I decided to make this my first review upon returning because I simply could not let it wait. I wanted to share my thoughts on this erm .. ‘cultural’ expeience as my parents call it while the memory was still fresh in my mind.
Now, first of all, warning to all fathers who would love to play this prank on their daughters in the future: if you decide to take your unexpecting daughter to this restaurant under the impression of what the general term of “taking you out for dinner” implies, do give her some hint as to what to wear (or not wear, as it might be the case) so that once she shows up on this ..scene, she would not arrive feeling misplaced and totally overdressed T_T
Before you gasp with insult, dear reader, do not take my review personally. It is simply my personal reflection. So.. allow me to share my story at this place..
On a hot and humid night.. My parents decided to take me to what they promised would be an “authentic” dinner. So, naturally, Kuwaiti me got all dressed up for the night out. I had no clue what this place would be like, so as my mother commented that we might not get a table, I reassured her that my father had probably booked us a table.. Now for those of you who have been there, you would understand why my parents burst out laughing at this predicament. I, on the other hand, was clueless.
So we arrive at Souq ElMobarakiya – my first visit to this famous part of Kuwait.. and being the girl that I am.. I almost screeched. Now this says a lot as I am not usually the screechy type of girl. I stood outside the car.. shocked. To say the least that is.
My pretty shoes were dragged through an excuse of a sandy parking lot to a cluster of garden tables, which I might have been able to describe in more detail if it were not for the water sprinklers above our heads (yes.. above) spitting water in my face. This was apprently “pleasant” to my family who sat down joyfully thinking they were on a picnic beside a waterfall or something.
So I sit down stiffling a groan to humor my father and as the waiter approaches I silently pray that they atleast have an english menu. Very foolish on my part. So as it played out, the restaurant only had a couple of menus anyway (apparently their food was so famous you are expected to sit there and just know what you want).
I ask my waiter.. “what do you reccomend?” he flashes me a smile “fee chabda w galb mashwee waaayed helo” TRANSLATION: Liver and barbequed heart.
Ok so maybe some people find that a major delicacy, as JustTruth and MadReds do enjoy other strange foods “bacha” do..I, however, do NOT. So you can see my utter state of misery.
ANyway.. I go ahead and order the first chicken platter I could think of “sheesh 6awoo8” as my theory is ‘atleast you know if chicken is chicken.. meat on the other hand could have come from anything.’ Again, I do apologize. I do not wish to demean the integrity of this popular establishment, these were just the thoughts that came to me in my stunned state.
Thankfully, I always remember to have my ‘Detol wipes’ in my purse (as every lady knows she should), and it gives me some comfort in knowing my hands wont be the source of my then-expected poisoning.
The food arrives in all its “sya5” and stuff and my joy rests on discovering that they atleast had propper hot sauce. Thinking that salt and spices must be what kills bacteria (don’t laugh, I am not a bio student) because well ..pickles last forever don’t they? — I attack my chicken with all the salt and “sha6a” that I can handle without burning a hole in my gut and smile sweetly at my father “yumm” all the while thinking ‘why daddy why?!’
My mother sitting next to me is enjoying her barbequed heart (poor sheep or whatever heart it was) and I take a deep breath.. it can’t be that bad right?? I mean this is.. part of being a proper Kuwaiti and all etc etc..
I lift the chicken…
move it close to my mouth..
and a cat suddenly runs under my chair.
erggh. Ok. Take II
I lift the chicken.. move it close to my mouth..
slowly put it inside..
it wasn’t all that bad to be honest!
I still drank a can of coke for sterilization though! Just in case! ..but all in all.. I survived!
I can now say I am a ‘culturized’ Kuwaiti who’s seen it all – and survived it too!
So.. I cannot promise you that it would be an experience you’d wish to repeat quite often, especially in this heat, however I can see why my dad thought it imperitive that every girl survives her “Dalg S’hail” dinner. It’s as my mother says, “a cultural experience”. I just wish the cultural experience was less germy.
To be fair, I don’t feel sick or anything and they do offer an indoor dining area.. so if you do wish to visit this place -and I do advise you to because it’s so very different- just bear in mind that you should not dress up, wear heels or your favorite shoes, do take your sanitisers and go when the weather is a bit cooler. I also suggest you don’t sit under the over-head sprinklers.
Oh well.. atleast it was an experiennce.
I still think I deserve a badge for putting up with it!