The Onam Festival 2016

Post by Mark

onam

The Onam Festival is back and will be taking place tomorrow Wednesday the 14th of September. Onam is the biggest and most important festival of the state of Kerala in India and it’s also celebrated here in Kuwait. A few Southern Indian restaurants in Kuwait offer the traditional vegetarian dish the Onasadya during the festival and below are some of those restaurants.

Caesar’s Dakshin Restaurant – Jeleeb Al-Shuyoukh – Al Jawhara Building
Price: KD3.500
Telephone: 24319191, 24310303 [Map]

Udupi Restaurant – Fahaheel – Green Tower
Price: KD2.250
Telephone: 25456565 [Map]

Saravanaa Bhavan – Fahaheel – Humoud Towers
Price: KD2.750
Telephone: 23929099 [Map]

If you know of any more places serving Onam please let me know.


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Pastry Classes

Post by Mark

macaroons

I’m always trying to find new and interesting things to do in Kuwait and since I like baking I found this interesting. Local company FAME are offering pastry classes taught by a French pastry chef and chocolatier. They have a bunch of classes from how to make Macaroons to puff pastry, truffles and other desserts.

The classes are one on one, are 4 hours long each and cost KD80. The classes can be maximum two students if the students know each other so say you and a friend want to take the class together. If you want to find out more you can check out their classes [Here]


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Chick-fil-A Might Be Coming to Kuwait!

Post by Mark

chickfila

According to an email I received, last week Al Sayer signed a deal to bring the fast food franchise Chick-fil-A to Kuwait (and I’m guessing the region). Al Sayer recently brought Five Guys to Kuwait so I wouldn’t be too surprised if this information turned out to be true. A chicken franchise seems to go hand in hand with a burger one, Americana have Hardees and KFC, Alshaya have Shake Shack and Cane’s Chicken, and Al Sayer will end up with Five Guys and Chick-fil-A. I’ve gotten in touch with my contact at Al Sayer to confirm this information but haven’t heard back from him yet.

Back in 2012 there were rumors Alshaya were in talks to bring Chick-fil-A to the region but the deal fell through. Supposedly one of the terms they couldn’t agree on was the fact that Chick-fil-A wanted to close on Sundays (they’re a very Christian company). Alshaya was trying to convince them to change that rule for the region but Chick-fil-A wasn’t backing down and the deal fell apart.

If Al Sayer do manage to bring Chick-fil-A to the region that would be a pretty amazing accomplishment. Not only does Chick-fil-A only exist in the US at the moment but the way they run their franchises is different from others. For example Chick-fil-A franchise owners generally aren’t allowed to own more than one or two branches in the States so that they can give it all their attention. So handing the reigns to another company to open up as many branches as they wish would be an unusualstep for them. I hope they are coming though since I love their food and I’ve had great experiences at their restaurants which were all super clean and had great service.

Update: Just got a pretty aggressive call a few moments ago from Al Sayer Franchising relating to this post. According to the person I spoke to at Al Sayer Franchising, this is the first they hear about a deal with Chick-fil-A. I’ll not go into too much details relating to the phone call, but I will say it wasn’t the kind of professionalism I was expecting from them.

Now just a bit of perspective on this situation. If by any chance the deal with Chick-fil-A was signed last week with Al Sayer, that information would take time before trickling down the chain of command. So it could still very well be true that Al Sayer acquired the franchise or signed some sort of preliminary agreement but have yet to let everyone internally know. In any case, they are denying this information to be true.


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Order Fresh Fish Online

Post by Mark

freshfish

Kuwait Fresh Fish is a local website that allows you to order fish online, either fresh or cooked. The website design is terrible but the idea is there. I know a lot of people who would rather have fish delivered to them instead of getting it themselves and then having to risk their car stinking of fish for the next couple of days. Personally I wouldn’t use it since there is a Sultan Center down the street from me.

Kuwait Fresh Fish works with cash on delivery and they charge 750 fils for delivery. The major flaw I see with the whole service is that their delivery time is from 4PM to 9PM which rules out seafood for lunch. Here is a link to their [Website]


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Johnny Rockets 1995

Post by Mark

johnnyrockets

It was around 5AM and I was sitting at Johnny Rockets Salmiya waiting for my meal when it suddenly hit me, the place hadn’t changed one tiny bit since it first opened back in 1995. I quickly snapped a few pictures and decided to send it to my high school crush who I used to frequent Johnny Rockets with all the time. A minute later she responds… Memories!!!!

Back in 1995/1996, during my senior year in high school, Fuddruckers was the place to go. I mean there weren’t that many options anyway, none of the restaurants you see on the Gulf Road today existed back then, we didn’t have any malls like we do today except for Laila Gallery, Zahra Complex and Salhiya. So as teenagers we spent most of our time either hanging out at each others homes or the ice skating rink which was honestly pretty cool back then with Snap and Soul II Soul being blasted loudly by the DJ while we played with the arcade machines and watched people skate. So when Fuddruckers opened everyone in Kuwait was there on the weekends. It used to be super crowded and such a fun place to just chill and meet up with teens from other schools. Then Johnny Rockets opened and everyone started going there.

We were around 5 in my group, 2 girls and 3 guys and we started going to Johnny Rockets instead of Fuddruckers like most other teens. I lived on Salem Mubarek Street so my friends would just get dropped off at my place and we’d hang out in my room for a bit before walking down to Johnny. We usually headed to the Video Club first which was across the street from Johnny so we could check out the latest music tapes and CDs. We’d then visit the bookshop next door and flip through the magazines before heading over to Johnny. By the time we’d get to Johnny we would all have spent whatever little money we had on music tapes or magazines so we’d put whatever change we had together and order one cup of tea. I only ever ate there a handful of times as a teenager, and the first time was on a date with my high school crush. Our love affair with Johnny Rockets didn’t last very long though. Since the place was small and Johnny became the “it” place to be, it used to get overcrowded and mostly with teenagers like us who would only order a couple of drinks and then sit there. Forever. So, Johnny Rockets started implementing a minimum order, I think it was KD1.750 per person, so we couldn’t afford hanging out there anymore. Instead we started chilling outside Johnny Rockets, on the sidewalk until a short while later McDonalds opened up above it and it became our hangout spot.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make here is that sometimes we don’t appreciate things until they’re gone, but I want to take this moment and appreciate Johnny Rockets while it’s still here. Thank you Johnny Rockets for not changing and still being here.


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Minus 11 Ice Cafe

Post by Mark

icecafe

Yesterday an ice cafe opened up in Kuwait called Minus 11. If you’ve never been to one its basically a cafe that is basically a freezer and everything inside is made of ice from the seats, to the sculptures to the cups. According to Minus 11 they’re the largest ice cafe in the world and also the coldest with the temperature reaching a freezing -11 degrees.

I’ve been to an ice pub before which is similar except involves alcohol and I got bored so don’t think I’ll be visiting this cafe anytime soon. But if you’re interested in checking it out they’re located in Al Tijaria Tower in Kuwait City. The entry price is KD10 for children under 12 and KD15 for everybody else. Included in the price is 1 drink with free refill, the winter outfit they lend you and the ability to spend up to 45 minutes inside the cafe. For more details check out their instagram [Here]


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Mexican Coke

Post by Mark

cocacola

Until last week I didn’t know there was anything called Mexican Coca Cola but then I got a crate of it delivered to my office. According to wikipedia, the biggest difference between Mexican Coke and regular coke is that Mexican Coke is sweetened using cane sugar as opposed to high-fructose corn syrup.

Mexican Coke is supposed to taste better or at least have a more “natural” taste to it but after trying it out I couldn’t tell any difference between it and regular Coke. On the plus side the bottle is pretty cool and since Narcos is starting 12 days, Colombian Mexican Coke might be a good pairing.

If you’re interested in trying Mexican Coke they’re being sold for a limited time at Eighty Six Burger for KD1 a pop.

Update: A reader shared an interesting NYT article of when the ban on Coca Cola was lifted in Kuwait back in 1988. You could check that article out [Here]


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Jumo Coffee Roasters

Post by Mark

jumo

Last night after dinner I passed by the Sadu House for coffee with a couple of friends. Jumo Coffee Roasters are currently based at the Sadu House and they’ve got such a beautiful setup at the moment. They’re located inside one of the air conditioned courtyards in the Sadu House and the atmosphere was so chill. Sadly this setup is temporary and only until the end of the month. So if you’re interested in checking it out you better hurry up. They’re open daily from 7AM to 10PM except on Fridays where they open from 3PM to 10PM. Here is their location on [Google Maps] and their instagram is @jumocoffee.

On a similar subject, I heard there are around 14 new independent coffee shops that are going to be opening up in Kuwait over the next few months.


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Grilled Lobster at IKEA

Post by Mark

lobster

When I first heard that IKEA was serving grilled lobster alongside their usual meatballs and chicken nuggets, I thought it was funny, but then I became curious. Was it any good? So yesterday I decided to pass by and try it out.

It was a bit crowded when I dropped by for lunch since they had a buy one get one free offer on their meatballs dishes. When my turn finally came up I asked for the grilled lobster and noticed the woman next to me look at me and smile as if I had just told a lame joke. But, the look on her face when I got handed my lobster dish was priceless. IKEA is the last place you’d expect to find lobster on the menu which is why I was so curious to try it.

The grilled lobster costs KD4.750 and comes with a side of steamed vegetables or french fries. And unsurprisingly, you get what you pay for. The lobster was super dry, tough and bland, it didn’t even taste like lobster. Definitely not something I’d want to have again. My recommendation? Order the meatballs instead.

Thanks Grant


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% ARABICA Gardenia

Post by Mark

arabicag1

Back in April I posted that the popular coffee place ARABICA was opening a second location in Shuwaikh, this past weekend I found out that they’re opening another location as well. ARABICA are opening a new third location in the Arraya Plaza, the open air shaded space between Arraya Mall and the parking lot, the same spot where the first Qout Market took place.

arabicag2

The new ARABICA will be called ARABICA Gardenia and was designed by a Japanese architect based in Tokyo. Both ARABICA Gardenia as well as the ARABICA location in Shuwaikh are both expected to open in October.

Update: Due to an issue with the original design, the opening of the Arraya location has now been pushed back to November/December.


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