Elevated above Dubai’s business district, on Sheikh Zayed Road, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is the world’s tallest hotel: at a height of 355 metres it is just 26 metres shorter than the Empire State Building in New York. The hotels jaw dropping twin towers are inspired by the local date palm, a symbol highly evocative of Arabian culture, and replicates in its detailing the plants jagged trunk. Two organic beacons jetting out of the desert and into the bleating sun.
I arrived at the lunching hour, greeted as my SUV pulled into the driveway by a choir of white jacketed attendants eager to pop open the door and welcome me with a smile. I took a quick tour of the hotels rooftop swimming pool and bar which had me squirming with delight. The pool without a ripple, acted like an ultramarine mirror reflecting the surrounding skyscrapers into a massive aquatic landscape. Palms fill the space while contemporary lawn furniture and deck beds provide tan-fans the ultimate comfort.
After wowing myself, primed for a plunge in the 40 degree desert heat I turned on my heels in search for a midday feast. The JW Marriott Marquis has a staggering 14 restaurants and bars on property. I’d be dining that afternoon at their sprawling Kitchen 6 concept, an international buffet featuring Asian woks, Middle Eastern grills, European breads and Indian tandoors. After touring around each station I decided to focus my energies on three live cooking stations. The restaurant’s executive chef spruced up a few plates with his favourite dishes inspired by culinary creations from India, Asia and Arabia.
While waiting for each region to whisk itself under my nose I sipped on a refreshing flute of Moet Chandon champagne. I closed my eyes and tried to travel back to Epernay, France where not so long ago I found myself marching through the wineries famous underground caves. As I travel around the globe I constantly find myself amazed by the globalization of the world today. That in the middle of the Emirate desert one can enjoy a hundred year old bottle of tried-tested-and-true champagne makes me pause and smile.
I had my heart set on devouring the massive dessert table but after adventuring my way through eight dishes I felt defeated and instead called my driver and zoomed back to my hotel for a much needed food coma induced power nap.
Butter Chicken: marinated with yoghurt and spices overnight then cooked with tomato gravy, cream, butter and dried fenugreek leaves
Vegetable Biryani: basmati rice, vegetables, Desi ghee, spices and saffron and served with indian pickles, poppadum and yoghurt raita
Beef Rendang: Spicy meat dish prepared with beef, coconut milk, ground spices, galangal
Nasi Lamak: Malaysian rice preparation cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf
Crispy Chili Beef: Deep-fried beef tossed with Asian ground spices
Chicken Shakria: Shredded chicken cooked with sliced onion and yoghurt sauce
Mixed grill: Shish kebab, Shish taouk, Lamb Kafta
Hot mezze: Cheese sambousek, spinach Fatayer and Meat Kibbeh