48 hours in Kuwait
Kuwait may not be the usual destination choice for a weekend break but when an opportunity arises to try an undiscovered locale I cannot resist saying no!
My journey began after the quick and relatively painless hour and twenty minutes flight to Kuwait International via Jazeera Airways (a return ticket from Dubai, economy class, was a very reasonable AED590). I highly recommend availing of the online visa application service for select nationalities – although visa on arrival is available in Kuwait, it’s not so straightforward and requires finding the elusive immigration office and purchasing visa stamps from a vending machine!
Once visa formalities were completed, along with educating the immigration officials enquiring minds as to the ins and outs of travelling to Australia, I breezed through the immigration line, picked up my luggage in a flash from the carousel and found my private transfer to the Symphony Style hotel, formerly known as the Missoni Hotel and still very much under the influence of the designer brand’s famous designs, from the lobby entrance to bed and bathroom linen (and much coveted by me!)
Regrouping with my close friend Glen, a former resident of this Gulf state for a number of years, he introduced me to the favourite past times of Kuwaitis, both locals and expats alike – eating and shopping!
Our culinary adventure started that evening with a visit to Murooj, an eclectic restaurant location part of the Sahara Golf Course complex. We dined at Trapani, a Sicilian restaurant which offered one of the best burrata I had ever tasted. Dessert was at The Chocolate Bar, which offered plenty of sweet and dangerously delicious desserts to satisfy our sweet teeth!
Enter Friday lunch, and the star of the show was Dar Hamad, an authentic Kuwaiti restaurant located in a beautifully renovated villa along the Corniche. We tried a variety of dishes, from the ubiquitous mixed grill, to machboos, a rice and chicken dish which is a Kuwaiti traditional.
My Saturday was occupied from an epicurean perspective by two creative little finds closer to Kuwait City – Vol 1, a self-proclaimed ‘coffee bar and roast lab’. The delightful owner, Noor, a Kuwaiti local, was not only gracious when explaining her concept but had a fond appreciation for Australian coffee, having visited my homeland.
Moving on to lunch, we ventured upstairs to Al Makan, a hip cafe meets gallery space where any self-respecting fashionista would feel at home. I munched on the duck salad, which was not only delicious but a very generous portion, followed by a delectable dessert which I sadly forget the name of… I guess I need to go back soon!
Kuwait, you have been good to us. Am already planning my next trip over 🙂