If there’s one place my family simply loves to frequent when hunger strikes, it has got to be China Kitchen. The evidence of our repeated visits is shown by the staff who always greet us with hearty smiles whenever we walk through the door.
Tucked away in a quiet lane on Hamad Al Mubarak Street, China Kitchen isn’t one of those places that scream for attention. It doesn’t need to. With a steady stream of regular visitors and plenty of take away requests, they seem to be in pretty good shape.
This is a cosy little place with a pleasant ambience where the food will definitely be worth what you pay. The line on their menu sums it up perfectly - ‘Small in size, big in taste.’
For starters, we almost always go for the Steamed Dumplings, either chicken or beef. (The restaurant also offers shrimp). What makes these dumplings irresistible is the unique sauce that accompanies them. They also have a number of other starters such as Sesame Prawn on toast, besides soups and a variety of spring rolls.
Like any Chinese restaurant they offer a range of fried rice, chow mein, chop suey and a modest variety of noodles to go with your meal. What sets China Kitchen apart is that it lets you decide what you would like your dish prepared with -- be it chicken, beef or sea food. The vegetable fried rice is actually one of our favourites.
The main course also has a number of choices but we invariably go for Chicken with Black Pepper Sauce or Beef cooked in a Mongolian sauce. Chicken with Mushroom and Bamboo Shoot is also worth trying.
My son absolutely loves their Singaporean noodles so that’s usually one dish we order. The super thin noodles seem easier to digest. I wonder if they make them the same way in Singapore as they do in Kuwait.
We have ordered China Kitchen’s food for a few house parties and their food has never let us down. Somehow we still prefer eating at the venue. Bobby, the main attendant at the restaurant once said, “When all of you come here we feel like family has arrived.”
If there is one thing I can recommend, it’s that they include more desserts in their menu. With just banana and apple toffee on their menu we have to often look elsewhere to end the meal on a sweet note.
We’ve spent many pleasant evenings in this kitchen and it is one place I will miss when I leave this city. I remember a visit when my son was coughing and the staff rushed to us with honey to soothe his throat. The gesture is one that not only stopped his cough but warmed our hearts as well.
China Kitchen is located in Salmiya, Area 2, Hamad Al Mubarak St and is open from 11 am to 11 pm.
(This piece will shortly be published in Bazaar magazine's Dining Guide).