When it comes to Kuwait’s Indian cuisine scene, we can all agree that it is definitely both vibrant and varied. From fun destinations for street food classics, to a deluxe, indulgent meal at a five-star hotel, Kuwait’s penchant for Indian cuisine cannot be stopped. After all, it is deeply rooted in this nation’s heritage, when spices from the Asian subcontinent made it to our shores and the greater Arabian peninsula.
Today, this culinary heritage is celebrated at House of Lavan, Kuwait’s latest Indian dining concept that seamlessly fuses exquisite, authentic flavors presented in an artfully designed, contemporary atmosphere.
You can’t miss Lavan’s location in Kuwait City, as it is situated in the classic Sharq distict, on Khaled Bin Al Waleed St. As soon as you step through the restaurant’s majestic wooden doors, your mood is instantly uplifted. Completely bathed in natural light, bespoke shades of teal bring to life a backdrop of incredible wood detailing adorning the walls. Mid-century inspired chairs, completely carved out of wood, and a lavish, saffron colored sofa will command your attention, which is then interrupted by the tantalizing aromas rising from the kitchen.
Now that the mood is set, the time has come to feast. For our Lavan experience, we first needed to start off by truly understanding the meaning of this establishment’s name. Translated from the Sanskrit word for ‘salt’, Lavan pays tribute to this universal ingredient that adds the perfect balance to any dish. Salt is restorative by nature, and this notion stayed with us as we began to sample Lavan’s delightful dishes.
At Lavan, history serves as inspiration to deliver diners with original, authentic regional Indian flavors done with flair. The friendly staff will happily guide you through the menu, taking their time to explain the history and origin of each and every dish.
We began our foray with the Sweet Potato Chat, a street food classic, prepared with roasted sweet potato marinated in a sweet yogurt that is cut by aromatic mint and mango chutney, tamarind sauce, and gram flour crisps. From the very start, we fell in love with the expert balance of flavors and textures in this dish, only to find ourselves eager to try the roast baby potato rendition. From chat, we moved on to the Chicken Curry Leaf, a simple appetizer dish that still packs bags of flavor from the signature Lavan curry masala and sweet chili sauce.
You can’t miss the traditional tandoor at Lavan, as the aromatic spices are released by the fiery coals of this special oven to first evoke a sense of wonder when you walk into the restaurant, long before you’ve laid your eyes on the amazing tandoor dishes that are on offer! We felt quite adventurous, and decided on the Lamb Seekh Kebeb—with lots of chili! As soon as the dish arrived to our table, the beautiful scent of the char of the tandoor fire wafted through, as well as the fragrant fresh coriander, ginger, garlic, chili and incredible spices that went into these fine pieces of ground lamb.
Find more amazing options from the tandoor, from chicken tikka, Hamour tikka to glorious lobster. To complete the experience, we opted for the fluffiest, flakiest and easily some of the best tandoor butter naan that we’ve ever tried in Kuwait. You can get your naan with garlic, cheese, or even basic and plain at Lavan, and you can even order classics like Roti and Paratha—all prepared from the magnificent tandoor.
As with any Indian restaurant, we all hark for classics like curry, Butter Chicken and biryani. At Lavan, these classics are completely elevated to deliver an unmatched experience. We cannot suggest the Bamboo Dum Biryani enough—especially with its immaculate presentation! Once again, all our senses were suddenly heightened as the dish made its way to our table. Prepared in a circular bamboo pot of sorts, every element in this dish sang.
The saffron basmati rice was moist and fluffy, the chicken breast so succulent and tender, the crunch of the cashews offered a pleasant textural crunch, all rounded together by the expertly balanced spices.
Looking for something different? Then go for the Lavan Special Biryani, prepared with goat meat, cashew nut, coconut paste, special spices and their beautiful saffron basmati rice. As for the richly spiced butter chicken, it was pleasantly light and refreshing, and didn’t weigh down our appetites. We asked for more chili, and the friendly staff rushed over an overflowing plate of fresh peppers.
After our wonderful culinary journey, the time for dessert came, and with it, a modern take on classic kulfi with the Caramel Kulfi and Gulab Jamun with Homemade Saffron Ice cream. We first dug our cutlery into the traditional Indian dumplings, soaking up as much of that addictive sugar syrup as we possibly could, only to find that sweetness sharply cut by the zing of the saffron ice cream.
From there, we indulged in the super-interesting caramel kulfi with pistachio and cotton candy, and once again we noticed the Lavan’s fine attention to flavor, as well as texture, which made this dessert truly sublime to experience. Pair any of Lavan’s lovely desserts with your choice of coffee or tea, and you’ve got it made. We simply cannot wait to revisit Lavan to try more of their refined delicacies.
Visit House of Lavan in Sharq, Khaled Bin Al Waleed St. Lunch is served from 1:00 p.m. onwards! For more information, follow @HouseofLavan on Instagram.