Wednesday, September 25, 2013

al watiya

al watiya
in the bebehani complex, kuwait city

what was consumed: kuwaiti cuisine!

when i ask friends to recommend kuwaiti restaurants, many will respond with, "oh man, my mom makes the BEST kuwaiti food!" ummm, so where's my invite? thanks for nothing, "friend." i'm working on it. but until then, i have al watiya.

al watiya has a large array of traditionally kuwaiti cuisine: maschboos, mourabian, and a whole array of hamour dishes. they also serve stereotypical middle eastern fare, quite deliciously if i might add.

al waitya sits in a traditional space within the bebehani complex in kuwait city. the tables are set within a home built with traditional kuwaiti architecture. as a result, it's great for those who are new to kuwait in that you get the opportunity to see that homes were not always the massive concrete structures (or high-rise apartments) that seem to line the kuwaiti coast today.

al watiya is also next to some of my favorite places - dar al funoon and the amricani center - a total bonus. just a quick note about their service: al watiya is definitely for the days where you are looking for a more leisurely meal. and if you're running short on time, you'll have to do some (polite) prodding. just sayin'.

i've been back to al watiya with friends and with guests. each visit was way fun and totally worth the wait! i'll have to visit al watiya a few more times while i can - nom nom nom ...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


what was consumed: arabic breakfast

down a small street near z's (former) place is the cute little ryoog. it's not near a large strip of restaurants or in a highly populated area. but that doesn't keep patrons from this tiny gem. the tables are covered with gingham cloth (one of my favorites, it turns out), though the coveted seats are the ones that are next to the window. there isn't a great view (it looks out into the street), but there's still the appeal of a window seat.

z and i went to ryoog for a leisurely brunch on one of the days we had off (i'm not sure which one. also odd because i usually try to get out of Q8 on those days. but i digress). still, there was a bit of a wait before we were seated. while waiting, we drooled as we looked at the display case of cakes and pastries available at ryoog.

between the two of us, we opted to share an arabic breakfast (really, this is the way to go). it's quite a hefty portion of hummous, cheese, veggies, foul, etc. served sort of "english tea" style. and since everything is spread on ryoog's bread, one order goes a long way. the ingredients were fresh, the flavors were solid, and the service was nice. we easily sat through multiple cups of coffee as we enjoyed the food and enjoyed each other's company.

i once did see another colleague of mine there. he is a son of a baker (how cool is that!) and so mentioned to me on numerous occasions that he's rather particular about his bread. at ryoog, he was sitting in front of a large basket. i'd say that that's a good sign. lots of points for ryoog!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

the early bird

the early bird
location: jabriya
tel: 25343009
hours: 0500-1500 (closed on sundays)

what was consumed
: monte cristo, breakfast club sandwich, bottomless drip coffee (!!!), country-style potatoes

brunch has turned into a regular thing. ok, so it was a regular thing back at home, so i'm happy it's one of those things i'm able to continue doing while overseas. kuwait has quite a few options for an "american" brunch. or an american breakfast that comes pretty close anyway. i was never really one for breakfast overall (i was the one who always ordered lunch items during brunch), but it has really grown on me.

so, knowing my predilection for going out to eat and looking for good food, lots of people have asked about my thoughts on the early bird. it's taken me a yer and half, but i finally made it! woohoo!

we got to the early bird at a pretty regular brunch hour (10:30ish) only to find all of the seats occupied (note to future diners: it's a tiny place - 4 top inside, 4 top outside (and when it's 100+ degrees, i will opt for the air conditioned inside)). so, we put our name on the waiting list, and then went to the starbucks around the corner to wait for the call.

when we finally got a table, we took a quick look at the menu and put in our order. the menu is what you'd see at any greasy spoon, denny's, etc. pancakes, waffles, omelets, (beef/turkey) bacon, hashbrowns, etc. but it's a nice respite for those who've spent so many years in the U.S. (aka so many kuwaitis!).

honestly, there's nothing particularly extraordinary or gourmet or fancy pants or blah blah blah about the early bird. BUT, you can get some solid favorites that hit close to home (and are, therefore, so heartwarming) especially when home seems so far away. and THAT is totally worth it.

and, oh! they have drip coffee! and they give complimentary refills! i've missed this american luxury. and so, on principle, we all had seconds.

i can see why people love it at the early bird, for better or for worse. i'll be back. for sure.

p.s. all of this brunch talk reminds me of the bloody mary burger at matchbox back in WDC. i could go for one of those right about now :/