During a Twitter conversation about places to eat on a Thursday evening ‘Street Food’ at the Marriott was recommended as a place to go. I needed very little persuading to go and check it out but when I heard that an Entertainer voucher could also be used within 10 minutes I’d had a phone call back to confirm our reservation!
When we arrived just before 7pm it was fairly quiet, we were greeted and shown to our table within Salsa restaurant. The table we were given was really close to the band (great if your with a group for a party) but we felt it would be too loud so we asked if we could move and without hesitation were offered a table in Taj Rasoi the Indian restaurant where it was a little quieter. On Thursday evening you can sit in any of the hotel restaurants located along a corridor then just wander in and out of all the restaurants to the different live cooking stations.
We were given a glass of delicious mango lassi then told we could go to any of the cooking stations to get food and any of the fridges to get drinks. We were taken back by just how big the ‘market’ was – stalls from various nationalities with their wares beautifully displayed, music playing, food sizzling, cardboard signage, flags, people wandering and interacting with the ‘vendors’ it was lots of fun. It’s a good concept well executed, lots of effort gone into giving the impression of no effort. When we thought we’d come to the end of all the cooking stations we found a room which was designed like a fish market where you could select fresh fish (hammour, mussels, shrimp, crab, snapper, lobster) then hand it over to be cooked and then collected 30 minutes later. The staff here were really friendly and helpful.
I started with British – beef stew in a tin, a mini shepherds pie in a foil tray and a wedge of pie. All delicious comfort food. Due to the Street Food theme everything is sold in paper or foil trays, plastic or paper cups, polystyrene cups or paper cones and you simply grab a tray and make your selections. Everything is cooked fresh to order so you can choose your own ingredients and personalise it to your taste. Greg loved the Japanese pancakes, samosas, tacos and spring rolls. I enjoyed sweet potato wedges, beef brisket, ceviche and satay skewers. The fish we had ordered was fantastic too especially the lobster.
We were absolutely sold on the Street Food concept, it’s different to what other places are doing and it was fun wandering , watching, eating and being bombarded with sounds and smells from faraway places. By 9pm it was getting quite busy and there were lots of families eating together, I think this would be a perfect place to hold a party or bring a large group too. We will definitely return and recommend it as a great way to spend a Thursday evening.
Throughout the meal service was good. There were staff all around so if you needed something you could just call them over, tables were cleared quickly. My one piece of feedback though would be to put more napkins on each table as it got quite messy! We opted for the soft drinks package priced at 240QR each but as we used our Entertainer voucher we only paid for one meal, an absolute bargain!