Enjoy the traditional Kuwaiti taste at Freej Swaileh Restaurant

Deepika Nambiar; Photo: Anwar Sadath Thalasserry
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Have been in Kuwait for years, but never tried an authentic Kuwaiti Food! There is a Phrase "When in Rome, do as the Romans do". So when in Kuwait, we must experience something Kuwaiti! Indians are best known in the world for their taste buds. So why not experience a traditional Kuwaiti Cuisine?

In a hunt to explore the true Kuwaiti tradition in cuisine, we reached the right place in Salmiya. ‘Al Freej Swaileh’ is one of the few restaurants that serve traditional Kuwaiti food in town. With number of Indian staff to help us, no doubt it’s the right place to experience the Kuwaiti Culture and have a lovely traditional Kuwaiti Cuisine.

Fareej Means “The Neighbourhood” in Arabic and to make it meaningful, the restaurant is bringing us a true old Kuwaiti neighbourhood.





The Restaurant resembles the old life style in Kuwait. The interior is a reminiscent of an old Kuwait with homes, streets and sweet shops. Cabins are designed as homes with wooden doors, windows and lanterns hanging outside. The passage to the cabins resembles the village streets. There is a reception table designed as a Well and the lady there was dressed in elegant looking Kuwaiti garb. The ceiling of the restaurant is painted as a sky with clouds and stars. Staffs, most of them are Indians, were all dressed up in Kuwaiti Attires. The customer will feel as if they had come to an Old Kuwaiti town.





The Restaurant has 3 floors. Basement and 1st floor have cabins and Mezzanine floor is Open dining area. There are 40 cabins with seating capacity of 4 to 6 diners. The open area has 35 tables with each seating capacity of 4 diners. In Basement each cabin has an aquarium on one side of the wall. The Restaurant is decorated with Kuwaiti artefacts and pictures.




The menu is full of Kuwaiti dishes. The Dish names are written both in English and Arabic. It even has the pictures of the dishes to make it easier for us to choose. The Staff will explain to us if we find any difficulty in ordering.



We were excited to have the traditional cuisine. We ordered Chicken Soup and Lentil Soup. I was amazed to see the way the soups were served. The soups were served in a cob loaf bowl (a hollowed loaf of bread). The best part about these dishes is that all the bread, from the soft insides to the outside crust, becomes part of the dish, being ripped up and eaten along with the soup. The soups were delicious. I really loved the combination of the soup and the bread.




Then came the salads. We had ordered Mixed Salad and Fattoush (a colourful tossed salad made with vegetables and crispy toasted flatbread). I felt as if it was a day of surprises. Again the salads were served in a unique and elegant way. They were served in a delightful woven crispy bread bowl placed in a plate. Salad with the crispy bread was just yummy. Kids just loved the crispy bread.



For main course we ordered Mutton and Chicken Majboos. Majboos is the National Dish of Kuwait. It’s a rice dish which is thoroughly authentic and served with spiced chicken or mutton.

A man dressed in Kuwaiti Attire came to our cabin to serve Arabic Coffee and Luqaimat (Arabic dumplings). It’s amazing to watch the technique in which he pours the coffee. Dallah (Arabic coffee pot with the long and extended spout) is held in the left hand and Funjal (tiny cups without handle) in the right hand. Before pouring the coffee he makes a sound with the cups and pours the coffee and serves it. Kids just loved watching this. Later I came to know that the coffee and dumplings are served free to all customers!




The service was excellent, prompt and was presented in an elegant manner. A delightful dinner with a promise to come back to try-out the other Kuwaiti cuisines.

They have delivery service right from their kitchen to your door steps so that you can enjoy the Kuwaiti cuisine at the comfort of your home! They have around 35 vans for deliveries. The price is very reasonable. A family of 4 can have a wonderful culinary treat with a feel of an old Kuwait town for less than 8 KD budget.



The Restaurant is located in Salmiya Salem Al Mubarak Street. It is in the building in between Marks & Spencer and Max (retail store). The entrance is from the back and there is ample parking space. The restaurant is open from 12:00 PM to 05:00 AM on all days. For Families it’s open from 12:00 PM to 02:00 AM. During Ramadan it’s open from 6:00 PM – 3:00 AM.



For all those who want to experience traditional Kuwaiti culture and cuisine this restaurant is a must visit place.


Deepika Nambiar is a Freelance writer. Currently working for Lemonade International as Administrative Manager. She is part of the IIK Team and IWIK Core Team.Does regular contributions to the news portal IndiansinKuwait.com and also for Timesofindia.com.
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