Dinner at Freej Swaileh, Kuwait

Thursday night here is the start of the weekend – Friday is the sacred day of worship for Islam (and when we go to church), and Saturday is the fun, chill, get jobs done kinda day.  Last week we decided to kick off the weekend with dinner out as a family and a little visit to Kuwait City. We headed up to Kuwait City on the bus (about 45 minutes with traffic from Salmiya) to enjoy a real taste of some Kuwaiti Arabic cuisine at a restaurant Nathan had previously been to (and was keen for us to experience) – Freej Swaileh.

Freej Swaileh is such a great restaurant (with several of them around to choose from) that had me smiling the whole time we were there. It is one of the best known here for local cuisine and it’s enjoyable atmosphere, and we really appreciated getting a table so easily. The first thing I loved was how family friendly it was (always a bonus with 4 kids in tow, knocking over at least one drink in the duration of our visit – which just so happened to take place 5 minutes after we sat down – cheers kids). But, overall it was just an exciting and relaxed place to eat – The mix of old wooden furniture with the delicious local food (in huge portions), brilliant engaging staff, and of course the whole kuwaiti flavour and vibe of it is one that invites you back. And, bonus… it really isn’t that expensive either (very cheap infact for 6 of us to eat out and drinks costing about 50p each).

We decided to order a mix of things and all share so we could sample several things (though when it came to it, we probably needed a table twice the size with the portion sizes here). We started with some dips and breads (the yogurt and cucumber one was incredibly moreish), some salad and then the lentil soup. The soup itself was sooo filling; being served in a large bread bowl, and easily a meal on its own for just over 1KD. It was such good soup and I look forward to one day trying the other flavours they had too.

For mains we all shared the medium mix grill (no idea how big the large one was, as this would have done the whole family on its own!), the half of chicken, and then some prawns with rice (the sauce served with this was like a thin curry and oh so very delicious). They constantly bring you giant fresh flat bread through your meal too, as well as bowls of sweet dumplings (like doughnut holes) – its such an experience, very delicious and VERY filling! We could barely manage it all, and ended up taking loads of meat, rice and bread home for our lunch on Friday.

It was such a great place to go together as a family; to have a taste of the Middle East, and to just spend some quality time together over delicious food, soaking up this new adventure and relaxing at the start of our weekend. We all loved it, were absolutely stuffed. We look forward to going again, and also taking family there who visit! It’s such a tasty, relaxed place to enjoy with family and friends.

Following the meal (and a little bit before) we wandered around Souk Al-Mubarakiya which is on the same street, and is a wonderful experience of life here. It is one of the oldest traditional markets and a must in Kuwait City! We then went down to Safat Square, which used to be the hub of trade from desert traders, but is now a lovely serene place with fountains and seating. Kuwait city is such a great place on an evening – families out and about, things to see, hear, taste and smell – a real feast for your senses – that feels so far away from the quiet village scenes of East Yorkshire.

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