Tesco products now available at SaveCo

Posted by Mark

tesco

Back in July I posted that according to one of my sources, SaveCo supermarket would be getting Tesco products. Turns out my source was correct since yesterday while checking out the British Ambassadors instagram account, I spotted the photo above of SaveCo with an ad mentioning they now carry Tesco products.

I’m not interested in any Tesco products but if you are now you know where to get them from.


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La Brasa Argentinian Grill Now Open

Posted by Mark

Back in October I posted about a new Argentinian restaurant that was opening up called La Brasa and I was just told it’s now officially open. La Brasa is an Argentinian Grill owned by the popular local photographer Gustavo Ferrari who’s been living in and documenting Kuwait for 38 years now. He was always known for holding amazing barbecues and so he finally decided to open up his own place. All the meat is imported straight from Argentina and everything I tried during the tasting I went to was delicious.

The restaurant is located in the basement of Dar Al Awadi in Kuwait City and are open daily from 12PM to 11PM. On Friday’s they open at 7PM only if they have any bookings otherwise for the time being they’re close. Their instagram account is @labrasaq8


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Does anyone remember GUSTO?

Posted by Mark

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I was talking to a friend about EDO and how it sucks that it’s closing down and we got into talking about restaurants in villas and it reminded me of a place that used to be open called GUSTO. It was located in Kuwait City right at the beginning of the 1st Ring Road (towards the Gulf Road) and it was also located in an old villa.

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The restaurant closed down over a decade ago and I have no idea if anything opened up in its spot. I found four pictures of the restaurant in my archive which I’ve attached to this post.

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Does anyone remember this place?

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Update: The owner of GUSTO left the following comment:

GUSTO! opened in 2001 and closed in 2004, in an old house traditional Kuwait house behind Al-Hamra tower.

The villa was refurbished, taking inspiration from its environment. The architect was Rola Moharrem from Lebanon. There were many interesting architectural features and the interior work was always a talking point. The chef was Larry Lewis, who was recruited to work in GUSTO! from Cordon Bleu London. Larry was known around Kuwait for his Harley bikes. We employed 15 people, and seated at capacity 60.

The menu was an entirely original menu, mainly of fusion food. Some of the best seller items were the beef wellington, thai beef salad, green curry, the duck and the chocolate tart. Larry frequently changed the menu.
These photos were taken for a promotional campaign for GUSTO!. Appearing in the photos are Latif Amara and myself, Rana Sadik, owner of GUSTO!

We opened because I had a passion for restaurants, we closed because passion alone does not pay the bills.


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EDO Shaab Closing Down

Posted by Mark

Over the weekend I found out that the EDO location in Shaab is closing down for good. It seems the owner of the villa wants it back and so they will be moving out at the end of the month. They recently opened their Sahara Country Club location which although has a great view sadly doesn’t have the cozy and warm atmosphere of their 1950’s villa in Shaab. It’s very sad that they’re closing it since there really isn’t any other restaurant like it. Their last operating day is December 31st so if you’ve never been to EDO before you should before its gone for good, it’s one of my favorite sushi places in Kuwait. Here is a link to their [Website]


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The Early Bird Truth

Posted by Mark

bianca

The Early Bird was one of the first breakfast places to open up in Kuwait back in 2007 and is still a pretty popular place. But, according to a recent blog post by the original owner and creator Bianca (pictured above), it seems her Kuwaiti partner took over the business and kicked her out without giving her a single penny. She just put up her side of the story online and you can check it out [Here]

Update: I sat with the Early Bird people and they will be sending me their side of the story soon as well.


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The Nomad Kitchen Food Truck

Posted by Mark

nomad

The Nomad Kitchen is a new concept by Basil Alsalem, the creator of Slider Station, Cocoa Room, Burger Boutique and Open Flame Kitchen. It’s a food truck that just launched last night at the Gulf Run 10 year anniversary event and will be active and moving around Kuwait pretty soon.

The menu last night consisted of a variety of sandwiches from burgers to lobster rolls along with a bunch of sides and dessert. I ended up trying the Nomad Chicken Burger, the Sriracha Glazed Lobster Rolls and the Blackberry Lemonade all of which were delicious.

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The food truck is a huge and gorgeous Airstream trailer that’s been converted into a large kitchen and last night there was an all-star cast running the show with many of whom you’d recognize if you’ve been a regular to any of Basil’s restaurants. If you’re interested in following them they’re on instagram @nomadkitchen


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Talabat was NOT hacked

Posted by Mark

talabat

Last week there were rumors going around online and on whatsapp about Talabat’s customer database being hacked. The hacker supposedly was able to get access to Talabat’s customers addresses and published a file online containing a sample of addresses with a promise that more would be released soon. So I contacted Talabat right away to find out if this security breach was true before posting about it and I received the following response from them:

Dear Mark,

We have our internal security monitoring tools that notify us automatically in case of any hack attempts and have not received any threats about data leak. All our customer information is secured and not leaked to anyone. However, we take notice of such things very seriously and assure you that we are going to investigate this issue thoroughly and will get back to you upon completing our investigation.

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Earlier today Talabat called me up to let me know that after thorough investigation they’ve concluded it to be not true and that their customers information were not leaked. I was also invited to pass by their offices and get a behind the scenes look on how they operate which I will be doing sometime this week.

From the looks of it this incident could be a competitor trying to smear them or even possibly a disgruntled ex-employee. In any case if anything new develops I’ll update this post.


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Steak ‘n Shake Opening Soon

Posted by Mark

steakshake

The American burger franchise Steak ‘n Shake will be opening soon in Bneid Al Gar opposite KFC on the Gulf Road. They’ve taken over the building where Fuddruckers was supposed to open.

As you are aware there aren’t that many burger options available in Kuwait so I can’t wait for it to open. /sarcasm


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Review: Alfredo’s Gallery Restaurant

Posted by Mark

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Alfredo’s Gallery is an Italian restaurant that has been around since 1907. In Kuwait they opened up back in June and according to the message they have plastered everywhere, they’re “The birthplace of the original fettuccine Alfredo”. I decided to pass by with a friend last week for lunch and I left with mixed feelings.

Alfredo’s is located in The Avenues but in a secluded area away from all the hustle and bustle. I personally love the location but for those who are looking for a place to sit and be seen while watching people walk by, this isn’t for you. Alfredo’s is located in a quiet and nicely sun lit courtyard behind H&M in Grand Avenues. There is plenty of outdoor seating but even if you choose to sit inside you won’t be disappointed since the interior is cozy and nice looking.

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The menu is pretty big with a large selection of dishes. We ended up ordering:

Calamari Al Guazzetto KD3.750
Pizza Sofia Loren KD4.950
Extra Mushrooms KD1.000 (for the pizza)
Risotto Al Funghi KD4.750
Tagliatelle alla Bolognese KD4.250
Water KD0.000

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Yeah you read that right, the water is free. When tiny hole in the wall restaurants are selling water for upwards of KD1 it’s refreshing to see a proper restaurant serve complimentary water. The water is served in their own bottles like they would serve tap water in Europe so my guess is in Kuwait they’re filling the bottles from a water cooler which is perfectly fine by me. Let me move on and talk about the food. I found the calamari and pizza both bland. The pizza fared better than the calamari but I wouldn’t go back specifically for their pizza since there are a bunch of places that make better pizza. The bolognese was too salty for my liking and by the time I got down to the bottom of the dish where the sauce was located I stopped eating because I couldn’t bare the salt. The risotto on the other hand, how can I put this nicely… I saw my friend eating only the mushrooms in the risotto so I asked them about it and they told me to try the risotto. It was by far the worst risotto I’ve ever tried, it tasted so gritty and bland that it was inedible.

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Back to the positives, the staff are all Italian and pretty well informed on the menu. They were friendly and attentive although when I was there only two or three other tables were occupied so things might be different on the weekends when they get packed. I was pretty surprised though that the waiter didn’t ask if anything was wrong with the risotto when he came to clean up since the plate was basically untouched. I figured it’s probably a regular occurrence so they just stopped asking about it anymore. Price wise I didn’t find them expensive. My only issue with the place actually was with the food but that’s also the most important thing in a restaurant. In hindsight we should have ordered the fettuccine Alfredo since it’s probably the thing they do best but I didn’t feel like having it that day.

Would I go back? Not really sure. We don’t have that many Italian restaurants in Kuwait and I actually like their location even though it’s in Avenues. But, my guess is that even if I go back and try other dishes, I’d imagine everything would probably end up tasting bland. If you’re interested to find out more about Alfredo’s or if you’d like to check out their menu, here is the link to their [Website]


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Review: Chili Pepper Mexican Grill

Posted by Mark

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Chili Pepper is a new Mexican restaurant that recently opened up by the same guys behind the shawerma place Slice. My friends and I headed there on Thursday night thinking it was a proper dine-in Mexican restaurant but once we got there we realized it was actually a fast food place.

The entrance to Chili Pepper is on the ground floor but as soon as you enter you need to go down a flight of stairs since the actual restaurant is located in the basement. The place had a bunch of tables downstairs as well as the ones located outside the main entrance so finding a place to sit should never be a problem. Ordering is simple with the process is split into three steps:

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Step 1 – Choose a Type
Burrito
Burrito Bowl
Salad
Hard Tacos (2pcs)
Soft Tacos (2pcs)
Quesadilla

Step 2 – Choose a Protein
Chicken KD3.150
Steak KD3.350
Barbacoa KD3.350
Shrimp KD3.500
Vegetarian KD2.750

Step 3 – Choose the Salsa
Sour Cream KD0.200
Pico de Gallo
Corn Salsa
Green Chili
Red Chili
Guacamole KD0.600

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I ended up going with the soft tacos which come as two small pieces so I had one of them chicken and the other barbacoa (lamb). Between the two I preferred the chicken but the soft tacos were just too small and not very filling at all. When I passed by the second time today for lunch I chose the burrito and really thats the way to go, you get a lot more for the same price.

Speaking of price, I don’t understand why a fast food Mexican grill has to be so pricy. I had the chicken burrito today which is KD3.150 and that’s fine but then I added sour cream and guacamole and ended up paying KD3.950. Both those toppings should really be factored into the price. Still though the food is pretty good which is why I went back again. One cool thing they have is the nutritional information for all their items. This means you can know exactly how many calories you’re having which is great for calorie counters. If you’re interested in trying them out, they’re located in Kuwait City in the corner of the building right behind where Ubon and Rio are [Map].


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