Watersouq – Online Bottled Water Delivery Service

Post by Mark

Watersouq is a website that focuses on just one thing, bottled water, and I like that. It’s very specific but because they’re very focused they do it pretty well. I think they have nearly every water brand that’s available in Kuwait on their website so even if you’re looking for an obscure brand, you’ll probably find it listed there. They also seem to have a bunch of deals going on like buy 10 boxes get 2 free or buy 20 get 6 free which is great if you’re buying in bulk for your office or large home.

It actually makes sense to buy in large quantities because Watersouq charge KD1 for delivery and an additional 400fils service charge. If this seems like something you’re interested in, here a linke to their [Website]


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Pantry Tips: The 60 Minute Machboos

Post by Hind

I cook a lot but there are some cuisines that always seemed a bit too out of reach, and that list sadly used to include Kuwaiti cuisine.

I always believed that Machboos would be way too difficult and too long to make to fit into my weekday cooking lifestyle. But I wanted to learn, so I tasked my Chef CoFounder Yousef Al Munayes to have a stab at making Machboos accessible to the average Jo. He being the whiz that he is, succeeded and I finally made my very first Kuwaiti dish at the ripe old age of 32.

When you break it down you can cook a whole Machboos in just one pot and in under an hour if the ratios are right. A small whole chicken for two can easily cook through in this time period just follow this simple recipe below and enjoy!

Ingredients:
800 gram Whole Chicken (split in half with spine removed)
1.5 Cups Basmati Rice (soaked in cold water for 15-20mins)
2 Cloves Garlic Minced
1 Small Red Onion Chopped
3 Tbsp Machboos Spice Mix (found in any grocery)
Rice Topping (1 Tbsp Rose Water, 2 Tsp Ground Cardamon, Few strands of Saffron)
1 Tbsp Vegetable stock
550ml Boiling water

1. Cook the chicken
Season the chicken with 3/4ths of the spice mix. Heat a deep sautee pan over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil. When hot add the chicken skin side down. Cook for 6-8 mins or until the chicken is well browned. Flip and cook for 4-5 more mins. Set aside.

2. Cook the aromatics
In the same sautee pan used for searing the chicken, add the chopped onion, cook stirring occasionally for 3-4 mins or until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and remaining spice mix, continue stirring for 1 minute.

3. Put it all together
Strain your rice and add to the pan along with 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil. Gently stir for 1-2 mins, add the boiling water, season with vegetable stock, salt and black pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Top with the seared chicken pieces and cover. Set the heat to the lowest setting. Cook for 30 minutes then take off heat. Open the lid, add the rice topping. Cover and let sit for 10 mins. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

Post by Hind
CoFounder of PantryBee where home cooking is made easy.


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30 Minutes or Less Delivery

Post by Mark

Ever since Elevation Burger started offering delivery on Carriage I’ve been harassing them to let me in on their secret, how are they the only ones on Carriage able to deliver in 30 minutes or less? I’m always super curious about how things work and I really wanted to know how they were doing this. My assumption was that they must have worked out some sort of deal with Carriage where their drivers would just camp outside the Elevation stores waiting for the orders because I couldn’t figure out how else they managed this. I finally sat down with Elevation last week to hear how the backend works and turns out, it’s a bit more complicated than that. So there are two parts to the formula on making the 30 minutes or less delivery happen, one involves Elevation, the other Carriage. So how does it work? If you’re curious read on.

Elevation Burger
From Elevations side, to make the 30-minutes or less delivery time they first needed to be able to get the food prepared as quickly as possible. That involved upgrading their kitchens as well as lots of staff training. This allowed them to bring down the prep time down considerably while remaining consistent. By having a consistent and short prep time, Carriage would be able to send their drivers a lot earlier to pick up the food. The second thing Elevation did was to limit the delivery locations to 30-minute radiuses around their branches. This limited their overall delivery radius around Kuwait, but it allowed them to keep their fast delivery speed.

Carriage
The other side of the equation is Carriage. Because they know exactly how long a meal takes to be prepared at Elevation, they are able to disperse their drivers a lot sooner than they would usually do. Carriage also have an algorithm that can predict based on the time of day where most of the orders will come from. So for example Carriage knows that at 2PM a lot of people in one area order a lot from specific restaurants. So they’d send their drivers ahead of time to that area near those specific restaurants in preparation for the spike they’re expecting. Elevation is one of the brands on Carriage that have a lot of orders so Carriage drivers are usually located near their branches. For example at Seef, drivers tend to hang around the parking lot near Elevation because of the fact that location has a number of restaurants like Prime & Toast, Pizetta and The Burger Hub while also being close to other popular restaurants further down the street like Joa, Gia and Eighty Six.

So in summary, the combination of a consistently fast prep time, a lot of branches and Carriage drivers always being close by is how you end up with a delivery time that’s under 30-minutes. Currently, only Elevation seems to be delivering in under 30-minutes but from what I’ve been told, more restaurants are trying to get in on this as well.


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Qout Market is Coming Back

Post by Mark

Starting from next month, Qout Market will be starting back up again and go on until March. Last year Qout Market took place at Al Shaheed Park Phase I and this year its going to take place at Al Shaheed Park again, but this time around, it’s going to be in Phase II next to the musical fountain. The first Qout Market should take place on Saturday, December 2nd.

To stay posted on the upcoming markets, you can follow Qout on instagram @qoutmarket


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Dampa Feast Seafood Restaurant

Post by Mark

You’ve probably noticed by now that for the past couple of weeks I’ve been posting a lot of food posts. That probably has to do with the fact that I’ve been hanging around @chefkb and so we’ve both been going through our long list of places we’ve been meaning to try. Dampa Feast was one of those places we both had on our list so we decided to pass by last week along with another friend of ours @chefbasmah to try it out.

Dampa Feast is a seafood restaurant thats located in Souk Salmiya. It opened up around 3 months back and I didn’t think a lot of people knew about it so I was completely shocked when I got there to find a large crowd waiting outside and a two page long waiting list. Keep in mind this was a Monday night and not a weekend. We put our name down on the list and headed to Daiso to kill some time. Finally just over an hour later we managed to get our table and sat down to order our food.

Their menu is made up various seafood dishes that include shrimp, lobster, mussels, crab, squid and salmon, all cooked in a variety of spices. We decided to go with their signature Dampa Feast menu which included shrimp, crab, mussels, clams, corn and unlimited rice. You also get to choose the kind of sauce its mixed with like cajun, soya, chipotle butter, hot garlic etc.. The Dampa Feast is meant to be enough for 2 to 4 people yet for some reason we decided to order two Dampa Feast menus, one using their hot garlic sauce and the other using their schezwan sauce. We also ordered some cajun mussels on the side. With the Dampa Feast menu you also get 2-liters of mocktails, we went with their Sex Appeal mocktail and their Lindsay Lohan one. Yeah it’s hilarious I know.

At Dampa Feast you don’t get any cutlery or tableware, all the food is served to you on the table itself and you have to use your hands to eat. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty you can wear disposable gloves which they provide but I think that takes the fun out of it. The food is poured out into the center of the table then the rice is placed along the sides to capture all the sauce. We kinda destroyed it that night and barely left any food on the table even though one Dampa Feast was definitely enough for the three of us. My favorite flavors were the hot garlic and cajun sauces with the schezwan sauce being the blandest of the three. The food was pretty good but really its the total experience that sold us on the place, it’s a lot of fun. The waiters had Hawaiian shirts on, the place was blasting good 80s music and the company was the best.

Their pricing is pretty reasonable, you can check out the whole menu [Front] and [Back] but for example the Dampa Feast cost KD13 which is really good value. The only negative thing about the place is the fact that there is a waiting list and they don’t take your phone number down or hand you a buzzer. You basically have to hover around the area and keep checking on your status every 15 minutes or so. It’s definitly worth trying and we’re for sure going back with more friends the next time. Dampa Feast is located on the top floor of Souk Salmiya near the food court and they’re open from 12PM to 11PM. You can also check them out on instagram @dampafeast


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Kenny Rogers Roasters is Coming Back to Kuwait

Post by Mark

Kenny Rogers Roasters the chicken chain used to be open in Kuwait next to Scientific Center but then ended up closing down back in 1996. Their location next to Scientific Center is still there but abandoned, you can actually check photos of it [Here]. Now it looks like it’s reopening again in Souk Salmiya next to Dampa Feast (that post is coming next).

If you’re wondering where you might know Kenny Rogers Roasters from, it could be from an episode of Seinfeld when they opened up across the street from Kramer. That’s at least how I found out about them. You can check out some clips from that episode on YouTube [Here]


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Ananas Equatorial Bar

Post by Mark

Ananas is a new spot that just opened up and I think it has one of the nicest interiors in Kuwait. Ananas is a coffee and juice bar created by the guys behind Ubon and is located in Kuwait City. They sadly don’t have much of a menu with around 8 juices to choose from, coffee, 2 sandwiches and some cookies. It’s such a great looking place though with interior and exterior seating and a very tropical feel to the whole place.

Starting today they’re open from 9AM to 10PM. Here is their location on [Google Maps] and their instagram account is @ananas.kw


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Eyescream and Friends

Post by Mark

Eyescream and Friends is a new ice cream place that opened up at 360 Mall. It’s a franchise from Spain with a simple idea, make the ice cream look like little creatures with the use of two candy eyes. Simple idea but it works. When I first saw pictures of the ice cream I thought it looked super cute so I decided to go and get one for myself.

The presentation is great and you get to choose two different toppings to go along with your ice cream. I went with the chocolate ice cream with pistachio and strawberry sauce on the side. The ice cream itself wasn’t that great but my little ice cream creature looked very cute just like in the photos I had seen. I can imagine kids would really love this place. If you’re interested, they’re located in the 360 Mall food court. Their instagram account isn’t active but the main franchise instagram account is @eyescreamandfriends


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Toby’s Estate Now in Shuwaikh

Post by Mark

Toby’s Estate officially opened a new location in Shuwaikh yesterday which now means, 4 of my 5 favorite coffee shops have opened in Shuwaikh this year. % Arabica, Caffeine, Vol.1 and now Toby’s are all located walking distance from each other in Shuwaikh. The only coffee place left from my favorites list to open there is Richard’s Coffee. Here is the location of the new Toby’s on [Google Maps]


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M.E’AT – Middle Eastern Eatery

Post by Mark

M.E’AT is a new restaurant that opened up this past Thursday on the Seef Strip. It’s a small little place and one I hope will do really well (I think it will for sure) because it’s now one of my new favorite spots. M.E’AT is short for Middle Eastern Eatery and it’s a local creation brought to you by the same people behind Pick. It’s a build your own bowl kind of place and I’m loving it.

M.E’AT is tiny, there aren’t tables inside and just a handful of tables outside. It’s more of a takeaway or eat in your car kind of place and I don’t mind that since I love eating in my car while watching youtube or listening to a podcast. They have a bunch of ready made bowls on their menu but I didn’t even look at those since I went straight to creating my own one. They have over 100 different ingredients for you to choose from so to make the process easy for you, they pass you a sheet with all the items you can choose from and you just tick the ones you want. The sheet is divided into 5 parts:

Base (choose up to 2)
Proteins (add as many proteins as you want, each with a different cost)
Toppings (add up to 9)
Dressing (choose up to 2)
Nuts & Garnish (choose up to 2)

So for example for my first bowl I ended up going for the following:

Base: Baby spinach, 3 colors quinoa
Proteins: Tenderloin beef (2 portions)
Toppings: spring onion, grilled zucchini, fresh mushrooms, avocado, roasted squash
Dressing: Mushroom demi glace
Nuts & Garnish: Flax seeds

I loved how many different items I could choose from and this is gonna be the perfect place for me after my gym which is walking distance since I could have my proteins, my good carbs and my greens all in one bowl. If you’re counting your macros you’re gonna love this place even more since if you turn around the build your bowl sheet, you get the exact macros for all the ingredients they use. So say you add tuna to your bowl, you know you’re getting 89 calories, 0 carbs, 20g of protein and 1g of fat from the portion of tuna they add to your bowl. No other place in Kuwait does this from what I’m aware of, and even if they do I highly doubt they do to this extent (100+ items). Here is a link to the front and back of the build your own bowl sheet so you can get a better idea of what I’m talking about [Front] [Back]

In around a months time they’ll also be launching a mobile application which will allow you to create your own bowl while the app automatically calculates your macros. You’ll then be able to save and name your bowl so you could share it with other people, or speed up your ordering process in the store by just giving the cashier the name of your bowl. That’s really smart.

Price wise I think they’re fairly affordable considering the vast amount of food you’re getting. Expect to pay anywhere between KD3 to to KD4 for a custom bowl with protein. I think it’s really good value for money.

The only negative thing about the place is their name. I think M.E’AT sounds like its a steakhouse which it isn’t and I also don’t think it’s short for Middle Eastern Eatery since even on their wall (pictured on top) the initials for that would be M.E’EAT. This doesn’t distract from the good food, but it’s something that has been coming up a lot when I tell people about the place since I have to keep explaining that even though it’s called M.E’AT, they don’t really mean meat.

Other than that though I’m a big fan of the place and hope they open up more locations around Kuwait. If you’re interested in trying them out they’re located right next to Elevation Burger on the Seef Strip. Here is their location on [Google Maps] and you can check out their instagram account @meatkwt


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