Best Restaurant in Kuwait 2015 (Casual Dining)

Post by Mark



Winner: EDO – Shaab (RIP)
This may play out more like a eulogy, but this icon of Kuwait Restaurant culture needs to be memorialised. EDO Shaab was a beautiful modernist Villa from the 1950s beside Villa Fayrouz. It was the best example of how a small villa could be repurposed as opposed to torn down and rebuilt like the monstrous, soulless apartment buildings surrounding it. The beautiful stone garden and its koi pond, small as it was, was unlike anything and wonderful. Nothing could compare to being there on a cool winter day, knowing just on the other side of the wall was a narrow road clogged like the arteries of this fast-food generation.

It was serene. Inside in small villa was a surprisedly spacious, tastefully designed sushi bar. The building’s previous life as a house made for all sorts of nooks and crannies. Every table was simultaneously private and yet easy to get attention from the well-trained waitstaff. Having lived in a sushi haven through university, sushi in Kuwait (without deep-fried mayonnaise) is a challenge to pull off. But without hesitation, upon being asked where the best sushi in Kuwait is, consistently as they would operate, I would say EDO. Sure there’s a new EDO at Sahara, but at this point in my life, that’s like telling me they’ve rebooted Thundercats.

But recently I had a lovely little dinner with my lovely wife at a lovely little place called Ora…maybe you’ve heard of it? No? Well you maybe should…

Runner up: ORA
There’s a new three-lettered sushi place in my life…and it’s called Ora, in Arabella. The place is kinda expensive but anything good should be, like a little treat. I suggest going with a bunch of friends and getting a bunch of small plates. This place is no joke, literally one of the best new restaurants to open. I’m a sucker for nigiri with a thin slice of fresh jalapeño and some light ponzu sauce.


Winner: EDO – Shaab (RIP)
I’m a late comer to the EDO fan club. When everyone was boasting about how great it was, I was too busy enjoying my Sushi at Kei when they were open at Marina Crescent. Then they closed down that location, and then they sent my sushi chef to their Bahrain branch and I just stopped eating sushi for awhile.

I only really got properly introduced to EDO by a friend a couple of years ago and thats when I really started falling in love with the place, it’s one of those restaurants that must have seen everything from proposals to breakups. There was and still is nothing like it in Kuwait, and the fact that it’s gone now is sad.

Even though EDO opened at Sahara, it just doesn’t have the same warmth and coziness of their old Shaab location. We should really consider turning old villas into restaurants instead of demolishing them. There are actually a bunch of old villas at the end of Baghdad Street in Salmiya, imagine if all those were renovated and turned into restaurants.. They would have so much more personality than the generic restaurant complexes that are popping up every few blocks.

Runner up: Open Flame Kitchen
My runner up should actually be this small Korean place hole in the wall I frequent often. It’s a place I haven’t posted about before and won’t on the blog since I like to keep it my little secret. So instead, for my runner up I’m going to go with OFK. It’s one of those places I can go when I want to cheat or when I want to eat healthy. They have the best burgers in Kuwait (order any of the 8oz burgers medium), my favorite pizza in Kuwait (Funghi Con Panna) and my favorite dessert (Chocolate Brownie Pudding). The place also feels like some restaurant pub with its dark ambiance and loud music and the service is always great. The only thing I will complain about is how they’re always out of their Haute Ripper hot dog which is deep fried in duck fat. Absolutely delicious but sadly they’ve been out of it for maybe a year now.

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13 comments, add your own...

  1. Ipsom says:

    I’m surprised that you love edo and Ora. I mean I’m not a huge edo fan but ora is like no where near it.

    And Mark, I’m seeing the survey for gyms, not restaurants.

  2. xeonali says:

    you guys have soooo similar opinions …

  3. meh says:

    WTF ORA? I think you better stick to kebab.

  4. Eric says:

    I’m more interested in this Korean place u mentioned… I’ve not been impressed with the other Korean restaurants here.
    You can just tell me, it’ll be our little secret ;)

  5. Eric says:

    LOL, ora needs to fire the web designer that put up a live site with lorem ipsum dummy copy

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