In the past couple of years, contemporary concept cafes like Café Bazza, Haleeb oo Hail and Haleeb Khana, have started popping up all over Kuwait. But these aren't just any concept cafes; these are trendy, modern "neo-Kuwaiti" cafes.
These casual dining spots are as trendy as they are traditional. Serving local delicacies like Chai Haleeb (tea with milk), Gers Ogaily (saffron and cardamom infused cakes), Balaleet (sweet vermicelli pasta) and other Kuwaiti delights, many of these dining spots have a strong emphasis on design, juxtaposing the modern with the traditional.
Café Bazza's menu boasts traditional Kuwaiti food and Middle Eastern dishes. Its interiors boast strong attention to detail, with quirky contemporary artworks and a custom-recorded soundtrack of folkloric Kuwaiti songs. The dining spot has become so popular that it now has a number of locations in the country.
Haleeb oo Hail, (translation: Tea and Cardamom) is a small café located in Kuwait city at the bottom of a commercial building at the foot of the Mubarakiya district, one of the oldest market areas in Kuwait. The café’s menu is a blend of Kuwaiti and international dishes. During winter, sitting outside is a must, to experience the traditional act of boiling your tea over your own table’s charcoal-based fire.
Haleeb Khana, a corner café in Salmiya, takes its name from the Arabic word “Haleeb” meaning “milk” and the Persian and Turkish word “Khana”, meaning “place”. Offering a number of hot drinks and Arabic sweets, its interior is quaint, with multiple teapots on display – an homage to the various hot drinks on offer.