Thaikkudam Bridge – Live in Kuwait

I was looking forward to seeing Thaikkudam Bridge perform live ever since I saw their videos on Music Mojo. The band itself has around 14 members and they’re all on stage on various instruments and its both insane and awesome at the same time.

Their songs like Nostalgia, Illayaraja Medley and Fish Rock would be familiar to most people but on stage they had almost 3 hours of non stop numbers that varied from ethnic songs, classical Hindustani (or Carnatic? I’m not sure) and some Blues and Reggae numbers to Rock influenced tracks. Overall a very memorable experience and hope to see them live in concert again.

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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.

copper chimney light

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]

Saravanaa Bhavan – Kuwait

I was chatting with a colleague about driving all the way to Fahaheel to eat at Saravanaa Bhavan and realized that I’ve had lunch there in three different countries. They’re turning into the Mc Donalds of Tamil Nadu I guess.

My family and I went there for Friday lunch since the Special Thali is very popular. Waiting for a table on a weekend might take 10 minutes or so but once we sat down we were served very quickly. Food tasted great and service was quick considering the overall crowd at the place. It just cost us 9.750 KD for 5 persons which is a great deal considering you’d pay 3 KD for an Onam meal in some places in Kuwait.

Saravanaa Bhavan, Fahaheel Kuwait
Humoud Towers,
4th floor, (Above Centre Point)
Gulf Road,
Fahaheel
Ph : 965 239 29 099
Website [link]
Menu [link]

Be aware and stay safe

The tragic death of an Indian man in Salmiya earlier this week has been the topic of conversation among many of the expatriates in Kuwait. The tragedy occured during a routine ID check by a fake cop. I called it ‘routine’ because these fake cop encounters are becoming something of a common occurance now.

Just a few months ago a fake cop was beaten up and handed over to the police in my neighborhood but there’s still more guys out there patrolling neighborhoods inhabited by foreigners.

You best bet to stay safe is awareness and information about the local police and when in doubt call 112. I had posted a question on a forum about this issue and have understood that we have every right to request to see an undercover officer’s badge first before displaying our own ID. Another thing I understood is that police officers won’t go around in unmarked civilian cars asking for IDs.

If you check the MOI website you’ll find a list of vehicles that are used by the local police and also a list of phone numbers for the various police stations in Kuwait. The locations are grouped by Governorate and you’ll find your nearest station listed in your governorate.

A couple of years ago people used to tell me that my neighborhood in Jleeb was crime ridden but looking at the recent spate of muggings and armed robberies in Salmiya it appears that no one is safe.

When you have the time, go through the website and make sure you’re aware of the local police force and their services. MOI Homepage [link]

Saravana Bhavan – Dubai

My friend Hareesh left a comment on my previous post on how much he enjoyed his meal at Saravana Bhavan and that’s when I remembered a post that I had drafted about my lunch at their Karama location. The weekend thali seems to be a popular item at Saravana Bhavan so I ordered it when we went there for lunch on Saturday.

I usually stick with the mini thali so I can try out a variety of items in the same plate and there’s not much food going to waste as the portions are enough for medium appetites. My mini thali contained;
Mini puris and potato bhaji,
Sambar rice, (it was excellent and I considered asking for seconds)
Curd rice,
Vegetable pulao,
Carrot and Cabbage stir fry,
sweet dal payasam,
pappadom and pickle.

All this may sound like a lot of food but like I mentioned, the portions are just enough so that you enjoy the variety but not so much that you feel heavy afterwards which was good since we were headed out to Tecom to check-in to our rooms that the company had booked for us. Which reminds me that the Media Rotana post I had drafted is till unpublished. I’ll get to it sometime this week.

Based on my experience in Dubai I’m really looking forward to trying out the place in Fahaheel. I only wish they had a branch closer to home.

Saravana Bhavan [homepage]
Karama:
Shop # 6 & 7, Abdul Aziz Mirza Bldg,
Karama, Dubai – UAE
Ph : 0971 4 334 52 52 /00971 4 336 91 09
Fax : 00971 4 334 71 74

Idee Sunglasses – Longterm Review

This product review probably has the longest test period ever. I’ve been using my current sunglasses since 2007 on a daily basis and is on my face at least 4 hours a day. They’re from a Indian brand called Idee, which to be honest I’d never heard about till I actually bought them. Long story short, I was at Chemmanur Opticals in Trivandrum changing my prescription glasses and had selected a Fastrack frame for my lenses. Unfortunately they didn’t fit my lens thickness and the salesman suggested I try their new brand, Idee.

I was a little apprehensive about this unheard brand so I selected a medium range model (approx Rs 1500 I think) thinking that I’ll change the following year with a Ray Ban frame. This was in 2007 and now 5 years later these shades are still with me, which speaks volumes about the quality of the materials used in the frame, hinges and springs. Over the years I’ve accidentally sat on it, dropped it, been kicked around and recently my little daughter has taken a liking to stretching out both the legs till its almost to the breaking point.

The model I have is S1151 C2and its been fitted with prescription lenses since I’m short sighted and I’m really satisfied with the durability and the quality of these shades. I haven’t seen this brand in Kuwait but if you’re ever in India and want a pair of reasonably priced, high quality sunglasses then check out Idee. My actual shades are the ones above and will go into retirement later this week as I’m getting a new model, not because its broken but because I wanted a different look. I’ll still have them with me as a backup.

Idee [website]
Idee [Facebook]

Kwality Sweets and Snacks

I was invited to try out this newly opened shop in Salmiya recently. Kwality Sweets specializes in homemade Indian sweets and its all made from fresh ingredients.  Now I’m not a huge fan of sweets and if you’ve seen my previous posts you’ll notice that I usually veer towards the savory stuff when I’m at a snack shop but there’s a couple of items you must try out when you order from here.

There were a lot of items for me to sample and since I was trying hard to stick to my diet plan I was very selective in what I chose from the menu. I sampled the Masala Dhokla, Papdi Chaat and the Chole Kulchas and I’m happy my choices didn’t disappoint. I’ll surely order the Masala Dhokla and Chole on my next visit and I recommend you try it out too.

For desserts I’d highly recommend the Coconut Burfee and the Moong Dal Halwa. Both items are not very sweet and you can enjoy them without too much of a guilty feeling. If I wasn’t too conscious about my diet I would’ve had a few more pieces of the Coconut Burfee though.

As I was taking a look around the shop I noticed this strange contraption and was told that it was a Lassi machine.  I didn’t know there was a dedicated machine for making lassi and it was interesting to see the device in operation. As summer is just around the corner you can try out their lassis and kulfis and they also informed me that ‘Ice Golas’ are also available as a summer treat.

Update: They’ve started serving Indian veg Pizza, Tandoori Paneer Kulcha and Sugarcane Juice as well.

Kwality Sweets and Snacks is located near Isa Qatami street opposite Food Inn.
Phone: 25653201

Stephen Devassy and the Solid Band

Last night I attended the music concert featuring Hariharan, Stephen Devassy and the Solid Band. We were lucky enough to get seats about 5 rows from the stage and we really has a great evening. I’d never heard of this musician before last night and I was pleasantly surprised by his musical style and speed. Think of an Indian version of Yngwie Malmsteen and that’s what he sounds and plays like.

I gotta find out if I can buy any of his albums on Flipkart or get them in a music shop in Kerala.

More info on Stephen Devassy on [Wikipedia]
Stephen Devassy [website]

Here’s a picture and video that we shot at the concert. Both were taken with a mobile so quality is really bad.

 

[Youtube]

ps. oh yeah btw Hariharan was good too. 🙂

Saravana Bhavan now open in Kuwait

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Just found out that Saravana Bhavan has finally opened its doors. They’re located in the Centerpoint building in Fahaheel.
Hamoud Towers,
4th Floor.

Thanks Reshma