Atlanta >Food & Dining > Spice Market-Atlanta
188 14th Street, NE, Atlanta, GA | Directions 3036133.786812 -84.381619
Breakfast: Mon - Fri, 6am - 10:30am; Sat, Sun, 7am - 11am. Dinner: Mon - Wed, 5:30pm - 10pm; Thu - Sat, 5:30pm - 11pm; Sun, 5pm - 10pm
Neighborhoods: Northeast, Northeast, Ansley Park
Fabulous Dining... Even When You Are Not A Hotel Guest – Today for lunch I tried out Spice Market in the W Hotel Midtown. This was my first experience eating lunch or any meal for that matter at a hotel when I wasn't staying in it. I never understood why people would eat at a hotel restaurant when they aren't on vacation or guests of the hotel. You would have to valet your car or park your car in the expensive garage, find your way through a huge hotel to just have lunch, deal with the array of hotel guests that you may run into, and many more reasons I formulated in my head as to why I would never eat a meal at a hotel when I am not staying there. So despite all of these premonitions, I gave Spice Market a try today. Once again, I took my favorite lunch date (my dad) to experience this sure to be adventure with me. We pulled up to the W Hotel and since my dad has one broken foot we did valet. The valet guys were great! When we told them we were just getting lunch, they said don't worry about the valet charge "we will take care of it." I love those words. We walked into the hotel and immediately noticed the large Spice Market sign. Surprisingly, the hotel was not crowded at all. No busy guests to have to weave through. We were pleasantly greeted at Spice Market and had incredible service. The manager Christopher Gunn was wonderful. He explained the menu to us and answered all of our questions! I ordered their Bento Box with the Chicken and Coconut Milk Soup, Market Green Salad with Radishes, Cherry Tomatoes and Sesame Seed Vinaigrette, Chicken Skewers with Lime Dipping Sauce, Vietnamese Chicken Curry, Brown Rice, and Green Tea Icecream. (Yes, ALL of this comes in one Bento Box! Ridiculous right?!) My dad ordered a Bento Box as well but with Lamb Satay with Sweet Soy, Salmon in a Lemongrass Peanut and Noodle Broth with Herb Salad, and Sorbet. Before the meal even comes they bring out these crispy tortilla lookin "chips" that are ADDICTING. It comes with this spicy tomato salsa stuff that is ADDICTING as well. Seriously I can't even count how many refills we got on this before the meal came. Our meal came out (probably after about a 15 minute wait) and looked delicious. To start off with, the Chicken and Coconut Milk Soup. Ok, you know from my previous posts that I am a REALLY picky eater.... so when I saw this on the menu I thought I would taste it to be nice, but it would be disgusting. So I tasted it, and LOVED IT. This soup had some of the most packed flavor in one spoonful that I have ever had!! The salad was interesting in a good way. Very different and once again LOTS of flavor packed into a small dish. The chicken skewers were spicy to me (but then again I think mild wings are spicy) but had so much flavor. And finally, I have never had a chicken curry that I have really liked. The flavor of curry is not one I personally crave, but the chicken curry at Spice Market was delicious and I ate ALL of it. Everything for lunch was PACKED with flavor! Lots and lots of flavor! It was so good! And to top of this perfect lunch, they had sorbet and green tea icecream for dessert served in cute little boxes. I liked the sorbet but my personal favorite was the green tea icecream! Seriously the best green tea icecream I have ever had. This is going to cause me trouble cause now I am going to crave it and want to walk over there for dessert... I wonder if they do green tea icecream to go orders?!? Overall the food at Spice Market surpassed my expectations and changed all my prior ideas on hotel restaurants. I would 100% recommend going to Spice Market for lunch...even when you aren't a hotel guest!
Great atmosphere! – I enjoyed eating at Spice Market in the W Hotel Midtown. The best part about being had to be the atmosphere. I felt like the level of service was quality and superior in relation to the high cost of the food. I have recommended the restaurant to many friends since visiting. I enjoyed the coconut soup the most. I will definitely go back in the future.
only thing Jean Georges about the place is the price – Went here for lunch with a bunch of people from work for a colleague's birthday today. Despite being the only customers at the place, our lunch arrived an hour after we ordered it (the menu calls out business lunches as available no later than 20 minutes, not sure what THAT is all about...). This was after my colleague went and chased down the wait staff and clarified that we weren't fillers at the place. The fact that everything was cold clearly indicated that the wait staff were extremely busy serving nobody. This, after I had to suffer a withering look from the same wait staff when I said I was going to share a bento box with my friend...so sue me if i don't gorge myself. AND, to cap it off, I found a hair in my "freezing" coconut soup. The only reason i didn't blow my top was the fact that i didn't want to ruin my friend's birthday. In these hard times especially, when you need to distinguish yourself with quality and service so that people would come to your restaurant, the folks at spice market need to put us (and themselves) out of our collective miseries and close down that place.
"Exotic" and Enjoyable – The decor is a fanciful Westerner's take on Asia...and it does take you to an imaginary peaceful and exotic place. Service was very good, and the menu was nice. The portions were small (as to be expected), but the food (cod and short ribs) tasted good. As others have said, yes, you can get cheaper food on Buford Hwy, but you are coming here for the ambience and atmosphere, which is magical. Nice, inventive cocktails, as well. Loved the banana, kiwi, pineapple dessert with white pepper ice cream and coconut macaroons. This place is pricey, but it is great for a special occasion.
Great place to impress a date! – I took my date for Valentines Day and had a WONDERFUL experience, the food was AMAZING, obvioulsy the portions are quite small, but that was too be expected. It is also family style dining, which was a HUGE PLUS, it was nice sharing food together and it made dinner fun. I highly recommend for any occassion.
Jean-George's worst nightmare – Please, please, please think thrice before checking out this place. If you want a nice ambience, overpriced food (okay if it was good), mediocre service, and dishes overpowered by scallions to hide any real sauces, then this is the place for you. For me, it's just another trendy wannabe restaurant in a fancy hotel in Atlanta. I cannot believe Jean-George is giving his blessings and name to this location. Gordon Ramsey should come here to help fix this disaster.
Sub-standard food, Mediocre Service – Spice Market was a complete disappointment. My boyfriend had made a reservation several days beforehand for my birthday and had specifically requested a romantic table for two. Instead, we were seated in the worst seat in the house. Not only were we seated in a small table with the worst traffic in the restaurant, but we saw other diners seated in nice booths after us. These diners were not even on a romantic night out and they were seated in nice booths so they could sit next to each other.
As for the food, you could get the same food for a much lower price at any restaurant in Buford. For the lackluster ambience we got, we would have been much happier at a restaurant in Buford and left with more money in our pockets. The service was adequate, but nothing what we would expect from what we were paying.
If Spice Market's aim is to be at the top lists of Atlanta's top restaurants, I suggest they fix their maitre d' training to incorporate making sure EVERY diner's request is met. If not, they will unfortunately be at the same place all trendy restaurants fall when the fad has run out - closed for business.
Left me with a bad after-taste – I went to Spice market a couple weeks ago, and was quite impressed with the interior and ambiance of the W restaurant. Unfortunately, the food and even worse, the service, tarnished my experience. I was surprised at how limited the menu was. I was with a large party and several of us asked for recommendations. The staff seemed irritated when asked questions. I personally enjoyed my selection, the short ribs, but many from my party did not enjoy their dishes. When the wait staff came around and asked for dessert requests, everyone declined. This was due to the fact that most of us were unsatisfied with the entrees, in addition to a prearranged agreement with Spice Market management. It had been prearranged & approved for us to bring in our own birthday cake. Instead we were confronted by the wait staff and management, as if it had not been discussed. They proceeded to charge us $2 for every piece that was passed out. I think this was a tacky and tasteless act, especially since we had literally spent hundreds in the restaurant, not to mention agreed with the powers that be, beforehand. So if you decide to try out the Spice Market, be mindful, you may leave with a bad taste in your mouth.
Great for lunch – Love the bento boxes -- as well as the tasty vegetarian choices -- including the vegetable green curry and the soba noodles with soft tofus. And the cod -- I could eat it every day. The ice cream and sorbets, frozen in Chinese takeout boxes are worth the extra calories.
Special Experience – Spice Market has the buzz, and it has everything to back that up. The service is a cut above, the atmosphere is impressive, and the food is mostly transcendental (capturing the tastes of southeast Asian markets in, say, Cambodia). For example, the chicken samosas or the chili rubbed beef appetizers both have a depth of flavor unmatched in most Atlanta cuisine. As you may know, much of the food of Asia historically is considered incomplete if it doesn't contain five flavors: sour, sweet, bitter, savory, and spicy. (And a new flavor has recently been discovered called umami.) Spice Market's chefs clearly do their best to impart the five flavors to the cuisine they serve, even in the above-mentioned appetizers. For a main course, the char-grilled chicken with kumquat & lemongrass dressing impresses for the same reason: the variety of flavor for the discerning palate. About the only disappointment on our visit was the spicy Shanghai noodles with silken tofu. First, I have had several Shanghai dishes before, and these noodles themselves seem like garden variety udon / chow mein noodles (rather than thinner rice or bean noodles). Second, the spice seemed to be imparted solely from tiny jalapenos. The dish was bland, not too spicy, but more important, not too rich in flavor profile either. The tofu was the best thing about the noodle dish. Finally, we had ovaltine kulfi and ginger ice cream. The kulfi is a special dish, and although it is heavier than other kulfi I have had, the interesting carmelized popcorn and banana that came with it created a far above average dish overall. The ginger ice cream contained just a hint of that spice, but I would recommend ordering it with the kulfi, because the balance between those two desserts was priceless. Overall, from beginning with a nice chai and enjoying the atmosphere, to basking in good service, to enjoying flavors from another world, this was a great experience.
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