MrBeast Burgers in Kuwait Tomorrow

MrBeast Burger is a burger concept by the super popular internet personality MrBeast. If you haven’t heard of him, he has over 165 million subscribers on YouTube and is mostly known for his extravagant stunts and challenges videos.

MrBeast Burger is popping up in Kuwait tomorrow (July 7) and for one day only. Talabat will be hosting MrBeast Burger and they’ll be going live around 11AM. Delivery will be to most of Kuwait except for Mangaf, Sabahiya and Jahra.

The burger reviews online are pretty mixed, but based on MrBeasts popularity, I’d assume Talabat are going to be pretty busy tomorrow.


Al Kawakeb Sweets has Closed Down

Al Kawakeb Sweets, the old ice cream and sweets shop in the city that has been open since 1945 has closed down. The whole building is being demolished and so they had to move out of their location which was across the street from blockat.

According to someone who left a review on Google they’re meant to move to a new location but there wasn’t a poster or a note left at the old location saying anything about it. Their Instagram account @alkawakeb1945 also no longer exists so they could be gone for good.

Update: They moved to Aswaq Al Qurain, here is the new location on Google Maps


Caramel Bakery is Back with a New Look

I’ve been a Caramel customer since the early 2000s, they’ve always been my favorite place to pick up cakes from so I was a bit lost when they closed down for renovation. But, they’re now back and with a brand new very minimal and stunning look that was designed by @atelierazizalqatami.

Caramel originally opened back in 2001 and is run by a mother and daughter. The original store was in Kuwait City but later moved to Bneid Al Qar, where it currently remains. The redesigned space now has a very Japanese design aesthetic, characterized with a monochromic color palette. I imagine the new monochrome look is deliberate so that all the attention is drawn to the cakes.

They just reopened a couple of days ago with all our old favorite cakes, but they’re going to be introducing some new items as well next week. They’re also on Instagram @caramel_kuwait


KI:WA, A New Premium Korean Restaurant

Those of you who remember when the Korean supermarket Singarea was in Dajeej might remember they had a very cool Korean restaurant upstairs. That restaurant closed in 2012 and since then Singarea has moved out of Dajeej and opened several stores around Kuwait including their most recent one at Boulevard in Salmiya. When I first visited that location, I noticed they had an area in the back for a small restaurant and I got excited since I used to be a fan of the one in Dajeej. Yesterday morning the owner of Singarea got in touch with me and invited me to pass by for a tasting.

The whole invitation thing happened quickly and last minute since I’m traveling this weekend and we were trying to make it work before I left. I even struggled to find a friend to come a long but luckily I did because there was a lot of food to try. Since I was a fan of the previous Singarea restaurant, I didn’t really ask any questions about the place, I just headed there not knowing what to expect but figured it would be the run of the mill Korean restaurant.

But, when I got there and sat down, a few things caught my attention. The first were the expensive Devialet Phantom II speakers hung around the restaurant, then I noticed the heavy brass side plates on the table with handmade lacquered chopsticks. I didn’t think of it much until they brought out the first dish and my friend was like Mark, I think this is fine dining.

They didn’t have a menu because it was still being worked on so they brought out dishes for us based on their recommendation. The first dish was a custard egg with seafood, something I’ve never had before and the presentation looked pretty fancy. Right away they captured my interest and I was now really intrigued about the place. One by one the dishes started coming out, we got a grapefruit yuza salad next, then a seafood pajeon, tteokbokki (the best rice cakes I’ve had), both a beef and seafood Albap served bento box style, and more. It was a lot of food and a lot of different and exciting flavors to try. The seafood pajeon (the pancake like dish) is now probably my favorite Korean dish ever, it was so good and bursting with so many different flavors, it’s the dish thats going to keep me going back. But really everything we tried was visually interesting and delicious except for probably the galbi steak dish which I felt needed some sauce on the side to dip into.

Once we were done I sat with Penny the owner of Singarea, a young trendy looking guy with long hair and cool kicks. His father opened Singarea in Kuwait over 40 years ago and now he’s taken it over. He explained to me his concept of wanting to serve premium Korean dishes but without the high prices usually associated with it. He’s starting off small (the restaurant has only 6 tables) but has the ability to expand later. They hadn’t finalized the prices or menu yet when I visited, but they’re aiming for an average paycheck of around 8-10KD per person.

KI:WA (or just Kiwa) is aiming to open next week on June 1st. It’s located at the back of the Singarea store in Boulevard next to the lake, and they’ll be open for both lunch and dinner. You can stay posted on the restaurant and the opening by checking @singareamarket or @kiwa.q8

Update: So turns out the galbi steak dish came with a pepper cream sauce but I didn’t see it since it was hidden from my sight behind the dish 😅


Mr Holmes Bakehouse is Now Open

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, the San Francisco bakery that went viral in 2017 with the invention of the cruffin, officially opened in Kuwait today.

I dropped by yesterday for the soft opening that was hosted by @pltq8 and other than sweet and savory pastries, they also have a few sandwiches, protein shakes, juices and coffee.

They open 6am to 10pm daily and are located in Kuwait City next to Eighty Six burger, on the same strip as Crystal Tower.


iHop is back in Kuwait and now with Kout Food Group

iHop, previously an Alshaya brand closed down their physical locations back in 2021 before eventually closing down delivery as well. Now they’re back in Kuwait again but this time they’re Kout Food Group, the same company that has Burger King, Pizza Hut and Subway amongst other brands.

They just opened their first location at CRE Mall in Mahboula and will be opening other locations including one in Avenues. They’ve also started delivery which is being handled by the cloud kitchen operator Kitopi.

I was always a fan of iHop since they had a pretty good affordable no frills breakfast and some great pancakes. Their Mahboula location is completely out of the way for me so I’m not going to be passing by anytime soon, but definitely will once they reopen in the Avenues.


Bring Back Arby’s & Popeyes

I’m in Saudi this week and yesterday I randomly came across Arby’s while on my way to a meeting. I was a bit surprised to find it because I come to Riyadh often and I wasn’t aware they had Arby’s here. Turns out they’ve only been open for less than a week! Obviously, I ended up passing by and grabbing a roast beef with cheddar.

It sucks they ended up closing down in Kuwait, I don’t eat much fast food anymore but Arby’s was one of the few places I couldn’t resist. No idea why they ended up closing down since they were always busy when I passed by so I assumed they were doing well.

Another brand that they have here which should come back to Kuwait is Popeyes. Like Arby’s, I’m not sure why it closed down since it also seemed to be doing well.

Food Gossip & Rumors

Nando’s is Coming Back to Kuwait

Nando’s the popular South African franchise that specializes in Portuguese flame-grilled peri-peri style chicken is coming to Kuwait.

They originally opened at The Avenues back in 2007 but ended up closing down shortly after. This time Apparel Group are bringing them back and they’ll be opening at the new Warehouse Mall which I posted about recently.

I don’t have an opening date but I’ve reached out to Apparel Group and waiting to hear back from them. But, I think it would be safe to assume they’ll be open by Q4 of this year.

Design Food

Design Highlight: Pattie Pattie

A few weeks ago I was invited to the opening of a new burger concept opened called Pattie Pattie. My first thought obviously was that we had too many burger joints already, most tasted the same and we really didn’t need any more. But I still went to the opening and although the burger was forgetful, the space wasn’t.

Pattie Pattie has to be one of the coolest-looking burger joints in Kuwait. I love spaces that bring something visually new to Kuwait, places that transport you to another place, there are a few spots that do it really well, Boost and Ovo for example are two that come to mind. Pattie Pattie is another place now that does the same.

The design of Pattie Pattie was created by the local creative studio WEFT and was inspired by the American fast food culture and the iconic mid-century architecture of California.

The design of the building was born from the limitations imposed on that plot of land. The land measured 365m2 but the permit limited the building size to just 5x18m (90m2). The exterior space had no particular restrictions, as long as the vertical structure was 90m2. As a result, WEFT designed a large canopy cutting across the full width of the plot in a dynamic diagonal composition. To further enhance the size of the small restaurant, they raised the plot by 30cm to frame the building and create a larger sense of scale.

Every design element had a reason from the bold colors to the integration of design-driven playful accessories. The result is basically this beautiful vibrant space that has now become a landmark in the neighborhood. If you want to check out the place in person here is the location on Google Maps or click here to see more.

Photos by @mashkanani

50s to 90s Food

The Pizza Italia Story 1980 – 2006

Anyone who grew up in Kuwait during the 80s will fondly remember Pizza Italia. The owner of Pizza Italia was Mahmoud Alghanim who sadly passed away a couple of years ago. He was a pioneer in the local restaurant industry creating multiple food brands back before it was even a thing. Recently, a person called John Dade got in touch with me and shared with me the story of how Pizza Italia came to be.

John originally moved to the Middle East in the 70s working for Heublein who were the owners of Kentucky Fried Chicken back then. He was in charge of developing Kentucky Fried Chicken internationally and eventually came to Kuwait in 1977 working for Kuwait Food Company (Americana).

Kuwait Food Company initially started off with the brand Wimpy in 1970 which at that time was one of the first if not the first international fast food chains to enter the Middle East. In 1973 they brought KFC which is how John ended up in the region. John later helped Kuwait Food Company acquire the brands Hardees and Pizza Hut before his contract ended and he decided to move back to the States.

Before leaving back to the US, John got introduced to Mahmoud Alghanim through a mutual friend. Mahmoud was looking for help in developing a fast food concept similar to Mcdonald’s but with Arabic food and a mutual friend recommended he meet with John who he eventually hired.

John started work on the Arabic fast food concept but a year later it was still not done. John started to feel bad since he was getting his full salary but the company wasn’t generating any money at that point. So John approached Mahmoud with an idea, he wanted to open a pizza place for him since it would be easy and quick to set up and it would help them generate income while they continued work on the Arabic fast food concept. Mahmoud liked the idea and gave John a budget of $100,000 and a location in Bayan next to the coop which they opened up in 1980. Together they came up with a cool concept, a fixed price for the pizza no matter what toppings you had on it. They called it Pizza Italia.

Back then food delivery wasn’t a thing. Instead, parents would send their children with the driver to pick up the pizza from the store. Having a fixed price turned out to be incredibly convenient to the parents because no matter what toppings the kids chose, the price of the pizza was still the same.

With the success of the pizza, they realized they also needed ice cream to go along with it. So John and Mahmoud went to the US and did a road trip looking for an ice cream brand to bring to Kuwait. They eventually decided on Häagen-Dazs and brought the franchise to Kuwait. Keep in mind Häagen-Dazs had just opened their first store in 1976 and so were still very new and small back then. The novel introduction of banana splits was also very popular. It was almost impossible to keep up with requests on Friday after the noon prayer. Mahmoud and John were way ahead of their time.

Pizza Italia did so well that the Pizza Hut franchise in Kuwait ended up closing down (they were later brought back by Al Homaizi Group). John stayed on with Mahmoud till 1984 before leaving Kuwait for Saudi Arabia.

Pizza Italia continued operating until the mid-2000s before eventually closing down. I remember back in 2005 they were selling their large-sized pizza with all the toppings (the Godfather) for only KD1.500 and it was really good.

Like Hungry Bunny and Showbiz, Pizza Italia is a brand many will never forget.