Kuwait Eats: Street Almakan by Zubabar

Browsing through old photos on my phone, I spotted some photos I'd take a couple of months ago when we'd had lunch at Street Almakan.  Not sure why the photos were forgotten, but as we had a lovely lunch out, thought I'd put up this post now.  Better late than never right?

I'd come across Street Almakan when trying to google a place that did Korean food.  We'd traveled to Thailand the year before and had eaten at Bon Chon which had amazing Korean chicken - think sweet, sticky and spicy.  Bon Chon is actually in Kuwait now by the way!  Anyway, after our very delicious introduction to Korean food, we were in the mood to try more and so had our sights on Street Almakan.

The restaurant is located on the first floor and I love the interiors, or rather, lack of!  Exposed pipes and beams, minimal decor, basic cafeteria style seating arrangements, etc.  I know this has been done and done over and over again, but there's a certain charm with not trying too hard right?  Love the minimalism!  Mind you, we visited a few months ago so I hope the space still looks like this.  

Even the menu was no-nonsense.  One sheet, simple black and white, though I could've done with a few pictures.  Maybe a small flip book style tent table?  The items on the menu seemed exciting and there were quite a few that I wanted to try out.  On first impressions, prices looked looked very fair too.    

We ordered the Tiger Prawn Yakitori - grilled tamarind prawns with fried onions (KD 3.5) as a starter.  There were just 3 small skewers and the actual prawns were a little bland but oh my that sauce was packed full of flavour.  I unashamedly dipped my skewer into that sauce for each and every bite.  It looked like a simple soy based sauce, but that sauce was complex!  Definitely a treat for the taste buds.  

Tiger Prawn Takitori - Street Almakan by Zubabar

Next, we ordered the Green Curry Glazed Ribs - short rib, creamy mash and pickled onion (KD 4).  Definitely Thai inspired.  I love my Thai food so I knew what to expect. There were just 2 small morsels of meat in the bowl, but for what it was, I enjoyed it.  The mash that was served at the bottom of the bowl was an interesting combination.  I normally eat my curries with a side of rice so having it with creamy mashed potatoes was actually a nice twist.  I'm not sure if I'd order this again (I'd probably pass it up to try something new), but it wasn't a bad dish and it was enjoyed while it lasted!    

Green Curry Glazed Ribs - Street Almakan by Zubabar

Next up, the Flame Grilled Tenderloin & Teriyaki Asparagus - teriyaki glazed asparagus, green beans & bok choi pecan truffle aioli (KD 7.5).  With a name like that, how can you not order this one, especially with truffle listed in the description.  Now I love myself a good steak and this didn't disappoint - succulent, lovely sauce, sorry aioli, the crunch on the side added texture to the dish and I even enjoyed the greens!  Now, I hope I don't come off the wrong way for saying this and yes, I can't compare this dish to something from say TGIF, but that dish was tiny and my first expression on seeing it was, is that it?  Delicious yes, but I need a little more meat on my plate please.

Flame Grilled Tenderloin & Teriyaki Asparagus - Street Almakan by Zubabar

And finally dessert, the Caramelized Pan Perdu (KD 3.5).  The description didn't sound very interesting if I'm being completely honest.  Fried bread with ice cream?  Its basically french toast and I'd shrugged it off for one of its more sophisticated peers.  But then I saw this come out of the kitchen (the table behind us had ordered it) and I immediately had to have it for myself.  

That brioche had this gorgeous sugary crust on it which on breaking through revealed a deliciously fluffy soul.  Combine that with a smooth salted caramel and a helping of ice cream and you have a winner on your hands.  It was all very sugary and sweet but in a good way.  I've said this before and I'll say it again, sometimes the simplest things are the best and this was indeed the best way to finish off our meal.  

Caramelized Pan Perdu - Street Almakan by Zubabar

Overall, we loved each of our dishes.  Flavour, flavour, flavour!  However when I'm paying over 20kd for a meal for two, I expect to be fed just a tad more.  The portion sizes were a little on the meagre side, but were priced accordingly which was fair, well, except the tenderloin which was just too small.  It was however a great meal and that dessert was just heavenly, oh and lets not forget those prawns!  

We had lunch on a weekday and so there were just a handful of tables occupied which was great.  A lovely place to leisurely grab a meal and chill while people watching through the window.  Bliss!  

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