Johnny Rockets 1995

Post by Mark


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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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iHop Now Open 24 Hours

Post by Mark

Not sure when they started but iHop in Jabriya is now open 24 hours a day. Previously they were just open from 7AM to midnight. I’ve updated the Breakfast Places in Kuwait list accordingly.

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New Restaurant: Vigonovo Italian Homestyle Food

Post by Mark


Vigonovo is a new small Italian restaurant that just opened up a couple of days back in Salmiya. The restaurant is run by an Italian chef called Marco and I passed by yesterday to check it out. Vigonovo is the name of a town in Northern Italy where Marco comes from so he infuses the characteristic and flavors of his province into his dishes. The menu is fairly small consisting of 3 salads, 4 first mains, 3 second mains and a few desserts. Only a few of the items are permanently on the menu while the rest change all the time. Every morning Marco heads to the local market to see what produce is available and based on his findings, he creates a menu for the day. I like that. A lot.


You could check out yesterdays menu (and prices) since I took a picture of it [Here]. I went with the Cupcake Lasagna, the Pumpkin Tortelli with Smoked Ricotta, the Frico & Polenta and finally the Amaretto for dessert. The portions are all fairly small, similar to tapas so you could mix and match. I hadn’t had this much carbs in months but everything sounded too tempting not to try. Since the place literally just opened it wouldn’t be fair for me to review the food but I did pass Marco and feedback I had. I will say this though, everything was light and the presentation was fantastic. It isn’t a fancy Italian restaurant, it’s a casual homey place with freshly prepared homestyle Italian food. We don’t have anything like it here.

Vigonovo is located in Salmiya where Gia is located in Al Khaled Complex. They’re right next door to Lorenzo in the shop called “Rose Gathering” since the restaurant is actually called “Vigonovo by Rose Gathering”. Vigonovo is currently open daily from 5PM onwards except on Fridays when they close. Definitely worth checking out. Here is their location on [Google Maps] and their instagram account is @vigonovo_kw

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Wendy’s Opening in Salmiya

Post by Mark


Last year Alghanim Industries acquired the rights to develop Wendy’s restaurants across the Middle East and it looks like their flagship store in Kuwait is going to be located in Salmiya on Plajat Street. They’ve taken over the site of a defunct food complex and I’m assuming they’re going to be knocking it down and building a large Wendy’s in its place. No idea on when they’re expected to open but I’d guess sometime end of the year or early next year.

via Frankom

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Matcha Tea in Kuwait

Post by Mark


Last week a friend of mine asked me where they could find ceremonial grade Matcha and I didn’t know. Since I like to know everything I decided to find out. After checking out different supermarkets the only place I found ceremonial grade Matcha was at Wholesome Foods and SaveCo. But, for some odd reason, they were selling it for more than double the price it costs on Amazon. The price on Amazon was KD8 but SaveCo and Wholesome Foods were selling it for KD16.8. If I ordered it from Amazon and shipped it to Kuwait myself, I’d end up paying round KD11 with shipping so no way I was gonna pay KD16.8 for it.

So I kept looking and eventually found ceremonial grade Matcha at Teavana and they were selling it for the same price as Amazon. KD8 for the 40g can and KD13 for the 80g can. So if you’re looking for Matcha tea, Teavana is the place. And SaveCo, you guys really need to rethink how you price some of your products.

If you don’t know what Matcha is or its benefits, click [Here]

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