Hot Stone Pizza, Pasta, and Sandwich

Hot Stone is still undergoing its “soft” opening.  We went at about 5:30 pm and there was only one other table occupied in the restaurant.  The interior was clean, well maintained, and had a pleasant family atmosphere.

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We sat upstairs, where the new, well-padded and CLEAN play area is located. Some ladies have already walked on the padded floors with their high heels, though, so some holes have been poked into the floor.

We were quite happy with our pizza choices.  We ordered Pepperoni, Steak, and Teriyaki Chicken pizzas.  I found them all to be quite tasty.  We also ordered a Caesar salad. It was good, but I found the dressing a bit spicy.  They do not have a children’s menu available, so children will need to share whatever you order.

They also have a party room, so this would be another great venue for hosting a younger child’s birthday party (2-6 yrs only).  I am already considering it for my daughter’s party next year.

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LOCATION:  Across the street from Al-Shantae Souq (next door to McDonalds)

HOURS:  Daily from 12:30pm to 1:00am

PHONE:  (012) 639-7177

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Pizza Express

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Pizza Express in Thalia is a fantastic, fun, family restaurant.  My daughter loves coming here, because she gets to make her own pizza.  They have a chef working with the kids to help them as needed, but she has a great time creating her own pizza each time we go.

I also love the adult menu.  All the pizzas are made with fresh veggies (not canned), and I love their crisp, thin crust.  They have everything from your standard pepperoni pizza to the Emilia with olive oil, garlic, rocket, goat cheese, parmesan, and a squeeze of lemon.  Will be returning again soon:)

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LOCATION:  Le Mall, Thaliya Street (same area as PF Changs and Cheesecake Factory)

PHONE: unknown

HOURS:  11 am during the week, unsure about Fridays.

Young Chefs Academy – Jeddah KSA

(Updated August 24, 2017)

The Young Chefs Academy offers  a variety of classes, based on the age of the child.  They offer a parent/tot class for kids around 18 months old and a variety of classes for children up to 12 years old.  They can also be booked for birthday parties. (contact info below)

I recently attended an afternoon class at Young Chefs Academy with my 4-year-old daughter.  We arrived early and paid the 150SAR fee for the class that was to last 2 hours.  The children were escorted upstairs where they were sat at a table, and their lesson began.  The children cooked, colored, decorated a chef’s hat, and decorated their “take home” box.

I found the facility to be clean and well-organized.  My daughter enjoyed her time and made a chocolate chip cookie sandwich filled with Nutella.  My biggest complaint or concern was that we were told that the class would be offered in English and Arabic. This was not really the case.  The Arabic-speaking teacher talked a lot to the Arabic kids, but the Fillipina assistant just gave basic information to our English-speaking children.  I was also disappointed in the amount of cookie that each child got to bring home.  Each child was given a single serving and that was it.  For 150SAR, I expected it to take home at least 4-6 cookies.  Overall, it was a nice experience but for 150SAR per class, this will be something I do only occasionally.

BIRTHDAY PARTIES (3 packages available):
Package A (140SAR per child):  

*10-15 kids
*20 Balloons
*YCA Private Party Host
*Free Invitations/Maps
*Chef Hat decorating station
*Cupcake decorating
*Dates/Arabic Coffee (for Parents)
*Goodie bay with recipe cards and chef hat
*Preparation of Italian, Mexican or American dish
(Note:  additional kids will be 120 SAR per child)

Package B (160SAR per child):
*10-15 Children
*30 Balloons
*One extra activity
*One give away
*YCA Private Party Host
*Free Invitations/Maps
*Chef Hat decorating station
*Cupcake decorating
*Dates/Arabic Coffee (for Parents)
*Goodie bay with recipe cards and chef hat
*Preparation of Italian, Mexican or American dish+ 150SAR if you want photography
(Note:  additional kids will be 140SAR per child)

Package C (200SAR per child):
*30 Balloons
*2 Extra Activities
*2 Giveaways
*YCA Private Party Host
*Free Invitations/Maps
*Chef Hat decorating station
*Cupcake decorating
*Dates/Arabic Coffee (for Parents)
*Goodie bay with recipe cards and chef hat
*Preparation of Italian, Mexican or American dish
+ 150SAR if you want photography
(Note:  additional kids will be 175SAR per Child)

Meal choices:  during the party your child and their guests will learn to prepare an Italian dish (fresh pasta dish or pizza), Mexican food (enchilada’s or soft tacos), or an American meal ( grilled burgers will zucchini Fries).

Extra Activities: in the packages above you are also given the choice of preparing one/two extra dishes with package B and C.  Your choice for those dishes are:  Chicken Salad Nicoise, Oreo Truffles, Fruit Dippers, Lemonade Stand, or Wooden Spoon Decoration

LOCATION:  They have two locations.  One is near Red Sea Mall and the other is located at Villa No. 3209, Abdullah Abdul Jabbar Street, off Al Malik Road (next to Al Nakheel Park)

PHONE:  02-206-3377 (office) or 053-244-4025 (mobile)

EMAIL:  dalal@youngchefsacademy.com

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/YoungChefsAcademySaudiArabia

WEB:  www.YoungChefsAcademy.com

Thalia Shopping Center

Thalia Shopping Center is a small mall on Thalia Street.  My favorite thing about this mall is they have cars/buggies to rent when you enter.  The small buggies rent for 50SAR/hour or 20SAR/half hour.  The large buggies are 50SAR/hour or 25SAR/half hour.  They have a play center called Imagine Land. To see my review of Imagine Land, please click the link: http://wp.me/p5aXk2-x  My greatest complaint about this shopping center is that there were a lot of people smoking inside the mall.

The following shops are available for children’s clothing, accessories, shoes, etc..:

Bambina J. Dan (formal/fancy girls dresses)

H & M (clothing)

Claire’s (accessories)

Payless Shoe Source

Geox (shoes)

Imagine Land in Tahlia Shopping Center

Imagine Land is a children’s play center located inside Thalia Shopping Center.  It is a typical play center where a card is loaded with an amount of your choosing, and the price of each ride is deducted from your total credit upon entry.

In Imagine Land, the rides range in price from 5-8SAR per ride/per child.  They feature a selection of arcade games, The Toy Wagons, a 5-D Theatre, a soft play area with ball guns and a trampoline cage.  My personal favorite is the trampoline cage, because children are allowed to jump for approximately 30 minutes when entry is purchased.  The soft-play area is well-padded, but the padding is in a bad state of repair.  Another nice feature that some mums might appreciate, is only women operate the rides here.

They do offer a party room, but I was unable to gain more information on it, as the staff have very limited English (Arabic only).

The bathroom in the facility is nice and large, but they do not offer any changing tables for babies.  The do, however, offer a private room with a long bench that could be used for changing or possibly breast feeding.

The minimum cost of a playing card is 50SAR.  As with all play centers the more you spend, the better the “deal”.  If you buy a 100SAR card you get 130SAR in credit, 200SAR gives you 300SAR in credit, 300SAR gives you 500SAR credit, and if you spend 500SAR you get 1000SAR credit.

LOCATION:  Thalia Shopping Center on Thalia Street

PHONE: unknown

HOURS:  Based on my personal experience all rides are opened by 2:30-3pm.  I am not sure if they have morning hours or not.

On The Border

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On The Border is a family friendly restaurant in Jeddah.  This American chain features a “Tex Mex” menu.  Patrons can expect foods such as tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and fajitas.  The portion size is outstanding and you will not leave hungry.  They also offer a full children’s menu where all meals are 20SAR including a drink and dessert.  Kids will love eating at On The Border, because they do have a play area.

The play area is in average condition.  Some of the padding is coming off in places and I wouldn’t rate it as the cleanest play area—just make sure your kids wash their hands before eating.  The best thing about the play area–it is FREE when you are eating at the restaurant.

We recently held my daughter’s birthday party at On The Border and I was very happy with the meal sections, play area, service and of course the bill (very affordable venue)!  For our party we had each child choose their meal and drink.  While everything was cooking, the kids played.  For the adults we ordered several of their sampler appetizer plates and allowed adults to order beverages of their choice.

On The Border does take reservations for parties and they do have private a designated “party room”.  However, this room is not available to reserve on the weekends, so if you want a weekend party, I recommend you speak with a manager and tell them your plans and the number of people you anticipate coming.  They were wonderful in having our tables pre-arranged when we arrived the day of our Friday afternoon party.

LOCATION:  Al-Andalus Street across the highway for the American Consulate and next door to Fuddruckers and Harley Davidson Motorcycles.

PHONE:  012 664 1359

HOURS:  Saturday – Thursday 11am – 1am AND Friday 130pm – 1am

Billy Beez Play Center

Billy Beez is a large and colorful rainforest-themed play center. Children can spend hours on the slides, climbing tubes, basketball and soccer sports courts, trampolines, climbing wall, toddler play area and ballistics arena. We visited twice, and after two hours, both of our kids were loath to leave.

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There is a long bench where parents can rest while the children play. The place wasn’t busy when we visited, but I can imagine this seating area fills up quickly in the evenings. We felt free to relax and didn’t worry about the children being out of sight. All play structures are well padded and well-maintained, with supervising staff positioned throughout the center. The rules and age restrictions for each play structure are prominently displayed, in case there is any doubt about whether your child should be permitted. Though there were empty chip bags and chocolate bar wrappers in the play structures, there was no visible dirt. Kids are germy creatures, however, so I would recommend multiple applications of hand sanitizer during your child’s visit.

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The bathrooms were tidy when we visited, but there were no baby change tables, toilet paper or paper towels to be found. If anyone gets hungry or thirsty, the café can serve your needs. Children’s combos come with a sandwich, chips and a drink for 15 SAR. Adult sandwiches cost between 15 and 22SAR and salads are available from 9 to 19SAR. You can also choose from a variety of coffees, cold drinks, muffins, candy and chocolate bars. There are a few stools and a counter along the wall where you can enjoy your selections. Communication may be tricky for some expats, as the staff are predominantly not English-speakers. If you just want to play, and don’t have any questions, you will be alright. Birthday rooms are available, the fee is 90 SAR per child with a 20 child minimum.  We recommend calling after 4pm if you need and English speaker.

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Location: Haifaa Mall, Gate 5 Phone Number: 0122840968 Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 10:30am-11:30pm, Thursday 10am-12am, Friday 3pm-12am, Saturday 10am-12am Entry Fee: Weekdays 55SAR per child, Weekends and Holidays 65SAR per child and 35SAR per adult

Do you have an idea for our next post? Drop us a line at jeddahforkids@gmail.com