Introducing Pantry Tips

Post by Mark

A few weeks ago I asked a friend of mine if she’d be interested in posting food related posts on the blog. She’s one of the co-founders of PantryBee and since she used to be one of the writers on the old local blog The Dusty Co, I figured she’d be perfect for these posts. Her first one is up and you can check it out below.


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Pantry Tips: Kimchi Love

Post by Hind

At PantryBee we like to think that we know a thing or two about food, sourcing it, cooking it, and more importantly eating it. Mark has given us this platform to share some of our favorite food things, be it restaurant recommendations, general know how, our favorite recipes, books and more. For our first post we thought to start with a cuisine we love. If you’ve seen any of our past Korean dishes on site you’d know that we are hardcore Kimchi lovers at the PantryBee kitchen. Kimchi is a traditional Korean staple made with seasoned fermented vegetables and salt that Koreans have with pretty much every meal. The word “kimchi” evolved from the Korean word ‘shimchae’ which means ‘salting of vegetables’.

Kimchi is one of our favorite superfoods out there. Because of fermentation it’s rich in gut healthy bacteria, vitamin A, vitamin C, as well as being low calorie, high fiber, and jam-packed with antioxidants. Though it takes a long time, making kimchi is pretty straightforward and simple and we really recommend everyone give it a go once.

Kimchi can be prepared in a multitude of ways, with different spice levels and using a variety of vegetables. The most classic version is made with cabbage and is super easy to recreate at home. The recipe below is a classic and highly recommended for your first go. If you don’t feel like making your own head over to Singarea to get your fix as they usually have a couple of varieties to choose from.

Easy Kimchi – Yields 3 cups
1 large head Chinese/Napa cabbage approx 500grams (available at lulu, sultan, and Saveco)
1/2 cup salt
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 Tbsp gochujang (this is a korean red chili pepper paste available at Singarea)
2 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbsp red chili flakes
Cold water
1 inch piece of ginger finely minced
3 spring onions cut into 2 inch pieces
1 daikon radish cut into matchsticks

Directions
1- Cut cabbage lengthwise into quarters removing the core then chop into bite sized pieces.

2- In a bowl add cold water and soak cabbage throughly before draining and transferring to another bowl. sprinkle well with salt turning every 30 mins for 1.5 hrs to make sure cabbage is salted evenly.

3- After 1.5 hrs Rinse well with water making sure to get between the leaves we recommend rinsing at least 3 times .then drain and set aside

4- Mix together the vinegar, gochujang, garlic, ginger in a bowl.

5- Add the cabbage in handfuls to the bowl, squeezing them of any excess water before adding them to the mixture. Add the spring onion and daikon and mix well.

6- Pack into a jar with a tight cover and let sit at room temperature for 2 days then chill in fridge for 4 days before serving.

Post by Hind
CoFounder of PantryBee where home cooking is made easy.


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Kuwait in an ANTHRAX Music Video

Post by Mark

This is super weird. No idea how/why/what but somehow, for some really strange random reason, the Kuwait City skyline makes the appearance at the end of a pretty gory and gruesome music video for the heavy metal band ANTHRAX. That has to be one of the most random, weirdest and coolest things to ever happen to the Kuwait City skyline. Fast forward till minute 7:30 if you want to see Kuwait but it’s a lot more fun and bizarre if you watch the whole video up till that point.

Thanks Red!


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Friendship Ended with Salmiya, Now Netflix is My Best Friend

Post by Mark

A few days ago I posted about how Salem Al Mubarak Street is finally turning into a pedestrian only street. One of the negatives I highlighted was the fact they had chopped down some of the old trees that have been there for nearly 50 years. I was upset about it, but when I asked the engineer behind the project if they were removing the old trees, he responded saying “only some”. So I assumed they had chopped down the trees that they didn’t need and all the ones left were the ones they were keeping. Well last night I noticed they had removed nearly all the remaining trees. Using Google Maps I counted 28 trees that were originally planted on that street and there are now only 3 left. That means 25 trees in total were removed! One of the remaining trees currently has a chainsaw parked under it so it might not even be there anymore by the time this post gets published. I’ve marked all the removed trees with x’s in the above picture and the ones remaining with circles.

How is 3 trees out of 28 considered “only some”? Why are they removing the trees anyway? If they were building an airport runway I could understand but they’re not so why? Some of the trees were fairly large and it would have been pretty cute to have small cafes underneath with seating areas around them. The trees were large enough to provide shade, they didn’t need any watering because they were well rooted and the trees were also homes to a lot of birds.

But you know what? I don’t care anymore.

Last night I got so upset about the whole situation I emotionally booked two trips for the next two weekends. Why am I getting so worked up about all of this? It’s not my country, I don’t own the street nor were the trees mine. Why am I even surprised about all of this? Based on the renderings the engineer shared I should have known no good was going to come out of this. When you demolish historical buildings in your renderings and replace them with fancy shiny malls, it says a lot about the thinking process. Chopping historical trees isn’t only a Kuwait thing either, it happens everywhere. In Lebanon for example a politician cut down part of an ancient cedar forrest so he could setup an outdoor venue for his son’s wedding. I mean like wtf? If shit is gonna happen its gonna happen and there is nothing I can do to stop it.

So starting today I’m hopefully emotionally disconnecting myself from Salmiya. I no longer want to be mayor. If anyone wants to take over the responsibility of giving a fuck, they’ve only started construction work on half of old Salmiya. They haven’t started on the other half yet (pictured above) and based on Google Maps there are approximately 38 trees there. Good luck trying to save them.


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Sneak Peek: Madison & Heig

Post by Mark

There are a couple of new restaurants I’m looking forward to opening this fall, Madison & Heig is one of them. If you drive up and down the Gulf Road often you might have noticed the large under construction hoarding next to Steak & Shake and Assaha in Bneid Al-Qar (in the same building as Elite Fitness).

Madison & Heig is going to be a bistro and bakery, its a locally created concept characterized by an open kitchen. It will have indoor and outdoor seating and the food will focus on homemade ingredients.

The expected opening date for the place as of now is early November and you can follow them on instagram if you want to stay posted @madisonandheig


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Niqashna – A Community Platform for Open Debates

Post by Mark

Niqashna is a platform for open debated that was launched early this year. In the first season they held three debates that discussed the following Kuwait related topics:

Debate 1: Arranged Marriage vs Love Marriage
Debate 2: Should children of Kuwaiti women be granted citizenship?
Debate 3: Kuwait’s Demographics: An imminent crisis or a potential opportunity

Niqashna is now starting their second season with their first debate being held this coming Wednesday. The subject of discussion is “Developing the Islands: Do you support ‘open’ tourism for Kuwait’s islands?”. It should prove to be a very interesting discussion, so if you’re interested in going to it, you can get more details [Here]

Also make sure you check out and follow the Niqashna instagram account @niqashna


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The Untitled Deli Now Officially Open

Post by Mark

The Untitled Deli is a new deli that recently opened up in Kuwait. The place belongs to two close friends of mine and I also worked on the branding for it so I might be a tiny bit biased when I say… they make the best ridiculously delicious amazing sandwiches in Kuwait. Seriously the sandwiches are really good. Originally my friend started making them for us during Game of Thrones nights and then at shakshooka a couple of times before deciding to open up this place. So its been in the making for some time now.

So if you’ve been craving salt beef and pastrami sandwiches then you definitely need to check them out. They don’t have delivery yet but the deli itself is located inside the Pearl Marzouq complex in Salmiya. You can also check out all their sandwiches on their instagram account @theuntitleddeli as well their full menu on theuntitleddeli.com


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Salem Al Mubarak Street is Turning Pedestrian Only

Post by Mark

I can’t believe this is actually happening, they’re finally turning Salem Al Mubarak Street into a pedestrian only street. When I posted about this proposal back in February, I was very adamant that it would never happen and looks like I was wrong, kinda (more on that in a bit). So far they’ve closed down and dug up half of the old Salmiya street. For those of you who aren’t very familiar with this area and the street, Salem Al Mubarak Street starts off at the end of the 4th Ring Road and goes all the way down past Al Fanar Complex and down past AUK and Symphony Mall. “Old Salmiya” which is turning into pedestrian only starts at the end of the 4th Ring Road and ends at Al Salam Mall where LuLu Supermarket is. I’m very passionate about this street because I’ve lived on it (literally) all my life. So I’ve experienced it during its heydays in the 80s, I experienced it during the invasion and after in the 90s, and I’m still experiencing it now on a daily basis since I live on top of one of the shopping complexes on that street. I care about this area a lot so lets start with the good things about all this, and then I’ll mention some negative stuff which are as important.

The Good
– Back in February when I mentioned this project I called it a joke. Mostly because if they were to follow the renderings that were shared with the public (like the one above), it would have meant demolishing the whole street with all the buildings and starting from scratch. So when I spoke to the engineer behind the project yesterday, I asked him about all these modern buildings in the renderings and turns out they were just placed there as inspiration to the current building owners. Phew! That means neither my building nor all the classic two-story buildings (pictured below) on the street will be demolished. For now at least…

– Work is going to be completed pretty soon, they’re aiming to have the street ready by Q1 of next year

– My building is going to be located on a pedestrian only commercial street, how cool is that? I mean its not Carnaby Street or Liverpool ONE, but it’s still cool. Might finally have a reason to buy a Boosted Board.

The Bad
– The street has currently been dug up but no consideration has been made for pedestrians and shop owners. Yesterday I walked down the street to LuLu and in a number of spots I was forced to walk in deep sand which is very difficult to walk in. There are a whole line of shops who just have sand right outside their door because the sidewalks were dug up and no temporary path were put in its place. From what I was told by my buildings landlord, foot traffic has decreased considerably and shop owners in my building have started to feel the effect. Temporary paths should be created to keep the area and shops alive. I’m meeting with the engineer behind the project next week and I’m going to bring this important point up.

– The parking situation in old Salmiya is a mess as it is and now by shutting down the main street which included a lot of parking spots, parking is even a bigger mess. The municipality has already placed signs pointing people to parking locations in the area, but as a resident of the area myself, I found these signs hard to understand, hard to see and they don’t seem to point anywhere. I’m curious to see what parking solutions they’ve come up with to go along with this project.

– Finally, they’ve killed a lot of trees. This is probably the saddest thing about the project. They’ve so far uprooted and killed I would say around 10 large trees, maybe more. These are trees that have been there from the very start of the street (pictured above) and have survived and endured so much. The first question I asked the engineer when he contacted me on Twitter yesterday was if they were removing the trees. He responded saying “Only some .. coz i try hard to keep it but it’s need a lot of work but I kept some coz in my idea that is the land mark of this street”. In my opinion ALL the trees should have stayed and it’s sad to see them being chopped up and bulldozed away. No idea if I can convince him to stop chopping down trees but will see when I pass by their offices next week.

Overall I’m excited my area is finally getting the attention it deserves. But now I’m just hoping the project is done right. Once I pass by the project’s office next and get more details, I’ll post and update.


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Kuwait is Still One of the Worst Countries for Expats

Post by Mark

No surprise here but Kuwait is still one of the worst countries for expats according to the latest Expat Insider survey by Internations. Kuwait came in 64th place out of a total of 65 countries surveyed. On the bright side, at least we’re not in last place like we were last year.

Kuwait has improved by one place, coming 64th out of 65 countries in 2017. In fact, it’s improved by at least one place in all indices, with particular progress in the Working Abroad Index: job security has improved by 15 places, putting Kuwait in the middle of the ranking (32nd). Quality of life still remains a struggle, however, and Kuwait comes last for leisure options and personal happiness.

Surprisingly, Bahrain was voted as the best place in the world for expats. Check out the full result of the survey and rankings [Here]

Thanks Bashar


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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:
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (6.4)
IT (8.5)
My Cousin Rachel (6.1) ♦
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 3D (8.5) ♦
The Glass Castle (7.2)

Other Movies Showing:
American Made (7.5)
Annabelle: Creation (7.2) ♦
Birth of the Dragon (4.1)
Seven Sisters (6.9)
The Dragon Spell (6.2)
The Hitman’s Bodyguard (7.3)
The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature (4.5)
Wind River (8.0) ♦
Wish Upon (4.7)

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)
Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D (N/A)

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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