October 1, 2014

Yokari : Affinity between Modern & Traditional Japanese Cuisine


.in Japanese means 'Affinity' .... this cultural affinity that brings together the historic Japan and modern Japan.. Perhaps that's why Yokari was named as such.
As it is clearly reflected in the meals served,  there is a lot of affinity in the type of cuisine offered.  You can taste the modern western flavors infused together with the Japanese traditional ones. Expect names of plates you have never heard of, but with some familiar ingredients like Mayonnaise, eggplant and tomate! Expect to be enthralled by an experience that will touch all your senses...because you really don't know what to expect.

Ebi Karaage  spicy dried fried shrimp!

Experience Overview


This 5 months old restaurant is nestled in Riyadh's most premium mall: Centria Mall.
Notable not only for its exceptional retail outlets, Centria Mall offers gourmet dining concepts and experiences, with cuisines ranging from contemporary Asian fusion to classic French, Italian aromas, and the succulent Armenian, there is something to satisfy any and every taste bud. With delectable options such as Noodle House, Le Notre, La Vella, and Lusin and always with the perennial foot print of La Duree through a delicate boutique, Centria is fast becoming a food-lovers’ haven. The choice selection of these gourmet restaurants complements the high-end range of retail boutiques: Prada, Burberry, Fendi, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Missoni, Tods, Oscar de Larenta, Tom Ford...etc

Ease of Reservation

First, I reserved through their website! Very efficient reservation that you don't need to call!
This concept as the staff informed me is locally created concept, by Food International Co, who own Centria mall actually. It is a Fine Dining Japanese Fusion Cuisine. So expect exotic plates you have never heard of !

Ambience, focused on your food only

Let us start with their decor: Yokari exhibits simple interior decor, and minimalistic design in the chairs, tables, ceiling and walls.  There is absolutely nothing crowded that can distract you away from your food.  Plates and cutlery are really sensual that you can enjoy eating from them. Very unique...
Background calm music playing in the background while the sound of the chef and cooking from the kitchen! An Exciting open view! You can see them moving and preparing your dish with delicacy!
Yet, often interrupted from the noise in the mall (Yes...sound of women talking sometimes gets on my nerves while eating!)

Pampered Service

Staff are very welcoming, they pamper you from the moment you enter: raising the chairs for you, laying the handkerchief, and approaching in you in low, calm voices while taking your order...
Well trained, dedicated, very hospitable and friendly and most importantly professional.

Feast for your Senses

Third: the FOOD. All plates are the personal creations and touches of the chefs  (Executive Chef Masahiro,  Sous Chef Rolando , Sous Chef Alex and Pastry Chef Rahman)
You can’t find them in another restaurant.
Weird names? Yes... Fusion plates? Yes...
Expect your senses to be thrilled... a mix of sweet and salt... mix of cold and hot....mix of spice and cool! Making you feel like you are there for the food only !!!
The menu is huge... and. Some plates are tiny especially the salad... Their appetizers were good and tasty.
We ordered 12 things and all were well done and delicious...See photos below
Tried the Kaniebi or Dashi soup, Ebi Karaage, Kunseir Salad, Hishigani Rolls, Gindara, Tori, Bekuko Rools, Unagi, & Yakini !!

Live Kitchen Show

Such beautiful plates and trays

All ingredients Freshly prepared

Kunsei Salad: Salmon, eggplant, avocado, goma ponso dressing

Hishigani: California Hand Roll of Crab, Avocado, Cucumbur, tobiko, mayonnaise!

Left: Gindara ( Miso Black Code Fish, Hajlkami & Rinkon Chips ) & Right: Topi Yakimeshi (Japanese Fried rice with Chicken)
Wagyu Truffle , very exotic plate fused together from Wagyu which is a kind of beef from a domestic Japanese cattle marbled with soft fat, plus #truffle, and ponzo jelly which is a citrus based sauce.

Unagi:  Baked Eel, Sansho Leaf

" Beikoku " mikimono : maki rolls made from soft shell crab, scallion, sambal mayo, garlic and ginger..

  Their Jing tea collection is as well authentic and exotic!
  I liked the dragon tea and  Sencha but not the Gen Maicha
The Dragon Eye Flower 
Scavy & Ray : White Grape Juice 
The chef's special dessert is not to be missed ;)
I got the best moist chocolate cake I have ever had in my life....literally. Infused with mascorpone and served with cherry sorbet... And the orange marmalade is just overwhelmingly delicious...
Unforgettable taste....Plus, it was a chef's special & not in the menu ! So lucky to have ordered it!


Prepare your Wallet

Expect to pay Average Per Person: 300-350 Riyals ( around 90- 100$ ) if you would really wanna try it fully.

Brief - but not major - Negative Points:
  • Waiters couldn’t help me to choose a plate… esp if they knew I was a first time customer.
  • Menu items are all new ( exotic)، I either needed a Japanese person with me, or a really experienced Japanese lover person, or...Google.
  • No photos of the plates for new customers to see, esp it was a new restaurant and there were no reviews for it.


The restaurant succeeded in giving me this feeling that I am actually eating something new, something memorable, something really unique!! Great work done by the chef and his staff!

More Photos : 

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