

For dessert, we chose the intriguing Rosemary Olive Oil Cake. Served on a hand-painted plate featuring charismatic animal designs, the sweet treat exceeded our expectations. This light, moist sponge contained just a hint of rosemary and was topped with a surprising scoop of olive oil ice cream, offering a memorable ending to the meal.

Anchored by attentive staff who were well-informed about the menu and eager to offer recommendations, lunch at Chi Spacca was a carnivorous delight that left us fully satisfied. And despite her busy schedule, diners in Riyadh can expect to see Nancy at Chi Spacca throughout the year.

Chi Spacca joins cool culinary concepts Ferdi, Madeo, Raoul's, Scott's, Spago by Wolfgang Puck, WAGYUMAFIA and the FACT award winning Gymkhana at Via Riyadh's luxury restaurant and retail destination. Pop in to enjoy the funky West Coast vibe and the celebrated meat-centric menu.

GO: Visit https://coolinc.com.sa for reservations and more information.