I met Essa 10 years ago after posting about his small cookie business back then, Choowy Goowy. Ever since we’ve been really good friends and he’s always an interesting person to talk about food. A week ago he started uploading videos on YouTube with his opinion on various things related to the restaurant and food business in Kuwait, and I watched his latest one which I liked so I decided I’d share it on the blog.
The videos are in Arabic but what I found interesting in the one I’ve linked to is that he talks about targeting the right segment and basically explains why there is a lack of originality in the restaurant scene in Kuwait. His theory is that if you’re opening a restaurant and you decide you want to open something that doesn’t exist already in Kuwait, most likely the reason that something doesn’t exist already is because it doesn’t have a market for it to survive. So people who are opening restaurants look at the market to see what is doing well, what has a large customer base and open something to cater to that audience. Do you open a restaurant for the serious foodie who will drop by your restaurant once every now and then? Or, do you build a business around a customer who will come to your restaurant frequently? Based on the fact that Buffalo Shrimps has become a Kuwaiti staple, it’s pretty clear which direction restaurant owners are taking.
To check out his YouTube channel and subscribe to it, click [Here]
Richard’s Coffee new popup location officially opens today. Their new location is right next door to the new Elevation Burger branch on the Seef Strip and will be there for the next 90 days. Their opening hours is from 7AM to 9PM starting Tuesday, but 3PM to 9PM for today and tomorrow. Here is their location on [Google Maps]
Cereal Killer Cafe is a British franchise that serves over a 100 different kinds of cereals. It’s one of those places people tell you to visit after posting a picture on instagram showing that you’re in London and now they’re opening up in Kuwait. The cafe is going to be located in the same building as Arabica coffee in Kuwait City, just at the other end of the building. According to their instagram account @cerealkillercafekw, they will be opening before the end of this year so pretty soon.
Friday night a friend of mine sent me a video (watch it below) of a coffee shop which I assumed was in Dubai because of how big and pretty it looked. I was watching the video and in my head I was trying to figure out why he would send me a video of a coffee shop in Dubai. But, when I got to the end of the video, it turned out the coffee shop was called Majnoon Qahwa, was in Kuwait and had just opened up. So yesterday morning I headed with a friend of mine to check it out.
Majnoon Qahwa is actually a Jordanian brand and they’re located at The Spot, a new food complex opposite Messilah Beach. The place is pretty big, two floors and an outdoor terrace, the top floor has a bit of a sea view, lots of seating and even a small study area. The ground floor has a smaller seating area but a cozier one with two large coffee roasters at one end giving the space a slightly industrial feel.
We didn’t end up having any of their food, I just had a latte and a pain au chocolat. The latte was ok but the pain au chocolat was terrible, super dense and tasted more like a cake. Not sure how they got that wrong (Al Nata, you guys should hook them up with your stuff). But I really did love the space, the couch we were on was super comfy, the whole interior was beautifully lit up with daylight that came through golden Mashrabiyas and I loved the super high ceiling. Would I go back? Probably not since its out of my way but if I lived in the area then yeah for sure, I’d just skip the pain au chocolat next time.
Now if anyone wants to get the best teapots ever, for some odd reason they sell FORLIFE teapots at the place. They’re reasonably priced as well, around KD10 which is KD2 more expensive than Amazon. They’re really the best teapots, I love them and I personally have 4 different colored ones myself.
If you’re interested in checking the place out, here is their location on [Google Maps] and their instagram account is @majnoon_qahwakw
So usually before I actually sit down and write a post I start writing it in my head. I visualize everything and then I just sit down and type it out. So today I had the perfect plan, there is a new place that was serving matcha drinks and ice cream at the Mishref Coop. So I started planning my post in my head and decided I would pass by today, take a few shots, try out the ice cream and then come back home and write about it.
That plan turned out to be a complete fail since the matcha place turned out to be a popup and they had already left the Mishref location. But, since it’s a slow news day and this was going to be my second post for today, I decided I’m still going to go ahead and post it since it would still be informative.
The matcha place is called Matchadose and they serve a variety of matcha drinks and ice cream. As I mentioned they’re a popup so they move around from location to location. They should be announcing their next location soon so if you’re into matcha then you should check out their instagram account for updates @matchadose
Update: They’ll be popping up next at AUK on October 16th.
With all the coffee shops popping up around Kuwait, it’s going to be pretty difficult for the different coffee shops to stick out. Jumo Coffee already have an advantage since they’ve got a great location at Sadu House but they’re also approaching the coffee scene a bit differently. Instead of just serving their coffee at their location, they’re also providing other restaurants with the ability to brew Jumo Coffee. Yesterday I found out one of those restaurants is Junkyard in the Al Hamra Tower food court.
Junkyard now has a small Jumo Coffee corner which means you can finally get a decent cup of coffee before heading to the movies. Since my office is in Al Hamra Tower, this is going to be my morning go to coffee place until Arabica opens up across the street. And to top it off, if you work in Al Hamra (like Alghanim and Ministry of Youth employees), you get a 25% discount. Just make sure you have your tower badge with you.
Table Otto, the new restaurant by Kuwaiti chef Faisal Al Nashmi (the same guy behind Street by Almakan) is now open in Al Shaheed Park. They’re still in a soft launch phase so they’re only opening from 7PM to 10PM at the moment. The restaurant is located right across from the still to open Habitat Museum in Al Shaheed Park and you can get a better idea about the place by checking their instagram page @table.otto
Richard’s Coffee came on the local coffee scene back in March as a temporary pop-up for 90 days. After the 90 days were done, they packed up and moved out. Now, they’re coming back again but this time in a new location.
Their new setup is going to be located next door to the new Elevation Burger branch on the Seef Strip [Google Maps]. I passed by a few nights ago and the place looked nearly done. According to the owner, they should be opening up in around 2 weeks time. I hadn’t started drinking coffee the last time they were open so I’m definitely going to try them out this time around. Check them out on instagram @richardscoffeebar
Thomas Keller is a popular American chef who currently hold 7 Michelin stars (3 at Per Se, 3 at The French Laundry, and 1 at Bouchon). Alshya are bringing his casual dining French-inspired Bouchon Bistro to Kuwait and they’ll be opening the restaurant at Avenues in place of where the Cavalli Caffè used to be located. I don’t have an idea on when they’re opening but the last time I passed by the Cavalli location it didn’t look like any work had started.
Update: I was just informed they’re sadly bringing Bouchon Bakery and NOT Bouchon Bistro. This sucks since I was actually pretty excited about the bistro. We don’t need more Macarons!