Living in Riyadh for the past three years, I can say that I have become an expert on shawerma. Actually, shawerma was not my favorite choice of fast food when I used to live in Hassa, but coming to Riyadh and going through the crap of many restaurants with high prices and bad food, I had come to the conclusion that shawerma seems to be a safe and cheap choice. However, with like a zillion restaurant in Riyadh offering shawerma, I started to be so picky about it.
So, after testing some of the well-known restaurants such as Mama Noura, Al-Karawan, and Shawermer, I found that Ya Mal Al-Sham restaurant was serving the best shawerma in Riyadh. And even though they were selling the sandwich for 4 riyals, one more riyal that you would usually pay for such thing, I was willing to pay the extra riyal for its goodness and deliciousness. However, good and delicious things do not live forever. Later on, Ya Mal’s shawerma had worsen very much. They started to make it greasy, and with so little chicken that a friend of mine has called it “the pencil sandwich.” Now, they are selling it for only 3 riyals, but it is still not as good as it used to be.
I had to go experimenting with shawerma again. After a few weeks of experimentation, I can say that the best shawrma in Riyadh currently is served by Shawermer. During my first stage of experimentation, Shawermer’s shawerma was bad; so bad that I thought it tastes like fish not chicken. But I think that they have improved much since then. Actually, when it was opened few years ago, Shawermaer introduced a new concept in the business of making this kind of food. They offer only shawerma (recently they added basbousa to their menu), and they have a unique style. They are the only restaurant to offer it with several flavors, such as cheese, hummus, and lemon and garlic, and they also offer the sandwiches as meals with Pepsi and French fries, a step that several restaurants followed later.
How about you Riyadh people? Who do you think offer the best shawerma sandwiches in the city? I’m not a native, and maybe I’ve been missing on something good, so have your say!