Written by Sana
Imagine luxurious, soft, black leather and lavish chairs, sitting elegantly in a modern twilight. A mix of fragrant aromas welcome your taste buds with impeccable hospitality. The star-lit effect décor draws you in to the centre of the restaurant, where your eyes feast upon the engrossed chefs crafting their art. The scene is set. But wait – it gets better.
Often in restaurants that boast a regal and sleek décor, the food disappoints. For B & F Open Flame Kitchen in Kuwait, I can safely say that this is not the case. If you’re looking for a fine-dining experience that won’t break the bank, then this is your place.
From the moment you are seated – which may be a while because of the long waiting list stretching to hours at a time – you are greeted with deliciously fresh pieces of bread accompanied by a creamy garlic cheese dip, and tangy apple fizzers. This special (and surprisingly free) welcome sets expectations high from the get go.
As this was the second time I had visited, and both times in large groups, I had the fortune of trying a few of their delicacies. We opted for their famous Tokyo Salad, which was as far from a salad to any salad I had ever tried, and their Dynamite Fries for starters. Both dishes did not leave us dissatisfied. In fact, it was the opposite. The Tokyo Salad is a mountainous infusion of cabbage, onion, carrots and crab sticks, dressed in a velvety miso mayonnaise. Put simply: the best salad I have ever had the fortune to try. At a price of 4KD (approx. £9), this salad is a bit steep, but definitely a dish one should try at least once in their lifetime. Alongside our attempt to be healthy, we ordered the Dynamite Fries to keep us busy until our mains arrived. The description on the menu: “topped with homemade chilli, melted cheddar, crumbled bacon, crispy roasted onions, jalapeños & chipotle ranch sauce” did not fall short. The indulgence of the greasy fries completed the clean, crisp bites of the salad perfectly. We were so engrossed; we forgot our mains had yet to come!
For our mains, we requested three mini sliders: Classic Chicken, Americano, and Dynamite; Rosa Pasta; and a Margherita Pizza. Unfortunately, the mains didn’t deliver to quite the same standard as the starters. The sliders, a collection of two mini burgers, had a pleasant but average taste. Definitely one I would not crave or come back for. The Rosa Pasta, however, I enjoyed considerably more. The juicy tomato sauce base, tinged with subtle flavours of rosemary, left a warm, satisfied feeling in my stomach. Unfortunately, by the time the Pizza arrived, we had finished our meals and had no space left – except for dessert of course.
Our appetites and our saliva glands were inflamed by the sight of our ordered dessert – Chocolate Brownie Pudding. Do not be fooled by the mediocre name of the dish; it was divine. A sizzling chocolate brownie base, suffused with nuts and more chocolate, melted in your mouth alongside the rich vanilla scoop, that stood proud atop the dessert. Heaven in the form of confection.
As we waddled our way out of the restaurant, having paid the quite hefty bill, I reflected on our surreal experience of fine-dining in the dark. All in all, content and already looking forward to my next visit. It might not be your weekend favourite because of the cost, (unless you’re from an affluent Kuwaiti family), but this is definitely a place ideal for special occasions.
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Born and brought up in London, but currently residing in Kuwait, Sana has always had a fondness for exploring different cuisines. Food, in its many arrays, helps fuel her passion for writing. The ability of food, much like language, to transcend cultures and generations is something that she finds inspiring – and definitely worth sharing.
Written by Sana