Categories
Food

A Food Lovers Guide to Kuwait – 2023 Edition

An interview with a Michelin Star chef popped up on my TikTok feed last week and he said something really interesting which was basically that food is the third most important thing in a restaurant, with ambiance and service being more important. I think thats true and I realized that while I was putting this list together.

Sometimes I wonder why certain places are always busy while I’m sure other people wonder why I like a certain place, it really comes down to our individual experiences. I eat out pretty much every single day and the list below are some of my favorite places in Kuwait:

Breakfast
Cocoa Room (@cocoaroom) is the spot I go to when I want to have breakfast on a Friday morning while Alf Layla wLayla (@alf_laylawlayla) is the spot I have breakfast with friends midweek when the weather is good (Tip: Bring your own chapati from Sound Indian Restaurant at the roundabout next door).

Healthy-ish
Ever since OVO (@ovokwt) opened their new location in Shuwaikh I’ve loved going there. M.E’AT (@meatkwt) is my don’t think about it, just go build a bowl eat and leave spot.

Kuwaiti
Al Shemam (@alshemam1) is mine and everyones favorite with delicious grilled fish options and kebabs but I also really like Midar (@midar.me) in The Avenues.

Italian
Vigonovo (@vigonovo_kw) has been my go-to spot for the past 7 years ago but this past year I’ve been bouncing between them and Leccino (@leccino.kw).

Asian
EDO (@edo_restaurant) is my favorite Japanese right now while Great China Wall (@chinagreatwallrestaurant) is my favorite Chinese/Hot Pot spot.

Indian
Cardamon Club (@cardamom.club) is my favorite “fancy” Indian place while Paratha King (@paratha_king) is my hole in the wall.

My Comfort Food
Tampopo (@tampopo.ramenshop) because it’s simple and right next to my house. I still love Solo Pizza (@solopn) even though there are a lot more pizza places nowadays. And finally, one of my favorite restaurants in Kuwait, Oak & Smoke (@oakandsmoke). I would also have added Five Guys here if it wasn’t a franchise.

These are my favorite spots, let me know if your favorite place should have been on my list.

Categories
Food Reviews

Review: Midar – ‏Authentic Kuwaiti Seafood

It’s been a while since I last posted a restaurant review, but there really hasn’t been any that interested me until now. Midar is a new Kuwaiti restaurant opened by the team behind some of our favorite places like Burger Boutique, White Robata and Slider Station. I passed by Friday for lunch and left wanting to go back.

Midar opened during Eid a couple of weeks ago in The Gardens area of Avenues phase 4. I had seen pictures of the space ahead of time and it looked really pretty but in person, it looks even better. The restaurant was smaller than I imagined it being but I liked it more this way since it felt cozy. I had a reservation that I had made a couple of weeks earlier so I was seated as soon as I arrived. We were given a choice of either sitting inside or in their outdoor space, I chose inside and that’s what I would recommend. The outdoor space is pretty generic and so you’d miss out on the beautiful interior.

Once seated it took a pretty long time to be attended to by a waiter. Service was actually the only issue I had with the place, not because the service was bad or the waiters were not any good, they were just not attentive. Their menu like most places today was digital and you can check it out by going to midar-me.com/menu. Midar is a Kuwaiti seafood concept so all their dishes are seafood related and you won’t find any chicken or beef on their menu. I ended up ordering Jahra St. Hummus to start with and then a Grilled Medium-sized Seabass and Fresh Shrimp Mumawash for our mains, followed by the Sticky Date Cake for dessert. Oh and we also ordered their super spicy Special Mabooch on the side.

The food all looked great, the portions were fairly big, and everything we had ended up being delicious. The fish was brought next to our table and then cut open and plated, it reminded me of the one I have at Shemam except this one was obviously elevated and better. The Mumawash when mixed with the special mabooch and the sauce they bring with it on the side was my favorite thing (and really spicy). Finally the dessert, I mean it’s such a basic thing, a sticky date cake, but it was easily the best one I’ve ever had, it actually caught me off guard since I’m not really a sticky date cake guy. Once the meal was done we had a choice of complimentary regular or lumi tea which is a nice touch.

The final bill, including a mocktail, soft drink and water came out to around 35KD which is pretty reasonable for a place like this. Really the only odd thing was the service. The waiters just never seemed to be around even though the place isn’t that big. But, they also just opened and the whole restaurant industry is suffering with a lack of staff so it’s understandable and I’m sure they’ll work out the kinks quickly (their concepts tend to have the best service in the industry). I’d definitely go back and I actually have a to-do list of things I want to try next time.

Since Midar just opened they’re going to be really busy during prime hours, so even though they do accept walk-ins, you’ll have a better chance of getting a table if you reserve through their website midar-me.com

Categories
Food

GQ Magazine: Where to Eat in Kuwait

GQ Magazine published an article yesterday on places to eat in Kuwait put together by Chef Faisal Al Nashmi. The list includes Habra, Al-Shimam, Oak & Smoke, BBT and Tampopo. It got me thinking about what places I’d recommend nowadays and other than some of the ones already mentioned in the article, I struggled to think of more. I think I would add the following:

Cardamon Club, Cocoa Room, Ora, San Ristorante, and White Robata.

For the past year, I haven’t been going out to restaurants as much when I used to frequent Cocoa Room and White Robata for example at least once a week before the pandemic. It’s also why I haven’t posted about anything new in ages, I just don’t feel like it right now. Even Cocoa Room and White Robata which I love and used to frequent on a weekly basis, since the pandemic started I’ve only been back to Cocoa Room once and I haven’t been back to White Robata yet. The only place I seem to frequent often is BBT since I get to eat out of my car, but the rest of the time I’m just ordering delivery.

If you have places you think should be on the list mention it in the comment, to check out the GQ article click here.

Categories
Information Kuwait

48 Hours in Kuwait

A reader recommended I put together a list of places which visitors to Kuwait could check out on a short trip. It was pretty difficult to put the list together since I didn’t want to make the list too long but also struggled with places like Al Shaheed Park (Would tourists want to visit a park?). With that in mind, below is the list of my recommendations. If you have better suggestions which I’m sure you do, let me know in the comments and I might add it to the list.

Places to Visit

Kuwait Towers: I like standing under the towers and looking up more than I like going up to the towers. The observatory deck might be worth checking out if you’re interested in seeing the Kuwait City skyline although I personally don’t think it’s that great of a view. The windows are also usually dirty and at night you can’t see anything outside because the observatory deck is too brightly lit on the inside. The restaurant in the Kuwait Towers isn’t that bad, but there are better places to have a meal.

Water Towers: I recommend the water towers in Adailiya since they’re located inside the park and so you can walk up to them very close. They were also recently painted so they’ll look good in photos (pictured above).

Maritime Museum, Modern Art Museum, Dickson House and the Amricani Cultural Center are all located right next to each other so you can cover them all in 2-3 hours easily since neither of them is that big. [Link]

Souk Mubarkiya: A must visit place if you’re looking for an old traditional market.

The Avenues Mall: I know its a mall but it’s a great one and in the summer it’s probably the best place to go if you want to shop. You’ll find everything there from high end designers to IKEA and a ton of different places to eat at.

Al Shaab Gate: There are a few old city gates left but I’d recommend visiting the one adjacent to Al Shaheed Park since the area around it was recently renovated.

Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre: Beautiful architecture and a large garden with an animated musical fountain to check out. If you’re lucky there might be an event or show taking place during your visit so check their website for tickets. There are also restaurants located at the centre in case you want to have a meal there.

Restaurants

Cocoa Room: My favorite breakfast place and is usually always busy.

Street by Al Makan: Good food, gets pretty busy at night mostly with a younger crowd, located in a trendy area. Also walking distance to Souk Mubarakiya. Pass by Vol.1 located under it for coffee after dinner.

Solo PN: A very popular pizza place thats always busy. Recently won an award for the 3rd best pizza in the world.

Al Shemam: Located right in the middle of Souk Mubarakiya next to the vegetable market. Has great grills (fish, meat and poultry) but is also a pretty ghetto looking place so not for the squeamish (pictured above).

Freej Suwaileh: A very popular and affordable Kuwaiti cuisine restaurant that’s open till 5AM.

Dar Hamad: A high end Kuwaiti cuisine restaurant with a beautiful interior.

Events

There are always events taking place so if you’re looking for one to go to during your visit, make sure you check out the events page [Here]

Off the Beaten Path

Friday Market: A large flea market that takes place on Fridays, usually gets really packed and you can find lots of random things for sale there from old gaming systems to washing machines and furniture. Although you might be tempted, avoid the animals section.

Salem Mubarek Street: A street stretching out around 2KM filled with shops on both sides. Used to be extremely popular in the 80s and early 90s (pictured above).

Al-Rehab Complex: If you’re into video games you’ll love this complex since the mezzanine floor and basement are filled with video game shops. By filled I mean every single shop there is a video game shop, easily over 50 shops.

Ice Skating Rink: Popular in the 80s and early 90s but not very popular nowadays. Worth checking out if you’re looking to cool off during the hot summer months.

House of Mirrors: The House of Mirrors belongs to Lidia al-Qattan, the widow of Khalifa al-Qattan, a renowned Kuwaiti artist. She started decorating one small wall with mirrors and through time more and more walls were decorated until the whole house inside and out was covered with mirrors.