There is, sadly, a lack of feasible breakfast spots in Riyadh that aren’t on Tahlia St. Actually, there’s a lack of good restaurants in general everywhere else that isn’t Tahlia, which is okay until you remember the traffic that swamps the street during the weekend and wish restaurant owners would start opening their businesses somewhere else, dammit.
Which is why we were very happy Godiva and Caffe Bene opened up in Takhassusi Street! YAY WAFFLES AND CHOCOLATE. We’d tried Caffe Bene in Riyadh Gallery and loved it, and Godiva’s chocolixir is one of our favorite things on this planet, period. But Godiva’s cafe was closed temporarily (anyone know why?) so we opted to try out Caffe Bene this weekend for breakfast instead.
To begin with, the decor is gorgeous. It’s what we’d love to live in if they ever make loft apartments in Riyadh.
We’d already tried the liege waffles (there’s a difference between liege and belgian waffles, btw, something we found out recently) in their side cafe in Riyadh Gallery before and positively loved them, so that was in the order. We had also tried the giant bread slices topped with either cheese or caramel and found them a little dry, unfortunately, so we skipped them here. A strawberry bingsu (this giant bowl of ice cream, strawberry, and crushed ice), a misugaru (five grain drink the waiter had told me was korean milk tea which turned out to not be related to tea at all), and a cafe latte rounded out the order. (It was a very light breakfast.)
The waffles were a disappointment. It wasn’t that they were bad, they were okay, they just weren’t satisfying at all. The bingsu is recommended, it’s different and rather enjoyable to eat. Mum reports her cafe latte was nice, and we wish we’d tried out the rest of the pastries on display, they look good. The service was deplorable, although I think that’s because they’d just opened so hopefully they’ll improve (a lot. Please improve a lot, guy who took our order when there was no one else in the entire freaking restaurant but us and still managed to give us our order late.)
Overall consensus? Great place if you want to relax in a coffee shop. The view is nice, the family area’s very well lit, and the options available are good. If they fix the quality of their waffles it could easily be our traditional haunt.