An Indian Fiesta

Who doesn’t like a party, especially when it’s at the Marriott, one of our favourite hotels!

Following on from their Mexican Fiesta, The Surfers Paradise Marriott continues their world culinary tours at Citrique Restaurant, this time with a ‘Culinary Tour of India’ (12 – 20 June 2015).

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Greeted by Sheherazade Indian belly dancers spinning like whirling dervish, we pass under an arch of flowers proclaiming ‘Welcome’. With staff dressed in saris and turbans, and Indian music playing, the atmosphere is almost complete, and we’re yet to try the food!

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The Indian component of Citrique’s menu is in addition to the more popular sections of the buffet. For example, the famous seafood buffet remains unchanged, but the central chef stations display regional Indian specialty dishes such as Dosa made to order; Kashmiri Snapper laid out whole on a platter; curries such as Lamb Rogan Josh, Palak Paneer, Lamb Saagwala, Butter chicken and a delicious Crab curry; Parantha, Dal and Naan. The dessert selection has been supplemented by Indian dishes such as Mango Kulfi, Rice Kheer, Gulab Jamoon and Carrot Halwa. It’s a great opportunity to try a small portion of many dishes, our plates whisked away by our waitress Scarlett as soon as we finish each course.

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Head Chef Andrew Fraser told us a little about the Marriott’s kitchen and the idea behind the culinary tour concept:

“We have the Marriott’s largest Food & Beverage department in Australia. Staff of twenty-four different nationalities work in our kitchen, so we thought it would be a great idea to use their expertise to cook their country’s classic dishes. We’ve had culinary tours of Brazil and the Philippines, and then in July we’ll visit French cuisine. It’s a great way to extend our reach to diners, by giving them a taste of cultural food in a festive atmosphere.”

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The addition of rodizio on the weekend also livens up the food choice. Wait staff bring around long skewers of chicken wings with tamarind chutney, spiced lamb cubes and king prawns with mint chutney; the meat has been cooked over a BBQ giving it another layer of smoky richness.

Chef Rakeh from Northern India and Chef Selva are the two Indian chefs in Citrique, Selva arriving on the Gold Coast from his home in Chennai via the Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman and the U.S. He makes me a dosa, a filled crisp pancake originating in South India.

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Running until 20 June, the Culinary Tour of India is a celebration of Indian culture, especially on Friday and Saturday nights when the Scheherazade Dancers perform throughout the dinner session and the festive Whole Goat Biryani is served. Selva tells us that the Goat biryani is a special celebratory dish often served at weddings and feasts. The goat has been baked slowly in the oven for 8 – 10 hours before being added to the rice for further cooking. It’s a magnificent dish, impressively served in a huge cauldron.

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Before we go, I indulge in a little henna painted on my hand (Henna Boutique). It’s only a token, but as I look at it, for me the party lives on. Why not get a group together and join in the celebration! It’s a foodie adventure for all your senses; one not to be missed!

Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, 158 Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise Ph: 07 5592 9772

Disclaimer: Good Food Gold Coast dined as guests of Surfers Paradise Marriott. Prices and times for the seafood buffet dinner can be found on the Marriott’s website.

NOTE: This review has also been published on Blank Gold Coast.

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Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, Ferny Avenue, Surfers Paradise QLD, Australia