Opal by Gordon Ramsay

A fancy restaurant that also serves burgers? Oh my stars! Discuss this article

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So let’s talk about Opal by Gordon Ramsay. Unlike it’s fancier cousin, Gordon Ramsay, this place doesn’t make us feel like we should have worn our best shoes just to get in. This may have to do with their awesome patio—we sit outside and there’s really something amazing about the view of the Lagoon area as the gentle winter breeze ruffles my hair. This is something we’ve noticed about the St. Regis before; they have pretentions to the Uber Fancies, but then they go all relaxed and cool. It’s like their fanciness is just a shallow façade, and underneath there’s still a desire to eat chicken wings in their flip flops.

Which, incidentally, we do. After we’re seated in our table over looking the sea and after the servers have danced around us like well trained butterflies (seriously I think Gordon Ramsay must train them with shock collars or something, it’s just a little too perfect—are they robots? Can someone toss a glass of water on one of them and see if they short circuit?), we dig into our starters. My friend goes for their cerviche, made with hammour.

Now, I’m not a big cerviche fan. It might be because shell fish will kill me. Somehow I’ve developed an abiding fear of all fish dishes whose components aren’t immediately identifiable (if you’re going to construct your fish dish like a Lego house, for the love of all that is allergic please don’t mix up the pieces). But this cerviche is different. This cerviche is light and lime studded, bright and tart on my tongue, and yet at the same time, substantial. That hammour, it’s a heck of a fish. My friend agrees and mops it up eagerly (possibly before I can nick a second bite).

After I’ve been so rudely rebuffed from my fish stealing ways, it’s over to my own starter: tamarind chicken wings. First, a round of applause for a waiter in a fancy restaurant who’ll actually tell me to just pick it up with my fingers. Yes. This is what my inner caveman longs to hear. Let me gnaw on that bone with my elbows on the table. Second, oh my God these chicken wings, these chicken wings, oh my God. The tamarind sauce is thick and gooey, tangy and like the love child of excellent barbecue and Asia. It’s the delectable flavour that keeps on giving: the layers just don’t end. First it’s all ‘check me out, I’m brown and delicious, love me!’ then it keeps going, with layers of spice smoothly blended together. Best of all, these are not anemic little wings—this is a mountain of meaty delight.

Eventually I have to lick my fingers and move on to the main course, and at this point I get a little worried I made such a little piggy of myself with the starter: my main is massive. I order the veal chop (shhh don’t tell my mom), while my friend got the Angus tenderloin. These are not tiny portions: these are big, man-sized slabs of meat. My chop is excellent, cooked on the bone but still tender, with crunchy flakes of sea salt seasoning it perfectly. But once again I’m caught with my fork on my pals plate: he’s got the angus tenderloin, so melt in your mouth you don’t need a knife (which is better for me as stealing food is easier when it’s a one handed operation). Now, even though we’re presented with a heaving helping of grilled wonderful, I’m glad we didn’t skip the sides: you order them separately, and we need a moment of silence for those mashed potatoes. Their fries are also pretty good (thick cut. Fresh. Salty. Enough said). But their mashed . . . mixed with butter and olive oil, they’re exactly what mashed potatoes are meant to be and next time I’m ordering two dishes because I will be darned if I will share that bowl again.

And then it appears. Like a meaty angel descending from the kitchen.The Burger. But not just any burger. This magnificent tower of all that is excellent, all that is good and kind and made of cow. Nestled on a brioche bun, this burger is not to be trifled with. It’s a pile of meat, homemade ketchup, a little lettuce . . . and that’s it. There is no need to screw around with piles of condiments, drown it in sauce or hide the meat under a pile of vegetables (which let’s be honest I’m just going to pick off anyway). Want special sauce? Go to McDonalds. Want one of the best burgers in town? Go to Opal. Like everything else on the menu, it’s just straightforward, simple, delectable food. The food isn’t trying to be something it’s not: the burger isn’t trying to give itself a French name and convince us it’s more than ground beef on a bun. It just lets the mouth watering awesomeness of its ingredients shine through, and that’s what’s going to keep us coming back.

As long as we can keep turning up in our flip flops.

The bill (for two)
1 x Cerviche
QR55
1 x Chicken wings QR50
1 x Angus tenderloin QR210
1 x Veal chop QR220
1x Chips QR25
1x Mash R25
1x Water QR30
1x Burger QR140
Total (including taxes) QR755

By Time Out staff
Time Out Doha,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: The St. Regis Doha, West Bay, Doha
  • Tel: 4446 0000
  • Travel: Street Westbay
  • Website

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