Friday, January 31, 2014

kout way

kout way
6 baghdad street, block 9, salmiya
tel: 94006767

what was consumed: shrimp murabian (of course) set - with salad and soda

turns out, kuwaiti food consumed outside of the home is a relatively new phenomenon. no surprise, then, that "fast food" kuwaiti doesn't exist en masse. no worries. turns out, an enterprising young kuwaiti (as the rumors go) set out to change this with kout way.


kout way offers just a few items on their menu - chicken machbous, shrimp murabian, and meat briyani (and then some meat variations of the three options). you have the option of getting a "set" that includes salad (of tomatoes and cucumbers with a light olive oil-based dressing (yum)) and a soda. there are also a couple of appetizers that you can order (like kibbeh!) and they deliver! the idea behind kout way, so i've read, was for people to be able to eat kuwaiti food whenever they want and quickly, especially for those who are on the run (very typical of "fast food.") i want to say that kout way takes more of the "quick chinese food" mentality than that of the quick fly-by burger joint. fine by me! i recommend their shrimp murabian as it is flavorful and surprisingly offers quite a bit of shrimp. a good deal for the low cost of the dish.

the first time i went to kout way, friends and i were the only ones eating in - kout way has a small dining area that seats about 10 people (i imagine most of their business is delivery, as seems to be the case for some many eateries in kuwait). we only later found out that they had only just opened and were still in their "soft opening" stage. that was enough for me to be impressed. i've been back a few times, including some delivery orders (yay for talabat.com!) and have enjoyed my fare.


all the best to you, young kuwaiti restraunteur! i am happy to support through my patronage. nom nom nom.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

saibadee

saibadee
street 15, block 9, salmiya
tel: 69966164
hours: monday-sunday 11am-11pm

what was consumed: thai food of all sorts! of course including tom yum soup, papaya salad, and drunken noodles

i didn't know that saibadee was a type of fish (interesting, i learned that about it at ambassador mubaraki's diwaniya during ramadan), and a delicious one at that. seeing the prevalence of seafood in thai cuisine, i can see how a thai restaurant might be called saibadee.

the first time i had thai food at saibadee, it was at their fintas branch. there were probably about 10 people in our group so i got to taste a little bit of a lot of stuff (including morning glory sauteed in a delicious sauce!) and i was not disappointed. the flavors are authentic (or so i've heard) and the ingredients fresh. the bonus is that the service is pretty good as well. they don't overcook the noodles in their noodle dishes, their sticky rice is steamed just right ... and they offer quite a menu of dishes. i recommend getting the "usual" thai favorites - imo, that's what they do best.

and their papaya salad! they give you the option of making it as spicy as you'd like it to be (more spicy for me, please) and while it's doused in fish sauce, it's not so stinky that it's unbearable (though that would be ok by me). i like that they include plenty of peanuts and green beans as well. and that i gauge the quality of thai restaurants on how much i like their papaya salad, i'd say that saibadee ranks pretty high out here in kuwait.

i've since discovered their salmiya branch. it's in the middle of a block, so a little hard to find because it's not off the main road. but it's worth circling the block and going down small streets.



sadly, they don't deliver. maybe it's a good thing. otherwise, i would be ordering their papaya salad (as well as other fare) on a more regular basis. that i have to go there helps me with that little thing i call self control. hahaha.



Friday, January 24, 2014

gelatissimo

gelatissimo
@the village (and other locations)

what was consumed: gelato

no surprise, kuwaitis love ice cream. and gelato. and dessert. and really food altogether (do the super high rates of diabetes say/mean anything?). now, i'm not a huge ice cream person, so i may not be the best person to comment on the virtue of gelato vs. ice cream vs. any other cold and icy sweet dessert. that said, when looking to go out for ice cream, gelatissimo may be what sets the bar.

gelatissimo offers a huge variety of gelato flavors, including some that are sugar free, as well as some sorbets. i wish they had some dairy free options as well, but, let's face it - dairy based gelato is just that much more delicious. each time i go to gelatissimo, i try quite a few samples before landing on the flavor that feeds my craving. the attendants are really nice and let you try as many as you can. and while their over-boisterous welcoming has gotten grating over the past 2 years, i appreciate their excitement as my visit to gelatissimo.

j once tried the apple gelato and was over the moon about it. he then proceeded to get an order of it (after already having consumed a peanut butter gelato shake) which may have been over the top. that, of course, didn't prevent him from finishing it off anyway.

i now feel like some gelatissimo ... let's go!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

beit dickson

beit dickson
hamad al-mubarak street, salmiya
tel: +965 25725777

what was consumed: hummus, samboosas, lots of bread, fatoosh, grilled meats, shrimp murabiyan (regular and with dried shrimp)

the restaurant, not the museum.

i only recently learned that being able to go out to eat kuwaiti food is a relatively new phenomenon. WHAT O_O i've been trying to try as many places as i can. for now, beit dickson is my go-to place for kuwaiti food.

i'd been trying to go to beit dickson for a long time. i wasn't sure if it was because i couldn't read the map on their website (i swear, their map is wrong. wrong i say!) or because i'm just that dense (c&j and i may have gone around in circles trying to find it once upon a time). turns out, i probably passed by their store front, like, a hundred times. i just didn't know! in the end, m took me and now there's no going back. ha!

beit dickson is located toward the old salmiya area of kuwait (i hear it has gone through multiple iterations). one of the great things about it is that it looks like a traditional kuwaiti home (well, sort of). you enter, go through its "gates," and then the main dining area takes on many of the characteristics of a traditional kuwaiti home's central courtyard. i like sitting next to the window, even though the window looks out on to a dirt lot where lots of people park (haha). and for those who need, there are separate/small dining rooms that can be requested.

the other thing i love about beit dickson is that you can watch them make the bread (iranian-style bread), pass an imitation "baqala" aka corner store, and even take a look at some of the traditional kuwaiti sweets. yes, it's sort of touristy and even a bit cheesy. but if the point of this sort of restaurant is to introduce the general public to kuwaiti cuisine and the local culture, all of those things are important and should be included.

and the food! beit dickson serves a variety of regional fare. but, as mentioned before, beit dickson is a kuwaiti restaurant, focusing on cuisine that is uniquely kuwaiti and/or kuwaiti twists on regional favorites.

i recognize i haven't had the whole gamut of kuwaiti cuisine (my kuwaiti friends keep saying things like, "omg, my mom makes the best food." ummm, where's my invite, buddy?). that said, there are certain dishes that i love love love (e.g. shrimp murabian, both whole and dried!) and that i have got to learn to make before i leave! kuwaiti cuisine generally comes on a bed of rice (avoid the cardamon!) and while i don't eat a lot of rice otherwise, i definitely fill my belly when enjoying kuwaiti food. nom nom nom.

now that i know were it is, let's go! beit dickson? any time!

onlinewww.beitdickson.com/eng

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

baking tray

baking tray
address: mishal tower, jaber al-mubakar street, dasman, sharq
tel: +965 2225 1544

what was consumed: sandwiches, salads, cookies (delicious, delicious cookies), CRONUTS.

omg, i can't believe i haven't written about baking tray yet!

a colleague of mine told me that a new place had opened up in kuwait city (it's not that new anymore, but new when i first heard about it). he has a pretty good palette (imo), so i made it a goal of mine to visit the baking tray - he told me about some tasty salads, yummy sandwiches, and some really good bread (i'm not a big bread person, so i prefer places with good bread. of course). and then, another friend of mine (not from work) mentioned that he had had some of the best cookies at baking tray. more reason to give 'em a try.

so, i finally made myself out to the baking tray. if you eat in, when you sit down, they bring out some delicious bread with a tomato butter spread (i think it's tomato butter. all i know is that i couldn't seem to get enough slathered on to my bread ... !!!) the first time, i had their chicken salad sandwich on foccacia. delicious. the chicken salad wasn't mayonnaise-y and flavored well. and the foccacia! yum. they also had oven baked potato wedges that are seasoned with who knows what. all i know is that they're super duper delicious and i could've sat and eaten multiple portions :O

baking tray has indoor seating for about 20 inside and 20 outside. you can order at the counter, order at your table, eat in, take-out, etc. the options are endless! and i think i've done all of those things.

i hear that baking tray will also deliver meals to you, during the day, during ramadan (in comparison to most places that are closed to any and all food service, per local law). my guess is that they are cooking in a private kitchen and delivering to private citizens (both of which, from what i understand, is all legit and OK).

speaking of ramadan ... during ramadan 2013, i also read an article about how baking tray was trying their hand at cronuts (per the craze in the U.S.) cronuts. CRONUTS! i couldn't not try it, of course. who doesn't like croissants in the shape of donuts (and made like donuts too, aka fried) and then filled with either chocolate or custard. so i dragged some friends up to kuwait city on a weekend (after ramadan, of course. i'm being sensitive!) for some eats including cronuts. nom nom nom. cronuts are served cold, though i sort of think they'd also be delicious warm. maybe even MORE delicious. i prefer the custard one over the chocolate one, but that's me. and i'm not going to turn down a chocolate one. obvi.

so, when're we going to baking tray next? hehehehe.

Friday, January 3, 2014

en mexico

en mexico
address: street 6, block 1a, jabriya
tel: +965 99111015

what was consumed: chips and salsa, guacamole, fish tacos, chicken burrito, mexican corn, churros and chocolate

there can never be too much mexican food/tex mex in this world. the end.

what's worse is that i grew up in southern california where mexican food is very readily available. and then i went to school in san diego where that's pretty much what we existed on. so to say that the bar is high is an understatement. that said, i'll eat some pretty crappy mexican food (did i ever tell you the taco bell from base in seoul story? remind me and i will). mexican food (or korean chinese food) is also what i usually look for right off the plane when in so.cal. just fysa. hahahaha.

here in kuwait, mexican/tex mex restaurants have been slowly, but surely, popping up (and no, taco bell doesn't count. besides, that's been here for a while now). and so, if i'm not making enchiladas and pico de gallo and guacamole at home, my go to place is en mexico.

en mexico is in an area of jabriya that is turning into quite a hub for restaurants (container 75 is right next door and the early bird is just down the street!). it seats about 20 inside and about 10 outside (they also do take-out), so it may not accommodate very large groups. that said, totally worth it. deliciously warm and crisp (and salty!) tortilla chips served with homemade salsa and lime-y guacamole. thin four tortillas wrap around grilled fish for tacos or nicely season chicken in a burrito, served with rice and beans. roasted corn, mexican style, complete with cheese. i heard that their chef is either of mexican descent and/or spent a whole lot of time with the hispanic community, explaining the authenticity of the food. 

and don't leave without trying their churros and chocolate. warm and delicious churros that are served with a small bowl of chocolate into which you dip. an excellent final touch and end to a delicious meal.

let me know when you want to go to en mexico (or, as g and j have inputed into their gps, "mexican inn"). i will crash your party and go with you. any time. get ready!