JW Marriot had stirred up a lot of curiosity for a lot many months in the city, before it opened its doors for guests. And finally when it did open for guests, such was the rush that it was nearly impossible to get a booking at the JW Kitchen. So on 28th December, I was pretty pepped up to join some friends for dinner there, on an invitation from Communications 2.0. The place looked regal, yet modern with its gigantic pillars and clean geometric lines.
The huge space, partitioned from the lounge, on the ground floor itself, was bustling with happy faces and happier tummies. So I wasted no time and started taking a look at their buffet spread. And O-M-G! The line was almost never-ending. Divided into four sections, with a live kitchen in front of each, the spread looked enticing indeed.
I tried making mental notes of all that I should try, but soon got confused and came back to my seat instead. However, that wasn’t too bad a decision, as the Watermelon Mojito and the Father Micheal’s Burrata Sampler were already waiting for me at the table.
Watermelon is something I strictly associate with sultry summers. Hence that being a cold, (well, by Calcutta standards!) winter night, wasn’t the perfect setting for me to enjoy the cooling drink. Cheese however, needs no specific season or time to be enjoyed by me. Hence the generous blob of creamy Italian cheese, served with lovely tomatoes to provide the tangy contrast, was a sheer delight and the perfect kick-start to a wonderful meal.
Next came the Pulled BBQ Jackfruit Sliders, with sides of french fries and salad. Jackfruit is something that most of us, Bengalis, have grown up eating in the form of chunky dices, in a spicy, brown gravy with our ever constant staple of white rice. So to see the much familiar ‘Echor’ in this firang avatar was almost a cultural shock. However, the shock was soon absorbed, and was smoothly transformed into a surprise, and a rather pleasant one at that! The pseudo-meaty filling, in fluffy, buttery buns intercepted with mouthfuls of the long, slender golden fries was familiar and comforting on one hand, and new and exciting at the same time.
Next in line was my favourite plate for the night, the gorgeous Black Pepper crusted Salmon in warm Quinoa Broccoli Salad and Lemon Herb Butter. The flaky, pink fish topped with rockets and asparagus, placed on a pool of lemon-butter emulsion over a bed of salad, was a scene straight out of my dreams, on a blue plate. For me, it needed a touch of seasoning, but once that was added, it tasted amazing, with the butter and the pepper adding warmth to every mouthful.
Then came the Burmese Khow Suey, with an assortment of condiments. Now who can say no to a warm bowl of silky, coconut-y, yellow broth! I love a good khao-suey, and it’s almost like a treasure hunt, with something new in each spoonful, be it crunchy noodles, hard-boiled eggs or pieces of poultry. I feel almost like an over-excited kid, adding the condiments and slurping on the warm soupy mixture happily!
At this point, all of us at the table decided to go around and try out the items on buffet. Though there was hardly any tummy space left, I took generous helpings of their salads. The wide array of cold cuts, dressings and veggies is sure to make any salad-lover do a happy dance, right in front of their salad counter. Mention must be made of the beautiful, ceramic salad bowls, with doubled the happiness instantly. But sadly, couldn’t try much else as I knew the desserts were too good to miss.
Thankfully, I went back to the JW Kitchen again, for my birthday dinner the very next week, with two of my school friends. And this time around, I got to try the buffet properly. The daal-bati churma counter was a great thing, and so were the live counters. The only complaint was that the counter serving satays was very slow, and our satays reached our table almost an hour after we had ordered it, in spite of two reminders in between, while we were half-way through our desserts.
As they say, all is well that ends well. And what better way to end a big, beautiful meal with some pretty looking, sweet bites. The Berry Classico was definitely the show-stealer on 28th. The shades of red and pink adorned the plate, and I almost didn’t have the heart to destroy it and turn the plate into what looks like a crime scene. But a hungry woman has to do what she has to do. So I plunged mt spoon deep and plundered the plate, while laughing a maniacal laughter. Aaaah! The berries, the mousse, the ice-cream all came together with their different tastes and textures and created magic inside the mouth.
They also have a waffle counter, and I had the warm, crispy-outside-soft-inside waffles with a good drizzling of caramel sauce and white chocolate chips. However, on both days the creme brule got over before I could grab one. Thankfully there were tons of other options to keep me happy and engaged.
So those in Kolkata looking for a good buffet, this is definitely the place to go to now. Happy Eating!
Breakfast: 7:00 am – 10:30 am;
Lunch: 12:30 – 3:00 pm;
Dinner: 7:00 pm – 11:30 pm
Buffet Charges (All Days)
Breakfast: INR 650++