Tag Archives: food

Avees Puttu House, Alappuzha – Kerala Restaurant

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On my last trip to Kerala, my family and I were on our way to Trivandrum when we stopped at a restaurant, on the Alapuzha – Changanassery Higway, for breakfast. It was my first time there although my father-in-law is a regular visitor and he  suggested the place.

I’ll break down the blog post into shorter sections to make it easier to make it  easier to skim through.

Location : The branch that we visited was located right on the highway on your left, traveling towards Trivandrum. You can’t miss it, its got a giant ‘Puttu  Kodam and Kutti‘ that looks like a giant penis from afar. Here’s the location on  Google Maps [link]

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Interiors: The restaurant is right on the bank of a canal (or estuary? I’m not  sure) and one side of the dining area features large open windows and doors which  leads to an outdoor seating area.  There’s a mock Snakeboat inside that has tables in it and also tables around the  periphery of the boat.

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Food: Although the name of the joint implies its a place specializing in Puttu, I  ordered the Iddiyappam and motta curry as I’m prejudiced against eating puttu with traditional Kadala curry. I prefer my puttu with the regular white ones. Yeah, I’m  racist when it comes to chickpeas.

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The food was good, soft, stringy appams with the right amount of shredded coconut and the egg curry comes with two eggs per order (which is the correct number of eggs for breakfast) and was quite spicy so I had to chug down some cold water to cool off.

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I did try a little puttu and kadala curry from my wife’s plate and it was OK I guess. My kids had a little of both and although both are picky eaters we managed to get them to eat a little.

Overall I’d say the food was fine considering its a highway restaurant and most of the patrons would be people traveling across districts and looking for a decent place to sit down, recharge and then continue to their destination.

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Added attraction: when we entered we found out that they also make their own brand of rice flour, masala mixes and even in-house ground coffee. You can pick up a few bottles of flour or spices to try out in your recipes at home.

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Avees website [link]

Mais Alghanim – Lebanese Cuisine

Mais AlGhanim

I’m surprised there hasn’t been any blog reviews for Mais Alghanim in all these years. Maybe because the place has been there for a long time and almost everyone I know has been there. Everyone except me, that is. In all my years in Kuwait I’ve actually never dined there and it has always been takeout orders, whether at the office or at client meetings.

Sheesha Pipe

Last week a few friends and I went there to celebrate a recent event and we had a good time there and some of them enjoyed the items I suggested so I thought I’d post them here. This isn’t a full review of the place but rather a list of stuff I always order from there. I wish I were a little more adventurous and order the Kibbeh Nayyeh but maybe next time.

Olives

Pan Fried Chicken Liver in Pomegranate Molasses

For starters we ordered the Hummous Beiruty, Assorted pastries platter and Fried Chicken Livers in Pomegranate Syrup. The last one is a personal favorite of mine and I’d decided on that even before we reached the venue. A few of my friends loved it too. For drinks we had some mint lemonades, colas and our old friend, the Saudi Champagne, that I wrote about a few years ago.

Saudi Champagne

The restaurant seems to be very smoker friendly and most of the tables around us had men and women lighting up and we ordered a bunch of Sheeshas for ourselves. I don’t smoke generally but I did enjoy puffing occasionally on the apple flavored sheesha.

The main course consisted of several orders of Mais Alghanim Grill platters that consisted of Shish Tawouk, Kababs, Tikkas, slices of Kentakli bread and French Fries and their Charcoal Grilled Chicken.

Grilled Chicken

Grilled Meat Platter

We ended the night with assorted desserts for everyone but I convinced a few friends to order the Um Ali which is one of my favorite Arabic desserts. For all the pictures you can click on the album link [here]

Um Ali

Mais AlGhanim is located on Gulf Road, opposite the Kuwait Towers and they have a location in Mahboula as well. Locations and maps [here] and the full menu is [here]

Passion for Pizza

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I love a good pizza, especially if its baked in a proper oven since it gives the crust a very unique texture. A friend of mine, Nasser Al Sulaihim, is so passionate about the art of pizza making that recently he actually made his own pizza oven. The oven is similar to the one I’d posted about in my Pizza Connection post but while that one was flown in from Italy, Nasser made his own oven himself!

Oven making

I’ve made a collage of the oven in its various stages of design and production and its really impressive. He’s a really talented guy and you can follow him on Instagram to see how good he is at building stuff.

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Lahore Shahi Qila – Pakistani Food

Shahi Qila

I decided to write about this place after my second visit there a couple of days ago. Shahi Qila is a little Pakistani restaurant in Sharq area and it’s almost invisible unless you actually go looking for it. The place is so nondescript that my friend didn’t even know the name of the place even though he loves the food there.

Tikka Chicken

On both visits we ordered; Chicken Tikka, Channa Masala (Chickpeas) and fresh Rotis. The food is typical Pakistani fare with copious amounts of spice and oil. I love the Chicken tikka and channa masala at Khyber but this is now my current favorite place if I’m in the mood to get hot and sweaty for lunch.

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The chicken tikka lacked that tangy flavor that you get in Khyber but its perfectly grilled and has the right amount of charring. Unfortunately I didn’t try anything else at Shahi Qila so I can’t recommend more dishes but the chicken tikka and channa masala combo is a must-try.

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The place may look like a cheap joint on the outside but once you go down to the dining area on the lower floor you’ll be surprised to see that its neat and spacious. Prices aren’t too bad either. There were four of us and the bill was 5 KD. Parking can be a problem during working days so it would be better to park across the street near the police HQ compound and walk to Shahi Qila.

You can find the place in the map link here [Google maps]

Shahi Qila
Al Shoafaat Building,
Umer Bin Khatab St.
Sharq
Tel: 22470965

Wah Ji Wah – Pakistani Food

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After my previous post about Sarhad some of my Pakistani friends and colleagues suggested a bunch of different places for me to sample more of their traditional foods. The places include Shahi Qila, Tabaq, Wah Ji Wah and Al Mano wa Al Salwa. Since Wah Ji Wah was the closest place for me during the weekend I decided to try it out first.

It’s located near the first roundabout on Issa Al Qatami street in Salmiya and is hard to miss. I noted that they’ve got two separate dining areas; one for bachelors and a larger space for families. I was there for a takeaway order so didn’t look into the family seating area. The specials menu on the wall is in Urdu so you’ll have to ask the guy at the counter whats the special for the day.

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Hungry Bunny – Old Memories

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The last two weeks I’d been staying off and on just south of the border in Saudi and while I was there I found a branch of Hungry Bunny. Back in the 80s in Kuwait we just had a handful of burger joints in Kuwait and Hungry Bunny was one of the popular places. The TV ad was pretty popular too and you can see at the bottom of this post.

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My first night there I ordered a Jumbo meal with Onion rings and considering I had just driven over 150 Kms that evening everything tasted great! The next couple of weeks I visited the place a few more times to try out other stuff from the menu [link]

Jumbo Bunny Burger

Burger Closeup

I don’t remember if it tasted like it used to back in the 80s but their burgers are pretty good and everyone’s favorite were the crispy Onion Rings. Prices are comparable to joints in Kuwait, with most meals are around 20-22 Saudi Riyals. 

The Hungry Bunny TV Commercial – [Youtube]
Hungry Bunny Homepage [link]

Making Oats Flour

Is it just my imagination or are we seeing an increase in gluten intolerant people nowadays? And  now with all these ‘paleo’ and ‘vegan’ fads there are some crazy new alternatives to wheat flour. One gluten-free option that caught my eye was Oat flour.

Now my family is a big fan of oat meal and we always have a big stock of all kinds of oats in our pantry. So I decided to try making some flour out of rolled oats and then make some chapatis with the resulting flour.

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 I measured out a cup of oats and dumped it into the food processor. It just took a few pulses to get it started and then I let it run for about 30 seconds to get a coarse ground flour. One cup of rolled  oats gives you almost the same amount of flour.

Next I added some salt into the flour and then as my wife poured some tepid water into the bowl I started mixing it into a dough. One thing I realized by now was that this flour lacked the elasticity and springiness of bread flour. I kneaded the dough for a few more minutes and then left it to rest in a bowl.

After half an hour of resting I portioned out the dough into small balls and rolled out chapatis or rather attempted to do so. Since the dough is not elastic it kept breaking at the edges and it felt quite dry. Maybe next time I need to adjust the flour to water ratio for my dough.

We toasted the oat flour ‘disks’ on our tawa for a few minutes on each side and they were ready to eat. What did they taste like? They tasted like oats actually and I kinda liked the texture but it felt a little dry though. The dry texture sparked an idea in my mind for another project involving oat flour. I might try it out during the Eid holidays and will post the results if its successful.

Sarhad Restaurant – Pakistani Food

 A couple of weeks ago a colleague of mine introduced me to a Pakistani restaurant in my neighborhood and mentioned that he was a regular patron there. The restaurant was located at the beginning of the infamous Hassawi area and at first things didn’t look so good. 

The restaurant was packed when I got there and a majority of the clientele appeared to be Pakistani and Punjabi truck drivers. Since it was packed and there were people actually waiting for a table I figured there could be something special about the food here.

The most popular items seemed to be the Mutton Kheema, Tandoori Chicken and Haleem. We went there on a Thursday and that’s the only day of the week they serve Haleem. I ordered Tandoori chicken, Haleem, chicken biriyani and tandoori rotis as a takeaway order. Once I was back home I took a sample of all the items and it was clear why this place was so popular.

The chicken was perfectly grilled with just the right amount of tandoori marination and its way milder than Khyber. The chicken biriyani was not a humongous serving and would be just enough for one hungry person. There was nothing special to write about it and it was reasonable for only 650 fils. The Haleem was really thick and spiced with masalas and saffron and might be a tad too greasy for some people. I didn’t mind it as it went perfectly with the freshly baked rotis. Note that this is served only on Thursdays so be sure to get there early if you want to order a few portions.

This past weekend I went there again and bought a couple of Tandoori chickens and Dal fry. Both were really good and now this place is on my favorite list in Jleeb for Northern frontier food. Next time I’m going to try their Mutton Kheema and Mutton Karahi, both of which seem to be in great demand.

What I recommend: Haleem, Tandoori Chicken, Tandoori rotis and Dal Fry. There is always a 30 minute waiting period so just call ahead and they’ll keep your order ready for takeaway.

Sarhad Restaurant Jleeb: Telephone 24338060/61
Location Map [link]

Copper Chimney – Kuwait

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A group of guys from the office and I went for lunch at Copper Chimney during the weekend as someone had suggested it was great for North Indian food. I wasn’t aware that it was a famous chain in India and two members of our group had tried the food in their Bombay and Madras branches.

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I wasn’t intending to post a food review as I wasn’t in the mood but since some of the items we ate were really excellent I had to share it with my readers. I’ll keep my review short and focus on the dishes that really hit the spot in both taste and satisfaction.

Starters: 
We ordered Chicken Shorba, a gently spiced chicken soup with bits of chicken and flavored with saffron. It was quite good and really light. I was glad there wasn’t any corn starch in it. This was followed by Tandoori Chicken and Chicken Chaat. I wasn’t a big fan of the chaat as it didn’t taste tangy enough or have the ‘chat patta’ flavor as they say in Hindi. The tandoori on the other hand was great! They used thigh meat and was nicely charred and had a smoky flavor. It was so good that we ordered more and had 4 plates in total!

Main Course: 
We ordered the following; Butter Roti, Murgh Rahra, Chicken Bartha, Chicken Biriyani and Mutton Biriyani. The chicken Rahra was too spicy for most of us and everyone ordered soft drinks soon after a few bites. Both chicken dishes were tasty and we soaked up all the gravy with the crispy rotis. The biriyanis were served in individually sealed ‘dum’ containers and had boneless chunks of mutton and chicken respectively. It wasn’t very special and taste was on par with the usual fare at most high end Indian restaurants.

Dessert:
I was going to order the Rasmalai but one of the guys suggested we go with Malai Kulfi and Gulab Jamuns and it was a good decision. The Kulfi was probably the best I’ve ever had in Kuwait. You know how when you’re served Kulfi you always get some ice crystals in it? This was totally opposite and creamy almost like ice cream! The jamuns were ok I guess.

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Location:
Copper Chimney is located in the restaurants strip in Bida’a area near Movenpick hotel.
Phone: 22263114

Recommendation: If I visit Copper Chimney again I’ll surely order the Tandoori Chicken, the Bartha and the Malai Kulfi.

Copper Chimney Kuwait [homepage]
Copper Chimney on [Facebook]

Baking Season

My wife baked up a batch of Fruit Cakes for Christmas during the weekend and they’re probably the best home baked cakes I’ve ever had. She was inspired by two recipes from ‘Maria’s Menu‘ and ‘The Joy of Baking‘, both of which I’ve linked at the bottom of the post.

I’ve been working 15 hours a day for the past couple of weeks so blog posts will be coming in slowly till my schedule clears up a little. Merry Christmas everyone!

Joy of Baking Fruit Cake [link]
Maria’s Menu Fruit Cake [link]