Upscale celebrity-owned restaurant in the St. Regis Doha Discuss this article
- Picture 1 of 2
Walking through the lobby of the St. Regis Doha to get to Gordon Ramsay’s new flagship restaurant, I already feel like I should have worn nicer shoes. They take ‘posh’ to an entirely different level, but as we’re ushered in, I surprisingly don’t feel like a country mouse who’s snuck into the city mouse’s flash restaurant. They might be fancy and high end, but they’re not stuffy: the waiter jokes with us, and overall both my friend and I start to feel, dare we say it, relaxed.
They bring out the first course: and we haven’t yet seen a menu. It’s a circular platter with several different amuse-bouche, and before we dig in, the waiter pours liquid into the well of the platter, making a foam of steam rise up and spew over our table. It’s very cool, if a little Halloween-y, and it’s clear the staff is telling us we’re in for a Dining Experience, not just a meal. Buckle up.
Once we get our hands on the menu, we decide to go for their version of a chef’s tasting menu. There are five courses included, and it seems like the best way to really see what the Michelin starred chef is all about.
First up is langoustine for my friend who can eat lobster-like creatures, and for me, beef carpaccio topped with foie gras. The chef tells me this is a ‘light’ dish, a statement only possible from a French man. However, when it arrives, it actually is: light and creamy, the foie gras doesn’t overpower the rest of the dish. Equally, my friend is digging into her shellfish, which is fresh and tangy with a delectable sauce. As we wait for round two, the waiter comes baring the bread selection, as clearly Gordon Ramsay is way too famous to leave a bread basket on the table.
We’re just finishing our tomato and olive bread when the next course arrives—this time we both get foie gras, pan seared and served with crunchy sesame seeds. It’s thick and hearty, rich without feeling like I’m gnawing on a gob of fat, with a salty crust. It’s my friends first time eating foie gras and while I could have done with some toast points (seriously this restaurant is not a fan of carbs), we both think it’s delectable.
But the best is yet to come: for my friend, lobster ravioli with a creamy sauce. For me, mushroom cannelloni with a truffle sauce. Oh my god, that cannelloni, oh my god. Words fail us both as we dive in, surrendering to yummy noises. This is seriously one of the most delectable things to ever touch my tongue: the mushrooms are smooth and earthy, the truffle sauce is drool worthy, and all together I’m basically holding myself back from licking the plate. My friend as well is in similar conniptions over her lobster ravioli, tender bits of pasta stuffed with succulent lobster swimming in a creamy, buttery sauce that defies description. There’s a reason the chef in Doha won his own Michelin Star on the back of this dish, that’s all I’m saying. If you eat nothing else at this place, you simply must try a portion of that.
For mains, my friend went for the fish course, a thick and hearty cut served with vegetables, while I opted for the wagyu steak. After that pasta course, it’s a tough act to follow, and alas, the mains fall a little flat. It’s not the best steak I’ve ever had—it’s still really good, tender and nice, but after the previous courses, I expected something with a bit more wow factor, a bit more flavour, something to shock and awe my stomach. My friend too finds the fish a bit hard to swallow: it’s dense and well prepared, but not bursting with the flavor we expected. However, they seem to have gotten over their carb phobia with the mains. Along comes a small dish of mashed potatoes. Don’t be fooled by their humble appearance: these are a thing of beauty. I say as much to our server, and I find out their secret: they’re made with both butter and olive oil. So they will kill me, but I will die happy—I’m willing to make that trade to have another scoop of them.
Bursting with food, my friend is starting to question the wisdom of this tasting menu thing: we still have the optional cheese cart to get through, and then dessert. The server is knowledgeable and even sets it up on our plates so all we have to do is eat in a clockwise direction.
But dessert is where they finish with a bang: my friend is a savoury person, passing on dessert more times than I can remember. Not this one. It’s a creamy caramel pudding topped with cream and a chocolate cookie that tastes exactly like the best chocolate bar you’ve ever had, but better because you can lick the spoon.
And then the bill comes. We have a moment of pause, as we realize we just spent, on a meal for two, what we used to pay in rent back home. Was it worth it? With the attentive yet understated service, the elegant atmosphere that still manages to let us feel relaxed, and the food? Was it really worth the bill? For a special occasion we couldn’t find better. And after all, if we just got the ravioli and dessert, it would be downright reasonable!
The Bill (for two)
1x Aqua Panna QR30
2x Prestige Menu QR1500
1x Café latte QR30
Total (including taxes) QR1560
Time Out Doha,
- Previous reviews
Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.