Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Freej Soeleh

“You’re going to LOVE this place!” AdventureMan crowed from two continents and an ocean away. Our Kuwaiti friends’ son had just taken him and his father to eat in this restaurant, and it was a great experience.

00fireejsueila

He was right. A couple months later, he took me there, and I loved it. It was a different experience for him, too, when he went with me, because with me, he could sit upstairs in the family section. πŸ™‚

You would never guess a place so full of homages to Kuwaiti tradition would be next door neighbors to the Marina Mall. From some of the cabinets, you look directly over to the mall.

They make their own sweets, and very fine sweets they are. His huge pot is entirely copper, and he makes wonderful candies, which you can buy and take with you, and use for gifts – made in Kuwait!

00makingcaramel

Pardon my indelicacy, but I love thoughtful decoration. This is the ladies room, and I am crazy about their huge bowl sinks – a wave to the past with the traditional sand and stone colors and materials:

00ladiesbr

We have all the privacy in the world, although we are surrounded by families. By the way, this is not a great place for an intimate, romantic dinner. Children are everywhere, clearly welcome, and bouncing off the walls. It is noisy. (We don’t mind.) When you want a waiter, you press the call button on the wall next to the little windows, which open and close.

00familysectioncabinet

At night – OK, this is hokey, but the truth is, I love it – they have a ceiling full of “stars”:

00fireejnightstars

One thing we really love is that you can get Kuwaiti foods here. We love trying different things. One of our favorites is the Fish at the Bottom of the Pot:

00menumaincourses

Very shortly, pre-food food arrives – the beignets are light and sweet and irresistible:

00prefood-beignets

As you can see, the prices are reasonable:
00kuwaitianfoods

We have never ordered the camel milk:
00softdrinkscamelsmilk

To get to the Freej Soeleh coming south on Gulf Road, turn in where you see that big old Kuwaiti Style hotel, I think it is the Al-Ghanim, and then take the first right onto what my friends call Salmiyya High Street. You take the last right going toward the Marina Mall just before the mall, which will take you right into a parking area. If you look on your right, you will see the Freej Soeleh.

If you are coming South on Gulf Road, take the exit that goes in front of Marina Mall and turn right just past the valet entrance to the Mall. You will see a parking lot – and the Freej Soeleh – on your left.

You can take the elevator up to the second floor, if you are a family. If you are bachelors, you can take the escalator up to the first floor. The food is good in either place. The family section is more colorful.

If you go early – like noon for lunch, six-thirty/seven for dinner – you will walk right in. If you go later, when the Kuwaiti families stream in, you may have to wait, but they have a great waiting area, and you can watch the caramel man make candy.

00waitingareafireej

Please, my western friends, if you go, dress modestly. This is a family place; most women are in abayas. I have never seen another western family here, but then we are all in cabinets, so that’s not such a surprise. It is a gem of an adventure in Kuwait.

I apologize that there are no photos of the main courses. There is always SO MUCH food. It comes, there is a frantic trying to organize the table so it has enough room for everything, and it all smells so good! You tend to just dive in.

The one jarring element is that when you are having appetizers, the tabbouleh, the muttabel, the hummus, they bring a plastic bag of bread on a plate. . . I guess I get spoiled down at the Mubarakiyya market, where the bread is always freshly made . . . I wish they had fresh hot bread, but the food itself is GOOD.

January 11, 2009 - Posted by | Adventure, Cross Cultural, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Food, Kuwait, Living Conditions

20 Comments »

  1. I miss kuwaiti foood!!!!
    When my american friend came to visit, me and mirim and the rest of my friends took here there to eat.
    It was pretty good!! I am glad you enjoyed it!

    Comment by Chirp | January 11, 2009 | Reply

  2. I can imagine your friend was totally blown away by the Freej, Chirp (or is that Mrm?) That is one of the reason I posted all the photos – my family and friends in the US will love going inside, even through photos. I could imagine our son and his wife sitting with us in there, big grins on their faces. They love adventure just as we do, and for us – Freej Soeleh is an adventure.

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 11, 2009 | Reply

  3. Coool going to pass by and try it in a bit! any recommendations other than the biryani?

    Comment by Mark | January 11, 2009 | Reply

  4. ohhhhhhh this place looks amazing. And I love the women’s restroom! Talk about attention to detail, and customer service.

    too funny about the bread – a number of top-line places in Beirut and Damascus are the same.

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | January 11, 2009 | Reply

  5. Fish, Mark. Zubaidi. Hammour. It’s all good. The fish curry. The Fish in the Bottom of the Pot. For us, it’s the whole experience, the food is good, the experience is novel.

    Little Diamond, you would love it. It is a lot of fun, just the experience. πŸ™‚

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 11, 2009 | Reply

  6. […] was checking out Safat when I found a post by Intlxpatr talking about a Kuwaiti restaurant located next to Marina Mall. She had posted a bunch of pictures […]

    Pingback by Freej Soeleh | January 11, 2009 | Reply

  7. looks nice ! very traditional settings. I must try it out. πŸ˜€ *drools over thoughts of fish and prawns* πŸ˜›

    Comment by Mathai | January 11, 2009 | Reply

  8. The spelling on the menu is horrible.
    It must be authentic!

    Comment by Abid | January 11, 2009 | Reply

  9. Yep, simply the best Kuwaiti food restaurant out there but their dishes are a bit overpriced.

    Comment by MacaholiQ8 | January 11, 2009 | Reply

  10. LLLOOLLL, I think this is the first time the real Mark has commented here. At one time there was a fake Mark who would go around to all the blogs and comment and it wasn’t the real Mark at all.

    Mathai, it is a lot of fun. Your wife will love it. πŸ™‚

    Abid – It’s part of the charm. I am just thankful they went to the time and effort to translate it – we have been to many restaurants where we had to sound out the dishes and try to figure out what they were because the menus were only in Arabic.

    Mac – Overpriced? Please, tell us where YOU eat?!

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 12, 2009 | Reply

  11. wow I loved this post and the pictures. I will give it try today! thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    Comment by Amu | January 12, 2009 | Reply

  12. The food is great. I LOVE the tashreeba. The only problem is that the service isn’t great. You can’t beat the prices either.

    Comment by Desert Girl | January 12, 2009 | Reply

  13. Yummmm the place is awesome. My lil sis and her friends are regular. They used to go to school there and thats where they’d go for lunch breaks sometimes. I never thought it was nicely done from the inside since I only tried their takeout! I am looking forward to give in to my lil sis next time she asks who wants to go there hehehe

    Comment by Ansam | January 12, 2009 | Reply

  14. It is a really fun place to go, Amu. Better take a date if you want to sit in the family section. (LLOOLLL)

    I’m glad you thought the prices were reasonable, Desert Girl – I did, too, but Mac says they are high. We need to find out where HE goes!

    They went to school at Freej Soeleh, Ansam??From the outside, it looks like some second rate mall, but on the inside, they have gone to some trouble to create atmosphere. I always like that. πŸ™‚

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 12, 2009 | Reply

  15. LOL I meant in Salmiya πŸ˜›

    Comment by Ansam | January 12, 2009 | Reply

  16. LLOOLLL @ Ansam! πŸ˜›

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 12, 2009 | Reply

  17. Where I eat… There’s a restaurant called Al-Za’farani in Hawalli. Their food is about Freej Soeleh’s quality and their prices are reasonable but their place is too small so I recommend you order take away or order for home delivery.

    Comment by MacaholiQ8 | January 13, 2009 | Reply

  18. LOL, and thank you, Mac. AdventureMan doesn’t like take-out. He thinks the food gets soggy. Most of the time we always have to sit in one of the places to eat! Any other good recommendations?

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 13, 2009 | Reply

  19. cool this is awesome …got to try this place out…the prices are very reasonable…but is the cabins good?is there much of privacy? i would like to go there with my love. Thanks for the pictures.Great Help! πŸ™‚

    Comment by ozzeta | January 10, 2011 | Reply

  20. Ozzeta – Cabins, yes, but it is a FAMILY place, so don’t count on a lot of privacy.

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 10, 2011 | Reply


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