Astor Grill

Time Out tries the St. Regis steakhouse Discuss this article

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I see you over there, cooking my steak. Yeah, I see you grilling it up. Oh? What’s this? You’re chopping something? Yeah, you know I like it when you chop. Dice that potato, dice it!
So yes, basically, the Astor Grill turns me into a huge creeper. It’s got to do with the open kitchen and the chefs doing nice smelling things right there, and the fact that my friend and I have a lot of time to kill when we try it. There are loads of servers floating around, bringing wonderful wafting scents of delight (cows died. We salute them. With horseradish sauce). But between the time we order and the time the food appears, there are. . . lulls. Which again is weird because it’s not like we can’t see them right there: there’s no hiding in the back behind comfortingly closed doors in this place, no sir. I’m watching you.
Dinner starts fairly well: the restaurant boasts some interesting design features (check out their cool artsy wall in the entry way!) and super comfy seating. As has now become tradition when I prepare to disappoint my mother and take a bite out of something that once had a face, I go for the foie gras to start. My friend orders the gratin of crab and then we wait. It takes a few minutes for us to even get the breadbasket: it’s like they’re holding it hostage, as if someone’s mother is in the kitchen saying ‘no no, until they’ve ordered they must not ruin their dinners. Once they’ve ordered we no longer care.’ My starter comes with a cute little glass dome, a nod to the turn-of-the-century pageantry this restaurant evokes. It also makes me feel all special and fancy, so thank you! The foie gras is served with figs and a ginger infused toast. Liver and Christmas spices should not go together and yet, weirdly, they do! But the winner of the starters hands down in my friends crab. Riding atop the crab cake steed (which is fresh and meaty, FYI) is a crunchy shrimp ball stuffed with a hot lobster bisque. Once my friend pierces the ball the soup oozes out making this a piece of tasty, tasty theatre that doesn’t last long on the plate. Someone’s put some thought into this one and we like it.
And then arrives our mains: wagyu ribeye for me with a side of mashed potatoes and the creamy horseradish sauce, and the wagyu fillet with potatoes dauphinoise and the black peppercorn sauce for my buddy. Alas, I’m only a few bites into mine (which is, incidentally, perfectly spiced, amazingly tender, and one of the nicest steaks to pass my lips. The sauce is good too but seriously, you don’t need it: the steak is perfect all on its own), when my friend discovers they’ve cooked her steak incorrectly—it’s bright red and a tiny bit bloody, when she asked for medium well. The waiter is quick to take it back to the kitchen and then we wait . . . and eat the potatoes and the asparagus with the parmesan foam because we’re hungry and, also, cheese foam! A quick note about foaming things that are not foam: this doesn’t work out. We were expecting light fluffy clouds for cheesy angels to frolic in singing tra la la. We got asparagus drowning in a tasty but gloopy sauce. Eventually my friend’s steak reemerges, and it too is tasty and well seasoned. The potatoes are excellent, as per usual (the St. Regis knows how to treat a spud), and everything on the plate blends well. The portion sizes too generous.
Finally, stuffed and happy, it’s time for dessert. I go for the Knickerbocker Glory, an old-timey ice cream sundae that’s just part of the Edwardian twists on the menu. My friend tries the chocolate fondant. But, what’s this emerging from the kitchen? Two sundaes, which look spectacular don’t get me wrong, but one of them is supposed to be a chocolate cake. After another wait for them to make my friend’s correct dessert (in which time we devour, and get more of, their fantastic chocolates that go with the coffee), it arrives in its oozy glory. It’s rich and decadent, as is my sundae: both aren’t too fussy, letting the ingredients speak for themselves.
So, what’s the scoop on Astor Grill? Spectacular food, but the service needs a little work to match the dishes coming out of the kitchen. Maybe go ask the guys at Gordon Ramsay for some help: those waiters are freakishly perfect.

The Bill (for two)
1 x Foie gras QR100
1 x Gratin of crab QR80
1 x Wagyu fillet QR340
1 x Wagyu ribeye QR360
1 x Sauted asparagus QR30
1 x Knickerbocker glory QR40
1 x Chocolate fondant QR40
1 x Cafe latte QR30
1 x Coffee QR30
1 x Aqua panna QR30
Total (including taxes) QR1080

By Time Out Doha 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 0211
  • Travel: Street Westbay
  • Website

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