Imagine a place where all your favorite cuisines meet and dance in harmony. Where every craving you have can be satisfied, and combined with anything else you could possibly want. Enter Crossroads, the prestigious JW Marriott’s newest addition to their list of esteemed dining destinations.
Once you walk through the grand doors of the restaurant, you know you’re in for something special. Through the intricate Morroccan-inspired intricate mosaic design sweeping edges of ceiling, mixed with an oriental, yet European art-deco motif, the “International” theme croons soulfully with every step you take, and every corner you find yourself in. From food to ambiance, it’s global, and done with taste.
Crossroads was crafted with even the pickiest of eaters in mind, giving diners options they never even thought they had. From buffet to a la carte, the restaurant boasts a range of options specializing in Italian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Indian, Japanese and Chinese, with sections dedicated to each cuisine, along with continental essentials enjoyed by all.
Upon entering the restaurant, to your left, you will notice the beautiful stone tagines on display, housing Middle Eastern comfort food favorites to be accompanied with rice. The next section shows an impressive, authentic tandoor, encased behind a clear glass barrier to shield diners from the impressive flames that appear when the tandoor is in full action, which is a show in and of itself, transforming you to the likes of the Mughal Empire. And obviously – tandoori isn’t tandoori unless it’s prepared with authenticity.
Next, we embark on a tour of Italy, where special ordered pasta is made fresh before your eyes, in any style that your palate desires. What’s even more impressive is the authentic brick-wood pizza oven used to make some of the best, mouthwateringly crusty pizza you will ever have the pleasure of biting into.
A buffet-style salad bar is abundant, placed invitingly on a crisply designed island that holds plates heaping generously with expertly mixed salads, crudité, and dressings and dips that are favored in the region.
Have a hankering for sushi and beautifully smoked salmon with delicate lemon wedges, ginger, wasabi and tangy capers? Enjoy their bar containing in-house made fresh on the spot sushi, mussels and exquisitely prepared squid, only to name a few of the delicacies they have on offer, encased behind a protective sliding glass window to maintain freshness.
Though we were tempted beyond belief, we had to resist the urge to pile our plates high with displayed delicacies galore, as we were about to tuck into a culinary experience prepared on a whole other level by key team member of Crossroad’s talented culinary team, Chef Amlesh Domee. Chef Amlesh generally guides Crossroad’s team of chefs under the patronage of Executive Chef Joseph Dcosta when preparing the vast dishes offered at the buffet and the a la carte menu
We were seated at the upper level dining area, which by a few short steps divides a lower level area that greets flooding light with its floor-to-ceiling windows lining the tables. Sat on the plush, comfortable and intimate booth, we picked at the fresh salads, salmon and sushi procured from the buffet line.
And then, our attention was drawn to Chef’s first great creation, a bleu cheese and parmesan salad on a bed of mixed greens with perfect wedges of tender avocado and halved cherry tomatoes sprinkled throughout. Paired with a glazed dressing of tangy balsamic, presentation and taste were at a match for this beautiful appetizer, and its burst of flavor prepped our palates for more goodness to come.
Next, we were presented with a platter of tempura-style jumbo prawns. What was most surprising about this dish was the usage of the angel-haired Kataifi pastry encasing the crustacean. Kataifi, which is most commonly used for regionally loved sweets such as Kunafa or Greek-style Baklava, provided a crunch that produced a sound so loud it could possibly be heard from the other side of the room. Paired with the plumpness of the prawn, this combination guarantees satisfaction and the fusion between Asian and Middle Eastern Mediterranean emulates the ethos of Crossroads’ international fare.
We were then invited to try Chef’s excellence in preparing meat dishes, and were given three different types of protein to sample: a beautifully crisp, roasted duck accompanying market vegetables, a succulent, slow cooked beef short-rib with a demi glace and meat so tender, it falls off the bone with even the slightest prod of your fork, and of course – an exquisite sea bass, paired with a delicate pile of potato au gratin, made from potatoes sliced so finely with a thin crust of parmesan cheese atop, baked to perfection: this dish provided a burst of flavor in the form of airy lightness, providing minimal heft for an otherwise indulgent concoction.
And of course, how could we pass up concluding such a gastronomically pleasing experience with an array of delicious desserts prepared by the resident pastry chef of the restaurant. We indulged in a rich slice of chocolate cake smeared with a thin layer of raspberry jam on top. Accompanied with a small jar of kumquat confit, the combination emulated a deconstructed take on the love of combining fruit with chocolate, and created a taste that is sure to satisfy all generations at the dining table.
Before leaving Crossroads, we rushed to the hypnotizing chocolate fountain placed near the dessert section of the buffet. Like children, we gaily perched with mounds of fruit upon skewers as we dipped, munched, and fantasized about ending every great meal this way.
Next time, breakfast – with of course, a sneaky poke at the chocolate fountain to end our experience on the sweetest note possible.
Crossroads is located on the ground floor of the JW Marriott Hotel in Kuwait City, Abdulaziz Hamad Al Saqer Street and is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Make a reservation today by calling 2245 5550, and follow @JWMarriottKuwait on Instagram.
Photography by Yousef Al Nasser.