When hunger strikes after spending a long, leisurely day shopping with a couple of friends, what do you crave? If it’s home cooking but you’re not quite ready to go home, saunter down the steps of Marina Mall’s scenic courtyard facing Salem Al Mubarak Street to one of Kababji’s delicious dine-in restaurants!
Walking into Kababji’s Marina location is like walking into your home. It offers an air of nostalgia that only your favorite childhood Lebanese food eatery can give but in a modern, contemporary light. Split into two seating areas, indoor and outdoor, you’re automatically witnessing different patrons enjoying their food, argeeleh (shisha pipes) and each other’s company over plates filled with their Kababji favorites. A long bread-making and grilling station adorns the front to display grills, mana’eesh, ka’ak, and the famous puffy Lebanese bread being made fresh and in person. It’s all such an exciting experience, and yet so familiar all at once.
The environment surrounding the outdoor seating area only adds to the enjoyable experience at Kababji. Adorned with leaves surrounding the premises, whicker and linen accents make for a comfortable, earthy feel while dining. Rustic touches are added throughout, including our personal favorite detail: a decorative copper bicycle mounting a traditional Lebanese fire oven at the center of all the action.
Imagine lounging in such a scenario while sipping on the freshest drinks that we ordered: lemonade with mint, and a detoxifying pomegranate lemonade. Refreshing and tranquil, we were so excited for the arrival of our perfectly curated spread of newer items on their menu.
And then, like a tidal wave, it all started flowing: a creamy Hummus Beiruti, made with finely chopped parsley and a hint of pickles and mint; a plate of Eggplant Bekaa drizzled with Kababji’s special sauce, a satisfying Quinoa Tabbouleh and some heartwarming lentil soup from their new Soup of the Day section, served alongside crunchy bread – just like we do at home.
Home was key to this entire meal, as it brought along feelings of nostalgia, comfort, family affairs and holidays, but with a more modern twist. This was especially shown when selections of hot mezze with a bit more heft began pouring in. A platter of steaming hot, marinated sojuk sausage in a spicy tomato broth that pairs so perfectly with Kababji’s fresh bread. Dipping a gorgeously deep golden falafel into their signature taratoor tahini sauce takes Levantine lovers back to days spent perusing the streets of Beirut, in quest for the perfect falafel. And lest we forget: the masterpiece that is the Fattet Kabab with Cherry. For those of you who don’t know, Fatte is a classic Levantine dish comprised of homemade laban (yogurt), mixed in with crispy bread and a protein of sorts. This is a dish that mothers, aunts and grandmothers compete against each other for and go to great lengths to prove whose is better. Kababji’s fusion take on the classic dish gave it a comfortable, contemporary feel that wasn’t disrespectful towards tradition, making it hands down, our favorite dish of the day.
But then, we were faced with two pièces de résistance: the Spicy Kebab, and the Taouk with Herbs. The taouk was cooked to perfection, encrusted in a delicate compilation of herbs that compliment the tender protein perfectly. Pair it with some fresh, seasonal Spinach Salad, and you have yourselves a light and lovely meal! As for the Spicy Kabab, be warned: this isn’t for the faint of tongue. If you like your kabab spicy, then this dish will exceed your expectations! Made with Kababji’s signature, perfected spice mix, you’ll find your mouth pleasantly burning with the fieriness of this gorgeous dish – just don’t forget to combine it with some Hummos Beiruti for a bit of a balance!
As always, Kababji has not only satisfied our cravings for a fusion of modern cooking and traditional Lebanese barbecue, but it’s exceeded them as well. We now know where our go-to spot for relaxing, eating, smoking argeeleh and catching up on good times in a peaceful ambiance will be.
Treat yourself to Kababji at any of their 6 dine-in locations! We visited their flagship location at Marina Mall, on Salem Al Mubarak Street. Kababji is available for delivery online via talabat.com, or by calling them at 186 1616. Follow them on Instagram @kababji_kuwait.