Posted by Mark
Last week I was invited to pass by the new seafood restaurant at the Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel called Salt. I personally think the hotel is the nicest one we have in Kuwait right now so I was pretty interested to try this new place out. One thing I really hate about the hotel though is you’ve got two options for parking, either (a) you give your car to valet or (b) you park in the sand lot across the street. Since I don’t trust valets with my car I have to use the sand lot and it’s never a great start to dinner when you have to spend the first few minutes cleaning the dust off my new fancy sneakers.
If you’ve been to Messilah before then you probably know that most of their restaurants are located in the lower level of the main lobby. Salt is located there as well and they’ve taken up the whole left side area. Once we walked into the restaurant we could immediately tell that they wanted to be the most luxurious seafood restaurant in Kuwait and at the moment they probably are. The restaurant is long and not very wide with two kinds of seating areas, on one side they have curved couches going along the wall and it’s nicely lit. On the opposite side is a much brighter open floor layout with beautiful chandeliers. So far the experience was very fancy until the menu arrived and I opened it up to reveal bright yellow text on a dark blue background which looked really tacky layout (take a look). If I could change one thing in the place it would have to be the menu thats for sure.
Because this is a high end restaurant, everything has to be top notch especially the service which in this specific case I found difficult to judge for a number of reasons. First is the fact I was invited and so they knew who I was, and secondly they had barely been open for a week. Still, if I did compare it to other hotels and restaurants in Kuwait I would say the service was in the top 10 but not top 5. In other restaurants where the service is in the top 5, the staff have been working there long enough to see me grow old while Salt has just opened.
Since we were two we ended up ordering the following items from the menu:
Acqua Morelli Sparking Water (x2) KD7.000
Baked Chermoula Prawns KD7.500
Pan Fried Scallops KD7.250
Lobster Bisque (x2) KD9.500
Whole Lobster (Medium) KD28.000
Whole Sea Bass KD15.000
Pearl of the Ocean drink KD3.350
Messilah Journey (mixed dessert) KD5.750
From the two starters we ordered I was expecting the Baked Chermoula Prawns to be my favorite since it was prawns stuffed with scallops. But to my surprise I ended up preferring the Pan Fried Scallops instead. That’s because the scallops dish had so many different flavors from the scallops itself to the stuffed calamari, squid ink risotto and even the puree which were all delicious. Once we were done with the starters they brought over a soup plate which large chunks of lobster inside but no soup. I started thinking to myself maybe this was their interpretation of the lobster bisque? Just as I was thinking that the waiter came over and started pouring the soup over my large lobster chunks. Presentation was an easy 10/10 and from everything we ordered I would also have to say the Lobster Bisque was by far my favorite dish.
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Posted by Mark
A friend of mine gave me a video his parents shot back when they first arrived to Kuwait in the mid 70s. The video was shot with Super 8 film which was converted years later to VHS format and then recently digitized. The video contains a lot of different footage of Kuwait but edited down to 13 minutes so it’s not very long. Here is a breakdown of what you’ll see in the video, please note there is no sound:
0:00 Kuwait Towers still under construction. There were rumors circulating that the tower spheres were going to be in gold and when they first started adding the blue tiles people were generally disappointed it wasn’t in gold.
2:25 A drive down Fahad al Salem street
3:16 Naif palace, you can see the execution gallows through the open gate at 3:24
3:28 The old National Assembly
3:30 The Arab Planning Institute, currently where the Liberation Tower stands
3:39 Heading towards the Gulf Road
4:15 American Mission Hospital
5:05 The ice cream guy, probably the only thing that hasn’t changed in Kuwait
5:09 Seef Palace
5:14 The Gulf Road near the Dixons House. Nearly all of those old Kuwaiti houses have now been demolished.
5:48 A gas station on the Gulf Road on the beach side. This was demolished after the failed assassination attempt of Sheikh Jaber Al-Sabah, who was the emir of Kuwait at the time. The car explosion had taken place near the station.
5:53 The British Embassy, the main entrance was on the Gulf Road.
6:45 The Behbahani Compound where Casper & Gambini, Starbucks and Dar al Funoon are currently located.
6:56 Almagsab Gate
7:05 Old secondary school now part of the Kuwait University campus.
7:14 Shanty towns. This is where non-Kuwaitis were staying while their paperwork to become Kuwaitis were being processed. This specific town was located in the north near where Entertainment City is currently.
8:13 Dhow building yard near the Port of Doha
10:00 A drive through Shamiya
10:34 Back to Fahad al Salem Srteet
10:50 The old KNPC building
11:23 Souk Al-Mubarakiya
12:54 The gold souk
The video above was shot by Jo and Jeff de Lange. They were also nice enough to take me through the video frame by frame and explain what I was seeing so I could share it with you. [YouTube]
Posted by Mark
A few years ago I posted about a vintage wrestling poster (photo above) dating back to 1965. The poster was still stuck on a pillar on a soon to be demolished building on Fahad Al Salem street and I was hoping someone would end up saving the poster.
Since I was in the area the other day I decided to pass by and see if the poster was saved and sadly it wasn’t as you can see in the photo above. My guess is someone tried to break off the marble slab to rescue the poster but ended up accidentally breaking the slab in half. Sucks.
Posted by Mark
Deera is an iPhone app which allows you to report issues with public services. The way it works is very simple, you snap a photo of the problem, specify what the issue is along with the location and then submit it. According to a reader who emailed me about this last night, he tried it by reporting waste left on an empty plot next to his house and the next day he received a notification that the problem was fixed. I haven’t tried it yet myself but I’m going to later today.
If you want try this app you can download it from the Apple Store either by searching for Deera or by clicking [Here]
Posted by Mark
According to an article published on Interactive Travel, the new Kuwait Airways planes that will start arriving at the end of the year will allow you to use your mobile phone during flight as well as connect online via WiFi.
The airline has ordered five A330s and seven A320s, all of which will be line fitted with Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir. The first A320 and first A330 will be delivered in December 2014 and May 2015.
If this actually happens I might start flying Kuwait Airways again. [Link]
Posted by Mark
The Kuwait National American Football team is currently in Korea to play against the Korean American Football team in a Asian qualifier game for the IFAF Seniors World Championship Sweden 2015.
The Kuwait Gridiron Football Federation was founded in 2010, has no official league and has minimal international experience. On the other hand, the Korean American Football Association was founded in 1946, has a 21 college team league, and was ranked 5th in the IFAF World Championships Japan 2007.
The match is taking place on April 12th and to keep up to date with the Kuwait team news follow them on Facebook [Here]