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The first Bento maker in Saudi Arabia

Rowaida Fuad Oudah is the first Saudi-based person to make bento and wagashi in Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
Rowaida Fuad Oudah is the first Saudi-based person to make bento and wagashi in Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
Rowaida Fuad Oudah is the first Saudi-based person to make bento and wagashi in Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
Rowaida Fuad Oudah is the first Saudi-based person to make bento and wagashi in Saudi Arabia. (Supplied)
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08 Oct 2020 03:10:13 GMT9
08 Oct 2020 03:10:13 GMT9

Faris Alrushud

RIYADH: Rowaida Fuad Oudah is the first Saudi-based person to make bento in Saudi Arabia. Based in Jeddah, Oudah started her cooking business five years ago on Instagram, aside from her work as a freelancer graphic designer and conducted three cooking workshops in Jeddah plus Japanese language lessons.

Oudah, who is Palestinian, spoke to Arab News Japan about her love of Japanese culture since 2006, saying she was impressed by the Japanese manners and dedications. She said she enjoys watching Japanese TV shows and dramas that introduce food like “Smap X Smap”, “Chubaw desu yo!” etc.

Oudah explained that she found herself attracted to dishes with colorful and beautiful details since she was 15 years old, which developed her passion for cooking and art and learned the Japanese cuisine from books, YouTube, friends, as she learned Japanese Language in Dar Al-Hekma University and made Japanese friends that helped her to know more about the Japanese cooking. She said that her favorite dish is Okonomiyaki (Cabbage Pancake).

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#repost @sard24p ・・・ Rowaida is chef & food artist. Japanese food styling is her way to deliver a message to others. Follow her page to know more about her art @sakura_topia ‎ رويدا هي طاهية ومزينة طعام. التزيين بالطريقة اليابانية هو اسلوبها في إيصال رسالة الى الآخرين. زوروا صفحتها وتعرفوا اكثر عن فنها @sakura_topia #sard24productions #sound #mixing #mastering #boomoperator #blackandwhitephotography #jeddah #filmmaker #bts #production #editing #gaffer #lights #director #dop #quotes #inspirational #artistoftheweek #artist #Japanese #chef #foodstyling #japan #bentobox #female #nihon #kawaii #sakura_topia #artistoftheweeksard24

A post shared by 🌸 Rowaida Oudah 🌸 (@sakura_topia) on

She told Arab News Japan that her first online shop Sakura Topia is considered the largest on Instagram business offering Japanese and Korean cuisine with more than 60 dishes, including desserts. It is the first to sell Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki in Jeddah, even before restaurants. It is also the only place where Japanese desserts like Daifuku and Taiyaki can be found.

Oudah also opened different shop, “Momochi,” which specializes in Japanese Daifuku only. After many trials, she got her perfect recipe and now she considered herself as an expert.

She said started making bento after she got featured in Destination and Design magazines. Oudah said she thinks that making bento is like graphic designing and that each bento is made to deliver a certain message. She uses alternative tools and substitute ingredients to be like to the ones in Japan, but she still imports the mochi’s ingredients from Japan.

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🥳🥳 وأخيراً تحقق حلمي ووصلت لهدف من أهدافي وهيا اني اطلع على التلفزيون الياباني🇯🇵. هده المرة الثانية اللي يتم اختياري فيها لكن هده المرة طلبو مني اطلع بنفسي على الشاشة واقدم بنتو عربية. حسيت بأهمية وجدية دوري كعربية أنو لازم أقدم شي يعكس حياتنا ولو من خلال الأكل لليابان ……. ‏🇯🇵 حقيقي ماني قادرة اعبر لكم عن مدى سعادتي. ليا شهرين منتظره هده اللحظة اللي اشارككم فيها هالخبر. أكتر من ٨٠ ايميل وأيام من الطبخ والتصوير والتحرير. وحابة اشكر القائمين على البرنامج لاتاحتهم الفرصة لي لأشارك موهبتي مع العالم. أكيد صار عندي فانز في اليابان دحين كمان😍❤️ …….. لمعلومات إضافية عن بنتو الحلقة تلقوها في آخر بوست 😍 ….. حابة كمان اشكر اختي @miss_samasem لوجودها دايماً معايا.. ربي ما يحرمني منك 😘 شوفو مقطعها معايا في النهاية. على فكرة هيا قيمر وتروفي هنتر 🏆 ‏ ………….. Finally, on 2020/1/27 , I achieved one of my dreams/goals and made my way to be on Japanese TV as Palestinian bento maker from Saudi Arabia. …….. This is my second time to be featured in the same show. As Arabian, I took this chance to introduce our food to the Japanese viewers which they loved very much. ……….. ‏Literally, I can’t find the best words to describe how happy and grateful I’m right now😭😭 I’ve been waiting for around 2 months to share this happy news with you guys. More than 80 email exchanged and days of cooking, filming and editing. Thank you Bento Expo for giving me the chance to be show my work to the world ❤️❤️I believe I now have fans there in Japan too😍❤️ ……. ‏I also want to thank my sweetheart little sister @miss_samasem for always being there for me. Check her part at the end. She is a true gamer and trophy hunter🏆 ‏To know more about my second featured bento, check previous post😉 and thank you everyone for your support and encouragement 🌟 ………… ⚯⚯⚯⚯⚯⚯⚯⚯⚯⚯ ‏#foodartchefs #キャラ弁 #sakura_topia #bento #chefslife #sakura_topia #foodphotoshoot #弁当 #japan #design #cooking #chef #interview #graphic #art#nhk #bentoexpo #tbs #nihonterebi #日本テレビ#サウジアラビア #料理 #ニッポン ##BentoExpo #اليابان #sakura_obento #kyaraben

A post shared by 🌸 Rowaida Oudah 🌸 (@sakura_topia) on

One of her bento dishes was featured on NHK World TV as the most popular last year (Bento expo first feature). She was the only participant and winner from Saudi Arabia for the first time and appeared in TV shows in Rotana Khalijia channel, with NHK world introducing her bento boxes wearing a Kimono.

She also stated that her customers supported and recommended her dishes to others. Customers who have tried the same dishes in Japan stated that Rowaida’s dishes taste original like daifuku. Also, she makes sure to introduce the ingredients in detail to encourage her customers to try it.

Rowaida dreams to have her own TV cooking show on a famous TV channel like MBC wearing yukata (Japanese summer wear) to share her experience as self-taught chef and she wishes to have her own shop in Jeddah.

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