May 9th, 2013
we were invited to the opening of bagel bar at the avenues phase 3, so we went there unassuming as the brand is a total stranger to us - the place is quite nice, cool decoration with lots of bagels all around the coffee-house, even the walls are decorated with all kinds of bagels.
there was a table with samples for tasting, so we tried a variety of bagels all awesome! the burger bagel was super, i would highly recommend that, so was the salmon - the chicken fillet was also very good and the italian rocked!
bagel bar also serves soups and salads with a variety of desserts, they even have meringue if you crave them - the menu sign is very cool, it has some animated pictures and switches from english to arabic every few seconds - the menu sign brings us to the pricing strategy, and here's the turnoff! a bit more than 2 kd for a bagel, frankly one bagel is not enough so you need at least 2 to satisfy your hunger and that's not cheap!
we'll definitely go back and take our time to savor what bagel bar has to offer, last night was a real quicky..
May 8th, 2013
i always wondered what a local liquor factory looks like, well here it is, a bathroom tub! i mean seriously??!! i'm not a liquor expert, but are these plastic trash containers made to carry liquor? trashy liquor maybe... and look at the peeling walls, i can't believe this filthy factory... what are they thinking!
though in our religion alcohol is permitted, i can't imagine myself running such an illegal trade or even buying such a product - it really takes balls to do this!
you can read the original article on arabtimes online here.
May 7th, 2013
i read this interesting article on the next chapter blog or umkhaloodie, about the helper she fired, and for good reasons - umkhaloodie listed the things her helper broke during the past 6 months which made me wonder about the stuff our part-time helper has broken over a number of years, so here they are:
- broke 2 side lamps
- broke my son's psp (that hurts)
- a bar
- dropped bleach over leather couch
- broke several scented candles
- crystal decoration
- hoover vacuum cleaner
- bed drawer
- a dozen glasses
- a dozen plates
- lost countless cutlery
- kitchen cabinet
- shoes rack
- shower curtains
- broke the oven's alarm
- used several t-shirts as dust towels
- broke the tv rack
- broke 2 computer mouses
- broke several kids toys including a shopper
- broke toilet fans
- a new villeroy & boch tray
- portable dvd player
- a number of remote controls
- living room table
- lava lamp
well, this is only a small list and when you confront your helper the answer is always see no evil hear no evil say no evil - nevertheless, indu has been around for years and we forgive her because she is super trustworthy and that is quite a hard currency!
May 6th, 2013
i spotted these self-heating cappuccino cans at sultan center so i decided to give them a try - took one to my office yesterday and followed the instructions - the process is simple, you turn the can, open it, push the plastic cover until it breaks, wait for 3 minutes, turn the can back to its original position, open it and drink.
the problem however is somewhere else, the taste! it is seriously horrible, the worst coffee you can ever have! first of all, foam is nonexistent in this can so you can't really call it cappuccino, it is rather coffee with milk mixed with a strong tin-can taste - i seriously couldn't finish it, though i tried hard.. had a few sips and that was it.
on the other hand, i like my coffee to be boiling hot and this can gives you a hot coffee, but not very hot or boiling hot coffee - so my take on this? a total failure, i wouldn't drink it even if i'm camping somewhere in the middle of the desert!
May 5th, 2013
the neighborhood has become quite crowded and people started to park their cars randomly without any concern or respect to the law - like our underground parking entrance, there is always someone blocking it and we always have to run after the bloody idiot to grant us access to our own garage - we tried everything, we've put barrels and barricades, but wiseguys have removed most of them.
a couple of days ago, there was yet another car blocking the entrance, so i asked about the owner and the guardian of the building goes: we told her not to block the entrance but she replied:
dyrti, deerty what a word! filled with so much hate, xenophobia, and disrespect for law - dyrti deerty means none of your business you bloody expat who live in my country, dyrti deerty means i am above the law, i am allowed to step on your rights on any given day and you can't do anything about it, dyrti deerty means if you don't like it, buzz off!
i so much hate this word, and wish that people stop using it - law is law, everyone should be under the law regardless of his nationality.
May 2nd, 2013
after a long career in canada, beirut and kuwait, mark opened a philly steak joint in lebanon with authentic canadian poutines - mark went all the way to philadelphia to learn the original philly steak recipe, he also learned how to make an original canadian poutine while he was studying in montreal.
mark is my brother-in-law's friend, so we went with the kids & family to try the food out and tasted every single item on his menu - the poutine is exquisite, a typical original canadian poutine! the burgers and hot dogs are unique, seriously and dangerously good, with quality meat & fresh ingredients - from the looks of it, you feel how fresh and good the food is, the philly is probably the best you can have in beirut with a soft and fresh bun - as for the prices, they are in between the mass food chain joints, and the high-end burger boutiques.
we wish mark the very best, though he encountered bad luck with his first opening attempt - one of the laborers was pissed off with the contractor so he burned the place one day before the d day - luckily mark discovered some major mistakes in the set up which made him postpone for a few weeks, and relaunch again a couple of weeks ago.
good luck again mark, we are definitely coming back for more.
May 1st, 2013
i read in alqabas newspaper a few days ago that alkharafi has won the 7 year long case against national projects and is set to create a world-class set of facilities including shopping, entertainment, multipurpose halls, leisure, restaurants and dolphinarium in a water and garden setting that would exceed the expectations of its’ visitors, thereby becoming a highly attractive addition to the kuwait city region.
i think this is a great idea and i truly love the design, however one thing the developers should beware of, car access to the island as walking there in the heat will not be welcomed no matter what the attractions are.
looking forward to see this one come to live, though i have a feeling we already have too many malls in town.
April 30th, 2013
the first time i had koshari was back in 2003 when we were in egypt - i kind of disliked it in the begining, but then it grew on me, then i fell in love with it - when we came back to kuwait in 2004, i was told about this place called koshari goha which everyone praised, however i never had the chance to try it - on the other hand, i did try koshari gad, the food was ok but still nothing like egypt.
this friday, i was home alone and very hungry, so i decided to try goha (yeah, 8 years later..) - so i went to hawalli, near sultan center and looked up the place which wasn't hard to locate - basically the place only sells koshari, no falafel or foul, just koshari..
i ordered the food, however i did one big mistake by pouring a large quantity of red spicy sauce, miscalculating the concentration of chilli pepper... it was unbelievably spicy and i fumed like an old locomotive!
the price? 500 fils for the small portion (big enough for an adult) and 150 fils for a can of pepsi! that's it.. nevertheless, you kind of need another 20 kd for various refreshments necessary to put down the fire in your throat!
goha's koshari is very similar to gad, a bit better though but not as good as the traditional egyptian meal - if you like koshari, i would recommend you visit this place, mind you it is very popular, like 1 star or less :)
April 29th, 2013
no, this is not where we are heading, but a wishful thinking... one of the dream places we'd like to visit one day, beside bora bora, is st lucia and to be specific, ladera resort - it is heaven on earth! taking full advantage of its natural surroundings, the place has 32 suites all with an "open wall", the west side of each unit is left open to expose the breathtaking view, and the orientation of the buildings maintains complete privacy.
so if you have a few bucks to spend and you plan to go somewhere truly unique this summer, st lucia in the caribbean islands is the place to be - as far as we are concerned, we're going to canada and france, a bit boring when compared to the above!
April 28th, 2013
the glove compartment in my car broke down so i went to alghanim garage to fix it - the parts were not available and i had to leave my vehicle there for a couple of days until it was ready for check-out - the problem was fixed and the next day, i got a call from alghanim garage at 6:38 am while i was driving down to work - frankly i was a bit shocked to hear from dani at this hour, i mean why would you assume that people are awake at this very early hour!?
anyways, dani had a valid reason - apparently they had found 3.5 kd in my car and want me to go back to collect it! i couldn't believe my ears!! a garage, populated with a large number of labor force has found 3.5 kd in a customer's car and is now returning it?!
wow! i was impressed! this has never happened to me before! though it happened with my dad in canada back in the 90's - when the government gave him the passport, it came with a plastic bag containing 1 canadian dollar, because the official who took the passport's fee a few days before did not have change on him!
way to go alghanim garage, that's how you build customer loyalty.
April 25th, 2013
i was invited to alrai's ramadan grid launch dinner at the regency hotel where a number of media people, clients and tv stars gathered for the occasion - the set was quite nice, the lighting beautifully done, but definitely not the food!
the excitement in the hall was quite high as 2 of the major kuwaiti stars were present, hayat alfahed and suad abdallah - it seems that the 2 stars were on bad terms until recently and this is the first time in years that they collaborate together in a big production.
the ramadan series they're in is a drama/comedy called "el beit beit abouna", or the house is our dad's - the story is about two divorced women trying hard to resolve their children problems which proves to be an insurmountable challenge - i am not into arabic series, so i'm sure i won't be watching, but if this is of interest to you this program is set to be a smashing hit at alrai tv this ramadan.
April 24th, 2013
remember this place next to our building called organica that used to serve pasta in one corner and fish n chips in another? well for some reason it has closed down - however, the good news is smashburger will be replacing that fish n chip restaurant and i'm so excited as this whole stretch of restaurants from mou2men, to subway and round the corner towards pizza romana has basically no burger joints - actually, salem al mubarak street and specifically the stretch from auk to ras salmiya has no burger joints.
i'm sure this one will be a smashing hit, looking forward to the opening.