When it comes to shopping and dining in the city, there are endless options on the horizon. From the streets of the old Mubarakiya souq, to the amazing new high-rises that grace Kuwait city’s skyline, you’re truly never at a loss for choice. What does one do, however, when they’ve got a crazy hankering for contemporary Indian cuisine (Who could ever resist it?), but can’t handle the outside heat? You simply head to Arraya Complex and let the Zen vibes take over. You look at the charmingly merchandised shop windows and indulge in a few key pieces you’ve been coveting for some time. Then, take a leisurely jaunt over to the sleek and modern Marriott Courtyard for an incredible meal at Soul and Spice—the specialized Indian eatery that serves up delectable dishes showcasing the nation’s rich culinary landscape.
Before you walk through the sleek, modern façade of Soul and Spice, you can’t help but stop at the entrance to admire the beautiful regalia they’ve got on display on a contemporary console, a playful hint at the culinary experience that is soon to follow. Walk through the doors, and let the warm and inviting vibes take over. Shades of dark red and royal blue are cleverly juxtaposed against earthy tones. Glamorous chandeliers elegantly showcase the rich mahogany wood paneling along one wall, and towards the back of the restaurant you can see the open kitchen through glass panels to watch the action taking place. Tandoori grills are fired up, you take your seat, and let the festive feast ensue.
At Soul and Spice, you can opt to go down the classic route of ordering separate appetizers and mains, but you can also order a bunch of dishes from different parts of the restaurant’s varied menu to share with your loved ones. Because this establishment is all about cooking from the soul, we thought we’d share in this special spirit as well. The first dish we tried, the Dahi Puri Chat, offered Indian street food with panache. Our eyes eagerly danced over the clever presentation of this classical favorite that is comprised of crisp Puri rolls seasoned with handmade spices gently placed over mashed sweet potato and lentil and finished with a generous tamarind glaze.
Perhaps what we love most about Soul and Spice is the exquisite, modern presentation of international ingredients that are expertly prepared using traditional techniques. From the tandoor oven, we opted for classics like chicken but prepared with two different marinades: Mint and coriander, and classically spiced. The result, bold flavors that beautifully warmed the soul. Then came the amazing modern option of the Tandoori Phool, where crunchy broccoli florets are flavored with garlic, chat masala, and lemon juice and fired up in the tandoor oven. Not only were we surprised at this clever offering, but we thought that it paired wonderfully with our succulent pieces of chicken because the contrast in texture was beyond pleasing, and the broccoli was a hearty change to traditional rice.
An important note that is truly worthy of mention is the impeccable presentation of all of the dishes at Soul and Spice. They say that you eat with your eyes first, and as soon as each dish came to our table, our eyes lingered at the artfully plated dishes. Don’t be fooled into thinking that modern presentation means a lack of flavor, as our tandoor offerings were well-seasoned, and the flavors sang together.
Still craving some seafood, next came several delightful shrimp-based dishes that were complemented with Bhindi Singhada—cubed okra pieces with water chestnut and julienned ginger, all of which are presented with a charred chilli rested on top of this mix. We fell in love with this hearty vegetarian offering, from texture, presentation to flavor. As for satisfying that intense craving for shrimp, we cooled down our palates by taking bites out of the super zesty and fresh Jhinga Aur Makhanphal Salad, a yummy concoction of prawns, avocado, mango and orange. To heat things up again, we switched the cool salad with the crunchy and delicious Tilwali Jhinga. Finished off with a sesame crust, the tiger prawns in this dish also came with a scrumptious tomato chutney.
Because we went for a long and leisurely lunch at Soul and Spice, we really had no room left for dessert! However, a quick scan of the menu quickly had us planning our next visit. Who could ever resist the thought of Masala Chai-infused Crème Brulee?
If it’s classics that you’re craving, then you can rest easy at Soul and Spice. From favorites like Biryani, Butter Chicken, and your favorite lamb dishes, the menu at this establishment will take you on a wondrous culinary journey across India but with a globalized modern presentation. From reimagined tandoor using broccoli and Hammour to a cozy, hearty Dal Makhni, our tummies, and souls, were satisfied at Soul and Spice.
Soul and Spice is located in Marriott Courtyard, in Kuwait City on Shuhada Street. Join them for lunch or dinner by calling 2299 7000 for reservations. Photography by Muneera Alkhulaifi, @I9ora on Instagram.