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Food & Dining in Kuwait


Deluxe hotels offer the best choice in restaurants (Indian, Chinese, French and Arabic). One of the gathering spots for foreigners is the Safir International Hotel (the former Hilton) for the buffet (lamb, beef, Gulf seafood and so forth), served in the 19th-floor restaurant noon-4 pm and 7-11 pm. Go and partake if for no other reason than to glean some local information from the who's who that congregate there. Many upscale restaurants have family sections where solitary men are not seated, although women are welcome.

The local food is generally spicy and quite delicious. Try the pita-type bread, prawns, yogurt, fish dishes and harees (a yogurt, meat and rice dish). Most North American fast-food chains can be found in Kuwait, but Indian restaurants serving the local population are the most cost-effective places to eat.

Places to Dine

Despite the city's modern outlook, establishments serving traditional food abound. If the mention of items such as Shish Kabab, Shish Taouk and Kofta has your mouth watering, do not fail to make a trip to the confectionery-cum-café Zahrat Al Midaen in Safat. Not only will you enjoy the succulent fare, you can pick out such desserts as Baklawa and Konafa to take home with you. A classier option also in Safat, is Al-Boom, next to the Radisson SAS Hotel. This restaurant is housed in a ‘dhow’ boat, and is known for its authentic grilled meats and seafood. The prices, as expected, are considerably high, but the experience is sure to leave you satisfied.

Indian and Lebanese cuisines are similar to Arabian fare, and can be just as enjoyable. Visit Mughal Mahal in the Fahaheel area of Kuwait City for delicious Tandoori Chicken and Mutton Biryani. Mais Al Ghanim in Safat, on the other hand, is arguably the best Lebanese joint in the city.

For those with a decidedly Italian turn of mind, you can try Johnny Carinos Italian Kitchen on Gulf Road. You can don a sombrero and go Mexican at Chi-Chi’s downtown; it offers not only quesadillas, burritos and the regular fare, but also fried ice-cream. For some other Continental capers, try Capri at the swanky Le Meridien Hotel. The Swedish eatery IKEA welcomes you with meatballs, Gratiné, and Carrot Cake, and Zorba the Greek Taverna in Salmiyyah does so with Greek stew.

Chinese and Japanese cuisines are also popular in Kuwait. Gulf Royal Chinese in Salmiyyah is renowned for its tangy Cantonese and Szechwan preparations; the Peacock Room in Safat, on the other hand, is famous for both the delicious food and the prices – it is most likely the priciest Chinese eatery in the city. For Japanese cuisine, Kei in the JW Marriott Hotel on Al Shuhada Street, and Sakura in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Farwaniya are both pricey but as authentic as can be.

If you are not bold enough to go in for sushi but still enjoy seafood, head to Shrimpy in the Sharq area – the international seafood chain has seen much success in Kuwait. Al Noukhaza in the Crowne Plaza Hotel is also very popular – live lobsters and fish are on display for you to choose from so you are guaranteed of the freshness, but expensive.





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