There are always so many great places to eat at (or from) in Kuwait, but there are always a few favorites that we hold near and dear to our tummies. One of those favorites, is without a question, Zaatar W Zeit.
When this beloved eatery made its way from Beirut to Kuwait 12 years ago, those who were familiar with versatile Lebanese eats were overjoyed, and those who were new to the concept didn’t know what they were in for. Till this very day, it’s rare that you’ll walk into a Zaatar W Zeit (ZWZ) restaurant without finding it filled with happy diners, engrossed in great food and good conversation and company. But its fill is never overwhelming, and each of their eight locations in Kuwait offers a lovely atmosphere to feel comfortable spending time in.
And then there’s the food – oh, glorious food! One of the greatest things about ZWZ is how flexible their menu’s contents are! It’s one of the few places you could confidently frequent to enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks and tea in between! Though their menu seems to be simple, it’s in fact, bursting with originality in modern flavors used to adapt classical traditions. While it always has creature comforts such as their award-winning manakeesh selection (possibly, the staple they’re most known for throughout the region) as well as pizzas and sweet and savory wraps, ZWZ keeps us on our toes with their items on offer, by updating the menu and creating great new dishes to introduce unforgettable flavors to our palates.
So, why don’t we try some of those new dishes, then? Because it’s always fun to step out of your comfort zone and understand what greatness you can get out of any eatery’s menu! We decided to munch on some Hummus and Crackers while we waited for other goodies to arrive, and let us tell you— this appetizer was a promising start that foreshadowed an amazing production to follow. ZWZ is known for making all of its baked goods from scratch, in house, fresh daily, and these crackers were no exception! Paired with a delightful homemade hummus that’s been seasoned with freshly chopped veggies like zucchini and tomato, each crunch was as pleasurable as the last. But seriously, the crackers: don’t be surprised if you end up munching on them without the dip!
Of course, what’s a lovely meal without a fresh, light and healthy salad? Luckily, their new Chicken Kale Salad: made with kale, flax seeds, dried apricots, green thyme, purslane and a beautifully seasoned grilled chicken breast cut into inviting strips to share (or indulge in for yourself!). What was great about this dish, drizzled lightly with a traditional holy-grail type of dressing comprising of lemon and olive oil, is that it worked so well as a meal to satisfy, satiate and accommodate any health-conscious person’s appetite post workout, or during a clean eating program. Tip: It’s Paleo, Atkins and Whole30 friendly!
What came next doesn’t fall into a carb-free category, but it maintained ZWZ’s quintessential light flavor. With the newly introduced Street Food section on the menu, ZWZ brings a twist to tradition by creating a Kafta and Muhammara Wrap made with their renowned homemade dough. Flaky, light, and ever-so-pleasurable, the ZWZ rendition of street food sandwiches was ready to kill!
Just when we thought we couldn’t have any more, however, a delightful Wild Thyme manakeesh made its way to our table. We happily obliged; because you can’t not have manakeesh when you visit ZWZ! Also, Wild Thyme indeed sounded like a wild time to us – and it really was! Spiced with extra sumac, the flatbread delivered a sweet and savory, yet nutty mix of flavors that was complimented perfectly with the signature multi-cereal dough it was sandwiched between. This is definitely our idea of a perfect, light breakfast, dinner or snack option.
And while we’re on the subject of the plethora of dough variations offered at ZWZ, we have a lovely life hack for you: you could stick to the mouthwatering traditional dough they use to create their delicious sandwiches and flatbreads with, or you could opt for substitutions with their multi-cereal dough or their brand new oat dough! We had an oat dough Labneh wrap, and to be honest, I don’t think I can ever go back to white bread when it comes to eating the traditional clotted cream. Nutty, floury, delicious and extremely satisfying with flavors bursting with tart, refreshing hints of mint.
But what’s life without a little something sweet? Pair that with a Lebanese restaurant, and you know what you’ll be getting – all the knefeh! And because it’s ZWZ in particular, you can very well expect that the infamous dessert will come with a gastronomically elevated twist! Expectations were exceeded when not one, but two, variations of the knefeh were set before us. One of which was presented in “wrap” style, would be with the mixture of mozzarella cheese, caramelized vermicelli and rosewater syrup sandwiched between two thin slices of sesame bread. Breaking it apart to share brings the ultimate pull that is more than Instagram-worthy.
And then, in its own little cast-iron pan, comes the Knefeh in the Pan – an artfully displayed platter of hot, hot, hot knefeh accompanied with little circles of homemade sesame bread, (similar to its wrapped-up cousin mentioned above) and a lovely little tub of sugary rosewater syrup for the sake of free drizzling. Imagine how lovely this dish is to share, and think of all the mini knefeh tacos you can create while enjoying it!
What’s even better about ZWZ’s homemade knefeh dishes is that they take this dessert so seriously, that it’s always made in its own, special little oven so that its taste and outcome are never tampered with. It just goes to show that you can modernize the tradition of knefeh all you want, but it should always be treated with respect. Thank you, Zaatar W Zeit, for recognizing that, as you’ve done with all the other delicious offerings on your timeless menu. This is why, no matter what you’re craving, Zaatar W Zeit is always a good idea, and will always remain close to our hearts as a one stop eatery that’s deigned to satisfy.
Zaatar W Zeit has eight great locations around Kuwait. Find the one closest to you by calling 1800 333. Follow them on Instagram @zaatarwzeitkw for the latest updates!