See the first two posts in this three-part series:
One does not visit this very interesting and fascinating place for the food. However, you aren’t going to starve there, either. There are essentially five restaurants, a shisha bar, and a small convenience type store right at the Heritage Village. I saw another grocery/convenience type store near the dock and beach.
One restaurant was not open; it was too early in the season. This was a place to get ice cream, drinks, and snacks. Another one, the Oasis Restaurant, we only had breakfast at. Breakfast came with the lodging. There were also three restaurants we did try, the Ward Wa Hail, the Pizza House, and the Shwarma bar. We also went to the little store and the shisha bar.
One Maudie – run away
Let’s get this one out of the way immediately. Do not go to this one. We went once and that was one time too many. The pizza looked and tasted like grocery store frozen pizza popped in an oven. Low quality grocery store pizza. That is most likely exactly what it was. Nuff said.
Three Maudies – recommended
It looks like this restaurant operates on the weekends (in Kuwait, weekends are Friday/Saturday) and probably more often during the high season. While we were there, it opened up once, in the evening. It is near the Bedouin
tent and where the camel is during the day. They call this area the Village Square. There are some nice palm covered picnic tables and one can always sit in the open sided tent on cushions.
This was a bare bones outdoor operation with chicken shwarma. The shwarma stack was made properly and they set up with plenty of time to get it cooking well before opening up for service. They also had French fries. The shwarma was as good as most I had in Kuwait. It was served on a bun similar to a hot dog bun, but with more substance. Sautéed tomatoes and parsley, as well as the usual tzatziki type yoghurt sauce were added. There were hot peppers on the side. We did not try the fries. All in all, a good meal or snack at a reasonable price.
Oasis Restaurant for Breakfast Only
Two Maudies – not recommended
This restaurant was actually in a modern tent type building, like a modular hard tent. Inside, it was plain, with tables and chairs one could expect to see in a Chinese restaurant. No biggie. As I mentioned, this review only deals with breakfast. It was adequate and, given the only place to get breakfast on the island, you didn’t really have a choice.
It was a typical buffet Kuwaiti breakfast that didn’t have as much choice as I was used to seeing in the hotels. There were some breads, yogurt, cut up cucumbers, cereal and milk (like corn flakes), the soft white goat cheese, and an egg dish that was a bit like a quiche. There were probably a couple other items, as well. Nothing was stellar, but you could find enough decent tasting food to satisfy your breakfast needs.
Ward Wa Hail Restaurant
Four Maudies – recommended
This was the place to eat on Failaka. Basically it is a biryani restaurant, with a few other things. The biryani was so good, that is all I ordered. My travel mates all loved this place. You could get a hamburger and fries if you wanted. One of them did and he said it was excellent, both burger and the fries. But, the biryani is the star. If we had gone to this restaurant before we tried the pizza place, that pizza place would never have seen us. My experience is that Kuwaitis just don’t do American style pizza well. They do, however, make a hell of a manakish. See, Manakish – Kuwaiti “pizza” for info on this delectable item.
Biryani is basically an Indian and Indian inspired dish that is rice based. Beyond the rice base, it can have just about anything you can imagine in it. It ranges from mainly rice with perhaps a few
currents to rice with various types of vegetable and/or meats, eggs, you name it. Originally, this was one of those poor people’s foods, where a little meat and vegetables were mixed in with the staple, rice. Often it is very spicy. All three of us loved every biryani dish we ordered. My favorite was the lamb biryani that was very spicy. The waiter asked how we wanted it and I always say spicy, if that is what the question is. The lamb was unbelievably tender, cubes of pure bliss, along with peppers and a few other vegetables that make the rice very moist. One gets very full on a meal like this.
This restaurant is really very, very good, especially for a place like the Heritage Village.
Four Maudies – recommended
OK, there is no food at the Shisha Corner, but you can get some rocking chai (tea), either straight up with sugar, as typically found in the Mideast, or with milk, as in English hot tea. I mainly ordered the tea with milk as I didn’t see that much of it in Kuwait and I love hot tea and milk. With sugar, of course.
We also tried out the shisha. Even if you don’t smoke, shisha is one of those things you should really try in an authentic setting like Kuwait, Turkey, or other Middle Eastern country. When I first had it 30 some years ago in Turkey, there was one kind of tobacco. Now, you can get it in all kinds of flavors. Here at the Shisha Corner, I tried watermelon flavor and it was wonderful.
And it is relaxing in the evenings when it is not so hot, sitting back on the couches having a good chat with friends, drinking tea, and smoking incredibly smooth shisha tobacco through the water pipe. Very nice.
The mini-mart has mostly snacks like candies, nuts, chips and drinks, but it also had a few staples for those cooking for themselves. The young lad who ran it was a pleasure, everything was so laid back. We were sad to have to go back to the ferry and leave this place. I could live here.