Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Makkah Al Mukarramah: Top 7 eateries for you to try out~~

We went to see some camels for their milk.

I had written this entry last year September 2013 when I was in Mekah on pilgrimage with hubs, and I had wanted to stick it in our Haji Travelog, but editing 40++ entries (for the 47 days we were there) takes a while, and being the perfectionist that I am--along with my teaching job, not to mention wife and motherly duties---means that its going to be a while for that blog to come out. So for now, I will stick this entry in here, as a favour to friends and readers who are there or will be going soon. Mekah really is a wonderful and special place. Be assured in your heart and soul of the Greatness of the One Creator.

Please let me know when you are going~


View from our hotel. Masjidil Haram is 200m south.

Before I begin my countdown, its imperative for you to know where we were staying, just so you know the places I am reviewing are all nearby, and you don't have to take a bus, taxi or camel to get there.

Our hotel is up the street from Gate #1: King Abdul Aziz Gate of Masjidil Haram, approximately 200 m away. The next big entrance to Masjidil Haram is King Fahd's Gate #79, which is to the left of Gate #1. The shopping malls and restaurants we regularly visit are located in buildings facing these two gates.

Click on picture to enlarge. It's worth it.

5. Felda D'Saji :: nearly Malaysian

3rd floor, Safwa Towers

I am putting this in out of loyalty to my beautiful country and my feelings of patriotism. Thank you fellow Malaysian's for always taking care of our reputation overseas: most kindest, most non-confrontational, most law-abiding people on earth. Everywhere we go, people just lurrve Malaysians. 

Enough praise, now please remember to vote wisely in the next election.

Felda D'Saji is located on the 3rd floor of Safwa Towers in the food court, and serves Malaysian food (I wouldn't say cuisine -- not when it's served in aluminium containers) obviously. The food is slightly overpriced (one container of nasi Lemak costs about SR13 ~ RM12) and tastes like it was cooked by a foreigner who has no clue what sambal ikan bilis tastes like. The mee goreng was awesome though, although I thought it tasted slightly spaghettiish. Felda Di'Saji does also serve lots of kuihs, especially in the mornings and they are very good. To be honest, in the one month we stayed there, we went to Di Saji only once or twice; we weren't missing Malaysian food that much.

But you should know where to get some when you do.

4. Tabung Haji Food :: always there for us!

Food station at our hotel. We always go last. We can't be bothered to queue.
Of course we always get extra food.
I really miss these crazy guys. They let me pick up food without my coupons because I always
forget to bring it. May Allah bless them always.

Nasi Arab, at a Sahabat Tabung Haji event. Pure awesomeness.

Tabung Haji serves us food, everyday for lunch and dinner, for free! We get chicken, fish and meat dishes, served with vegetables and rice, mineral water and a fruit. On very lucky days we get nasi arab and we love it because the beras is panjang-panjang (quality stuff). Our favourite serving is beef in soy sauce (daging masak kicap). Close to home. Lots of love. 

As Sahabat Tabung Haji, we went to visit the cooking and packaging facilities to ensure proper S.O.P and hygiene are being practiced. That was a fun day indeed, although I kept losing my husband during the tour because I couldn't recognize him in his mask. Because his best buddy in Mekah was the exact same size. 

Abang and Ustaz Iskandar weighing in at 180 kgs.

3. Pizza Al-Baith :: Best Pizza in Town 

Here it is on the menu.

I love pizza and can never go without for more than 2 weeks. I think cheese is essential for my calcium supply because milk makes me sick. Pizza warmly reminds me of my undergraduate years working at Pizza Hut and giving away free pizza to my friends and old people who called in to order. May Allah forgive me.

So of course, I dragged Mazlan for pizza and Pizza Al-Baith was the first one we tried and it turned out to be the best. The shop is located right next to Felda D'Saji on the 3rd floor of Safwa's food-court. We ordered Super Supreme. Every. Single. Time. I love it with the white garlic sauce because that reminds me of Papa John's, another catalyst of warm feelings since Papa John's helped me through countless number of exams and late nights back in the years before the millennium (Pizza Hut made me sick at the time). The garlic sauce comes in little white tubs and costs SR1 for 3. You have to point to the picture in the menu and struggle a bit in Arabic to let them know you want the dip because it comes with the chicken dishes not the pizza. Definitely worth the trouble though.

Here it is in real life. FABULOUS.

2. Sultan Restaurant :: For the best Ayam Golek~

Sultan Restaurant. Doesn't it look unattractive?
The friendly chef making briyani. A++

I so love this place although it is horribly unattractive and the eating/ordering arrangements are confusing. We went there for breakfast one day and I was won over. I would constantly bug Mazlan to take me back there, I think a total of 4 times. To make a long story short, we came back twice. So I was 50% successful and he complains I nag. I do not. I work with statistics.

The restaurant is right up the street from our hotel, about 300 m away from King Abdul Aziz's Gate. Go straight past the Safwa Towers, past an old run down hotel and its on your right, just before a small masjid. You can't miss it with the skewing chickens on display at the big window. I simply love the white (butter) rice with the roasted chicken served with fresh green cili's and onions. Simplysiti and satisfying. And with onion breath you have an excuse to slap your husband if he tries to kiss you. And give him a lecture on smoking too while you're at it.

Forgot to take picture before we ate, so here is Mazlan full!

1. Heera Restaurant :: Cheap and delicious.

This is Mazlan's favourite place ergo we eat here very very often. The customers here are crazy, they start to que even before the place opens. Mazlan can queue up to an hour to buy food at this place while I sit at the table, guarding it like a mother hen and chatting away animatedly with other pilgrims. (Heera is not a restaurant regardless of signboard, you buy food at the counter and use public tables). 

I can't find the picture with the white rice and chicken. But this is how we had it.

There are two good things about eating here: it is value for money (food is expensive in Mekah) and it is also very delicious. We go for the white rice with char-coaled chicken (we tried orange rice once and liked it less), served with bread, humus amd green cilis. One serving of food costs SR18 and it's just right for two people. We also order the egg salad and yogurt sauce to go with it when we are extra hungry. That would be the days when we drop by after maghrib and isya'. I dearly miss those days. If I could, I would turn back time and be a better eating partner to my husband. Perhaps let him sit at the table for a change while I queue. Or eat less. 

Heera is located on the 1st floor of Hilton Towers on the left part of the building. You get to it by the escalators which run outside the building. If you can't find it, find Burger King, it is right next to it. 

0. Bahar Cafe :: Unbeatable Coffee..

This is numbered at zero because we didn't eat here. We just drank coffee here, and we came almost EVERY DAY because the coffee here is mind-boggling-spectacular. We had never tasted coffee like this before in our entire lives --not even at Starbucks.. and Mazlan is 40 this year, so he's been around!

Bahar Cafe is in front of Burger King, Hilton Building, 1st floor.

A sip of this coffee will lift your spirits and make you smile at your husband regardless of your mood, its that good. And then, when he smiles back (of course he'll smile back, unless you married a monster), that's the time to put in any requests you may have, like: can we go celebrate raya in the UK next year? (this is just an example, try small requests at first). No kidding, but it will only work with this coffee. We even harassed the dude at the counter for a packet of the coffee and he--after much deliberation with his boss, I counted almost 10 minutes--sold us a packet for SR30. That one packet of coffee lasted us a month and led to many good memories in Mekah. Especially in the morning. 

His and hers. Worlds #1 coffee. BARNEY''S.

-1: House of Doughnuts :: pick some up for me please~

House of Donuts can be found everywhere in Mekah and Madinah and Jeddah

Eclairs and Donutted Ties
Various other donuts.

More donuts.

And finally, numbered at negative 1 because I am only speaking for myself here is the wonderful House of Donuts. I love doughnuts like I love flowers, and my husband obliges me every time and buys them for me. I hope he has figured out that everytime he bought me a little doughnut I love him a little bit more. And for his info there's still a lot of love left to give away. 

The doughnuts here are better than Krispy Kreme and Big Apple, maybe because they are less creamy and more cakey. I do admit they are very very sweet and probably not very good for your health, so word of precaution to everyone, please remember to read do'a every time you consume a doughnut. 

That's all the review of food in Mekah for today. Don't forget to bookmark this page for when you go to Mekah. And please be generous and make a do'a or two for myself and my family when you are there~~



  1. woit!! no "political" remarks pls.... :-)

    summation: ohh..i miss madinah/mekah so much. how i wish we could re-live all the good experiences we had there.