I’m going to have to take a back seat on this one as I am not at all familiar with Kuwaiti food. Thankfully, my hugely opinionated (and almost always right) food buddy, Sam was on hand to help me order and also to give me his opinion on the authenticity of the food. The restaurant itself is modern, simple and tasteful in design with just enough cues of traditionalism to remind you it is a Middle Eastern restaurant. Okay, the giant tandoor in the middle is something of a giveaway.
We were brought a small complimentary basket of fresh (from the giant tandoor) flatbread and were pointed to bottle of olive oil when we asked what we were supposed to eat the bread with. Really? So we ordered a yogurt and cucumber dip and a fresh salad of chopped tomato, onion and cucumber. It’s so amazing how similar the foods of this region are; I could have sworn those starters were no different to Persian-Iranian Mast-o Khier and Shirazi Salad. Neither were as good though, the dip in particular was bland. Perhaps that’s because there was no dried mint, or salt, or anything but yogurt and diced cucumber.
No such problem with our hugely flavoursome mains which were made up of Machbous Laham, Louwa Hamour and Momawash Mrabayan. I thought all three were really interesting but not even the Machbous, which I know, did anything special for me.
Sam however, having lived in Kuwait, was very happy and got all dreamy eyed and nostalgic. Reading through the reviews this restaurant has received I see a very similar reaction to Sam’s so I can only assume they’ve got authenticity licked. Service can do with improvement. It would be nice if the staff were trained in anticipation of a Kuwaiti culinary ignoramus like me. You know, so they could explain what is what. If Sam wasn’t with us I don’t know how we would have managed.
In conclusion, if you are Kuwati or have lived in Kuwait, I suggest you drop whatever it is you are doing and rush over there right this minute. And for those who aren’t Kuwaiti or haven’t lived there I say this, make sure you take someone who knows what to order…