“Kuzbara is the Arabic word for Coriander. This aromatic and zesty herb has for millenniums influenced cuisines across the globe.” Kuzbara
It’s exciting times for Marriott International as the worldwide hotel chain extends its global presence following the merger with Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Locally here in Abu Dhabi we are celebrating the opening of the first Marriott Hotel that also offers fully serviced Marriott Executive Apartments in the capital. The centrally located Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi opened last month offering hotel rooms and apartments right in the heart of the city.
Alongside its five-star accommodation choices Marriott Downtown offers an array of food and beverage options to cater for both the tourist and resident market. Marriott’s signature classic American steakhouse JW Steakhouse serves dry-aged premium cuts paired with classic steakhouse sides, Velocity Sports Bar offers a menu of burgers, lobster and wings served with draft and craft beers, Central Grounds coffee shop is perfect for that caffeine fix and Kuzbara, the all-day dining restaurant presents global cuisine influenced by the coriander trail.
The other half and I were invited to sample Kuzbara, which means coriander in Arabic, earlier this week. Much like most hotel all-day dining areas the modern space is cavernous and well-lit offering diners the choice of many dishes from live and interactive theatre kitchens. When a restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner I sometimes find the quantity of food produced overtakes the quality, is it a really good breakfast place that also opens for lunch and dinner or does it serve a fantastic dinner menu but also happens to serve breakfast, you get the idea. So what sets Kuzbara apart from other five-star buffet restaurants in the capital? I’m pleased to report that its diverse dinner menu offers a tasty selection of Asian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influenced dishes, the well trained attentive staff are a bonus, I cannot comment on its breakfast or lunch options.
Notable dishes came from the live curry station cooked to order, there was roast chicken with real British-like roast potatoes, a good array of homemade artisan breads, a separate section of amazing handcrafted chocolate desserts using Valrhona gourmet chocolate (the chocolate brownies and macaroons were most noteworthy) that sits alongside even more sweet selections followed by cheese and biscuits to finish the meal. As a vegetarian there were plenty of options, the Melanzane Parmigiana was impressive, it’s my favourite Italian dish so I’ve tried many variations over the years, Kuzbara’s interpretation is up there with the best I’ve ever eaten.
The salads were fresh and plentiful alongside a range of Arabic cold mezuzah, the restaurant’s flaming pizza oven is put to good use with a pizza of the day, the chef even made me a vegetarian option upon request, nothing is too much trouble and all manner of dietary needs can be accommodated. We were presented with refreshing fruit infused water, fruity mocktails, fresh juices, premium beverages along with teas and coffees all on offer to compliment the food.
Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi is a large property (hence the need for a massive all-day dining restaurant) with three hundred and fifteen guest rooms and sixty-four fully serviced one, two and three bedroom apartments. Facilities include a rooftop pool, a fitness centre and later this year the Saray Spa and Health Club will open with six treatment rooms offering ageless rituals and invigorating treatments.
Kuzbara ticks many boxes, while the restaurant itself may be huge it’s buffet selection is not oversized affording guests the luxury of not having to traipse up and down too much, the food is tasty and well presented, we found the staff to be very friendly, welcoming and efficient. In all honestly I wouldn’t choose this setup for a more intimate meal, while the live cooking stations provide some entertainment overall it lacks ambiance, the multi-purpose space is way too bright for dinner and your dining companion/s are constantly on the move as you progress through the courses and stations much like brunch. However what does work really well are the abundance of options available to cater to all palettes, the chocolate section alone make it well worth a visit.
Location: Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi, Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street, Abu Dhabi
Telephone: 02 304 7777
Opening Times: Daily 6:00am – 11:00pm (click here to see a sample menu)
Kuzbara has a BBQ and Hops night every Thursday night for AED 195 per person including food and selected beverages – click here for the details.
I was invited to review Kuzbara. All views are my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved. Additional photos used courtesy of www.marriottdowntownabudhabilife.com