Category Archives: Blogging

JoN Sliders – Bringing the #nojunk Taste to K-Town

At the turn of the 21st century, it has become extremely important for mankind to be wary of what they put in their mouths, with the advent of synthetic foods and flavors.

That however, is no longer a concern with the arrival of JoN Sliders in Kuwait! A brand with no junk (figuratively and literally), JoN Sliders has perfected the slider taste in a process that raises the bar when it comes to natural and tasty.

JoN Sliders uses premium ingredients with Michelin stars chef’s techniques, these special techniques keep the patty fresh & the buns softer, which is culminated in the “love at first bite” of their awesome ensemble!

Last thursday, JoN Sliders treated us to a sample of their delectable delights, they arrived on time (just in time with the rumbling of our stomachs):

What happened next was a euphoria of exquisite tastes, followed by arguments over who gets the first bite. Of everything we tried, here is the scoop of our thoughts:

Appetizers:

Cornflakes chicken: a bold endeavor, too little chicken for our tastes, the initial intrigue was offset by the absence of spices. However, coupled with the infamous BBQ-sauce allows for reconsideration.

Fiery fries: perfect mixture of fries and sauce. Will leave you gasping for refreshments (that thankfully came in the form of delicious milkshakes!)

Cheese fries: more fries than cheese, needs a balance.

Chicken sliders:

The chicken was juicy and fulfilling, to perfection, without the oily aftertaste. The crispy chicken boasted a straight up taste, no frills.

Buffalo: charges out of the box and straight into your senses.

Beef sliders:

Modern: at first glance, the pickles strike you as jalapenos, which leave you chewing carefully, however you are left pleasantly surprised.

Swiss Mushroom: light, no oil. Feels like you can keep eating one after the other.

Vintage: classic taste, touches the nostalgic buds on your tongue. The sweet relish almost puts gel in your hair and a leather jacket over your shoulders.

Maple crumble: FAN FAVORITE! Finally someone understands the concept of less-is-more when it comes to beef bacon on sliders/ burgers! Slapping a slab of beef bacon, although visually pleasing, leaves the eater unfulfilled as the entire strip comes off after the first bite. Here however, the beef bacon is shredded, ensuring enjoyment in every bite!

Shakes:
Vanilla – you can never go wrong with this classic!
Mocha – kid yourself into thinking there is enough caffeine here to keep you going and finish the rest of the food!
Chocolate – need we say more?
Peanut Butter – all time favorite! Feels like a post-workout smoothie!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is a look in full at their awesome, awesome menu:

Beef Sliders
Modern: A taste for the new generation – with the signature JoN sauce!

Vintage: Back from the 60’s
Cheeseburger: Chef’s favorite!

Mushroom: Mushrooms having a party – Beef Slider With A Creamy And Rich Mushroom Sauce.
Maple Crumble: Exotic Roller Coaster ride – Beef Patty Topped With Lettuce, Maple Dijon Sauce And Beef Crumble.

Chicken Sliders
Crispy Chicken: The Crowd’s Favorite. Coarsely Breaded Chicken Breast Patty With Lettuce And Creamy Sauce. The Patty Is The Hero Of This Dish.

Spicy Chicken: Volcano in a Chicken
Buffalo: True American. Feel The Punch! A Crispy Chicken Breast Patty Topped With Spicy Buffalo Sauce.
Fromage: For Cheese lovers. ‘Au Bon Fromage’ The Right Cheese. Crispy Chicken Patty With A Swiss And American Cheese Sauce.

Appetizers
Chicken Cornflakes: Crunch Madness. Crunchy Chicken Wafers. The Perfect Snack Companion To Any Slider.

Fire Fries: Fries on Fire.

Double Cheese Fries: Two Layers of Cheese

Shakes: Shots of Awesome
★ Vanilla
★ Mocha
★ Chocolate
★ Peanut Butter

 

The one thing you will NOT find on their menu, as they see no need to advertise it yet we feel it MUST be mentioned, is the awesome, thick, delicious BBQ sauce they add for dipping. Words cannot begin to describe the awesomeness of this sauce, from whence mankind derived the term awesomesauce; so rich in flavor it felt as though it contained dinosaur remains inside (you know like the tar pits?). So thick I initially thought it was a form of dessert!

JoN Sliders can be ordered through Talabat (link), Jeebley & Carriage and can be found on instagram @jonslidersme

@UPPERCRUSTKWT from Best to Worst

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Tis a sad, sad day when your favorite restaurant stab you in the back and take a turn for the worse.

I used to fancy Upper Crust Pizza, finally someone that understood pizza correctly, that is until I visited their KIPCO Tower location last night and discovered their new menu.

Usually restaurants attempt to expand their menu to attract new customers. In all my years in business school, I never heard of reducing the options as a sound business strategy, specifically, those things that made Upper Crust unique – gone completely are the spinach pizza options, green sauce (pesto) or white sauce pizzas.

In addition, the staff are completely oblivious to how the menu works, as they informed us that the “make your own pizza” was all the same price, and that you can select as many toppings as you want. Upon requesting the cheque however, we discover that each item has a different price, which raised the price of the pizza to around 10KD (aka double).

Upper Crust have lost a customer, because they chose to remove that which made them unique.

(Stay tuned for the next few posts documenting the NY to LA roadtrip of a lifetime)

Why you shouldn’t use @souq @souqkuwait in Kuwait anymore

The days of souq.com delivery in Kuwait are over.

It saddens me to have to report this, as I relied heavily and boasted wholeheartedly about their services (link 1, link 2, link 3) in the past. That was of course until recently when I discovered that their contact number no longer showed a Kuwaiti local number, shortly after that, orders were backlogged and drivers were careless and uncaring.

Complaints of any written kind, either email or through their website, fell on deaf ears (or blind eyes), the only way I saw to receive one of the items I had purchased was to contact their customer service, in Dubai.

If you check their website now you will be shocked to see the prices they are charging, down to the 3 decimal point for the fils, mainly due to it being converted from Dirhams.

It is with great sadness that I inform everyone that as an online retailer, souq.com have forever abandoned their loyal customers in Kuwait, leaving naught but delivery men in our vicinity, and no office to handle complaints.

One of my orders has been pending now for over a month, despite delivery being mentioned as maximum 9 days.

@The_Avenues – where Fast Food is Not So Fast!

Once upon a time ago I came to the abrupt realization that, despite its namesake, fast food is really not that fast.

To avoid giving anyone, as my good friend Noor would say, butthurt, we will refrain from posting a picture, and instead rely on words to paint this lexiconic portrait.

Picture if you will the following scene; you are hungry and feel the hankering for something greasy, fried and fast. You head to the food court at the Avenues Mall, the one near the Grand Avenues extension. You look to your right and find your chosen poison, and GREAT! no line! You think you will be done in record time, and mentally begin enjoying your meal, unwrapping your sandwich, tasting those succulent fries…

Your order is placed and the tray comes out, in record time you are given a smile by the cashier and your meal is ready to be carried away to be consumed. You turn around and…

You stop abruptly, your mental manger (Francais) erased as you realize the chaotic scene before you; tables strewn haphazardly across the area, chairs unceremoniously picked and grabbed and placed elsewhere, tables bedecked with leftovers and not a chair in sight, attacked by a different type of vulture – the chair stealer.

Yes, to anyone that has been to the Avenues food court, finding seating is a painstaking, time consuming task. Firstly, the area is underutilized with great expanses of open areas with no tables in them. Secondly, the seating issue is abysmal – there are never enough chairs.

At times you think you find salvation in the form of a table and chair in the corner, you rush there with hope in your eyes and saliva accumulating in your mouth at the thought of finally getting to enjoy your food which is slowly turning cold, soggy, lackluster… only to discover that this is the reject area, with broken tables and chairs placed precariously together feigning seating. For a half second, you contemplate shifting your weight to your right butt cheek in order to balance on the chair and placing your tray in your lap in order to consume your now cold meal.

And there in lies the trade off; for to go to the food court is to select quickness and variety, as well as bring relief to your purse strings by not being too expensive. However, the time factor during peak times almost makes the venture abundantly useless. Whereas on the other hand, if you opt for gourmet restraunts, seating is immediate – the selection is limited to their offering, and the price is up to your appetite.

However, you do settle the business of finding seating.

So what will you choose?

@PizzaNasser – Kuwaiti Born, Italian Taught Pizza

As you all know, Kuwait is a very small country, you go to a few events, and you are likely to meet everyone. Kuwait’s borders have also extended to the online-verse,and it is there where I first came upon Nasser A. N. al-Sulaihim. I believe he had commented on a photo I posted to Instagram (or Kuwait-2), I checked his profile, saw that he was a runner, followed him and here we are today.

I am not easily impressed, scratch that, I am easily impressed, but the mind behind the following concept blew me away.

We have never been formally introduced, and yet I feel as though we’ve been friends for a long time. If one word can be used to describe Nasser it is “DIY” or “Do It Yourself” (OK, that is 3 words). Through his instagram account I learnt of his love for running and love for crafting, and cooking! Many a time I showed his time-lapse vids to friends (the one where he cooks steak on a marble slab) and family.

Another word that can be used to describe him is “eclectic”, a jack of all trades, not only does he run and cook, he is also an avid anime fan and makes his own weapons (I also believe he is rolling it out commercially, as evident by his instagram vide0s)

Now watch the video below, where he mentions how he worked in several fields such as a translator, a salesman, a teacher and a tour guide, before finally following his passion to the kitchen, where he whips up various culinary miracles:

As the video is in  Arabic, here is the gist in English:

Nasser was a full-time employee, one time it dawned on him to try to make his own pizza, so he dedicated his time and effort to building a kiln at his chalet, and the experimentation began. Initially, it was a hobby, and he found great taste in works of his own creation, much beyond what you buy at a store. He then decided to take it a step further and signed up for a one-month crash course in everything pizza in the land of Pizza (and the tower of Pisa) itself; Italy.

Self financing his self-improvement, at the end of the course he asked his instructor whether he was ready to open up his own business, to which the instructor said you now know how to make the food, you need to learn how the corporate kitchen works, so he suggested Nasser work in a restaurant. Which he did. He came back to Kuwait, sent a few emails out, and was hired not based on his impressive CV, but on virtue of his smiling photo from Italy, which he attached to his application.

At this point I believe he was still juggling a full time job as well as part-time kitchen duty, (I am reciting all this from memory of watching the above vid once so please excuse any fuzzy details). He then came to the realization that he needed to devote his full attention to his passion, and pursued it with heartfelt abandon (abandon here used to mean The trait of lacking restraint or control; reckless freedom from inhibition or worry).

In the last few minutes he urges all to follow their passion, but to heed caution in that the mind and heart are different. If you believe you love carpentry, go work as one, start small scale, find out where your passion lies and then pursue it with all the love in the world.

Nasser is the definition of entrepreneur; his drive and passion are something that many hope to achieve but little have the heart to follow through with. He truly is inspirational.

you can follow Nasser on instagram (@al_sulaihim)

PS you can also follow his business through instagram @PizzaNasser, their menu is on instagram, they take orders from 4PM to 9PM.

Clickbaiting – How to not get Reeled in

In this digital world of 0’s and 1’s, the English language is ever evolving and adding new words to its already burgeoning lexicon.

Take for example clickbaiting.

Which is as the name suggests:

clickbait

Clickbaiting is the process by which a title appears on your newsfeed, or on a page you are reading, that draws your attention to the point where you must click it to find out.

To put it into perspective, the following represents the Harry Potter series titles if they were told as clickbait ads:

  • Crazy But True… This Man Will Do ANYTHING To Live Forever!
  • You Won’t Believe This Bathroom’s Incredible Secret
  • How Did One Man Escape Azkaban? The Answer Will Blow Your Mind
  • Uh-Oh! Here’s One Enchanted Goblet Mixup You CAN’T Miss
  • These Kids’ Reactions To Their New Teacher’s Rules Is Inspiring
  • Is It Cheating? One Student’s Trick To Acing Potions Class
  • 7 Objects You Didn’t Know Contained Pieces Of The Dark Lord’s Soul

Now, there are two types of clickbait – benign and malicious. Some websites that employ clickbait style titles do so to drive up readership (and in turn ad revenue). Others however harbor malicious code that once clicked puts your identity in jeopardy, as well as your financial information.

Word to the wise; if you absolutely must find out something that appears as a clickbait title, Google it first (the title), if the article is worthwhile you will find it on several sources, if it appears only in one place, that should raise a red flag as to its dubiousness.

#JeSuisCharlie – was it worth the laughs?

Words are powerful weapons that can crumble nations and incite change.

Words can also be worth the highest price: life.

Yesterday the world stood in united shock at the barbaric incident that took place in France (link)

At about 11 a.m. on Wednesday, gunmen in black ski masks with Kalashnikov weapons stormed the offices of the newspaper Charlie Hebdo and opened fire on an editorial meeting before fleeing in one car and then hijacking and escaping in another. By the time it was over, at least 12 people were killed and another 11 injured—four critically—in the deadliest terror attack in France in recent memory.

A cowardly, precise and targeted attack, whereby the assailants knew how to get to where they wanted to go, and had a hit list prepared in advance.

The question that will be on everyone’s mind is, was it worth it?

It is no surprise that this attack comes as a result of the paper’s risqué demeanor, last month, for example, the newspaper printed a depiction of the Virgin Mary that showed her spread eagle giving birth to Jesus. In 2009, following the death of Michael Jackson, the newspaper’s cover featured a cartoon white skeleton of Jackson with the headline, “Michael Jackson Finally White.” And in September 2012, the paper printed a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

It is very easy to sit at our desks and decry the assault on freedom of speech. It is very easy as we are not affected, we did not lose a loved one to this terrorist attack.

There is a saying that goes, “do not poke a sleeping bear”. You have every right to, for it is a bear and you wish to poke it. You are advised not to, not out of fear of the bear itself, but for fear of what the bear could do.

Everyone will scream, “what are you talking about?”, “we cannot let them win”, “they cannot control us by fear”. And they would be right. Just last month we witnessed the targeted attacks on Sony as a result of their decision to screen the movie The Interview, which North Korea took strong offence to.

However, in no logic is the loss of information, no matter how sensitive, equivalent to the loss of life.

Freedom of speech is a an absolute right. Freedom however, has its limits. Following the teachings of the Prophet, we are taught that your freedom ends when it imposes upon the freedom of others; for example, you are on a ship with 10 others, you demarcate territories for each and everyone is king of their area, free to do as they wish, however should one choose to drill a hole in their area that would ultimately lead to the ship sinking, that is not allowed, for their freedom to do as they please ended when it transgressed on the freedom of others.

To exercise freedom of speech in an attempt to besmirch someone’s beliefs is NOT considered freedom of speech. Freedom to hate is a more fitting title.

Muslims are no strangers to freedom of speech, a trait denied to many for so long, and yet the response is just the same. Take the satirical Comedian, Bassem Youssef  for example, he has received countless threats as a result of his show and yet he still kept going for as long as he could; he continues to receive threats (even judicial) to this day, long after his show went off the air.

So long as we live in a world where people’s response to an incident is not in the magnitude of the incident itself, there will always be violence.

I guess in a way that is the very response to the idea put forward in this article, no matter what you do, you cannot refrain from offending someone. You can take steps around the sleeping bear, but ultimately cooking a meal in front of it is bound to stir it from slumber.

Our hearts go out to the families of the victims, may the find solace and comfort in the thought that their loved ones lost their lives over a cartoon drawing.

 

Invasion of Privacy: level – Internet

Level 1000

Integration is scary. Very Scary.

In the digital age of the internet, all our questions are directed not to our friends but to our browsers thru various platforms, mobiles, tablets, laptops etc. Suppose you are searching for a query such as “guide to buying used Rolex’s” for example, or searching for tickets from X to Destination W.

Now keep in mind that nowadays everyone is logged into Gmail/ Facebook whilst searching Google.

The result?

Targeted advertisements.

Everywhere you go.

Facebook ads, Google ads. Both have joined forces to remind you of your search string, showing you watches, advertising airlines and entice you to spend, spend, spend.

It is like a stalker just beyond the horizon, unseen but you can still feel their breath on the back of your neck.

Stalker

And the problem is; there is no way to stop it.

This is the price we pay for information.

Too much? Or not enough?

You decide.

@SouqKuwait in-App purchase rip off

Is Souq.com purposefully deceiving its customers?

All companies fazed by the touch-screen phase must embrace it or face being phased out – OAQ (Original Aymz Quote – Patented!)

However, it rarely is as it appears to be.

At first it sounded like a very impressive marketing scheme to promote the use of the App by Souq.com

Mobile Madness Mondays, 10% off of all purchases made on Monday through the App. sounds great right?

Initially, it took 3 or 4 tries to get the code correct, as the following error message occurred:

 

Screenshot_2014-11-03-10-02-12

 

So, after wasting time trying to do the order again, then contacting them via their email address (in the morning at 10AM and receiving a response at 3PM) I finally got the coupon code to work.

Now if you follow Souq you will know that since October 22nd they have added a delivery charge of 1KD for all cash-on-delivery orders, thereby forcing their customers to opt for the K-NET payment, fast, hassle-free, and saves you a fils for those pesky 0.999 offers.

So one would believe that being in Kuwait, a K-NET payment option would be available, thereby giving people the opportunity to pay the exact amount. Right?

Wrong:

image

 

No K-NET payment on their App.

If you opt to pay COD you pay an extra 1KD, eliminating the benefit of the 10% discount. If you pay via Mastercard, you pay an extra 150Fils. Not a big deal but still reducing the margin of your discount; the discount is effectively 7.69%, thereby deceiving the customer.

Bad form Souq.com, bad form indeed.

Stomp! Kuwait – DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME

Results may vary!

(Warning: May Contain Spoilers!)
What do a banana peel, a matchbox and a plastic bag have in common?
In case you have not heard, on the radio or through social media, Eventmania, as is expected of them given their current track record of putting Kuwait on the entertainment map, dazzled the people of Kuwait by bringing them the spectacular theatrical show known as Stomp, percussionists with an attitude and imagination, to our local ice-skating rink!

The performance is unique in that it provides melody and tunes from common items that we see and pass by every day not once ever stopping to consider their potential for musical performance. It is a perfect blend of synchronization, improvisation and above all imagination. Stomp transcends all linguistic barriers as audiences are transfixed with the movements and melodies with little interruptions of verbal communication, save the occasional grunt as passed down from our neanderthal ancestors.

The show transcends what anyone would imagine when going to a “musical”. To the keen observer, Stomp is not merely a musical performance; it is a theatrical piece complete with a jester and cleverly placed innuendo that will leave many squealing in delight as to having “gotten it”.

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At a casual glance, the performers appear to be your every-day average Tom, Dick, Harry & Henrietta, ranging in size and grace from the agile-yet-obese, the scrawny and the limber to the chiseled physique that may have just gone a few rounds with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in a wrestling ring. It is their command of their bodies and instruments that bewitches you, as anything placed between their fingers is instantly transformed into a musical instrument. Anything, including but not limited to the aforementioned banana peel, matchbox and plastic bag.

One would think that running two shows a night for 5 nights would bring an element of monotony into the acts. That could not be farther from the truth; with a total of 12 performers, 8 take to the stage per show. Each show is quite different than the other, with improv involving the spectators that is sure to leave you clapping like a performing seal at sea world. Stomp never grows stale, as is evident by the fire in the eyes of the performers as they effortlessly execute what undoubtedly has taken them many years of endless practice to perfect. The show is synchronized with the precision of an army drill sergeant, as every twist and turn finds the performers coming face-to-face with each other, landing their poles, broom sticks, trash can lids, basketballs and paint pails in harmonious synchonicity together.

As the lights dimmed and the performers began to, as their name suggests, stomp their way into our hearts, I found myself wondering initially whether they were stomp-syncing, as my then frail senses were not ready for what was about to occur. Throughout the performance, you will find yourself constantly straining your neck in a feeble to attempt to discern “where did that sound come from?” as your senses are bombarded from left, right, above and below. The transitions between sets were flawless, the lights syncing perfectly with the show (save for the annoying green “EXIT” sign near the entrance, far from the stage yet still an eye-sore).

Stomp engulfs you in that it starts off slowly, gaining momentum into a climactic euphoria of sights and sounds that has the audience spell bound and tapping their feet (not just the people in the front row who had to do this regularly to prevent their feet from freezing as a result of the ice below!) and once again bringing the audience down to a rolling stop.

Stomp with Ayman and Shrouk

We have it on good authority that half the profits taken home by the performers are spent on Aspirin and ear-plugs!

After the production is over you will find yourself overwhelmed with a feeling of euphoric bliss, like all the parts of the puzzle that is life have fallen together into a brilliant masterpiece and that you are part of it. You will find yourself snapping your fingers and tapping your feet, desperate to get your hands on anything so that the world can hear your latent inner-talent of making music from garbage. You will rush to get your hands on a basketball, a newspaper, a discarded plastic bottle or even a shopping cart at the supermarket to begin your musical journey.

Please don’t.

Thank you Eventmania for continuing to rise to the challenge and bring a taste of global culture to our desert oasis.

For more info (link)

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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