Table Otto Now Open

Post by Mark

tableotto

Table Otto, the new restaurant by Kuwaiti chef Faisal Al Nashmi (the same guy behind Street by Almakan) is now open in Al Shaheed Park. They’re still in a soft launch phase so they’re only opening from 7PM to 10PM at the moment. The restaurant is located right across from the still to open Habitat Museum in Al Shaheed Park and you can get a better idea about the place by checking their instagram page @table.otto


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Table Otto Opening Next Week

Post by Mark

tableotto

Table Otto is the new restaurant by Kuwaiti chef Faisal Al Nashmi, the same guy behind Street by Almakan. I was invited to a tasting last night and I think it’s one of the nicest looking spots in the city.

tableotto2

The restaurant is an American Brasserie which I know sounds odd but from what I tried last night, it works. Table Otto is currently set to soft launch this coming Sunday from 7PM to 10PM and they’re located in Al Shaheed Park opposite the Habitat Museum. Once they officially open up I’ll pass by again so I could write a proper review but for now you can check out their instagram account @table.otto


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Must Visit: The Habitat Museum

Post by Mark

Last week I posted that the Habitat Museum at Al Shaheed Park was now open but I only managed to pass by it this past weekend. I left so impressed, that here I am posting about the museum again a week later.

The museum showcases the unique beauty of Kuwait’s plants and animal life by taking visitors on a journey through the local ecosystem. When you first enter the premises you need to pick up your audio guide as well as a round disc that contains a plant seed. This disc can then be used in various parts of the museum to activate screens and interact with the exhibits.

The museum isn’t that big but I loved everything about it. My favorite part though had to be watching different families and people just walk around interacting with the displays. Its pretty obvious that people in Kuwait are hungry for museums which is why I can’t wait until the Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Center opens up end of this year.

Another thing I liked was the fact the museum brings up two important issues, illegal hunting near the wildlife reserves as well as how camping can be very disruptive to the environment. Two very important issues which I’m glad they talk about in their exhibits because it will definitely educate the visitors especially the young ones.

The Habitat Museum is located in the same building as the escalators that take you to the parking lot (the far end one) and right across from the restaurant Table Otto.

The opening hours are:
Monday to Friday: 4PM to 9PM
Saturdays: 12PM to 7PM
Sundays: Closed

Entry is free just make sure you have an ID card so you could pick up the audio guide and plant disc. The museum is really worth checking out so pass by.

For more photos of the interior taken by the photographer Niccolò Guasti, click [Here]


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Habitat Museum Now Open

Post by Mark

The Habitat Museum at Al Shaheed Park is now officially open to the public. The museum showcases the unique beauty of Kuwait’s plants and animal life by taking visitors on a journey through the local ecosystem. It’s located in the same building as the escalators that take you to the parking lot (the far end one) and right across from the restaurant Table Otto.

The opening hours are:
Monday to Friday: 4PM to 9PM
Saturdays: 12PM to 7PM
Sundays: Closed

For more photos of the interior taken by the photographer Niccolò Guasti, click [Here]


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Super/Foods is Super Good

Post by Mark

Super/Foods is a new whole foods bar that just opened up this past weekend in Shuwaikh. It belongs to a friend of mine and so I’ve know about the concept for sometime now and I’ve eagerly been waiting for it to finally open.

Whole foods is defined as foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible and thats the main philosophy behind Super/Foods. It’s a vegetarian place with a lot of vegan, gluten free and raw options as well. Their menu is pretty straight forward, you have the create your own greek yogurt or chia pudding bowls, they’ve got savory toasts, sweet toasts, a number of salads and finally drinks that include smoothies and cold pressed juices. Oh they also have a ton of dessert bites as well as pre-bagged nuts and chips.

Their chef was based in the UK and had previously worked at Nama Foods and Tanya’s Cafe, both popular raw food restaurants in the UK so even though the place is new, there is a lot of experience in the kitchen. They’ve only been open for four days now and I’ve already been there twice so far and I’m hooked on two things, their avocado on toast as well as their beet-hummus on toast sandwiches. I’m also in love with their sparkling Blue Majik drink although I think it has to do more with my obsession over its color than its magical properties.

I’m also in love with the branding of the place as well as all their packaging and all the copy thats written on them. The feel of the place along with the good food has made Super/Foods one of my favorite restaurants at the moment alongside JOA, Habra and Table Otto. So many good places at the moment, I don’t remember the last time I was so excited over food like this.

Super/Foods is currently in their soft launch phase and are open from 10AM to 6PM. They’re located in the new Mayar Complex in Shuwaikh [Google Maps] and you can follow them on instagram @superfoodskw.

And here is a picture of their [Menu]


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Tips for Eating at Habra Beef Canteen

Post by Mark

So Habra is officially my new favorite restaurant in Kuwait alongside Table Otto. I’ve been going to both on a weekly basis now but realized Habra needed a dedicated post with some tips so here it goes.

Getting a Table
Get there early! If you’ve been holding out on Habra until it starts dying down, well good luck with that. So far the least amount of time I’ve waited was 1h 15min, while the longest I’ve waited was last night which was 2h 45min. I haven’t even tried going there on a weekend. They only have 5 tables, 2 of them fit 4 people, 2 fit 2 people (or 3 really squeezed), and the last one is a communal table that holds around 12. The place is tiny and the host currently has the most dangerous job in the world, seriously the amount of people who get into fights with him on a daily basis, I’d hate to have his job. So get there early, put your name on the list and then head over to Coffee Boulevard and go coffeeshop hopping.

Ordering
Order what you want when you want it. The food doesn’t take long to be prepared and served so they have a habit of bringing you a large number of your dishes all at once. Last week I got into an argument with the waiter because they served me and my friend all 5 of our starters and 3 of our mains at the same time. We literally had no room on the table to put all the items and it’s just physically impossible to eat everything at once. So this is the best tip I can give you, order the first few dishes you want to have first, like all your starters. Once you’re done with your starters, order your mains. Nothing takes long to be served, I think 6 minutes is the longest you have to wait for a dish to get served. Trust me, you’ll have a better experience this way.

What to Order
I always order different things but the items below are staples that will always be included:
– Bone marrow (I can’t say this enough, don’t share! Everyone order your own)
– Four and a half hour braised rib
– Three-way Kalbi
– Foil-baked mushrooms

What Not to Order
Resist the urge to order their charred cantaloupe dessert. It sounds good but there is no way on earth you can eat it. I’ve ordered it twice and twice I was just going to take the cantaloupe and hit someone with it. It’s nearly impossible to eat which is a shame because it has potential. My tip for them is to remove the cantaloupe from the shell by chopping it up, then put it back in the shell, top if off with the rest of the ingredients and serve it like that. Or just remove it from the menu completely.

Vegetarians/Vegans
lol

Bathroom
They don’t have one, you’re meant to use the one in the parking lot a few stories above them. Takes forever to get up there and the bathrooms are super gross. So if you need to use the bathroom, get it done somewhere else before your dinner or after. The bathroom in the basement of Crystal Tower is the closest nicest bathroom, while the bathroom at Arabica is the coolest because of their high-tech toilet. Be nice and order coffee if you’re gonna use that one (they have decaf).

Parking
I hate the parking lot in the Habra building since leaving it takes forever and the elevators are the slowest. Personally, I like to park behind Arabica and head to Habra walking. The walk back after a big meal is always appreciated and there is no long queue when leaving the parking.

So these are my tips, if you’d like to read my previous post on Habra then click [Here]


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The Making of a Post

Post by Mark

Whenever I meet people, a common question I’m usually asked is how I find stuff to write about every day. There really isn’t that much generally going on in Kuwait so it’s hard to imagine how I could find content on a daily basis to write about. Up until a few years ago I used to think I was just getting lucky everyday finding content but then someone made me realize that after all these years its probably a skill and not luck. I guess my curious and nosy nature combined with my obsessive tendencies turned out to be a perfect combo to run a blog.

There are generally two main ways I find things to write about:

1) People email me or tell me about something
2) I discover things myself while going about my day to day routine

The first thing I do when I find a topic to write about is enter it into Evernote. My memory is terrible and my blog is very important for me so I can’t risk forgetting a topic. I like Evernote because I have it open on all my computers at home and work as well as on my phone. Anytime I add a topic to my list it synchronizes across all my computers and phone. I took a screenshot of part of my current Evernote list (pictured below) to give you an idea of how it looks like. It might look vague but I just need a word or two to remind me of the topic.

Every morning I get up around 8-9 and open my list and decide what I am going to write about. Usually the further down the list the item is the less important it is or the less time sensitive it is. If its not time sensitive like the note “salmiya 1976” which is a video from 1976 that shows old Salmiya, then I just leave it for a slow news day. A slow news day is a day when I don’t have much to post about either because I’m still waiting on some info or because I don’t think I have a quality post for the day.

Today for example I want to post about two things, “CRL Bar” which is a new cereal bar that opened up in Kuwait and “wifi kuwait” which is a project to provide wifi all over Kuwait. For both of these posts I’m still waiting on some information so they’re not ready hence why I am here writing this post which is sort of a blog filler. I came up with this post idea to keep things moving along on the blog until I get the information I need for the other two posts.

Another popular question I get is how do I decide what restaurants to write about or what event to go to. The events part is pretty easy, if I think it’s going to be fun for me or if the subject interests me then I’ll go. 99% of the time I don’t go to any event. With restaurants, its more tricky. I get emailed by restaurant owners all the time asking me to come by and try their place but unless its an interesting or new concept, I tend not be interested. I also go to restaurants based on word of mouth or the chef behind the concept. So for example when I heard Faisal Al Nashmi was opening a new restaurant called Table Otto, I wanted to go try it out because I love his other concept Street. But with HABRA for example, I wasn’t interested in trying it out until I started hearing how great it was from all my friends.

Time wise I generally don’t spend a lot of it writing. I kinda pre-write posts in my head and then sit down on the computer in the morning and type them out. I always feel like I’m working against the clock so I’m always rushing my posts out and generally spend anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes writing them up. I don’t feel like I have the luxury of sitting and perfecting a post because I need to have content out every single day. I run the blog as if I am competing with other hundreds of other blogs and I need to get my posts out right away before they do. Even though there aren’t any other blogs around today anymore, I still blog as if there so I stay on my toes. I still go by the idiom “You snooze you lose” since it used to happen before where I’d sleep on a post and then another blogger would write about it before me.

So there you have it, a behind the scenes look into the making of my posts. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.


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