Chili’s– Al-Andalus Branch

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I LOVE American Chain food restaurants and upon moving to Jeddah I was delighted to see that so many of my favorites were available here.  Over the weekend we had extended family in town and decided to give the family friendly American chain Chili’s a go.

We arrived just after Asr prayer on a Friday afternoon.  The place was packed and hopping with the great feel of a successful restaurant.  Even though they were very busy we only had to wait 3-4 minutes before we were led to our table toward the back of the restaurant.  Our table was clean and our server was quick to make sure we had enough place setting for everyone in our party (only 5 people), however that was when the speed and good service ended from our server.

After ordering we had to wait more than 20 minutes for our server to come back with our drinks.  (FAR Too long from my perspective with 15 yrs experience in the restaurant business myself) and  our food arrived about 25 minutes after ordering.  We ordered a variety of foods from taco’s, to steak, and even a burger and sandwich.  The steak was quite tasty, but both the taco’s and the chicken sandwich were rather blah, dry  and tasteless. Our server never stopped by to check on the taste of the food nor did he ever come back to offer us refills for our drinks.  We had to flag down random servers 3 different times simply to get drinks refilled.   In addition, they only cleared the dirty plates after dropping off the drinks.  Our server never came by to ask if we wanted dessert and we once again had to flag him down to get the check (15 minutes after our plates had been cleared).

Food wise Chili’s was a fail in my book–not even close the the quality or service received in America or other foreign locations I have been to (I have also tried the Roshan Mall branch with much the same experience).

Outdoor patio attached to play area
Outdoor patio attached to play area

The only redeeming thing this Chili’s offers is they have a lovely shaded outdoor patio and a nice sized shaded jungle gym for kids to play on.  I also really appreciated the fact that the Chili’s had a sign posted saying that parents must accompany their children to the playground and are NOT allowed to leave then unattended.  I happily report that from what I could determine most parents were following this rule so the playground was a safe area for kids to play while we visited.

Shaded out-door play area
Shaded out-door play area

Chili’s does not offer  birthday packages.  You can come in with your own cake and order off the regular menu with your child and guests, but they provide no extra entertainment and  do NOT have a private party room.  In my opinion, the patio would be a great venue for an early afternoon (11am) birthday party on the weekend or possibly a weekday evening party (as long as this great weather is pleasant).  They do have a great selection of food for kids.  Kids can choose:  quesadilla, pizza, grilled chicken, nuggets, beef burger, chicken burgers or Mac and Cheese.  Kids meals also include a choice of side and drink for the fantastic price of only 20 SAR.

Kids Menu
Kids Menu

If you have had a different experience at Chili’s Al-Andalus Branch please feel free to share your comments below in the comment sections.

Phone:
Al-Andalus:  012-663-2787
Roshan Mall:  012-694-6806

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Wilton Cake Decorating Certification for Girls

All of the information below is from International Community in Jeddah. Please read on to learn about a unique opportunity for the girls of Jeddah.
History
The Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionery Art is a private vocational school that has been the world leader in cake decorating education for generations. It was in 1929 that Dewey McKinley Wilton first began to teach the now-famous “Wilton Method”. The Wilton School Mission is to provide excellence in cake decorating education for technique mastery and inspiration for creative expression by school graduates.
The Wilton Method objectives are mastery of fundamentals and building upon this expertise with greater self-expression and creativity.

NOW OFFERED IN JEDDAH FOR YOUTH
This is an unprecedented opportunity to have your young daughter be the first batch of Wilton Graduates, Aged 10-14, in the Middle East. Unlike ever before, your daughter will have an opportunity to get certified through Wilton. Only 12 spots are available for serious, committed, young enthusiasts.

Location- Quraish St, Jeddah.

Course Details
*Full 3 Month Enrolment required
Total 4 Courses
Total 4 lessons per course
2 sessions per week (Sunday and Wednesday)
3 hrs per session
5:30pm to 8:30 pm
800 SAR per course
Total Cost 3,200 SAR per student
Course includes kit and workbook*
10% Discount on all in store products (1 year)
Certification awarded upon completion of each course (Total 4 certificates awarded)
Lifetime Certification valid through Wilton 


Course #1 Dates
March 22 (Sun)
March 25 (Wed)
March 29 (Sun)
April 1st (Wed)

Course #2 Dates
April 19 (Sun)
April 22 (Wed)
April 26 (Sun)
April 29 (Wed)

Course #3 Dates
May 17 (Sun)
May 20 (Wed)
May 24 (Sun)
May 27 (Wed)

Course #4 Dates
Will update all upon completion of Course # 3

For course registration form, please message International Community in Jeddah.

*some in store items items necessary to purchase for course 1-4.

Le Concheur Chocolate and Baking for Kids and Adults

Le Concheur is a new arrival in Jeddah. There are many plans in the works at this beautiful establishment, and we were delighted to spend some time with Kids Party Consultant, Kathy, to hear about (and taste) what’s in store.

The interior of this new space is bright and sparkling clean. The chocolate and pastry kitchens are enclosed in glass, so you can catch a glimpse of the magic behind the creation of dragers and Danish alike.

The Chocolate Lab is located on the upper level, and this is where the baking and chocolate-making classes take place. Twenty participants can be comfortably positioned around the U-shaped work area, giving everyone a clear view of the instructor. For directions at any time, little chocolatiers can look to the wall-mounted monitor at the front of the room.

We booked our chocolate class for a Saturday in the late morning. Since the downstairs seating area was full of patrons enjoying brunch, we were placed at tables on the upper level. Chicken goujons with fries and juice were provided for the children as part of the package. The moms were free to order from the menu and pay separately. Once our bellies were full, we were escorted to the chocolate lab. It was chilly in there! The temperature must be kept low to prevent the chocolate from melting, so I would recommend bringing along a sweater for your little one. The children were told some interesting factoids about chocolate, the most memorable, I think, being that chocolate is actually good for you. Next, the children were introduced to the tempering machine and watched how molds are filled. Then it was time to decorate our pre-poured chocolate dinosaurs. Each child put on their apron and gloves. They received a small cup of melted chocolate from the tempering machine to use as “chocolate glue” for affixing m&m’s to the dinosaur, finger-paint style. This was a nice opportunity for moms to work with their kids and have fun while creating something the little guys can be proud of. The chocolate masterpieces were then slipped into plastic display boxes for the long ride home. My child’s dinosaur did manage to make it to our fridge in one piece. Would yours?

Le Concheur 2
The Chocolate Lab

CHILD AND FAMILY PROGRAMS FOR CHOCOLATE AND BAKING

Classes are organized by age. Children aged 4-7 are offered a one-hour mummy & me style baking class for 100SR, which includes a chocolate treat and beverage. Little bakers will make 6 cakes from scratch and decorate them as they please.

Chocolate Classes for children aged 7-11 or 11-16 run for 1 hour and 45 minutes and include a meal from the kids menu. The classes for 7-11 year-olds are 150SR per child and the classes for kids 11-16 years old are 180SR per child.  Children will learn a bit about the history of chocolate, select a mold, and get a chance to operate the chocolate-tempering machine; a shining, chocolate-dispensing, vibrating marvel. Children won’t soon forget their turn at the helm!  Then they will decorate it using an exciting selection of toppings for the pastry kitchen.

Baking classes are also available for children 7-11 yrs and 11-16 yrs. The 7-11 classes are 150SR per child and the 11-16 classes are 180SR per child.   During the baking experience, each child will bake 6 chocolate cupcakes from a few ingredients and with then decorate them independently with a selection of toppings from the pastry kitchen.

During the family chocolate experience, the customer will have the opportunity to visit the chocolate laboratory and then decorate a pre-made chocolate creation of their choice.

Le Conchour offers additional seating on the upper level for private functions, including children’s birthday parties. Birthday parties are available for a maximum of 20 children. The little party-goers are treated to a chocolate-making class and a meal. The fee for groups of 10-15 children is 130SR per child. For groups of 16-20 children, the fee is 150SR per child. Parents are welcome to bring their own entertainers and birthday cake to the party room.

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Party Room

Kids’ classes are available on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.  To book a reservation, stop by the shop and fill out the booking reservation form.  In the near future, you will be able to view their schedules and sign up for classes online.

Other edible offerings available from Le Concheur include bread made to order, jam, chocolate-nut spread, boxed chocolates, cakes and pastries. There is of course, a full eat-in menu as well, making this children’s fun spot a good place to fill your belly as well. The menu changes according to customer preferences, so there is always something new to enjoy.

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Fees

Children’ Classes:
Ages 4-7: 100 SR for 1 hour baking class. Includes beverage & chocolate.
Ages 7-11: 150SR for 1h 45min baking or chocolate class*
Ages 11-16: 180SR for 1h 45min baking or chocolate class*
*Includes meal

Birthday Parties:
10-15 Children: 130SR per child*
16-20 children: 150SR per child*
*Includes meal and chocolate class

Ladies Chocolate-Making or Baking Classes:
180SR for 1h 45min class

Adult 2 Day Chocolate and Baking Class:
Day/Level 1:
 Adults students will obtain a technical understanding of chocolate and what makes a good chocolate, the tempering of chocolate, making of basic fillings like ganache and caramel, hand dipping of framed chocolates, and and hand moulding skills.
Day/Level 2:  Adult students will continue to build in previous acquired skills, learn about multilayered chocolates, different flared ganaches and other fillings, create other products with chocolate, and decorating techniques.

Fee:  2500 SR per level of program

Location: Intersection of Amir Sultan Road and Kayyal Street

Phone Number: 050 221 2211, 055 681 3647

Hours of Operation:
Saturday to Thursday:  8am to 11pm
Friday:  130pm to 12am

FacebookLe Concheur

Website: http://www.leconcheur.com

Kids’ Music Lessons in Jeddah

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(UPDATED:  November 4, 2017)

Most school-age kid’s schedule are loaded with fun activities. If you’re on the fence about adding music classes to the list, take note of the benefits that come with signing your little one up for  lessons. Your child might not be the next Beethoven, but  may have an easier time learning math, practicing good manners, having patience, and becoming a team player.

It improves academic skills.

Music and math are highly intertwined. By understanding beat, rhythm, and scales, children are learning how to divide, create fractions, and recognize patterns.  Music wires a child’s brain to help them better understand other areas of math,  they’ll start reciting songs, calling on their short-term memory and eventually their long-term memory. Musical instrument classes also introduce young children to basic physics. As an example, plucking the strings on a guitar or violin teaches children about harmonic and sympathetic vibrations.

It develops physical skills.

Certain instruments, such as percussion, help children develop coordination and motor skills; they require movement of the hands, arms, and feet. This type of instrument is great for high-energy kids.   String and keyboard instruments, like the violin and piano, demand different actions from your right and left hands simultaneously. These instruments not only help develop ambidexterity, but they can also encourage children to become comfortable in naturally uncomfortable positions. Enhancing coordination and perfecting timing can prepare children for other hobbies, like dance and sports.

It cultivates social skills.

Group classes require peer interaction and communication, which encourage teamwork, as children must collaborate to create a crescendo or an accelerando. If a child is playing his instrument too loudly or speeding up too quickly, he’ll need to adjust. It’s important for children to know and understand their individual part in a larger ensemble.

It refines discipline and patience.

Learning an instrument teaches children about delayed gratification. The violin, for example, has a steep learning curve. Before you can make a single sound, you must first learn how to hold the violin, how to hold the bow, and where to place your feet.   Playing an instrument teaches kids to persevere through hours, months, and sometimes years of practice before they reach specific goals, such as performing with a band or memorizing a solo piece.

It boosts self-esteem.

Lessons offer a forum where children can learn to accept and give constructive criticism. Turning negative feedback into positive change helps build self-confidence. Group lessons, in particular, may help children understand that nobody, including themselves or their peers, is perfect, and that everyone has room for improvement. This skill is easily transferrable to public speaking,  once a child is advanced enough, they’ll possess musical skills that will help them stand out.

It introduces children to other cultures.

By learning about and playing a variety of instruments, kids can discover how music plays a critical role in other cultures. For instance, bongos and timbales may introduce children to African and Cuban styles of music. Although the modern-day violin has roots in Italy, learning to play it exposes children to classical music popularized by German and Austrian musicians. Versatile instruments, such as the violin and piano, can accompany a wide repertoire of styles, including classical and jazz (which originated in the American South). It’s important to familiarize children with other cultures at a young age because this fosters open-mindedness about worlds and traditions beyond the ones they know.

What to Consider When Selecting an Instrument

Ultimately, the instrument you and your child choose should depend on a number of factors. Here’s a list of questions to consider before bringing home a new music maker:

  • Is your child excited about the instrument? Does she like the way it sounds and feels?
  • Is the instrument too challenging or is it not challenging enough (for both you and your child)?
  • Does your child’s temperament match the instrument?
  • Can you afford the instrument and the maintenance that comes with it?
  • As a parent, do you like the sound enough to listen to your child practice it for hours at home?
  • Is your child specifically interested in a particular music style? If so, factor that into your instrument choice, as some specifically cater to certain styles. For instance, a violin player will have a hard time fitting in a jazz ensemble.

Experts don’t always agree on which instruments are best for big kids to learn, but many music teachers do agree that it’s hard to go wrong with the piano, percussion (like the drum or xylophone), recorder, guitar, or violin.

(All of the above information was taken from the parents.com web page)

Below is a list of several music teacher available in Jeddah.  If you know of any others please let us know by leaving comment below or sending us an email at jeddahforkids@gmail.com

Guitar

Eugene Caranto
Phone:  0538763604
Available times:  Sunday-Saturday 6-10pm or Friday 8am-8pm
Rates:  please call
Location:  Near Danube on Hera Street

Ahmed Zeeshan
Phone:  053 481 7768
Location:  Al Safa
Lesson Duration: 2 hours
Rates: 200sar/lesson at teacher’s home (Al Safaa), 250 sar/lesson at student’s home
Minimum Age: 9 years old
Additional Info: Ahmed has been teaching boys and girls aged 9-18 years old over the last 2 years. He is from India and fluent in English and Urdu/Hindi.

Ali Arif
Phone: 059 901 0466
Student Age: Minimum 12 years old
Lesson Duration: 1 hour per week
Rates: 100sar per class/ 400 per month
Additional Info:
Mr. Arif has been playing guitar for ten years and has a recording studio in Pakistan.

 

Piano

Yasmin Maamoun El Shennawy
With over 17 years of experience teaching students aged 4-40 Yasmin prepares students entering piano examinations. Additionally, she is experienced  teaching children with special needs.
Location: Al Marwah District
Mobile: 0582668667
Fees: 1000 SAR/ month (once per week for 60 mins)

Faisal Alkhani
Faisal is a music and biology student from the American University of Sharjah.  He is a concert pianist with several band and solo performances and has been teaching piano and music in private sessions for 4 years now. His students range from 5 to 29 years of age.
Faisal is fluent in English and Arabic and can teach students with varrying levels of experience.  His fees average around 150-200 riyals per hour depending on how far he has to travel. For students in his home the fees are 130 per hour.

Phone:  0508500037
email:  faisalalkhani@gmail.com
Location:  Pending

Friend Zone
Phone:012-622-4344/ 012-622-4345
Location:  Al Naeem
Fees: 1 month one time a week/ 1000Sar OR 1 month two times a week/2000Sar
3 months one time a week/ 2800Sar OR 3 months two times a week/5600Sar
Day:  Monday/Wednesday

Violin/Viola

Bassam Saad
Phone: 054 257 6644
Student Age: Minimum 5 years old
Lesson Duration: 1 hour, once or twice weekly
Fee: 250 sar/lesson
Location: Andomi Compound at Madinah and Sari intersection
Additional Info:
Before lessons begin, Mr. Saad prefers to meet his students to introduce them to the instrument.
Mr. Saad has more than 32 years experience in teaching the technique of violin playing as per Russian, British and Japanese methods. He was a member of many Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, performing in Lebanon, Morocco, Tunis, Spain, France and Canada.
Students should have their own violin, music stand and shoulder rest. Books will be provided unless they have their own.

Wael Sedky

Fee:  300 he comes to you or 250 you go to him
Duration:  One hour lessons (you can choose once or twice a week)
Location:  Al Sulaimaneya District – near Carrefour.
Phone:  0533629434
Ages:  6-60 yrs
Additional Information:  Dr. Sedky is a University Prof. of Violin, Viola and Chamber Music with a Ph.D from the High School of Music in Berlin, Germany. He has also experience as a viola player in Symphony and Chamber Orchestras in Egypt and abroad.  Mr. Sedky has performed  solo and Chamber Music recitals in: Egypt, Sudan, Portugal, KSA, Azerbaijan, Austria, France, and Germany plus was the recipient of first prize in String Instruments Competition and was  the best string player in Egypt,1992.

Fuddruckers-Tahlia Branch

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Fuddruckers boasts it has the “World’s Greatest Hamburgers”.  I would agree; they are very tasty and I also appreciate that they are a super family friendly restaurant.

Shaded out door play area Fuddrucker's Tahlia Branch
Shaded out door play area Fuddrucker’s Tahlia Branch

We visited Fudd’s on a Saturday afternoon about 2pm and got in just before the “rush” .  We were sat in a bright, sunny room directly beside the door that led to the outdoor play area!  My daughter saw the play area and was out the door in a flash!  I found it to be well-maintained with a clean, padded floor.  The only bad thing was some older kids have done a bit of vandalism on the walls.  This can easily be fixed with a bit of paint (I hope they will fix soon).  Something that is very important, now that the weather is getting warmer, is that the playground offers a bit of shade from some trees and the wooden lattice-work over the playground.

Another great feature of the Tahlia branch was that the bathrooms were directly beside the play area for those emergency potty runs that we all experience with young children.  The bathroom only had one toilet that I noticed and it was in the process of being cleaned.  The women’s bathroom did offer a changing table for those who have children still in diapers.

I spoke with Raj, the Assistant Manager, about birthday parties at this location.  He said they welcome parties and only need 24 hours notice to accommodate the party.  They offer a room that you are free to decorate however you would like (however NO fireworks are allowed) and you are also allowed to bring in your own birthday cake.  Guests can choose from the regular kids’ menu.  Prices range from 21-26 SAR per kids meal and include a soft drink or bottled orange juice and a cookie.  Meal choices include burgers, hot dogs, mac and cheese, spaghetti or chicken tenders.  The only catch with having a party at Fudd’s is that they do not allow parties on the weekends, so if you want a party here, it will have to take place Sunday to Wednesday.

Store phone:  012-661-3146
Birthday party info:  050-230-1877 (Raj)
Emails:  raj.raju@afs-sa.com or fudds1.jeddah@afs-sa.com

Pediatricians in Jeddah

Many of us have seen the frantically written posts on social media, requesting help finding a pediatrician, preceded by an eye-catching “URGENT!!”.  I have personally experienced the fright that comes with not knowing where to turn when my child suddenly became ill and I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone. For these reasons, we asked the moms of Jeddah to tell us which pediatrician they trust, so we could compile the information in one place. All the doctors listed below come recommended by people who have visited them personally. We would like to offer a huge thank you to all the moms who took the time to share their doctor’s information with us.

The list has been organized by district, so you may locate the doctor closest to you. If you think your pediatrician should be added to the list, please let us know by replying below.

Al Ammariah

Hospital: Dr. Khalid Idriss Hospital (Please click here for map)
Doctor’s Name: Dr. Georgina
Phone: 012 642 3555
Email: info@kih.med.sa
Accepted Insurance Providers: Please click here for full list
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Al Aziziya

Hospital: Al Abeer Medical Group
Doctor’s Name: Dr. Saadia Irfan
Phone: 012 000 0501
Email: info@alabeergroup.com, wellwisher@alabeergroup.com
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Accepted Insurance Providers: Al Rahji Takaful, Arab Commercial Enterprises, Arabian Shield, AXA Insurance, BUPA Middle East, CARS, Globe Med Saudi, Malath Insurance, Med Gulf, Med Net, Next Care, SAICO, Sanad Cooperative

Hospital: Dr. Ghassan Ameen Ghazzawi Hospital (Click here for map)
Doctor’s Name: Dr. Jamal Kareem Hassan Ghazzawi
Phone: 012 663 6333

Hospital: Aziziya clinic opposite am /pm restaurant on Arabian street
Doctor’s Name:  Dr. Haris
Phone:  waiting for info

Al Faisaliah

Hospital: Dr. Tarek Baghdadi Clinic
Location: 60 Street, Al Abdul Latif Plaza Building
Phone: 012 639 8565

Al Hamra

Hospital: New Jeddah Clinic Hospital (Palestine Square / Madina Road)
Doctor’s Name: Dr. Mohiaddin Syed Karimuddin
Phone: 012 667 5000
Email: To send email, please click here.
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Al Jazirah

Hospital: United Doctor’s Hospital (Click here for map)
Doctor’s Name: Dr. Nooman Idrees
Phone: 012 653 3333
Email: info@udh.med.sa
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Accepted Insurance Providers: Alico, Alsagr, AXA Insurance, Bupa, Cars, Globe Med, Med Gulf, Gulf Union Insurance Company, Med Net, Saico, Sanad, Tawuniya  Trade Union Insurance

Rehab:

Dr. Haris
Rehab Jeddah medical center, Mohammed al jubair street, Behind Indonesian consulate
4751 Dakhnah Rd, Al-Rehab, Jeddah 23344 https://goo.gl/maps/Ck3rKQDZsZ42
P
hone:  Unknown

 

Al Ruwais

Hospital: International Medical Center (Click here for map)
Doctor’s Names:
Dr. May Abu-Ateeq (Click here for her profile and contact info)
Dr. Zuhdi Al-Imam (Click here for his profile and contact info)
Dr. Shorouk Chaichan (Click here for her profile and contact info)
Dr. Mervat Qutub (Click here for her profile and contact info)
Phone: 012 650 9000
Email: info@imc.med.sa
Accepted Insurance Providers: Please click here for a full list

Al Shatee

Hospital: Al Mashfa Hospital (Click here for map)
Doctor’s Name: Dr. Khurshid
Phone: o12 229 2222
Email: info@almashfa.com
Accepted Insurance Provider: Bupa 
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Al Sharfia

Hospital: Al Abeer Medical Group
Doctor’s Name: Dr. Anitha Morhan (Speaks Arabic, English and Urdu)
Phone: 012 000 0501
Email: info@alabeergroup.com, wellwisher@alabeergroup.com
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ccepted Insurance Providers: Al Rahji Takaful, Arab Commercial Enterprises, Arabian Shield, AXA Insurance, BUPA Middle East, CARS, Globe Med Saudi, Malath Insurance, Med Gulf, Med Net, Next Care, SAICO, Sanad Cooperative

Al Khaldiyah

Hospital: GNP
Doctor’s Names:
Dr. Nehad Hassanein
Dr. Faisal Al Beeth
Dr. Ali Abdelrafie Yousef
Phone: 012 682 3200
To book your appointment online, click here.
Working Hours: Saturday-Thursday 9am-1pm, 5:30-8:30
Accepted Insurance Providers: Please click here for full list

Al Zahra

Hospital: Saudi German Hospital (Please click here for map)
Doctor’s Name: Dr. Ahraf Sinbati (Please click here for his profile & contact info)
Phone: 012 682 9000
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