Sahara Restaurant Village nearly complete

Post by Mark


The Sahara Restaurant Village located right outside of the Sahara Country Club is nearly complete with just the electricity left to come on before the doors open. The last list of places opening up there I had were the following although I’m not sure how accurate this is right now:

Slider Station
Burger Boutique
Jar by Choowy Goowy
Villa Fayrouz
Tatami Japanese Restaurant
52 Degrees
Caribou Coffee
Costa Coffee
Athletes Foot
Skinny Cloud
Emirgan Sutis
Le Relais de l’Entrecote

According to one tenants they’re expecting the village to be open sometime end of April or early May.

Update: I’ve updated the list of restaurants based on new information

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Breakfast at Gia

Post by Mark


Gia, one of my favorite cafes launched a breakfast menu sometime back and I finally had the chance to try it this past weekend.

The Gia breakfast menu is divided into four main parts, “A Healthy Start” which includes granola, fruit and oatmeal bowls, “Eggscuze You” which includes three kinds of egg dishes, “Sandwiches” which also includes three dishes and finally the “What Diet?” section which includes french toast and waffles. I ended up going for the Poached Eggs on Avocados with a side of sausages while my friend went for two eggs any style with a side of bacon.


My Poached Eggs on Avocados turned out to be pretty good, the eggs were perfectly cooked and were really runny just like I had asked for. Flavor wise it might have lacked a bit but healthy food generally does. My friends eggs were fine as well since you can’t really go wrong with scrambled eggs plus I think he ordered the most boring dish on the menu.

Now the sides on the other hand were both so not worth it. The bacon was just 4 small strips, not crispy and weren’t even warm. The sausages were also 4 small pieces and weren’t that great either. Each of those sides cost KD1 which I think is overpriced considering my favorite breakfast place Cocoa Room gives you so much more for the same price and also taste so much better. I’d definitely not order any sides the next time I’m there.

Ignoring the underwhelming sides, breakfast was enjoyable and Gia is now going to be one of my weekend breakfast destinations. If you’re interested their instagram account is @giakwt and they serve breakfast from 9AM to 11AM. Here is a link to their [Menu]

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Interview: Simon and Adrian Nelbom of Mr Karak

Post by Mark


I’m not a big fan of interviews but I do like stories especially interesting ones. This is why I’m going to try and post one interview a week with someone I think has a story worth sharing. For my first interview I met up with two intriguing brothers, Simon and Adrian Nelbom who make and sell karak tea under their self created brand, Mr karak. I first met them at one of the Secret Garden brunches so when they proposed we meet up there for the interview I thought it was very appropriate.

Two Danish brothers in Kuwait making Indian karak tea? I needed to know how, what and why.

A year and a half ago Adrian had just finished his studies in Copenhagen and Simon was working in a very famous organic bakery. They were both in periods of their lives where they didn’t know what they wanted to do. After a bit of contemplation they both decided to come to Kuwait since they had relatives from here. One of their families’ closest friends of 50+ years was a Danish woman married to a Kuwaiti. During the interview they kept referring to them as relatives and understandably so because of the close family ties.

When I think of Danish drinks, I think of Carlsberg or Tuborg beer and definitely not karak which is why I wanted to know how all this came about.

When Adrian and Simon came to Kuwait their relatives introduced karak to them. Simon had traveled to India back in 2012 and he had chai all the time while there. He didn’t know what it was but he was having it wherever he went. So when his relatives introduced and explained karak to him he loved the idea of milk with tea since they didn’t have it in Denmark. Karak was also relatively new to Kuwait. It was popular in places like Bahrain and Qatar but it was still picking up here in Kuwait. When Simon was working at the bakery in Denmark they used to have the best milk and the best coffee, so he decided to take it upon himself as a challenge to try and make the best karak he possibly could.

They started researching the local market and realized majority of the people were using either long life milk or canned milk. The idea of using canned milk, which had a 1-year shelf life didn’t make any sense to Simon. He told me milk should come from a cow and you drink it, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Milk is not supposed to last a year sitting on a shelf. That’s gross. He then continued telling me that was the first thing they decided, no long life milk. Fresh milk is available in Kuwait so they started using it.


With that as a starting point they continued the same principle across all the ingredients, they wanted to create an all fresh and natural karak. They kept experimenting with different fresh ingredients and even started importing ones they couldn’t find like Cinnamomum verum. The fact that they were both Danish made things difficult since they don’t drink and eat a lot of Cardamom so they started adding other ingredients. Finally after lots of tasting sessions with their Kuwaiti relatives, they finally ended up with karak that everybody liked. Once they were ready they signed up for Qout Market and launched their brand. That was back in March of last year.

Other than just using the right products, Adrian and Simon both spend a lot of time educating their customers on the benefits of their ingredients. For example the most popular cinnamon used is cassia (Chinese cinnamon) which when you look up you’ll realize has health risks. The real cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka and is called Cinnamomum verum. Not many people know this (I didn’t) which is why Qout Market was a special launch place and still is a great venue for them. The people who visit them at Qout are always interested to listen and learn about their products. Later on they got another seal of approval when they finally became part of the Secret Garden family. To become part of this family meant getting an approval from the culinary genius and shakshooka and Secret Garden mastermind Mimi. They’re now regulars there as well albeit without their Mr Karak brand due to strict Secret Garden rules.

The brothers now serve a variety of different karaks including “The Original” and “The Masala”. The first consists of ginger, saffron and cardamom while the second consists of cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and mint leaves. They also have a nondairy version which was another story of experimentation as well since the first thing that comes to mind is using soya milk. But soya milk isn’t that great for you which is why they tried using the much healthier almond milk. But when they started boiling the almond milk, they were ending up with texture they didn’t like so they kept looking for another alternative. After a bit of a search they found organic coconut milk which ended up working really well especially with all the spices. So those are the three main kinds of karaks they have but they then came up with two more. They were getting ready for the April Qout Market last year and the weather was fairly warm so they wondered if people would want to drink hot tea out in the sun. They started brainstorming ideas and they came up with karak shake using vanilla ice cream (I personally tried it at the last Qout and loved it). But what about the people who were counting calories? They decided to make another cold karak using crushed ice. So their menu now is composed of five types of karak drinks.


Other than karak the guys also serve chapatti. Again they use all natural ingredients to try and make it as healthy a chapatti as possible and even try to use healthy spreads (no Nutella or Kraft Cheese).

One thing both Adrian and Simon wanted to make clear through out the interview is none of their success would have been possible without their amazing team who have mostly been with them since day 1. They also hinted that they’re currently looking for a place to set up a permanent shop but haven’t found a good location yet.

Sitting with the brothers it was very clear that they’re extremely passionate about their karak. In fact the interview was around an hour long but I tried to share as much as possible here without making this post so long that no one would want to read it. I highly recommend you try their karak (especially the shake) and I also recommend having a chat with the two since they’ve got so much more to share. If you’re interested, they’ll be taking part in the Street Fest market this coming weekend and hopefully if they get approved they’ll be at Qout Market next month. Here’s a link to their instagram account @mrkarak

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Slider Station Dubai

Post by Mark


Slider Station, the locally created sliders and American tapas bar has opened up in Dubai. I passed by in support last week during their soft launch and I loved the place. Compared to our local Slider Station the one in Dubai is huge with super high ceilings and lots of seating. The menu is also larger combing some of the favorites from Open Flame Kitchen, Nomad Kitchen and Slider Station all into one menu. If you’re in Dubai and want to check it out they officially open on March 16th and they’re located in the Galleria Mall on Al Wasl Road. Here is a link to their instagram @sliderstationae

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Hungarian Chimney Cakes

Post by Mark


Hungarian chimney cakes (Kürtőskalács) are a traditional Hungarian pastry that are hand rolled, coated with sugar and baked in a special oven. I saw them being made on the streets in Prague when I was there a couple of years back and I recently found out we have them in Kuwait at a very odd location, the Sea Wave kiosks on the sea side in Salmiya.


According to the employee at the kiosk the owner is Hungarian and he decided to make and sell these cakes at the kiosks to test the market and see if there is an interest. I hadn’t tried one before so I bought one and it was actually pretty good, very similar to sugar brioche.


The chimney cakes are baked fresh at the kiosk and come rolled in different flavors. Not sure why the owner hasn’t considered making them at markets like Qout since it’s something new and its easy to have while walking around. In any case you can check them out on instagram @hungarian_chimney_cake_kuwait

Top photo taken from

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Mishwarna – Episode 4

Post by Mark

In episode 4 of Mishwarna, Rawaf and Tamara explore a few of the places in Kuwait where you can go and eat healthy food. [YouTube]


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Saturday Brunch at STREET

Post by Mark


STREET, the underground streetfood eatery which opened up back in November have now launched a brunch menu. The menu is small with five egg dishes and three non-egg dishes. I ended up having the Stairway to Heaven sandwich which was delicious (but SUPER messy to eat) and their pancakes which I think are the second best tasting in Kuwait (Cheesecake Factory have the best tasting ones). Next time I go back I’ll be trying their Truffled Creamed Corn dish which everyone has been highly recommending as well.

If you’re interested in trying their brunch menu its every Saturday from 9:30AM till 2PM. Check out their Instagram account for more photos and information [Here]

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Sultanchef Opening at Symphony Mall

Post by Mark


The Turkish Steakhouse Sultanchef is opening a new location at the Symphony Style Mall in Salmiya. It’s the same location where Bubba Gump Shrimp was previously supposed to open so not sure whats going on there. Koryokwan, the Korean restaurant was also supposed to open in the basement below that spot but don’t think thats happening as well since they’ve removed the Koryokwan logo from the hoardings.

Sultanchef is very popular and their current location in Kuwait City is always packed so my guess is they’ll be brining a lot of footfall to the very dead Symphony Style Mall. If you haven’t already, check out my review of Sultanchef [Here]

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Alghanim Industries Takes Over Wendy’s in the Middle East

Post by Mark


Alghanim Industries acquired the rights to develop Wendy’s restaurants across the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region from Alamar Foods, a Saudi-based company owned jointly by Al Jammaz Group and the Carlyle Group. The value of the deal remains undisclosed. Alghanim Industries has acquired all operational outlets in the UAE with plans to open additional stores across MENA over the next 10 years. Part of the expansion in the region includes opening stores in Alghanim Industries home market, Kuwait, which has among the highest consumption of fast food per capita in the MENA region. [Link]

It’s interesting that Alghanim are getting into the food industry, makes me wonder what they will be bringing next?

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Green Yummies

Post by Mark


I was at Sanabil Tower yesterday and spotted a new little shop called Green Yummies. Two things caught my eye, first they had healthy sweet potato chips and baked hummos chips (both turned out to be delicious) and secondly they had a bunch of buy one get one free offers because some of their chips were expiring soon.

The price? They usually sell the bags of chips for 550fils each but the sweet potato was buy one get one free and the hummos was buy one get two free. They also had a bunch of other healthy super foods including cereals and energy bars. They’ve only been open for two months now and their instagram account is @greenyummies

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