Dampa Feast Seafood Restaurant

Post by Mark

You’ve probably noticed by now that for the past couple of weeks I’ve been posting a lot of food posts. That probably has to do with the fact that I’ve been hanging around @chefkb and so we’ve both been going through our long list of places we’ve been meaning to try. Dampa Feast was one of those places we both had on our list so we decided to pass by last week along with another friend of ours @chefbasmah to try it out.

Dampa Feast is a seafood restaurant thats located in Souk Salmiya. It opened up around 3 months back and I didn’t think a lot of people knew about it so I was completely shocked when I got there to find a large crowd waiting outside and a two page long waiting list. Keep in mind this was a Monday night and not a weekend. We put our name down on the list and headed to Daiso to kill some time. Finally just over an hour later we managed to get our table and sat down to order our food.

Their menu is made up various seafood dishes that include shrimp, lobster, mussels, crab, squid and salmon, all cooked in a variety of spices. We decided to go with their signature Dampa Feast menu which included shrimp, crab, mussels, clams, corn and unlimited rice. You also get to choose the kind of sauce its mixed with like cajun, soya, chipotle butter, hot garlic etc.. The Dampa Feast is meant to be enough for 2 to 4 people yet for some reason we decided to order two Dampa Feast menus, one using their hot garlic sauce and the other using their schezwan sauce. We also ordered some cajun mussels on the side. With the Dampa Feast menu you also get 2-liters of mocktails, we went with their Sex Appeal mocktail and their Lindsay Lohan one. Yeah it’s hilarious I know.

At Dampa Feast you don’t get any cutlery or tableware, all the food is served to you on the table itself and you have to use your hands to eat. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty you can wear disposable gloves which they provide but I think that takes the fun out of it. The food is poured out into the center of the table then the rice is placed along the sides to capture all the sauce. We kinda destroyed it that night and barely left any food on the table even though one Dampa Feast was definitely enough for the three of us. My favorite flavors were the hot garlic and cajun sauces with the schezwan sauce being the blandest of the three. The food was pretty good but really its the total experience that sold us on the place, it’s a lot of fun. The waiters had Hawaiian shirts on, the place was blasting good 80s music and the company was the best.

Their pricing is pretty reasonable, you can check out the whole menu [Front] and [Back] but for example the Dampa Feast cost KD13 which is really good value. The only negative thing about the place is the fact that there is a waiting list and they don’t take your phone number down or hand you a buzzer. You basically have to hover around the area and keep checking on your status every 15 minutes or so. It’s definitly worth trying and we’re for sure going back with more friends the next time. Dampa Feast is located on the top floor of Souk Salmiya near the food court and they’re open from 12PM to 11PM. You can also check them out on instagram @dampafeast


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Kenny Rogers Roasters is Coming Back to Kuwait

Post by Mark

Kenny Rogers Roasters the chicken chain used to be open in Kuwait next to Scientific Center but then ended up closing down back in 1996. Their location next to Scientific Center is still there but abandoned, you can actually check photos of it [Here]. Now it looks like it’s reopening again in Souk Salmiya next to Dampa Feast (that post is coming next).

If you’re wondering where you might know Kenny Rogers Roasters from, it could be from an episode of Seinfeld when they opened up across the street from Kramer. That’s at least how I found out about them. You can check out some clips from that episode on YouTube [Here]


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A Weekend with the iPhone X

Post by Mark

Thursday night I picked up my iPhone X from Digits in Marina Mall. They’d given me early access to buy one so that I could review it on the blog, but they made me promise that I wouldn’t turn it on until Friday morning 8AM. Apple is pretty strict with these things so I understood their concern. I know someone who had gotten an iPhone X a few days earlier, and when they turned it on, Apple sent the authorized reseller he had gotten the phone from a warning that they had 2 hours to shut it down or else. I wasn’t in a rush, I didn’t mind waiting till the next morning to play with the iPhone X, I was just glad I had my hands on one and didn’t have to wait in any line to get it.

I’m not the kind of person that upgrades phones every year, I was actually using an iPhone 6S until last week and was perfectly fine with it until my company handed me an iPhone 8. The iPhone X is the first iPhone in years that I’ve really wanted, and after using it over the weekend, here are my first impressions:

No Home Button
The iPhone X no longer has a home button and I was worried it would take time to get used to the new swipe up to go home gesture. But, I got used to it within the first few minutes of using the phone. To me it feels natural and so much slicker and faster than clicking down on the home button. So goodbye home button, you won’t be missed.

Face ID
This is probably my favorite feature in the iPhone X. It just works. The best way to describe it is that it’s as if your phone doesn’t have a passcode. To unlock your phone, you pick it up and then you swipe up to go home. Super simple, super fast. If for some reason your phone doesn’t wake up when you pick it up, you just tap the screen to wake it up and then swipe up. Again super fast. But Face ID has other advantages than just using it to log into your phone. When I get to a website that asks me to log in with my username and password, the phone checks my face and when it recognizes me automatically fills in my username and password. Another cool feature of Face ID is with notifications. When you get say a whatsapp message on your phone, you won’t see a preview. Pick up the phone and Face ID will recognize you and then show you a preview of the whatsapp messages [Example]. That’s a really smart feature because it means you can leave your phone out in the open and not worry about anyone reading your notification previews, but it also means you yourself can still read those previews. If you’re also wondering, Face ID works under different lighting so if you’re in complete darkness or out under bright sunlight, Face ID will still be able to read your face. Face ID was still able to read my face even though I had sun glasses on and even when my face was half stuffed deeply into my pillow.

The Screen
It’s huge and I’m loving it so far mostly because the blacks are so black. One of the biggest advantages of OLED screens (which is what the iPhone X uses) is the blacks are pure black. That’s because unlike LCD’s, to get the color black on an OLED screen it shuts off the pixels that are supposed to be black. So black is parts of the screen not lit up. Am I making sense? Imagine a room with no windows and one light bulb, to turn the room black you just turn off the bulb. No light = complete darkness = black. The “notch” on top of the screen isn’t annoying at all by the way, in fact I barely notice it. I mean its there, but it doesn’t hinder the experience of using the phone in any way. For those of you who are also concerned that not all apps are yet adapted to take full advantage of the iPhone X, from all the apps I use I think only 2 or 3 still display a black border on top and the bottom of the screen. The rest of my apps all display full screen and so it’s not really a big issue, and whatever apps don’t display in full screen I’m expecting them to by their next update.

Wireless Charging
I picked up a Belkin Qi charger from Xcite for around KD6 and have it on my bedside table. I noticed compared to the iPhone 8 the iPhone X has a larger wireless charging sweet spot. With the iPhone 8 it wouldn’t always start charging when I placed it on the charger but I haven’t had that issue with the iPhone X. If like me you use a magnetic mount for the phone it can still work with wireless charging. I have the metal plate sandwiched between my silicone cover and the phone, but I moved the plate all the way to the bottom of the phone and turned it sideways. That way the center of the phone is clear and the metal plate won’t interfere with charging.

Size vs iPhone 8
The iPhone 8 and X are virtually the same size. The iPhone X is slightly taller and thicker but too minor to even notice.

The Camera
Finally the camera, probably the most important aspect of the phone for me. I was always jealous of iPhone Plus owners since they had two lenses on their phones, the regular wide one and a more zoomed in one. Other than the added advantage of being able to zoom in closer to a subject (while maintaining the image quality), having two lenses allowed Apple to create the “portrait mode” feature in which it blurs the background making it look like it was shot with a DSLR. The iPhone Plus is too big a phone for me so I never considered getting it, but the iPhone X has the same camera system as the plus, with more features like a brighter aperture (f/2.4 vs f/2.8) and optical image stabilisation for both lenses not just the wide one. I haven’t really taken that many shots with it, just a few of my brothers cats and some of my friends and so far I really am loving the portrait mode.

So yeah as you can tell, I’m really loving the iPhone X so far. Although it was a big chunk of change to spend on just a phone, I think its worth it. If you’re looking to pick one up, Digits sold out their stock on launch, but are getting another shipment in around a weeks time. They currently have a waiting list so you can go and reserve a phone. The prices of the 64GB version is KD353 and the 256GB version KD405. A friend also just picked up a phone from Zain this morning but I think you have to sign up to a plan or something to get it (i.e. don’t think you can just straight up buy it from them).


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Ananas Equatorial Bar

Post by Mark

Ananas is a new spot that just opened up and I think it has one of the nicest interiors in Kuwait. Ananas is a coffee and juice bar created by the guys behind Ubon and is located in Kuwait City. They sadly don’t have much of a menu with around 8 juices to choose from, coffee, 2 sandwiches and some cookies. It’s such a great looking place though with interior and exterior seating and a very tropical feel to the whole place.

Starting today they’re open from 9AM to 10PM. Here is their location on [Google Maps] and their instagram account is @ananas.kw


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Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

A lot of things happening this weekend including Battle of the East 2017. They’ve changed the venue location this year and it’s now going to be held at the Green Island which is pretty interesting. Below are the events taking place this weekend:

Thursday
Bikers Opening Season Carnival
Live Music: South of Eden

Friday
Bikers Opening Season Carnival
Kuwait Rugby Sevens Tournament
Saracen Race 2017
Battle of the East 2017

Saturday
Yoga with the 3
Bikers Opening Season Carnival
Battle of the East 2017
Shuwaikh Market
Movie Night: Coraline
Dasman Live in Collaboration with Not Necessarily Famous
Back to the Secret Garden

If you’d like to share an event on the blog [Email Me]
For a full list of upcoming events click [Here]

Sometimes events get canceled or have details changed so always double check with the organizers.


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Movies Showing in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

The movies below are now showing at either Cinescape, Grand Cinemas or Sky Cinemas:

New This Week:
Beyond Skyline (6.2) ♦
Rebel in the Rye (6.4) ♦
Rupture (4.8)
Suburbicon (4.7) ♦
Thor: Ragnarok (8.2)

Other Movies Showing:
24 Hours to Live (6.2)
6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain (5.6) ♦
Geostorm (6.9)
Jigsaw (8.4)
Monster Family (5.2)
Only the Brave (8.1)
The Foreigner (7.5) ♦
The Little Vampire (5.7)
The LEGO Ninjago Movie (6.8)
Victoria and Abdul (6.1)

The movies below are also now showing at the Scientific Center IMAX theater:

A Beautiful Planet 3D (7.9)
Dream Big 3D (7.9)
Humpback Whales 3D (7.2)
Tiny Giants 3D (8.0)
Watermelon Magic 3D (7.4)

Numbers in brackets refer to the IMDB rating at time of publishing.
★ is for movies I’m interested in. ♦ implies movie might contain censorship.


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iPhone X out in Kuwait this Friday

Post by Mark

Digits(an Apple Authorized Reseller) will have the the iPhone X available to purchase at all their stores this coming Friday, November 3 at 8AM. They’ll be selling the iPhone X at the following prices:

iPhone X 64GB – 352.9KD
iPhone X 256GB – 404.9KD

The phones will be sold at their following locations:

Marina Mall – Salmiya
The Avenues – Rai
Yaal Mall – Fahaheel

They have a limited number so it’s first come first served.


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Cops Towing Cars Away Now

Post by Mark

As someone who interacts with cops on what seems like a weekly basis, I don’t have an issue with the cops being strict, I have an issue with their inconsistency. Either punish illegal parkers all year round and punish them wherever they might be around Kuwait not just the downtown area, or don’t. These short campaigns don’t do anything in the long run. I liked their idea of taking license plates off since it seemed like less work for them when compared to towing a car, and so something they could do on the long run. But even that they weren’t doing consistently.

I got pulled over last month for not using my turn signal but this morning for example I saw a car drive the wrong way down the street and even though she passed a cop car, the cop didn’t pull her over or anything. Why is it ok to break the law sometimes? I love driving in Lebanon because its complete anarchy, you do whatever you want and nobody cares. But I’m also perfectly fine driving in the States or any European country where the rules are pretty strict and everyone follows them. I just don’t like being in this grey area right now where sometimes we’re punished and sometimes we aren’t.

Funny story, a few weeks ago some person cut in front of my friends car while I was with him and a cop happened to be behind us when it happened. The cop pulled both of our cars over and then the cop came up to my friends window and told him to come down and beat up the other driver who cut him off. NO JOKE. My friend told him he had a broken toe and had a cast on so he couldn’t go down so the cop told him ok he could drive off.

The other day on my way to the gym I saw police cars and tow trucks removing illegally parked cars in the downtown area. An hour later after leaving my gym, that same strip had cars illegally parked again. So I don’t think towing illegally parked cars is gonna solve the issue, not unless this is something they’re willing to pursue all day long and all year round. Thats just my opinion though…


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Eyescream and Friends

Post by Mark

Eyescream and Friends is a new ice cream place that opened up at 360 Mall. It’s a franchise from Spain with a simple idea, make the ice cream look like little creatures with the use of two candy eyes. Simple idea but it works. When I first saw pictures of the ice cream I thought it looked super cute so I decided to go and get one for myself.

The presentation is great and you get to choose two different toppings to go along with your ice cream. I went with the chocolate ice cream with pistachio and strawberry sauce on the side. The ice cream itself wasn’t that great but my little ice cream creature looked very cute just like in the photos I had seen. I can imagine kids would really love this place. If you’re interested, they’re located in the 360 Mall food court. Their instagram account isn’t active but the main franchise instagram account is @eyescreamandfriends


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CAPSULE Virtual Experience Center

Post by Mark

Yesterday I got invited with my brother to pass by CAPSULE, a new virtual experience center thats opening next week. A virtual experience center is a place that allows you to experience virtual reality games, basically something like a VR arcade. My only previous experience with VR was using the Sony VR headset, so I was curious to see how much different and better this experience would be.

The moment you walk into the place you’re already in a different world. The interior of CAPSULE was designed to resemble a spaceship and it really adds to the whole VR experience. After getting a brief tour of the place and the different kinds of games they have, I let them know I tend to get motion sickness with VR games. They told me we would start off with a standing game which had a less chance of getting me motion sickness. So they strapped a rumble pack onto my back, handed me two motion controllers to hold and strapped on a VR headset so I could get started right away. I wanted to play a shooting game so they put on a game called Space Pirate in which I have to shoot down droids before they shoot me. My first impression before I even entered the game was wow. I started off in what looked like a living room, I looked down to my hands and I could see the controllers I was holding inside the virtual world. As I moved them around in my hand they were moving in the VR world as well. I then took a few side steps and I was now moving inside this VR world as well. This was exciting because I hadn’t experienced VR this way before, I could walk around in real life and my movement would be replicated in this VR world.

They loaded up Space Pirate for me and I was now on a platform in a space environment with two laser weapons in my hands. If I took my left hand back behind my shoulders and brought it back forward, my weapon would turn into a shield. When I didn’t want the shield anymore I’d take it back behind my shoulder again. As the droids started flying towards me and firing at me, I was moving around shooting them down with my two weapons. When the fighting was getting intense I’d use the shield on my left hand to help avoid the lasers they were shooting towards me. Sometimes as I’m about to get hit by one of their laser beams, the game would slow down matrix style to give me a chance to move out of the lasers way. To move out of the way you literally physically have to move out of the way in the real world. The VR system they have setup can track your movement so on multiple occasions I ducked, or jumped left or right out of harms way. I was immersed inside this virtual world and I finally understood what all the fuss with VR was about. And the best part was, I didn’t get motion sickness.

After playing around with the standing VR for a few minutes I then decided to try one of their virtual racing sims. I asked them what tracks and cars they had and they basically told me nearly all of them. I asked if they had the Bahrain GP circuit and they told me they did and that I could race around it in my Lotus if I wanted to. Since I had raced around the track in my Lotus before I was really interested to compare it to this VR experience. The whole setup is meant to be as real as possible from the seats, to the steering wheel and even the gearbox they’ve installed for these car sims. I sat down, put on the VR headset and suddenly I was inside my Lotus, even the interior color of the car in the game was similar to mine. Once I was done looking around my car I stepped on the gas and headed down the pit lane so I could get onto the track. Once I was out of the pit lane and started turning I started getting motion sickness right away. I figured it might go away and tried to continue on but I just couldn’t take it anymore and removed the headset. I was so disappointed since I really wanted this to work. They told me to take a bit of a break and then they’d put me into their extreme race car sim which tended to cause less motion sickness.

Their extreme race car sim is meant to simulate the experience of driving an F3 race car. It has a replica steering wheel and even two fans that blow wind into your face as you go faster. They were right about the fact it caused less motion sickness and I was able to experience it for a longer duration then the first race sim. But, I think because I was already feeling sick because of the previous sim I couldn’t get through this one. In the end I took off the VR headset again and decided racing sims just weren’t for me.

The whole experience was great and I’ll definitely be going back again to play around with the standing VR unit again. CAPSULE is located in the same building as MAS Arena in Al Rai near Avenues. Here is their location on [Google Maps] and they’re opening this coming Sunday. If you’re interested in checking the place out then follow them on instagram to stay posted on their launch @capsulevec


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