Tokyo Arabia Shares the Story Behind Its Best-Selling Dish: The Saad Maki


Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Tokyo Arabia, the award-winning and first Japanese restaurant in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, serving elevated contemporary fusion cuisine since 1985, shares the success of its signature dish, the Saad Maki. Named after the restaurant’s CEO, Saad Aldrees, the Saad Maki has quickly become the best-selling dish on the menu, loved by locals and tourists alike.

A passionate restaurateur, Aldrees has always believed that tradition and creativity can go hand in hand. What started as a simple concept of creating a one-of-a-kind dish exclusive to Tokyo in 2017, the Saad Maki has grown to become one of the restaurant’s most cherished dishes throughout the years.

Through a collaborative effort with Tokyo’s Head Chef, Aldrees meticulously selected a combination of ingredients to create the dish, which includes deep-fried shrimp, crab, sweet potato, mint, and Tokyo’s special sauce. After several rounds of tasting, the maki was first introduced to patrons as an off-menu item that quickly became popular due to word of mouth. It eventually earned its place on the a la carte menu as a signature dish.

Since its introduction, the Saad Maki has been ordered an average of 200 times per day, making it one of Tokyo Arabia’s top-selling menu items, with over 50% of guests ordering the dish.

“The Saad Maki has received an outpouring of love and positive feedback that has truly touched us over the years,” says Aldrees. “It is a testament to Tokyo’s commitment to innovation and quality as we aim to achieve a balance between innovation and customer satisfaction, which is why we’re constantly experimenting with new ingredients and techniques to create unique and exciting dishes that everyone can enjoy.”

The home-grown fine dining restaurant operates two Riyadh locations on Al Urubah Road in Al-Sulaimania and Veranda F&B in Al-Ghadir. Its signature a la carte menu features an extensive selection of maki and sushi rolls, and main courses such as wagyu nigiri, beef tataki, spicy sweet beef tenderloin, wasabi prawn, and yakisoba.

Tokyo is part of Foods Gate, a Saudi-owned F&B company, dedicated to creating signature dining concepts across a range of cuisines and culinary experiences. The award-winning restaurant has been serving Japanese cuisine in the heart of Riyadh for 38 years and was shortlisted for MENA 50 Best Restaurants in 2022. Tokyo Arabia already has plans to expand its brand across Saudi and the Gulf, with a third outlet already in the pipeline.

About Tokyo Arabia:

Tokyo Arabia, the first Japanese restaurant in Saudi Arabia, is a top-rated fine-dining restaurant with a sophisticated modern ambience that has been recognized by many food and beverage experts, and honorably nominated and shortlisted on local and international awards lists. 

By introducing original Japanese flavors and the Teppanyaki live cooking to the Saudi F&B scene, Tokyo Arabia has perfected fusion Japanese cuisine using the finest ingredients since its opening in October 1985 and consistently delivered a high-end gastronomic experience to its guests.

By the summer of 2017, Tokyo Arabia Brand and opening was on a trajectory of success that saw it expand its flagship location by moving to a larger venue and opening a second location to accommodate more Japanese food lovers. The passionately curated menu features traditional Japanese favorites as well as more contemporary fusion dishes, served in a trendy atmosphere with a Japanese identity.

Tokyo Arabia operates under Foods Gate, a Saudi-owned F&B company, dedicated to creating signature dining concepts across a range of cuisines and culinary experiences. Its portfolio includes many firsts for the Saudi F&B scene, employing internationally acclaimed chefs, and sourcing top-quality ingredients. The restaurant was shortlisted for MENA 50 Best Restaurants in 2022.