Koryokwan Korean Restaurant

Posted by Mark

korean

Koryokwan is a Korean restaurant that’s been around since the early 80s. They’re considered to be one of the best and even provide the catering for Korean embassy events which is how I found out about them. This past saturday when I passed by the Korean embassy for their lunar new year’s they had the catering from Koryokwan (The Korean embassy in Kuwait by the way has to be the most beautiful embassy I’ve ever been to anywhere). So anyway, I didn’t end up eating at the embassy that day but I did pass by Koryokwan a few days ago to try them out.

Koryokwan is located on the ground floor of the very old Carlton Hotel in Kuwait City. It’s a 3-star hotel that was refurbished awhile back but the building still looks really old from the outside. The interior of Koryokwan on the other hand is just beautiful, one of those places where once you enter you feel like you’re no longer in Kuwait. I actually had the same feeling when I first visited the now defunct Singarea Korean restaurant in Dajeej. I used to love that place and it’s why I ended up mostly being disappointed with Koryokwan. Lets begin with the interior of Koryokwan, even though it looked amazing they had regular English radio music playing and CNN on TV. If this was Singarea for example they would have had either Korean music playing or some strange Korean soap opera on TV. I also found the prices of the dishes expensive. The soups started at around KD4.5 and the main courses at around KD6 and up. That’s 5-star hotel prices which is expected when you’re at a 5-star hotel and getting 5-star service like at Peacock or a restaurant at the Sheraton but this wasn’t the case here. Service was similar to a casual dine in restaurant and it wasn’t that great. Our order for example arrived in this order: Main course followed by our rice 5 minutes later and then followed by our soup. I went there specifically for one dish, the fried chicken with chili sauce and I liked it but you can’t really judge the food on just one dish.

The place is definitely worth trying out but mostly for the experience of trying something new. If you’re interested in passing by they’re open from 10AM to 3PM and then again from 5PM to 10:30PM. They’re located in the Carlton Hotel [Map] and their phone number is 22452759 or 99608277.


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Solo Pizza Napulitana

Posted by Mark

Around a month ago I found a video on YouTube of a guy in Kuwait making pizzas and since then I’ve been eagerly waiting for them to open up. I’m a huge pizza fan and the pizzas in the video all looked delicious but they hadn’t opened the restaurant yet and so I had to wait. Then a few days ago while I was in Lebanon I get an email saying they’re opening on the 15th but since I was busy yesterday I decided to pass by tonight instead to try them out.

Solo Pizza Napulitana is a new small Kuwaiti owned business that’s located in an old building in Kuwait City right behind the newly opened Japanese restaurant Tatami. From the outside it doesn’t look very appealing and on the inside it’s honestly not that great looking either. But the restaurant is as close as you will get to a mom and pop store in Kuwait. This is not a franchise, this is not a big business, this a tiny pizza joint where the owner makes the pizzas and from what I could tell his friends help him out waiting on tables and taking care of the payments.

I passed by after the gym in my shorts and t-shirt expecting the place to be empty but to my surprise it was pretty packed. I decided to sit on the one table outside but no one served me. So after growing impatient I popped my head inside and asked if I could have a menu. A minute later I got the menu which is pretty small, I think they had only 3 pizzas and 3 salads and maybe 2 desserts. I’m a fan of small menus as I’ve mentioned before and I quickly looked through it and decided to go with the Margherita since I couldn’t find a mushroom pizza on the menu. A few minutes passed by and no one came to get my order so I decided to move inside. I was seriously thinking of just leaving since I didn’t want to wait indefinitely for someone to come get my order but I kept reminding myself that they’ve only been open for 2 days and they’re already packed and probably not prepared for this much pressure. Finally a guy came over and was very apologetic for making me waiting very long. I told him it wasn’t a problem and asked him if they had mushroom pizza. He told me they did so I decided to go with that. From my table I could see the owner prepare my pizza and around 2 minutes after taking my order my pizza arrived. I was thinking to myself that’s ridiculously fast!

The pizza wasn’t sliced up which I thought was interesting since I don’t think I’ve ever had a pizza that didn’t come cut up into triangles. I took some shots quickly and then dug in. What a pizza, it was ammmaaaazing. The pizza crust, the tomato sauce, the cheese, the mushrooms… it was all just delicious and I couldn’t find anything to pick on. I was eating it and thinking to myself where have I ever tasted a pizza that was as good as this and I couldn’t think of any place. I mean sure we don’t have many pizza places in Kuwait to compare to but I’ve had a ton of pizzas in Lebanon and I even just got back from a trip where I tried two new great pizza places over there and yet here I was sitting in this tiny little restaurant in some dodgy back street of Kuwait City having what I thought was one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had anywhere.

Once I was done with my pizza and I paid my bill (KD3.750 for the pizza), I decided to go up to the owner and introduce myself. I told him what I thought of his pizzas and he explained to me how he worked at some famous pizzerias in Naples and how he belongs to this group that’s trying to preserve the famous Naples pizza. He also asked me if I noticed how quickly the pizza gets done since it takes less than 60 seconds to cook. I wished him good luck and told him I would definitely be back again.

So if you are looking for what I think are the best pizzas in Kuwait then you need to pass by this place. It’s in a crappy location, it’s tiny and the interior isn’t that great looking but damn the pizza is just really great. Here is a link to their website where you can find a map and a phone number. They’re currently only open for dinner. [Link]


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Sawah Lebanese Restaurant

Posted by Mark

Sawah has been open for around a year now but I only finally managed to pass by this past weekend. When I want to have Lebanese I usually have Leila but since I’m practically having Leila everyday I decided to try something new. Sawah is located in the Avenues right next to Napket and the place doesn’t look like your average Lebanese restaurant which is what always grabbed my attention.

I ordered tabbouleh and taouk and both dishes turned out pretty good with the tabbouleh being the best of the two. Actually their tabbouleh is currently in a tie with the tabbouleh at Al Mayas as my favorite in Kuwait. What I mostly liked about the place though is the look and feel. As I mentioned earlier Sawah doesn’t look like an average Lebanese restaurant, from the furniture to the cutlery, they have their own unique look.

The only negative thing I would say based on my short experience is that I thought the price of the taouk dish at KD4.250 was a bit on the expensive side for just two skewers and a bit of french fires. Other than that though the food was good, the service very friendly and the design of the place very interesting. I would definitely go back.


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Breakfast & Brunch

Posted by Mark

A small breakfast place opened up near my house and I decided to pass by and try it out last week. The place is called Breakfast & Brunch and is located in the large outdoor parking lot adjacent to Marina Mall (facing BoConcept). Nat and I passed by during the week around 10AM and out of the five small 2-seater tables at the place, only one was occupied. We sat down at a table and got the menus which had a ton of items on it. It was huge. Other than the regular breakfast place stuff like eggs, pancakes, crepes, etc.. they also had a long list of sandwiches to choose from (I’m guessing the “brunch” aspect of the place).

I ended up ordering freshly squeezed orange juice and a 3 egg omelet with cheese and turkey while Nat ordered the Nutella Crepe. I wanted to order pancakes as well but I knew Fahad would make me suffer at the gym if I did. The food arrived a bit later and looked very good. My omelet came with sausages, brown bread and hash browns on the side which I quickly dug into after taking the picture above. Everything tasted good but then again it’s hard to go wrong with omelets and crepes.

There isn’t really anything negative to say about my experience. The only thing I can think about is the fact the place was a bit too quiet when we first sat down but the couple on the other table asked for the radio to be turned on which fixed things. I personally liked the place, it’s close to where I live, there is a lot of parking space available and because it’s still not very popular, finding a place to sit shouldn’t be a problem. For those of you who are interested to try out the place, here is one of my famous maps to help you find the location [Map] and here it is on [Google Maps]


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Ruby’s

Posted by Mark

Last week Nat had dinner with some of her friends at a new restaurant that just opened up in Kuwait City called Ruby’s. She had a good experience and suggested that we pass by for lunch yesterday.

From outside the place doesn’t look like much since the shops and buildings next to it are pretty old but once you walk into Ruby’s it’s a completely different atmosphere. The place is pretty spacious and has a very cozy look and feel to it. We sat down in a comfy corner and the waitress brought us the menu. The first thing that impressed me was with how minimal their menu was. They have only 3 salads, 3 panini’s, 3 pastas and 3 burgers which I thought was very brave. Restaurants here seem to get the impression you need to have a million items on your menu but you really don’t since it’s about the quality not quantity.

Nat ordered the Mango Pumpkin Chicken Salad while I ordered the Bronte Burger on my first visit and the Chicken and Mango Chutney Panini on my second (had lunch there yesterday and today). Nat really loved her salad and I thought my burger which had a sweet chili sauce was really well made. It was delicious and on my second visit I was really tempted to order it again but decided to try something else and I am glad I did. As much as I thought their burger was amazing the Chicken and Mango Chutney Panini was even better. The Mango Chutney was sweet and gave the panini amazing flavor, I really loved it. I also ordered their chocolate dessert on my second visit and although it was good, I would prefer the Chocolate Fondant at Life with Cacao or the Chocolate Pudding at Slider Station instead.

Their prices are very decent. Their menu ranges from KD2.250 for their cheapest Salad up to KD3.750 for their Shrimp in Linguine which is their most expensive dish.

Ruby’s has been open I think for around 2 weeks only. They still don’t have a sign outside and they will be installing their Knet machine hopefully this week according to the waitress. I’ve drawn a map to the location which you can view [Here]. The service is great, the place is cozy and the food is amazing. I highly recommend the place.

Update: Currently (as of December 29, 2010) they open from 3PM to 11PM. According to the employees there within the next 10 days they will start opening from 11AM to 11PM. Their phone number is 22496526,


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