Eight Restaurant has a New Look

Posted by Mark

eight

Eight is a restaurant that is open across the street from Arraya Complex in Kuwait City. It opened up over a year ago but I never ate there because the design of the place looked so dark and gloomy. But, today while walking by it I noticed they’ve completely redecorated the place and it’s now so much more brighter and better looking. I still haven’t tried it out but I did quickly flip through the menu and I might end up going back for their sweet potato and brisket dish. For now I thought I’d just mention the facelift since it’s such a major improvement.


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Kuwait Towers New Light Show

Posted by Mark

I was on my way to the gym earlier tonight when I noticed a dazzling new light show being tested out on one of the towers. It looks really cool especially as you’re driving by it on the Gulf Road. I was going to say it’s probably for Hala February thinking it starts next month but then I remembered Hala February is actually Hala January since it started last week. While we are on the subject of Hala January, why isn’t there an English version of the website? [YouTube]

lightshow


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Qatar Airways Airbus A350 XWB

Posted by Mark

plane

I’m a big fan of Qatar Airways for long haul flights and have used them previously to fly to New York, Tokyo and most recently Cape Town. So last week when Qatar Airways invited me to fly out to Qatar to check out their new plane, I jumped at the opportunity. I had never visited Qatar before (other than during transit) so I was as excited to check out the country as I was their new plane. Plus, I had some friends who I hadn’t seen since university that lived there and really wanted to see them as well.

baker

I left Kuwait Tuesday night flying out first class but on one of their old planes which I’m not a fan of. I think they have six flights a day from Kuwait and I know at least one of those flights uses the much newer Boeing 787 Dreamliner which is a beautiful plane with a proper business class. As I mentioned in my previous post, the new Qatar airport is insane, probably one of the nicest airports I’ve been to and such a huge improvement over their older one. After landing and checking into the hotel I decided to head to Hakkasan for dinner at the beautiful St. Regis Hotel. Why don’t we have a hotel like that in Kuwait??? Anyway after somehow spending KD55 for an unimpressive dinner, I retreated back to my hotel for the night.

economy

Wednesday morning I woke up early along with at least a hundred media people from all around the world and via shuttle busses we were all taken to the old Qatar airport for a press conference. Qatar Airways was the first airline in the world to receive the new A350 XWB plane which is why they made such a big deal about it. This is supposedly the last completely new plane that will be released for at least the next 10 years and so all eyes are on it. The actual press conference was pretty boring until the Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker started a Q&A session. God damn he’s impressive, not only does he know his airline inside out but personality wise he’s such a direct and blunt person. He was really inspiring and I was just sitting there thinking how I really need to be doing so much more with my life. After the Q&A was over we were invited to check out the new plane which was parked outside on the tarmac.

business

The A350 XWB is the successor to the A330 and the A340 (you’ve most likely flown on them before), it’s also Airbuses answer to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. XWB stands for extra wide body and allows the airline to fit an extra seat in economy creating a 3-3-3 seating formation. Most of the new features of the plane are under the hood but the ones we will notice the most are the larger windows and the quieter engines. The plane is also supposed to be very comfortable for long trips due to a number of other features like low cabin pressure, pure air inflight and precision air management. The first thing I wanted to do once I got onto the plane though was to check out the economy seats. I mostly fly economy so I really wanted to get a feel for it on this plane. The economy seats on the Qatar Airways A350 are pretty comfortable, the leg room fantastic (I’m 6’1) and the media system super responsive and a considerable upgrade over the system I recently used on the Dreamliner which was already great. Once done with Economy I walked into the business class cabin which was very familiar since I had just flown business from Cape Town to Doha on the Dreamliner. The A350 business class cabin looked practically the same since the seats are provided to Qatar Airways by a third party and they use the same ones on their different planes. But, because the A350 has an extra wide body, the seat manufacturer is able to make the seats slightly wider. One thing I loved is the window shades in business class although like on the Dreamliner they don’t completely block the sunlight which can be irritating if you’re trying to reduce glare on your laptop screen or just want complete darkness.


[YouTube]

After checking out the plane I decided to head out and explore Doha and meet up with my friends. I ended up going to Katara Village and The Pearl both beautiful places. I also ended up having dinner at Opal by Gordon Ramsay which I also thought was unimpressive (they couldn’t even cook the burger right and the bun was crumbling like it was 2 days old). Generally I thought some parts of Doha looked like a mini Dubai like their downtown area and parts of their coastal roads but the other parts of Doha looked like Farwaniya. You have this huge contrast between the different parts of the city and it just makes things confusing since I kept flip flopping between liking and not liking Doha. They don’t even have highways so every trip no matter how short it was would take 30 minutes. On the plus side they have Uber which I used throughout my whole stay.

It was a pretty cool and quick trip. They’re going to be receiving new A350s every month and hopefully I’ll get to fly on one soon. For now though their first route is from Doha to Frankfurt and that’s not a route I’ll be taking anytime in the near future. Kuwait Airways recently announced that they’ve ordered 25 of these new planes as well but it’s probably going to be awhile before they start receiving them. Anyway if you want to find out more about the plane check out this [Link]


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Rice to Riches opening this week

Posted by Mark

rice

Last week I passed by Rice to Riches in Avenues to check the place out. It’s a New York based dessert place that serve a variety of flavored rice puddings. A friend of mine who is friends with the owner wanted me to try the place out and then write a positive review of it on the blog. Obviously that’s not how this blog works and I explained to him that I hadn’t even tried rice pudding before so I’m not sure I’ll even like it. And that’s actually what made me want to pass by the place. I get invited to a lot of places all the time but unless it’s something different, I’m not gonna find it interesting and so I’m honestly not going to go and try it out (sorry burger joints).

So Thursday after coming back from Qatar I headed to Avenues to see what Rice to Riches was all about. The owner and the operation manager were there so they ended up showing me around the place before taking me to their kitchen and showed me how their rice pudding was made. After the little tour they brought out I think like 12 different flavors and wanted me blind taste them. So I started going through the flavors one by one guessing the flavors while giving them feedback on what I thought. I wasn’t really sure how rice pudding was going to taste, I just imagined the rice I make at home mixed with chocolate and figured it would taste really gross. Luckily, it didn’t taste like rice at all. The rice pudding is served cold and the hazelnut flavor for example to me tasted like chocolate mousse and was my favorite flavor alongside the cheesecake flavor which was just as good. My least favorite flavor was the old fashioned which didn’t have any flavor added at all.

I wasn’t expecting to like rice pudding but I did (at least some of the flavors). If you’re calorie counting though you’re going to have to leave that at the door since this isn’t some frozen yogurt alternative. They have random humorous signs hanging proudly with messages like “Eat what you want, you’re already fat”, “Think with your stomach” or “If you want to look young and thin, hang out with old fat people”. Rice to Riches is officially opening on January 15th in Avenues Phase III on the top floor next to Elevation Burger. They’re going to be soft launching before that date so check their instagram to stay posted.


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Entertainment City Shutting Down

Posted by Mark

entertainmentcity

Earlier tonight I heard a rumor that Entertainment City was shutting down to get privatized and that Six Flags was going to take it over. A few moments ago I got confirmation from a source at Touristic Enterprises Company that the rumors regarding the privatization are true, Entertainment City is sadly going to be shutdown.

The whole park had fallen into disrepair over the years with many popular rides not working like the Water Log, Oasis Express (AKA the Death Train) and the observation tower. The only thing left really was our childhood memories and I have many of those since I’ve been frequenting the park ever since it opened back in 1984.

My source wasn’t able to confirm if Six Flags was actually taking over but it wouldn’t be too far fetched of an idea since last year they announced they were opening in Dubai. But then again, we neither have the tourists nor the popular number of the UAE so I can’t imagine it being feasible for them to open in Kuwait.

Image Source


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Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Posted by Mark

The past couple of weekends were fairly quiet but this weekend the events have picked up once again. Lots of things to do this weekend but here are my personal picks: The GulfRun Car Show at 360 Mall for sure, if you pass by on Friday or Saturday the Snodrops Market will be taking place alongside it so you’ll hit two birds with one stone. I’m also curious to visit the Marina Market as well since it’s the first time they’re holding it. On Saturday I’d start off the day with the Secret Garden Brunch and follow it up with the Madeenah Tour. Oh and I’d also recommend the rooftop movie Man on Wire as well for Saturday. For the full list of events taking place this weekend check out the list below:

Thursday
GulfRun Car Show
Marina Market
Rooftop Movie: Rosemary’s Baby

Friday
GulfRun Car Show
Snodrops Market
Marina Market

Saturday
GulfRun Car Show
Snodrops Market
Marina Market
The Secret Garden Brunch
TICA Cat Show
Guided Tour: Grand Mosque
Character Design Workshop with Thuraya Lynn
Madeenah Tour: A Kuwaiti Haven – Reinvention of Bneid Al Gar
Rooftop Movie: Man on Wire

If you’d like to share an event on the blog [Email Me]


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Uber coming to Kuwait?

Posted by Mark

uber

Earlier tonight while in Doha I took an Uber cab and as I usually do I opened up a conversation with the driver. I love Uber so I’m always being nosy and asking the drivers questions about the service like how much interest Uber takes, how many hours they work and other Uber driver related questions.

uber

Anyway we were talking about Uber in different countries in the region and he asked me about Uber in Kuwait and I told him we didn’t have it yet. He found that odd and asked me if I was sure. After convincing him that I was he told me two months back he picked up a women who told him she worked for Uber in Kuwait. I thought that was interesting. It would make sense if they did come to Kuwait since they’re already in Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Jeddah, Riyad, Manama and Beirut. Even though I have a car there are occasions where I’ve needed a cab and I just hated the fact that I need to negotiate with the drivers for a price because they didn’t want to turn their meters on.


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Doha Airport Business Class Immigration Counters

Posted by Mark

immig2

I was invited to Doha by Qatar Airways to check out their new Airbus A350 XWB plane which they’re going to be revealing to the press tomorrow (or technically today since it’s 1AM now). It’s my second time experiencing their new airport but the first time I actually leave it to enter the country.

immig1

I love their new airport but their First and Business Class immigration area has to be the most impressive aspect. It’s basically a lounge with immigration counters at the far end, I was completely shocked when I saw it. I mean their regular immigration area is one of the nicest I’ve seen but this is just insane.


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Kuwait refuse to play against UAE in Asian Cup warm-up

Posted by Mark

football

The Kuwait national football team had to be escorted out of the Robina Stadium in Australia’s Gold Coast by police on Saturday after refusing to play a friendly against the UAE. According to sources, Kuwait took exception to the fact the Asian Cup warm-up game couldn’t be filmed by their technical staff and so abandoned the friendly match in protest. They stayed on the field for an impromptu training session instead. [Source]

Did I read that correctly? Because the game wasn’t going to be filmed the Kuwaiti team decided they didn’t want to play anymore? Kinda reminds me of a story my friend told me about this guy who goes to his gym. The guy always comes in, starts lifting some weight while taking selfies and then once he is done taking selfies he leaves the gym.


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Inside a Pigeon Auction in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

I mean I might be able to understand how a pigeon can sell for KD45,000 but what I can’t understand is why the venue in such poor shape. If I was throwing that much money around I’d expect a 5-star venue and I’d also probably store the pigeon in something fancier than a cardboard box. [YouTube]

pigeon


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