Vegetarian Options I wish for in 2016 Kuwait

By | January 21, 2016

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To start off let me clarify one thing, this is not an ad. I’m a vegetarian living in Kuwait, a foodie, and I love eating out. I do not believe in house help or enslaving humans in the name of housekeeping, therefore I have to fend for myself to find something to eat after working for eight hours a day and returning home by 4 P.M. I am not shy to say I love eating out, we are the capital of 8000+ restaurants after all! Why Kuwait isn’t the capital of the culinary world still is beyond me, an overdue movement that I hope should start soon.

Therefore, I’d like it very much if vegetarian me was able to walk into a restaurant, day in and day out, and have plenty of vegetarian options to choose from. Something light, nutritious, healthy, new, and for the love of god NOT SPICY! Not only vegetarians, mind you, even vegans and people with allergies like nuts, lactose, gluten. Not everyone is willing to have a pillow-sized chicken sandwich for breakfast or a turkey croissant! Take for example the picture of the new protein-loaded falafel wrap from Pick, one of my favourite destinations for picking up good food in Kuwait with a cult-following of locals. The wrap is a protein-wrap, the falafel are vegetarian, and its good and fulfilling and I sometimes take it with a side of Pick’s lupin & almond pot to nibble on. My only complaint is that the wrap is too big.

So let me tell you, as a suffering local vegetarian, what I think would make my life easier when dining in restaurants this year:

  • No more rocket in sandwiches! Rocket is so 2000! Its coarse and peppery and half the population pick it out of their sandwiches anyway! Spinach is a much milder alternative while Kale is more hip yet can be  smelly or a tad bitter. Either way, no more rocket please! Enough is enough.
  • Breakfast to go! More grab and go options, granola and yoghurt or fruit compote for the summer and warm porridge for the winter. What’s wrong with porridge? Everyone I know loves it and I’m a recent convertee-now-turned-addict!
  • No more Quinoa! I love Quinoa don’t get me wrong, but when all the salads are replaced in restaurants into quinoa salads it becomes a tad boring! How many times can you have quinoa a day exactly? Also, not everyone can eat quinoa, myself and my mother for example cannot tolare it, it gives us a severe stomach ache.
  • Speaking of stomach aches, a nice reminder that spices and by spice I mean fiery cayenne pepper is not everyone’s friend. Children don’t like it, not all adults enjoy it, and its a catastrophe for people with stomach problems. Personally, a mouthful where cayenne is involved can render me bed-ridden for an entire day! Avoiding spicy food is the obvious answer for myself, of course, but how can I do so when some restaurants thinks its so edgy to provide a surprising burst of flavour in their dishes by lacing them, without warning, with cayenne? Treat spices like a nut-allergy and  go easy on the cayenne please! If a dish contain them, please announce it loud and clear.
  • Having informed baristas/waiters that a proper response to “I’m a vegetarian, I do not eat meat” is not “we have Turkey sandwich ma’am!” is a bonus. Not everyone is a vegetarian you say? Suppose I’m not, so I had a Turkey Sandwich for breakfast, a burger for lunch, then I want something for dinner that is not NOT NOT meat based, you see? Its not only fussy eaters who would like something not meaty for a change!
  • Veggies are your best friend and there are plenty of them to go around. Mushrooms especially giant ones can replace burgers, and food stores abroad have jumped on the Zoodles wagon and are even serving dishes made with Zoodles and other veggies. When will the trend catch up here?
  • Graze-like snacking? I’d totally subscribe for an entire year!

Vegans, like vegetarians have rights. Lactose intolerant, gluten-intolerant, and many other allergic people deserve to eat out as well or eat something other than a pot of tea or black coffee if accompanying people for lunch. If I had a restaurant I  would provide at least two vegan options and three vegetarians and gluten free ones.

What else would you like to see and/or not see anymore in restaurants in Kuwait? I’ve had it with the shrimp poppers, chicken Caesar salad, mini sliders, and molten chocolate cakes for now.


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