Ruby Tuesday’s Kuwait Ghabqa
Ranting about how I sometimes feel left out because I wave so many events and personal invites, I decided to leave kid & Dear Nanny over at my parents to attend a media ghabqa (Ramadan gathering) which both my husband & I were invited to. I didn’t even bother to change attire and went ahead with what I wore at work after Iftar. I have to tell you I had double thoughts on leaving Alma yet I had to make an appearance since Ruby Tuesday team was nice enough to remember us.
Whether you know this or not by now, if there’s one thing I hate that would be going to such gatherings since and especially in Kuwait, all it revolves around is Sheesha (Hookak smoking) – NOT that am not a fan God forbid :p but I stated here several times before that such gathering has same people from same agencies – companies not to neglect of course reporters and photographers and all that is to be done is pose for cameras just for the sake of poor PR which is abused around this part of the world and that’s MY OWN POINT OF VIEW, go ahead and bash if you don’t agree!
Upon arrival I was surprised to see the staff wearing traditional Egyptian costumes.. a nice change for us and I bet for the ladies since they were in Nancy Ajram’s belly dancer jellabeya (dress) lol nonetheless, they looked cute. The guys on the other hand were in their kaftans if I may call them that.
Now, on Twitter someone tweeted nasty about this and I am quoting but not precisely ” El falappan ta7awwallaw sa3ayda” = Filipinos turned into Egyptian peasants! uha dumb F*** could you be any more racist! It’s an occasion for god’s sake let people do what they want and have some decency to express whatever you have on mind in a better way! Moving on..
The entire restaurant was decorated to simulate Khan Al Khalili or an original Egyptian “Ramadanic” setting which is an effort that RT people are thanked and appreciated for since I never got to spend Ramadan in Egypt. Fabric as I was told was imported from Egypt as well as other setting props just to give it an authentic touch and the right ambiance.
Of course the entire team of Ruby Tuesday was present including their American GM, Marketing Team, OPS team and there was the picture taking frenzy
Right to left, Mr. Hussain – Marketing Manager at RT, Ms. Noor – SM Executive and sadly the last guy whose name I didn’t catch
I didn’t get mt camera so I had to make do with what my iPhone could offer and I roamed around snapping shots of what’s new, I didn’t take pics of the buffet which I will get back to below. Since it’s an Egyptian ghabqa – setting, RT displayed carts with food items mainly associated to the Egyptian cuisine:
This is the koshari guy or what I call the gazillion calories dish consisting of pasta, rice, lentils, fried onions and sauce … BAS!
Ok, I don’t know the name of this appetizer – dish but it’s boiled chickpeas and they add chili sauce and I think a vinaigrette to it
This pot is used in Egypt to cook – serve fava beans (foul) and hommous (chickpeas)
Foul Medammes cart and Belila (boiled wheat grains) and those dishes are very much desired in Ramadan specially for suhoor since they are fulfilling for fasting people.
This was my favorite station, 1- the guy is sweet 2- I am a sucker for grilled sweet potatoes!
I had no clue what was in the “Ollas” = traditional Egyptian water clay bottles!
That was the outer part – main part of the restaurant and for sheeshas we were directed to the back side where the private hall is located. I never blogged about it since I didn’t feel to post about my husband’s B-Day party which was held in their functions’ room but it’s a great place; you can basically gather loved ones and enjoy a spacious room with customized menus + entertainment for a reasonable price. I booked it for around 40 pax along with a rich dinner buffet + drinks and got the DJ who offered photography (stills and video) for a great deal! All I can share now is a pic of the cake done by [ A Little Sugar ], of course delicious as always!
Banana Cinnamon chocolate goodness with figurines of us (Yes, the peasant lady in Green head scarf is me) lol
The entire room looked nothing like I last left it!
My only take is that the place was stuffy and hot, sheesha smoking requires open areas and I think everyone invited wanted sheesha so the place was too small to accommodate all.
For entertainment, RT got an Egyptian folklore dancer along with the guy that shows up in movies, crazy- in a dress with lots of necklaces round his neck holding an incense burner chanting over people’s head to protect them from evil eye. Outside in their garden there was a mini show of the dancer, crazy evil eye dude as well as the “dancing horse” <– a guy in a horse costume prancing around (I felt sorry for him to be honest)
Here’s a video
Here’s where I dish out all my honest to god thoughts about the whole event and some things aside and I do hope that those comments are taken positively and with good spirit since I for one, am a RT fan:
1. Ghabqas usually take place late night because people have to eat well for suhoor to manage through a long day of fasting, besides what was shown above, there was a salad bar. I totally understand that with a certain type of crowd, one has to cut down but to me food options were poor and don’t think I went to eat, all I had was a glass of lemonade (small if I may add) and one small sweet potato so NO I didn’t go for the food but I’m just saying…
2. If you’re inviting a certain group of people to show your hard work, you should consider closing the place – no access for walk-ins or those who are not invited because I had the feeling that a number of people just crashed in and enjoyed the night for free which costs you money no?!
3. Entertainment should have been done inside since it was flaming hot outdoors. I get that there’s no space but a live band would have been equally nice :)
4. Sheesha place was too small, move it out and add fans!
5. I read comments – tweets from some who were present and I could easily name them but I shall refrain, 1. you were invited so respect the place and people! 2. No one forced you to come! 3. You don’t have to be an A.H and complain ESPECIALLY when you don’t go out empty handed and you know what am talking about! As long as you’re showing up act professional as you claim you are and be sincere to your opinion.
6. This is to the companies who thinks having too many events and giveaways help; One single bad unintended incident could come crashing down on you and we’ve read so many bad reviews more often when a certain group of people revisit the business whether food industry of general services so stop abusing social media for god’s sake thinking if you simply invite you’ll get a “great” feedback and in the case of Ruby Tuesday I could totally relate. I give you 2 solutions: 1. Stop doing invites and have more trust in your diner and confidence in your product / service because let’s say it this way: you don’t know to make things better but use events to promote – test new items on your menu or for special events and be selective knowing that whomever you invite would add value. Blogging, micro- blogging or even journalism won’t do you justice as you emphasize more on introducing new things and creating “news” for your business. Second solution is set up a considerable budget for gifts since that’s how things roll now! Oh, We were handed as we were leaving a voucher for KD15 for dining at RT.. Useless to me and sorry to be frank but last week we bought vouchers for a considerable amount of money at their value rate for Iftar at their place.. It’s not the issue of giveaways.
At the end I would like to again, thank Ruby Tuesday’s Kuwait team for the invite and salute their efforts and wish them more success in the future. *Waves Hi to Amy, Hussain, Mohammed & Nour* :) You were my first ghabqa this year and I had fun catching up with some acquaintance.