Kay Woodward heads to city favourite New York Steakhouse, to check out new menu items and some old favourites.

If you live in Doha, there’s every chance you’ve already been to New York Steakhouse (NYSH). Tucked away on the second floor of the Marriott Marquis City Center Doha, it’s classy, yet cosy, with plush carpets, wood panelling and a view of vibrant West Bay. It’s got a great atmosphere too. A stalwart of the Doha dining scene, NYSH has been regularly packing in the clientele for years and is as famous for its first-class steaks as it is for its iconic brunch. We’re delighted to be going back, especially when we hear that this consistently excellent steakhouse just got even better.

Why? Because Peruvian chef Richard Ruiz is shaking things up. Jamil – the friendly front-of-house who hails from Zanzibar and is visibly bursting with enthusiasm about the revamped menu – can’t wait to reveal what’s new at the iconic Big Apple Brunch. There’s the New York Striploin for one. The Crunchy Calamari for another. The Southern Ribs Flapjacks… Mmm. But Jamil reassures us that a satisfying number of old favourites remain. Repeat diners will not be disappointed.

Appetites thoroughly whetted, we enjoy the melodic jazzy background music while we wait. The Bright Side appetisers arrive on a wooden paddle and we start with the Knuckle Sandwich. That isn’t a euphemism, but a hilariously inventive name for an appetiser that whacks us in the taste buds with flavour. Thinly sliced pastrami is paired with Edam, truffle mustard and Bulldog sauce. The Staten Island 36 is new – a reinvented hot dog that’s reminiscent of a day out at the ballpark, but with subtle scallop and lobster overtones. It’s a winner! And then there’s the Williamsburg Standard Toast – a classic combination of crushed avocado on sourdough, topped with a beautifully blistered tomato and a perfect quail’s egg. The East 65th Burger Junior – the bun branded with a cool New York Steakhouse stamp – is super succulent. Like all the meat here, it’s cooked medium as standard. Prefer medium-rare? All you have to do is ask.

The Hudson Valley Carpaccio arrives. It’s prime tenderloin with truffle mayo, shimeji mushrooms, pickles and such a sensational combination of textures. Scallops are topped with dainty heaps of crispy quinoa, interspersed with orange segments and dots of vermillion-red sauce. Seriously, it’s art on a plate.

The Fulton Street Seafood Tower is named after the famous New York fish market, which dates back to 1822. It’s an eyepopping masterpiece. As the billowing dry ice clears, two layers of delectable seafood are revealed: poached Canadian lobster, Alaskan King Crab, giant prawns, oysters, octopus ceviche and tuna sashimi. And it doesn’t just look amazing, all the seafood is top quality and perfectly chilled, but the star of the show is the octopus ceviche. Finely chopped, it mingles with firm, crispy cucumber, a hint of chilli and has a coriander finish. Divine.

Time for a prawn cocktail amuse-bouche! There’s mildly spiced salsa with the satisfying crunch of tiny red onions, topped off with a prawn. Yum. It’s a prawn-shaped comma that allows us to pause briefly, probably the most delicious punctuation in Doha.

The chef takes a break to pop over and tell us a little about himself. Richard Ruiz has always loved to cook. He’s from Lima and his mother’s restaurant was the springboard that launched him into a globetrotting career spent in Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Dubai and now Qatar. He’s thrilled to be at NYSH and has worked hard to reimagine the menu. “Everything is homemade,” he says proudly. It’s freshly made too. There are no soggy salads here. Jamil himself constructs custom Caesar Salads and delivers them right away with a bespoke selection of baby gem lettuce, egg yolk, anchovies, tabasco, parmesan and Worcestershire sauce.

And the last thing the chef wants is to see an empty table. At brunch, Ruiz has one eye on the kitchen and one on the diners. If he spots guests without food, he instantly sends more delectable dishes.

Talking of which, the New York Specials are on their way. NYSH’s bestseller is undoubtedly the Beef Cheek and rightly so. Its soft juiciness is juxtaposed with truffled celery root, pecorino and a fried egg. But we rather like the Southern Ribs Flapjacks too. Grape-braised short ribs nestle inside corn flapjacks, accompanied by a tangy yet sweet tomato dip. It’s new, quirky and fun. Canal and Mott Longevity Noodles brim with flavour – shiitake mushrooms, garlic chives, soy and oyster caramel. Moreish? Oh, yes.

Now, for the Tomahawk trolley, with a slow-roasted tomahawk rack and lots of lovely mustards. Luscious slices are carved to order. They’re SO good…

The desserts – if you have room for them – are sublime. Spaceage nitrogen vanilla ice cream. A classic cheesecake. And the salted-chocolate-pretzel extravaganza is beyond awesome. There’s even a cheeseboard of champions.

According to Ruiz, dinner is a tradition, but brunch is a chance to be creative and experiment. New York Steakhouse’s Big Apple Brunch shows that his experiment has more than paid off. New York, New York. It’s a wonderful brunch. ✤