Kuwait Airport Review

Posted by Mark

airport

The brutally honest review below was making its way around whatsapp earlier today:

Review by Mark Stableford (Kuwait) 10th July 2015
This has to be one of the worst, most confusing and incompetent airports on the planet. Departing, there is not one single check-in hall, but four – each at completely different ends and corners of the airport. You can only get into two of them from the outside, while the other two are burrowed deep inside where you would not expect them, each of them again at different ends of the airport. It is completely confusing and time consuming to find where to check in, involving walking in and out the building (bearing in mind its 50c outside) and across large distances through what looks like a refugee camp. It takes many visits and missed flights to eventually get some idea of the layout and check in process. If you do manage to check in, you then have to encounter a myriad of incompetent, slow and lazy barriers from security through immigration. If your boarding pass is printed on a piece of paper instead of cardboard, you will be sent back to do your check-in all over again.

On arriving in the country you can spend hours trying to get through immigration along with teaming masses of other poor souls (South East Asian migrant labour) with people running between queues as one is closed whilst her majesty there takes a phone call, wanders off to the toilet, or just simply closes up her booth having lost interest. You can end up at the back end of a queue again many times doing this. The airport completely lacks any signage or common sense. Asking for help or information is a pointless waste of time. Nobody knows, or nobody cares (unless you are lucky enough to find an Indian or Philippino member of staff), but then they are almost always completely powerless to help. Its also filthy.

Unfortunately it sums up almost Kuwait infrastructure and management. What a contrast to places like Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Worst of all, this was not too many decades ago the most advanced and progressive country in the region. What a absolute shame. 0/10 is all this miserable horror of an place deserves. Unfortunately the minimum one can give is 1/10.

The average score for the airport is a 2/10. We need the new airport now more than ever. [Source]


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The 2015 Ford Mustang Convertible

Posted by Mark

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I’ve been driving the new Mustang for over three weeks now while vacationing in sunny California and I’ve driven the car over 5,000KM in these three weeks. I figured it was about time I write a review but in summary, I’ll tell you I’m impressed.

Before coming to LA I had decided that I wanted to rent a Ford Mustang convertible. I knew I wanted a convertible and figured if I got a Mustang I’ll also be able to get a post out of it since the car was on my to do list anyway. All rental companies usually promise you a certain vehicle or similar one and I really didn’t want to rent a Mustang but then end up with an ugly Chrysler convertible. So I called up a few rental places to see if any could guarantee me a Mustang and found one that did. Turned out they were located right next to the Glendale Fighting Club, Ronda Rousey‘s gym so that was pretty cool.

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The Mustang I’ve been driving isn’t fully loaded, it doesn’t have a navigation screen and the sound system is pretty shit. But, the car was still a lot of fun to drive and I drove it, a lot. I had the 4-cylinder 2.3L turbo engine which pumps out 310hp while saving me a ton of money on fuel yet still sounding pretty good in the process. Fuel economy is one of the things I loved about the car even though its not an option anybody cares for in Kuwait. The second thing I loved about the car is how comfortable it was. I drove the car on a three day long road trip from LA up the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1) to San Francisco and then east into Yosemite National Park before heading back down to LA for a night and then driving back out again the next day to Las Vegas for the weekend and then back again. Thats a lot of continuous hours sitting down over a bunch of days and not once did I feel uncomfortable or have any kind of back pain. And thats coming from a person who hates sitting in the same spot for a long time. It blew my mind away and I truly believe the Mustang has to be one of the most comfortable sport cars in the market right now. It’s a great daily drive on both the open roads where the car is fairly fast but also easy to drive in traffic and god damn have I been spending time in traffic here. It’s horrendous! Literally every trip takes me between 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes and I’m not exaggerating. I actually miss Kuwait traffic. A LOT.

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The car does have some faults though like the convertible soft top doesn’t have a great seal for one thing. On the highway it brings in a lot of outside noise and when getting my car washed, water was somehow managing to find it’s way inside the car. It’s also super slow to open and close and it will only work if you’re at a complete stop. Since we’re in Kuwait you shouldn’t get the convertible anyway plus the hard top version looks better. The second issue I had with the car was the quality of the material. The car I rented had only a few thousand miles on it yet two weeks in with the car I noticed one of the buttons on the steering wheel had started peeling. Kinda makes me concerned about the interiors long term durability. Finally the last major issue I had with the car was the legroom. Well it’s a half problem, nobody can sit behind me while I’m driving not unless I’d have to change my seating position which I obviously wouldn’t want to. But, on the other hand, I had a friend who sat in the back behind the passenger seat for five and a half hours on our way to Vegas and she didn’t complain at all so it can’t be that bad.

Would I get the car? I want to say yes but I’ll have to say no. The kind of people who tend to buy and drive Mustangs in Kuwait are… not sure how I can say this politely… I just won’t say anything. The other issue is the price. The Mustang starts at KD11,700 for the V6 engine in Kuwait while the version I drove starts at KD13,700. If you want a convertible the dealer has one available right now but they’re selling it for KD18,500. I don’t think they’re worth that much money frankly. In any case if you want to find out more about the car, check out the dealers website [Here]


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The Volkswagen Golf GTI

Posted by Mark

Last week after posting my review on the Lexus IS 350 I got a phone call from VW regarding the Golf since I had left a comment about how they don’t want me to drive their cars. Awhile back I had sent them a couple of emails requesting to test drive the car but no one had ever gotten back to me. Actually one person did the first time I sent an email and they told me they didn’t have the car available for a test drive, but they’d call me back once they did. The second email just never got through due it turns out to a technical glitch from their side. The marketing manager was fairly apologetic about that and told me they had a Golf GTI ready and that I could pass by and pick it up anytime I wanted to. So an hour later I was leaving the VW dealership in a hot red hatch for the weekend.

I have a personal connection with the Golf. My granddad in Lebanon had the original Golf MKI which my family used to use during our summer holidays. It was a great car, compact and really reliable. The car I believe was a 1977 model but stayed in the family up until the late 90s. When I moved to Lebanon for university my first car was also a Golf, the MKIII. It was the car I learned to drive on and in the two years I had it, I managed to get 14 flat tires (stupid potholes) and 7 accidents. Sounds bad but it’s because of the Golf I’m a much better driver today. The car then moved on to my sister who continued the tradition of carelessly driving into giant potholes as well as hitting other cars. Sadly though, she still sucks at driving today. The Golf took a lot of abuse before we finally sold it. I still miss the car and wish I still had it but it’s probably in a better place now. Since then the Golf has gone through four facelifts and the current model is the Golf MKVII.

So yeah I love Golfs and I was in love with the current model even before driving it. And now after spending the weekend with the car I’m seriously contemplating getting one. I tend to do this with every car I test drive which isn’t healthy obviously, I even did it with the Ferrari 458 Spider and the McLaren. You can just imagine the conversation I had in my head trying to convince myself how it’s possible the 458 could replace my FJ Cruiser as my daily driver. Most of the time though the itch wears off a few days later and I start looking for another car to test drive. This time, I’m not sure if the feeling is going to go away.

The new Golf GTI is just a blast to drive. The seating position is fantastic, the handling is ridiculous and it just takes a few minutes to feel super confident driving it. I was also driving like a douche, cutting people off and trying to squeeze between cars. Its how I used to drive my own Golf and I guess I was just reliving the old days. Because of the extremely accurate handling, Golfs are known to be great for “inbetweens” which is the art of trying to squeeze yourself between two cars by creating a new lane between them. Luckily, no sideview mirrors were lost in the making of this review. Seriously though the car is so much fun to drive and the more powerful Golf R is supposed to be even more fun which is insane.

One thing that surprised the hell out of me was the car’s AC. I wouldn’t usually mention the AC in a review but this past weekend the weather was really hot and the car spent a lot of time parked in the sun yet the AC was so powerful it would give Toyota a run for their money. On the other hand I found the sound system disappointing with really boomy bass, a small claustrophobic screen and no navigation. For those of you who’re interested in the back seats, there’s pretty good legroom and like all Golf’s the rear seats fold down turning the already large trunk into an IKEA friendly one.

There are two Golf’s available to purchase in Kuwait, the Golf GTI and the Golf R (they don’t get standard non GTI or R Golfs). The Golf GTI in Kuwait comes fully loaded with features such as the performance package, auto parking, rearview camera and sunroof and costs KD10,600. If I was getting the GTI I would custom order it (which is possible) and not have the auto parking option (because I can park myself) and instead get the upgraded sound system with navigation. The Golf R is the most powerful version of the Golf with more horsepower than the GTI, an all wheel drive system, upgraded sound system with navigation and leather seats. But the Golf R also costs KD14,800.

I’m having a real hard time trying to decide if I’d be willing to swap my FJ for the Golf. I’ve already been researching Golf bike mounts and roof bars that can hold wakeboards. But, I’ve also kinda gotten used to being able to drive over anything and on anything so thats going to be something hard to let go of. If you’re interested in test driving the Golf or if you’re looking for more information, then check out the dealers website [Here]


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The Lexus IS 350 F Sport

Posted by Mark

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One of my favorite blog perks is that whenever I see an interesting car, I can just contact the dealer and request to take it out for a test drive. I’ve been lucky enough to drive nearly all my favorite cars and all the dealers have been extremely good to me. Well most at least, Audi and VW don’t seem to want me to take out their cars for some odd reason (VW put me in a Golf already!). This past weekend I took out a car that recently sparked my interest, the Lexus IS 350 F Sport. When I had my surgery on my ankle a couple of weeks back I was being driven around in my dads Lexus LS. It was my first time in his car and I was sitting in the backseat playing with the massage option thinking I could live like this. It was comfortable, quiet, had a ton of leg room, it was everything my FJ Cruiser wasn’t. But I also knew that if I end up getting an LS that would basically mean I was admitting I was getting older. That was going to happen. A few moments later we pulled up to a traffic light right next to a new Lexus IS. The new Lexus IS has been out for awhile now but it only really caught my attention for the first time that very moment. I suddenly started loving the way it looked and a few days later I contacted the dealer and asked them if I could borrow the car for the weekend.

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Before picking up the car there were two things I was hoping for, one the car wouldn’t be maroon since I believe thats the ugliest color on the car, and the second is that the interior wouldn’t be beige. Luckily my prayers were answered and they even handed me the keys to an F Sport version of the car which looks and is a lot cooler than the standard version. I’ve never thought of Lexus as exciting, but their new IS and NX cars are just so hot. Once I got in the car I fell in love with the interior as well, it’s very minimal with clean lines and all tastefully put together. The digital dashboard board is inspired from the Lexus LFA sports car and physically moves. I’ve never seen that in a car before, you can choose to have the speedometer in the middle with information running on both sides or with a press of the button have the speedometer slide to the right to reveal a larger screen with information displayed. Very cool.


[YouTube]

Most of the cars I take out to review I start to fall in love with as I spend more time with the car. With the Lexus IS, I fell in love with the car as soon as I got in it, and was still in love with it when I had to give it back. The car is just really comfortable to drive and I think it’s one of the hottest looking 4-doors in this price bracket. But the best part about it is the fact that its a Lexus so you know it’s going to be reliable. I’ve got a friend who drives at 12 year old Lexus that still looks new and she’s only now considering getting it replaced. Their cars are bulletproof.

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The only thing that probably let the car down is the lack of features. The fully loaded Lexus IS I drove didn’t have any of the new features you would find on the new luxury cars like lane keeping assist, collision detection, blind spot information etc… It wasn’t a major let down for me but it could be for people who care about these gizmos more than the way the car looks. The sound system on the other hand was one of the best I’ve heard in a car and surprisingly was brand-less. It was just their standard 8 speaker sound system but yet I found the sound impressive.

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In Kuwait the dealer has three different IS models, the IS 250, the IS 350 and the IS 350 F Sport. The main difference between the IS 250 and 350 is the engine size while the main differences between the IS 350 and IS 350 F Sport are mainly visual upgrades like spoilers, sportier seats, larger wheels, the digital dashboard I mentioned earlier and a few other things. The price of the IS 250 starts at around KD12,000 while the top of the line F Sport is around KD16,900. Would I buy this car? Yes in a heartbeat. If I was in the market looking for a 4-door sporty looking sedan then this would be right there on the top of the list. For more information on the Lexus IS you can check out the dealers website [Here]


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New Restaurant: Haute Gourmet Hot Dogs

Posted by Mark

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Last week I posted about a new restaurant that opened called Bao. Well the same owners opened up another restaurant right next door called Haute specializing in gourmet hot dogs. I passed by a couple of days ago to try it out and unlike my visit to Bao, this time I left disappointed.

The interior of Haute is pretty trendy looking with graffiti on the walls and lots of bright red everywhere. The place was empty when I passed by but it wasn’t lunch nor dinner time but somewhere in between. Their menu had 7 different hot dogs to choose from, they all used the same beef hot dog but each had different toppings. I like my hot dogs very simple so ordered the classic which came with just ketchup and mustard (KD2.000).

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When I first saw pictures of the hot dogs on their instagram page, I thought I would have an issue with the bun they were using. It didn’t look soft in the photos but in reality they were and they also turned out to be the best thing about the hot dog. The hot dog itself on the other hand was disappointing. According to their instagram, their hot dogs are smoked and made in house using the finest beef. But I didn’t like the flavor of it and thought it tasted very average. So for my hot dog fix I’ll continue to stick to Shake Shack for the time being.

Like Bao, Haute is located in Sharq near the Sharq Police Station [Here is a Map]. They’re also currently open from 4PM to 10:30PM. For more information you can check out their instagram account [Here] and here is a link to a clearer shot of their [Menu]


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New Restaurant: Bao – Steamed Bun

Posted by Mark

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Last night a new restaurant opened up in Kuwait City called Bao that serves Chinese-style steamed buns (hence the name). Whenever a new restaurant opens up that brings something new to Kuwait I’m usually all over it which was the case here. I’ve had steamed buns before in Kuwait at Street by Al Makan, but to have a place that just focuses on them, even better.

The restaurant is cute looking with around 7 or 8 tables. They had just opened last night so there were only a few other tables occupied when I passed by. I looked at the menu and ended up ordering the following dishes:

Tamarind Drumstick KD2.700
Buttermilk deep fried boneless chicken drumsticks dressed in tamarind glaze.

Coconut Shrimp Bao KD2.000
Coconut crusted shrimp with sweet chili aioli and pickled cucumber and crispy carrot.

Brisket Bao KD2.000
10 hours slow cooked brisket with crispy onion, red chili and ranch sauce.

Sweet Potato Sticks KD1.000

They also brought me a complimentary salad to try:

Pomelo Salad KD2.700
Cubed avocado, pomelo, pomegranate, red cabbage, shredded cucumber and mint with crunchy edamame, tossed with a tangy sweet dressing.

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The orders started coming out randomly with the brisket bao being served first followed by the complimentary salad, then the drumsticks, then the sweet potato and finally the coconut shrimp. I can’t fault them on that since they had literally just opened a couple of hours earlier, so obviously the kitchen still don’t have the timings down.

Everything was pretty good with the two bao’s I had ordered being delicious. The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was the salad, but I’m generally not a salad guy with only a very few salads I like anyway. Right now they only have 9 different types of bao’s to choose from but once the restaurant officially opens they’re hoping to have around 16. One thing I really wanted to try but resisted were their desserts. They had two kinds of bao’s available, one involved fried donuts and a vanilla ice cream glaze while the other involved deep fried banana drizzled with Nutella. Both looked very tempting but decided to save them for my next visit. I ended up paying KD10 including drinks and tip. I was pretty full but if I hadn’t ordered a starter I think I would need three bao’s to fill me up. So price-wise, I wish the bao’s were like half a KD cheaper each.

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Bao is currently in their soft launch phase with their opening hours being from 4PM to 10:30PM. They’re located in Kuwait City near the Sharq Police Station [Here is a Map]. All the photos in this post were taken from their instagram page since the lighting at night wasn’t great so my shots sucked.


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The New Land Rover Discovery Sport

Posted by Mark

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I’m a big Discovery fan and have been one ever since the late 80s when I watched a Camel Trophy event on TV. Watching those Discoverys tackle ridiculously insane terrain led me to really respect the car. So when I heard that Land Rover had launched a completely brand new Discovery, I contacted the dealer and asked them if I could test drive one.

I passed by the dealer Thursday afternoon and picked up the car for the weekend. My first impression wasn’t that great. The Discovery was a lot smaller than I was expecting it to be, it looked more like a crossover than a proper full fledged SUV. I couldn’t figure out why Land Rover would shrink the car so much, I was confused. And then I realized something, this wasn’t a replacement for the large LR4, this was a replacement for the smaller Freelander and then everything made sense.

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Land Rover have the large Range Rover and then they have the smaller Range Rover Sport. They’ve now gone and applied the same naming scheme to the Discovery which is what confused me in the beginning. So now you have the large Discovery (LR4) and also the smaller Discovery Sport. I was never a fan of the Freelander, I thought it was just one of the most hideous looking SUVs you could buy and mostly because I just hated how the rear of the car looked like. The new Discovery Sport has design elements taken from the Range Rover family and so it ends up looking like a baby Range Rover. It’s a much much better looking car than the Freelander and this time around the rear of the car is probably my favorite thing about the car. Suddenly, the Discovery Sport didn’t seem bad at all.

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Since it’s a Land Rover I decided to take the car to the abandoned military barracks in Bnaider. I wanted to test the cars offroad capabilities a bit as well as take some good photos while I was at it. The test drive vehicle I was given had only two rows of seats but you can also get a third row as an extra option. Since I was taking my wakeboard with me, I dropped the second row seat down so it could fit inside. Although the car is small it’s got a pretty large trunk and once you drop the second row seats down it becomes very IKEA friendly. I finished loading up my gear and headed off to Bnaider.

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The interior of the Discovery Sport is simple but tasteful. It’s borrows a lot of elements from the Evoque like some of the switches and the circular gear selector that sleekly pops up when you start the car. The Discovery Sport also shares the same 4-cylinder engine and 9-speed transmission with the Evoque as well. The model I drove had a large panoramic roof which really helped make the interior look a lot larger and spacious than it actually is. My car also had the optional Meridian Audio sound system fitted which sounded fantastic. The user interface of the cars 8inch touch screen is also very tasteful and nicely designed. The screen looked a bit low-res and pixelated but it was generally pleasant to use and helped give the interior a more premium feel. The interface was definitely much sleeker than the last few cars I test drove.

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Although the car has a 4-cylinder engine I didn’t find it slow at all on our flat roads. It was very easy to pick up speed and I was actually turning on the speed limiter on most of the roads since I found it very easy to overspeed. Once I got to Bnaider I shifted the driving style program from “general” to “sand” and headed offroad towards the abandoned barracks. The ride on hard packed sand was pretty loud and bumpy because of the large 20″ wheels that were fitted on the car. The low ride height also made me more cautious while approaching obstacles but once I got to the barracks things got a lot easier. The abandoned barracks have basically been turned into a small offroad circuit which I decided to explore in the Discovery. Even with stock tires I didn’t have any issues at all traversing the deep soft sands and I also didn’t face any issues tackling the extreme uphill and downhill descents. I highly doubt anyone would use this car for anything this intense but if they did they’d know the car can handle it. Actually the only thing that was an issue was when I climbed a curb in the parking lot behind Pick Yo in the city. While climbing back down from the curb I actually hit the bottom of the car because of the poor ground clearance.

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Whenever I take out cars for test drives I always ask myself if I’d want one for myself. Most of the time its yes but other times like on this occasion the answer is no. In this case it has nothing to do with the Discovery Sport itself, I think the car is very capable and the most accessible Land Rover since it starts at around KD15,750. But, it’s just not for me. If I was looking for a compact SUV I’d choose the much more sexier looking Range Rover Evoque for example. The Discovery Sport is more of a family oriented car since it’s slightly larger than the Evoque and can fit a third row of seats in the back. It’s a practical everyday car that’s easy to drive especially considering it has helpful features like parking assist where the car parks itself for you. So yeah I think its definitely aimed towards soccer moms and the like. If you’re interested in the car then you should definitely pass by the dealer and request a test drive.


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Baking Tray’s Lobster Roll

Posted by Mark

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I had my first lobster roll a couple of years back while I was in London but before that my only experience with lobster rolls was watching Guy Fieri devour them on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Before one of my trips to London, a good friend of mine had told me to pass by Burger & Lobster and order their lobster roll, so I did, over and over. It was so delicious I kept going back whenever I could and every time I went back, there would be a long line outside the restaurant. So, I started going there at odd times so there wouldn’t be a line or, when I did find a line, I’d go up to the hostess and ask to sit at the bar which usually involved no waiting at all. Then the best thing happened, they opened up a location inside Harvey Nichols which very few people knew about and so there was never a line. Imagine how good the lobster roll must have been for me to want to come up with a strategy plan on how to get it.

In Kuwait on the other hand lobster rolls started popping up I think last year. The first one I had here was from the Nomad Kitchen food truck back in December. Their lobster rolls are Sriracha glazed and come in a small size like sliders. But I kept hearing about the Baking Tray lobster rolls although the feedback I was hearing was mixed. Some people loved it while others told me not to bother with it. A couple of days back I decided to pass by and try it out for myself.

I’ve been eating clean for three weeks now (summer is here) and I hadn’t had a cheat day in over two weeks so when I got to baking tray not only was I starving but I was also looking forward to cheating a little bit. I ordered the lobster roll and water to go along with it and after waiting for sometime the lobster roll arrived with a side of french fries. My first impression going by looks was that the size and portion of lobster was perfect and the bread looked proper. The only thing that put me off visually was the fact the lobster color was completely washed out by a white sauce. I took my first bite of the roll and realized the bread was perfect and the lobster cooked right but the sauce used on the other hand was disappointing. The sauce tasted like mayonnaise mixed with lemon juice and was unexciting and too watery killing all the lobster flavor. I finished up my roll, ate a couple of the fries, paid and left but not before giving them my feedback regarding the sauce. Hopefully they’ll take my feedback into consideration since if they get the sauce right they might have a hit on their hands. The price on the other hand is going to be an issue for some people as well. They’re selling the lobster roll for KD12, which is around KD3 more expensive than what I pay when I’m in London. I would like to pay a maximum of KD10 but not sure if that’s doable with the price of lobsters in Kuwait. In any case if you’re interested in trying it out, here is link to the their instagram account @bakingtraykw


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New Restaurant: Healthy Feast

Posted by Mark

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Healthy Feast is a new restaurant that soft launched last week. As you can tell from the name, it’s a healthy restaurant and they pride themselves in having fresh, locally grown, organic and gluten free dishes. Even their menu starts off with the following introduction:

We support local, organic and sustainable practices wherever possible. Our menu is always changing according to what is available and seasonal. This is today’s menu:

So right off the bat I was pretty excited to try out their dishes.

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The restaurant is located in Bneid Al Gar and although the exterior doesn’t look like much the interior is very cute and bright with lots of natural daylight coming in. The walls were rough and painted white with natural wood being used everywhere. I would have taken a photo but a couple of tables were already occupied so I couldn’t. Once I sat down I was given the menu and after going through it I decided to go with the following:

Raw zucchini with almond thai dressing KD1.950
Pumpkin & avocado maki roll, with beet brown rice KD2.500
Root vegetables in curried lemongrass coconut milk KD3.500
Green Wellness juice: spinach, cucumber, apple, celery and lemon KD1.850

While waiting for my dishes I was also served a complimentary bowl of cheesy kale chips which usually costs KD1.500.

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The first dish to arrive was my raw zucchini which looked like a small bowl of spaghetti. This dish completely caught me by surprise since it was so full of flavor. It tasted like an intricate starter I would have at a Japanese restaurant and I loved it (I later found out the chef was Japanese). The second dish I was served were the maki rolls. They were also pretty good although I was worried they would fill me up before my main dish arrived. I really wish they had chopsticks though since my first two dishes could have used them. When I asked the waitress for chopsticks she went into the kitchen and came back and told me the Japanese chef said I should use my fingers. I thought that was a hilarious soup nazi moment and proceeded to eat the rolls with my fingers, I had no problem with that. Once I was done with the rolls I was served the curry bowl. For the curry bowl I had three choices for the base, cauliflower rice, brown rice or quinoa. I went with quinoa although I haven’t been having quinoa for awhile now since I’m so over it. But, the curry was so flavorful and delicious I don’t think it would have mattered if I had gone with quinoa or any of the other rice options.

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It’s a new restaurant, I ordered three completely new dishes I hadn’t tried before and I ended up loving all three. The chances of that happening are pretty rare which is why I fell in love with the place. It kind feels like an evolution to Gia or what Gia should have become. I did have two minor issues though. The first was with my juice, it was served in a beaker but it was filled less than half way which made it look like either someone had already drank from it or they had run out of juice while filling it up. The second thing is the lack of chopsticks. Again it’s not a big issue but two out of the three dishes I had were Japanese like and my guess is there are more dishes like that on the menu so why not have chopsticks as well?

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In any case as I said I loved the place and I’m actually going back for lunch today. Healthy Feast is located in Bneid Al Gar and right now they’re open daily except for Sundays from 2PM to 7PM. Here is a link to their instagram account @healthy_feast and here is their location on [Google Maps]


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Review: The Smallville Hotel – Beirut, Lebanon

Posted by Mark

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Around two weeks back I was in Lebanon for the weekend and stayed at a hotel called The Smallville. When I’m in Lebanon I usually stay at one of the beautiful guesthouses like Beyt, but because I was booking last minute I couldn’t find any availability which is why I ended up booking at Smallville. The hotel is fairly new having been open for around a year now and going by the pictures online it looked like a trendy place to stay. More importantly though it was fairly affordable compared to some of the other options I was looking at.

After spending two nights there I can easily say it’s now one of my favorite places to stay when I go down to Lebanon and it’s incredible value for money.

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The hotel itself is located in a quiet neighborhood but its still very close to Achrafieh, Gemeyze and Downtown. The room was fairly large and I had the regular “Premium King” room yet it came with a small kitchen, a seating area and a balcony with a view. The staff where really friendly throughout the stay even when I stumbled into the hotel lobby at 6AM from a night out and started mumbling to them about my checkout time (which they replied telling me I could checkout whenever I woke up no issues). It feels like a hotel made for fun party goers and I like that because you feel comfortable even when you do silly things.

My room cost me $118 a night and I booked last minute so you could probably get it cheaper if you book earlier. When I was checking out the manager gave me his card and told me to contact him the next time I want to book since he could offer me an even better deal. I’ve already recommended the hotel to some friends who ended up loving it as well so if you’re looking for a trendy and affordable place to stay in while visiting Lebanon, then I’d highly recommend The Smallville. Here is a link to their [Website]


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