Sunday, August 18, 2013

souq mubarakiya

souq mubarakiya
@kuwait city

what was consumed: grilled meats, fattoush, hummous, lemonade with mint, lots of iranian bread

open air markets are one of the best things ever. in kuwait (and the rest of the middle east for that matter), we call them "souqs" and the one in kuwait is called "souq mubarakiya." here, you can literally get anything you want and while very little of it is made in kuwait (like much of the rest of world, lots of the stuff is made in china :/ ...), it has the "smell" of kuwait, as my mom would say.

that said, i still love the souq (though not in the summer when it feels like it's a thousand degrees outside) and look for any and all opportunities to go.

one of my all-time favorite places to eat "local" is also at the souq. there is an area that is set up like a more western "food court" and each of the places seem to sell similar fare (minus the one eatery that sells pizza. i know. weird). i tend to frequent the first one, run by folks of eqyptian decent. i've been there enough to have the only english speaking server ask me why i don't come more often. either i'm the only asian person who visits as a patron or he really remembers all the different characters i take to his eatery (i think it's the former).

the first time i went, i was brand new in kuwait, just a few weeks in. friend s and i sat and ordered a bunch of different things, not really knowing what we were ordering. all we know is that the food started coming out real quick. a plate of veggies to put in the endless service of iranian bread (omg, so delicious! the bubbly flat bread that was cooked in the ovens that you can see (and smell!) as you walk by), grilled meats that are lightly seasoned (if at all) but cooked just right so that they're still juicy and tender, all covered in the hummous that you scoop in mass quantities. and fattoush that is lightly seasoned with a tangy dressing topped with crisped bread. and don't forget to take a sip of the delicious lemonade with mint that i can't seem to get enough of (and can't seem to make at home. what is the secret?!).

every time i return, i seem to order the same variation of things. but it's THAT good. also, i don't know what else is on that menu (i.e., the menu lists options, but doesn't have any descriptions. oh well). oops. but that's ok because i can't seem to get enough of what i do order! so grab a seat, order up, and enjoy! i will most definitely be back. see you there!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

hello kitty cafe

hello kitty cafe
location: bidaa, near the movenpick hotel

what was consumed: panini, hello kitty mousse (vanilla)

yes, there is a hello kitty cafe (HKC) here in kuwait. it opened sometime last fall/winter (2012), if i'm not mistaken. at first, i was a little shocked that something like that would open its doors here. and then i remembered where i was and was then not surprised. rather, there was a little flame of joy in my heart, even though i'm a my melody fan (as you all SHOULD know), NOT hello kitty. all that said, i could not wait until my chance to visit HKC.

now, here's the thing: i usually see guys occupying most of the tables in front of the HKC which is waaay weird (imo) and has deterred me from venturing inside. but seeing as it was the first day of eid al-fitr and HKC was actually open, L and i couldn't not go in ... !!! it was also the 3rd place we tried to go to - it's the first day we could actually have lunch outside. why weren't more places open?! and if they're not going to be open (which is fine), why did they say that they were going to be open!? but, per usual, i digress.

HKC. right when you walk in, you are overwhelmed by hello kitty cuteness. we couldn't help but to take some photos. luckily, we weren't the only ones, as every other customer did practically the same.

as for the food ... HKC offers quite a variety. including pizzas in the shape of hello kitty's head. of course. but you know all of those candies that you grow up getting your mom to buy for you from the sanrio store? that was sort of the sense that i got when eating my panini. think of that what you will. i did make a comment about the food being expensive (or more expensive than usual for this sort of "thing"), but i know that you're also paying for the experience (totally worth it!). our server at HKC was kind (albeit slower that i'd like, but par for the course here) and dealt with all of the moving we did (downstairs, upstairs, then back downstairs).

if not for the cute overload, go to HKC at least once to enjoy their mousse. yes, it's sort of creepy because it's in the shape of hello kitty's head and you end up eating into it (we may have made some disturbing comments about eating the "eyeballs" first). that said, the mousse was pretty delicious. creamy, but not too sweet, in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and mango flavors. i'll likely want to come back at least for this.