The Kuwait Bucket List

My girlfriend and l will leave Kuwait at the end of this school year, and although Kuwait has a reputation for not being the most stimulating city, we’re sure there are things we’ll miss. We’ve yet to find out what they are, but in an effort to find out we’ve compiled a bucket list of goals we want to achieve before we leave Kuwait forever. So far, this includes:

  1. Camel races
  2. Dhow cruise
  3. Falaika Island
  4. Kuwaiti breakfast
  5. Outlandishly expensive burgers at Slider Station
  6. Souvenir shopping at the Iranian Souq
  7. Dinner at the Heritage Souq
  8. Tailoring at the Fabric Souq
  9. Salhiya Complex

We’ve decided not to travel for the week off that we get for the Kuwait National Day holiday, so we’ve already started to work through some of these.

Camel races

A few weeks ago we took an afternoon trip to camel races. The drive took us 30km west, past the airport and down a narrow road in a desolate stretch of desert. The road was lined by an aged wire fence buried under plastic bags and heaps of sand, and a few kilometers in it curved around Kuwait’s dumping group for discarded construction materials, making the whole thing a very post-apocalyptic experience. The camel races themselves were a kilometer or two past the dump, with an unassuming clubhouse sitting next to an 8km oval track. There’s no betting at the races, of course, but it was valuable as a cultural experience.


Outlandishly expensive burgers at Slider Station

Kuwait doesn’t have many homegrown businesses, as most residents here prefer to frequent foreign chains like Shake Shack, Johnny Rockets, and others, but when Kuwaitis do open a business they tend to be innovative and well-executed. Witness Slider Station: an industrial-chique burger joint, replete with house music, dim lighting, and a conveyor belt ala kaiten sushi. Their sliders offer tastes from Thai beef with basil to wagyu beef to cheese-stuffed mushrooms. I’d been wanting to try their 11.25KD (~35USD) monster burger for a while – you get your name on the wall if you eat the entire 1.5lbs of meat – but when I arrived I decided that if I wanted to gorge on meat I could do that at Elevation Burger, which offers a multi-patty option, up to 10 if you so choose. So I opted for their 11.25KD Wagyu beef burger with goose fat fries. Wagyu, famous for its marbled texture, is supposed to be THE prime beef, but this burger didn’t blow me away. It was good, but not enough to justify the premium over Slider Station’s other delicious options. And I’m not sure that goose fat is all that different from other fat – the fries weren’t distinct from their regular shoestrings.

Kuwaiti Breakfast

It’s not all that different from what you’d get in the Levant or Anatolia, which is to say that Kuwaiti breakfasts are composed of a delicious selection of eggs, foul and hummous, heavy cream (khaimak) with honey and jams, and an assortment of breads and pastries. I went with my Kuwaiti friend (that’s right, I really only have one) to Cafe Bazza, set just off of 2nd ring and the Gulf Road. The heavy cream really makes the meal – I will miss this.

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