Brunch review: Flavours Unite by JW at JW Marriott Hotel, Riyadh
Read on to find out if this brunch buffet is worth your while…
There’s now more reason to visit JW Marriott Hotel Riyadh. The culinary team has kicked off a new Friday brunch, taking place every Friday from 1pm to 5pm. We head down to try its Flavours Unite by JW brunch concept.
Enter through the vast leather doors of JW Steakhouse on the ground floor, and you’ll be greeted by the grand JW Bar, arranged around a pretty tree in the centre. Here, you can get all the signature drinks that you want.
For the brunch, we’re seated at JW Glass Garden, the hotel’s other signature restaurant located within the same space. The dining room is light and airy, and it feels like you’re quite literally inside a glass box. The indoor space is visually connected with the gardens outside, taking diners out of the ordinary and immersing them in a green oasis.
The ceilings are adorned with greenery, where chefs and mixologists grow an extensive range of herbs and botanicals for their garden-fresh dishes and beverages. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows offer light and space, whilst hanging troughs provide gardening space for more herbs. There’s just something about being surrounded by nature, and you’ll feel like you’re in a garden or conservatory with lots of light and greenery, but without the heat.
The feast begins…
The Friday brunch hour at JW Marriott Hotel is certainly special. Unlike most hotel buffets, the newly launched Flavours Unite by JW brunch concept features the best dishes from the hotel’s three on-site restaurants: JW Steakhouse, JW Glass Garden and Kitchen on 3.
The moment you walk into the dining room, your attention will be grabbed by the selection of freshly baked breads next to the waffle and pancake stand. On the other side is a beautiful display of mango and strawberry yoghurt and muesli jars. Don’t miss this.
Our brunch starts with a plate of falafel and chips for sharing. Crunchy and green, the falafels disappear as soon as they hit the table.
We then load up our plate with the selections of hot and cold mezze from the JW Glass Garden section, featuring fresh, organic produce grown on-site and sourced from local farms. Take your pick from chickpea salad, quinoa salad and Japanese crab salad to Baba ghanoush, Thai beef salad and a variety of bruschetta.
Salad lovers will also enjoy the make-your-own salad station, which offers crisp mixed greens, along with a variety of garnishes and salad dressings, for the Greek country salad and Caesar salad. There are also cheeses and cold cuts, ready for composing your own little charcuterie plate. Hit up the live cooking pasta station too, where you can choose the type of pasta and have it cooked a la minute.
It’s time to move on to the other buffet. Walk a little past the bread display and into the JW Steakhouse main dining room, and you’ll find a splendid selection of the finest food from Kitchen on 3. Here, you can choose from lamb mandi, vegetable couscous, and chicken tagine to shrimp with cashew, beef stroganoff, mashed potatoes and vegetable stew. There’s also the soup station featuring lentil soup and chicken noodle soup. Both are flavourful and delicious.
What we really enjoy, though, is the Arabic foul station. It may not look much, but this is pretty much bean mash on steroids: garlicky, lemony, and full of protein. Generously litter it with the different toppings displayed around it – chopped onions, green chillies, tomatoes and parsley – add a drizzle of olive oil, and then mop it up with some fresh bread, and you’ll thank us.
And, like us, if your guilty pleasure is an afternoon of endless grilled classics, then you’ll find that there’s no better place to be at than the grill station by JW Steakhouse. Simply choose your meats and seafood – from lamb chops, lamb kofta, beef tenderloin and beef sausage to chicken and beef satay, prawns, mussels and salmon – and they’ll be cooked to succulent perfection. Among the highlights are the beef satay and grilled prawns.
Rounding off the indulgent affair, we feel that we can’t leave without trying at least a few of the lovely desserts that are on display in the JW Glass Garden section. Then, we have to drag ourselves back into the real world. How long until the next Friday rolls around?
Verdict: If brunch is the only thing that gets you out of bed on a lazy Friday morning, then the all-you-can-eat Flavours Unite by JW hybrid affair with a melange of seafood, grilled meats, and brunch classics will start your weekend right. And when the weather starts to cool down, set yourself up on the outdoor terrace of JW Glass Garden to be instantly transported to a European pavement cafe.
Flavours Unite by JW Friday Brunch, every Fri, 1pm to 5pm, JW Marriott Hotel Riyadh, King Fahd Rd, Sahafah District, Riyadh 11564. SAR350 per person. Tel: 011 511 7791. @jwmarriottriyadh