Breakfast Places in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

When I got back from my LA trip I had major jet lag so I was waking up at the oddest hours wanting to have breakfast. I couldn’t figure out where to go since most of the places I went to between 4AM and 6AM were closed. So I decided I would put together a list of breakfast places along with their timings so that if anyone ever googles breakfast places they get a nice comprehensive list.

Breakfast Club
Fintas: 5AM to 2:30PM
KIPCO: 6AM to 12AM

Cheesecake Factory
Friday & Saturday: 10AM to 4PM

Cocoa Room
8AM to 12PM

Dough Cafe
8AM to 2PM

Early Bird
Fahaheel: 5AM to 3PM
Jabriya: 5AM to 7PM

Gia
Weekdays: 9AM to 12PM
Weekends: 9AM to 1PM

Home Sweet Home
8AM to 3PM

IHOP
7AM to 12AM

Johnny Rockets
Salmiya: Open 24 hours but breakfast from 7AM to 12PM

Le Pain Quotidien
7:30AM to 11PM

McDonalds
6AM to 11AM

Prime & Toast
Seef: Open 24 hours and breakfast all day

Ryoog
6AM to 11PM

Street by Al Makan
Saturday: 9:30AM to 2PM

Yellow Lemon
Weekdays: 7:30AM to 3PM
Weekends: 7:30AM to 7PM

If there is a breakfast place I missed and is worth adding to the list above, let me know.


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In-N-Out, does it live up to the hype?

Posted by Mark

inout

One of the first things I did when I was in LA earlier this month was pass by In-N-Out burger. I hadn’t had it before but I’d heard so much about it from people online and from friend. Everyone kept saying it was the best burger ever so I wanted to check it out for myself. Did it live up to the hype? Not really.

During the 3 weeks I was in LA I think I had In-N-Out 5 or 6 times. I tried it a bunch of ways until I found my perfect combo which was a 3×3 (3 patties x 3 cheese) with just grilled onions and their special sauce. It’s a pretty good burger and mostly because of their kick ass special sauce but no way the best burger ever. Quality wise its a step up from McDonalds but in line with other burger joints like Five Guys, Elevation and Shake Shack. I didn’t like their fries at all but their chocolate shake was really good and was around 500 calories which wasn’t too bad.

So basically, if we never get In-N-Out in Kuwait it’s fine, we’re not really missing out on much.


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Kuwait Becomes First Arab Nation To Subsidize Gluten-Free Products

Posted by Mark

gluten

According to the blog Kuwaiti Trailmix, Kuwait recently subsidized gluten-free products making it the first Arab Muslim country to do so in the Middle East. Kuwait Flour Mills have started selling wheat-free products for reasonable prices including:

Hamburger Buns: 690 fils
Vanilla cupcakes: 390 fils
Hot dog rolls: 590 fils
Loaf of Bread “Toast”: 700 fils

Check out the full post [Here]


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Lulu Hypermarket Now Online

Posted by Mark

lulu

A reader just emailed me letting me know that LuLu now have an online web store. I just checked it out and sadly their food and household products sections are still under construction and the majority items that are online are electronics. We don’t need another online electronics store, what we need is a proper online grocery store similar to Taw9eel but with more products.

Thanks Donny


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Pick Yo now in Qurtuba

Posted by Mark

pickyo

Ever since I discovered their pistachio and choco biscuit toppings I’ve been addicted. It’s the only thing messing up my clean eating, and now they’re conveniently located off the 4th Ring Road on my way back home from Avenues. Sucks. [Map]


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The Approved Market – Guilt Free Grocery Shopping

Posted by Mark

approvedmarket1

A new supermarket opened up recently called “The Approved Market”. It’s a small supermarket where all the items they sell are considered healthy hence their tag line “Guilt Free Grocery Shopping”. I passed by earlier today to check it out and I think the place has potential since for the most part they had a bunch of products and brands I hadn’t seen in other local supermarkets. But, on the other hand, the range of products isn’t that vast with the majority of the items consisting of chips or jar food items like jams, honey, butters, etc. They of course did have other items like healthy breads, quinoa based products (like pasta and risotto), salad dressing and even alkaline water, but those items were few and far between.

approvedmarket2

The place looks great and is definitely worth passing by and checking it out. They’re located in Sanabil Tower in Sharq and are open daily from 10AM to 10PM. Here is their location on [Google Maps]


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Best Restaurant in Kuwait 2015 (Less Casual Dining)

Posted by Mark

gia

nima

Winner: GIA
I remember when I moved back to Kuwait after university. People were getting rather health crazy, doing Atkin’s diet and going paleo, freaking out about salt and trans fats and the like.

But in Kuwait, Burger King had unveiled the “Mozza Double Whopper”; two patties of beef with a patty of mozzarella cheese in between. My friends at the gahwa were ordering shish taouk because they wanted to eat grilled chicken instead of fried, but it would come smothered in garlic may and wrapped in buri (friend bread).

Things have changed since. People are jumping on boxes and waving ropes and swinging cannonballs with handles. Maybe GIA is the response to Kuwait’s recent health craze. A healthy place that doesn’t takes like cardboard dog food. It’s the perfect place for a quick healthy substantial lunch or the inevitable compromise your obnoxiously indecisive friends will agree on for dinner. It probably singlehandedly revitalised Al Khalid square. Not that success in Kuwait is a measure of quality, but they had to expand within the first year they opened. We usually over-order for the next day when we get it. Great dining, take-away, or delivery.

Runner up: Street
Street opened up to much fanfare. They have a limited number of seats and limited items on the menu. Rather than having an encyclopedia of mediocrity, they’ve focused and refined their menu. That shows that the chef, Faisal Al Nashmi has confidence in his menu. Respect. There’s nothing I hate more than a place with something for one. The surrounding chaos of garbage and parked cars disappears beneath you as you walk up the staircase to be confronted by a small, glass-enclosed, art space. Go there. Get some buns before they become the next big thing in Kuwait to be ruined by the scale economics!

mark

Winner: GIA
GIA is one of those places you hope people would copy instead of opening another burger place. Although I completely hate the fact they reheat their food in the microwave, if you stick to their salads or their sandwiches which they freshly make then you can’t go wrong. What they’ve been able to accomplish over the past year is just extraordinary, not only have they made healthy food a fad, but they’ve single handedly transformed the dead complex they’re located in, to a trendy place where markets are being held. The fact I know what quinoa is and the reason I started liking quinoa was because of GIA and I think it’s the same for a lot of people.

Runner up: Healthy Feast
The way I describe Healthy Feast to friends is the kind of food GIA should have started making after they expanded. After having the same quinoa salads over and over I just can’t have it anymore without wanting to puke. So Healthy Feast was a breath of fresh air, great healthy food that is freshly prepared and doesn’t involve quinoa (unless you want it to). I’m now usually there at least once a week.


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Best Restaurant in Kuwait 2015 (Casual Dining)

Posted by Mark

edo

nima

Winner: EDO – Shaab (RIP)
This may play out more like a eulogy, but this icon of Kuwait Restaurant culture needs to be memorialised. EDO Shaab was a beautiful modernist Villa from the 1950s beside Villa Fayrouz. It was the best example of how a small villa could be repurposed as opposed to torn down and rebuilt like the monstrous, soulless apartment buildings surrounding it. The beautiful stone garden and its koi pond, small as it was, was unlike anything and wonderful. Nothing could compare to being there on a cool winter day, knowing just on the other side of the wall was a narrow road clogged like the arteries of this fast-food generation.

It was serene. Inside in small villa was a surprisedly spacious, tastefully designed sushi bar. The building’s previous life as a house made for all sorts of nooks and crannies. Every table was simultaneously private and yet easy to get attention from the well-trained waitstaff. Having lived in a sushi haven through university, sushi in Kuwait (without deep-fried mayonnaise) is a challenge to pull off. But without hesitation, upon being asked where the best sushi in Kuwait is, consistently as they would operate, I would say EDO. Sure there’s a new EDO at Sahara, but at this point in my life, that’s like telling me they’ve rebooted Thundercats.

But recently I had a lovely little dinner with my lovely wife at a lovely little place called Ora…maybe you’ve heard of it? No? Well you maybe should…

Runner up: ORA
There’s a new three-lettered sushi place in my life…and it’s called Ora, in Arabella. The place is kinda expensive but anything good should be, like a little treat. I suggest going with a bunch of friends and getting a bunch of small plates. This place is no joke, literally one of the best new restaurants to open. I’m a sucker for nigiri with a thin slice of fresh jalapeño and some light ponzu sauce.

mark

Winner: EDO – Shaab (RIP)
I’m a late comer to the EDO fan club. When everyone was boasting about how great it was, I was too busy enjoying my Sushi at Kei when they were open at Marina Crescent. Then they closed down that location, and then they sent my sushi chef to their Bahrain branch and I just stopped eating sushi for awhile.

I only really got properly introduced to EDO by a friend a couple of years ago and thats when I really started falling in love with the place, it’s one of those restaurants that must have seen everything from proposals to breakups. There was and still is nothing like it in Kuwait, and the fact that it’s gone now is sad.

Even though EDO opened at Sahara, it just doesn’t have the same warmth and coziness of their old Shaab location. We should really consider turning old villas into restaurants instead of demolishing them. There are actually a bunch of old villas at the end of Baghdad Street in Salmiya, imagine if all those were renovated and turned into restaurants.. They would have so much more personality than the generic restaurant complexes that are popping up every few blocks.

Runner up: Open Flame Kitchen
My runner up should actually be this small Korean place hole in the wall I frequent often. It’s a place I haven’t posted about before and won’t on the blog since I like to keep it my little secret. So instead, for my runner up I’m going to go with OFK. It’s one of those places I can go when I want to cheat or when I want to eat healthy. They have the best burgers in Kuwait (order any of the 8oz burgers medium), my favorite pizza in Kuwait (Funghi Con Panna) and my favorite dessert (Chocolate Brownie Pudding). The place also feels like some restaurant pub with its dark ambiance and loud music and the service is always great. The only thing I will complain about is how they’re always out of their Haute Ripper hot dog which is deep fried in duck fat. Absolutely delicious but sadly they’ve been out of it for maybe a year now.


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Best Coffee Shop in Kuwait 2015

Posted by Mark

bestcoffeeshop

vol1

nima

Winner: VOL.1
You know I never really drank coffee. It makes my pee smelly funny. Not haha funny but you know…odd…

But the missus bought an espresso machine and now my pee smells funny all the time. Since then, as luck would have it, Vol.1 opened.

Vol.1 is one of a few local gems that I cannot champion enough. It’s an entirely locally owned and operated coffeehouse that roasts its own beans. It’s a part of what I hope is a growing trend of small, conceptually solid places that have tremendous confidence in their product and don’t stoop to dilute themselves by offering something for everyone. This is a coffeeshop, pure and simple. It sells some of the best coffee in Kuwait. The setting is a vaguely familiar with its diwaniya-style with seating along its walls but the concrete and industrially-styled design makes me think, “wow…chinna berooklyn”. But without any hipsters. Everyone’s a winner.
Tip: It’s summer. Grab a cold one.

Runner up: CAFFEINE
This is another hidden away gem in apparently up-and-coming south mubarakiya (some call it SoMu)(please don’t call it SoMu). The owner and proprietor is a sweetie and his brew’s delicious. Try whatever espresso and ice cream dessert he gave me that was so good I forgot the name.

mark

Winner: VOL.1
Unlike Nima, I don’t drink coffee, I’ve always been a tea person. But I still love VOL.1 and I’ve been going there ever since they opened. All my friends love their coffee and I generally tag along with them whenever they head to Vol.1 just because the atmosphere over there is so cool. With the loud music playing and all the guys and girls coming in and out it’s become one of the most trendiest places in Kuwait. I personally love the treats they sell and they’re pretty healthy which is a big bonus. VOL.1 is also a successful local concept that’s competing in a field dominated by big brand franchises. That’s not an accomplishment that should be taken lightly.

Runner up: Masaha 13
For my runner up I’m going to go with Masaha 13. As a place to go have coffee it’s a different style completely from Vol.1. I would generally go to Masaha 13 for business meetings or to chill with a friend or two quietly. It’s a very cozy atmosphere and I love that about the place. They also have a large space upstairs where they hold different events and exhibitions and I think thats what makes them even more special.

Location: VOL.1 is located in Kuwait City on Mubark Al Kabeer Street in the same building as Almakan. They’re not open all day so check their instagram @vol_1kuwait for timings. Here is the location on [Google Maps]


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Alargan Square

Posted by Mark

alargan

Because we don’t have enough of them already, there is a new restaurants complex currently under construction in Salmiya called Alargan Square. It’s located right next to Symphony Style Hotel and it’s by the same company that built the Al Bida’a strip. Construction is supposed to be completed in around four months time. I don’t have any idea what restaurants will be opening there so if you know any let me know. Another food square recently opened in that area closer to Sultan Center called The Cube which I previously posted about [Here].


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