FACT Review: Maiz in Bujairi Terrace elevates Saudi Arabian cuisine

FACT Review: Maiz in Bujairi Terrace elevates Saudi Arabian cuisine



The homegrown fine dining concept has bold dreams and bolder dishes.

What does Saudi Arabian cuisine look like to you? Depending on where you’re from, it might be your grandmother’s cooking or a tourist experience in a majlis. Whatever you think you know about the Kingdom’s cuisine, think again. Maiz has opened in Bujairi Terrace, and it’s elevating Saudi cuisine.

Bujairi Terrace is a sophisticated spot, which has combined tradition and modernity to create a one-of-a-kind dining destination. Overlooking the historical At-Turaif, the whole area is a celebration of Saudi culture – a carousel with the Kingdom’s animals, anyone? 

Located inside one of the Najdi mud brick buildings, the décor draws inspiration from Saudi’s heritage. Look out for patterned woven cushions, shelves stacked with spices and palm trees on the wall. Take your pick from square tables for four and long green velvet banquettes. With indoor and outdoor seating, we’d recommend the terrace, so you can watch the atmosphere change from day to night.

Maiz Bujairi Terrace

Maiz is a homegrown fine dining concept, which uses ancient Saudi Arabian cooking methods. The menu reads like The Kingdom’s Greatest Food Hits, and brings together the best dishes from the country’s thirteen provinces. So, get ready to go on an adventure from the comfort of your maiz (aka table). 

Maiz’s menu spans soups, starters, sides, sauces and sharing plates, plus charcoal grills, mains and desserts. Best of all, it prides itself on being hyperlocal, often stating the Saudi farm that the ingredients come from. 

At Maiz, we were greeted by smiling staff who were happy to help. We began with a selection of breads, hot from the oven. Served with butter and date molasses, it even adds a local twist to the bread basket. 

Maiz Bujairi Terrace

If you choose one starter, make it Aish Bil Laham, which is basically a minced meat pie. If you like Turkish Pide, you’ll love this popular Hijaz dish. Cooked fresh to order, the spiced lamb and cherry tomatoes are encased in a crispy puff pastry. Plus, if you need an extra kick, it is served with a side of chilli sauce. 

No visit to Saudi Arabia is complete without trying the national dish: kabsa. Maiz pays homage to this foodie wonder with the Lamb Kabsa. We could smell the lamb ribs before it arrived, and it was shredded, served and oh-so succulent. It’s not often that we write home about rice, but this was aromatic in its own right, packed with spices and an eye-catching orange. Plus, it was served with pickled dates. 

Maiz Bujairi Terrace

If you’re a curious diner, we’d recommend Saleeg. For the uninitiated, the dish combines chicken and rice, but in an unexpected way. A cross between an Italian risotto and Indonesian burbur, it is a creamy concoction. 

The Arabian Gulf Tiger Shrimps are big in size and bold in flavours. Sourced from Jeddah, they are cooked on the charcoal grill. The result: a smoky taste that soaks in the cumin, ginger and lemon.

On our visit, we had the chance to chat with Sami Al Midani, the brand ambassador for Maiz. He shared: “Hospitality runs through our blood in Saudi Arabia. What we are trying to portray is our Saudi and Bedouin hospitality in an upscale manner. Saudi has always been a giant, but it was a sleeping giant and it has awoken. 

Maiz Bujairi Terrace

“I don’t see why we can’t export Maiz to London or Paris. Most people have eaten Japanese food and never been to Japan. Maiz will be that vessel for people to understand Saudi culture.”

Maiz’s menu is filled with unexpected delights, from camel to pumpkin dishes. Frankly, one visit isn’t enough. During our dinner, we spotted Saudis dining out on homegrown dishes, and heard that there was a celebrity in town. 

Our trip coincided with the Saudi Tourism brand ambassador, Lionel Messi, visiting Bujairi Terrace. The Argentinian footballer bought his family to the area, which shows just how popular it is with locals as well as tourists. 

Maiz Bujairi Terrace

Maiz has the potential to be a gamechanger when it comes to local cuisine – so go, visit. The next time you think of Saudi Arabian cuisine, you’ll think of Maiz. 

GO: Visit https://maiz.sa for more information.