Last week we thought of trying Kuwaiti food for a change and one of the most frequently mentioned places was Freej Swoleh so that’s where we ended up going. I’ve never been to a Kuwaiti restaurant before but I’d heard that this place was unique in its decor and seating arrangements. The restaurant’s entrance has an old Ford pickup as a permanent fixture and we saw a few kids playing in it. First thing to make a note of is that dining area for bachelors is on the first floor and for families its on the second.
The whole place is designed like a traditional Kuwaiti neighborhood (I later found out that ‘freej’ means neighborhood) with lots of wood (real and fake) paneling and mud plastered walls. The upholstery is also done entirely in Sadu weave patterns and gives everything a real ethnic look. There’s a small confectionery that operates on the same floor and while I’ve seen them making sweets in other blog posts, on this particular day there was no cooking going on and they were just selling pre-made items. We bought a little box of cakes just for the sake of buying something. The waiting area looks like the entrance of a traditional home and has cushions on both sides to seat a few people.
We were a party of four so were shown to a little cabin that was quite snug and it would be near impossible to accommodate a fifth person. To ensure complete privacy there’s a little window and buzzer that you can use to call the waiter and once they’ve taken your order and delivered the food you’re once again enclosed in your little private area.
NOTE: all that privacy is not enough to insulate you from the noise that goes on in the other cabins and by noise I mean the non-stop screaming and yelling by little kids who were literally bouncing off the walls and dropping cutlery all throughout the evening.
As you can see there aren’t a lot of items on the menu and they’re not very expensive either. We’re generally light eaters so we ordered the following;
Starters: Arayes, Mutabbel. The mutabbel comes with a plate of fresh rumali roti and a packet of KFM khubuz.
Main course: Mowaish Murabiyan (spicy rice with prawns) Chicken machboos (chicken and rice) and Marag Bamiya (Okra stew) The rice dishes come with a bowl of Dakoos (Tomato gravy) each. The food wasn’t as great as I’d hoped and there weren’t enough prawns in the rice or maybe they were too small for me to notice but I did like the spices used in the rice. The machboos was just average and tasted like the regular rice dish you get at most Arabic restaurants. My favorites were the rumali rotis, the prawn rice and the okra stew. I’d have the stew again if I go there a second time.
Desserts: They didn’t have Um Ali or Knaffa which is strange coz I always thought they were Kuwaiti desserts so we just had the complimentary sweets that they brought along with the after-dinner tea. I guess overall this place gets a 3.5 out of 5
Location map: [link]