Positioned on the southern outskirts of Doha, Laura Morris finds that The Cellar at Hyatt Regency, Oryx is a must visit destination for those looking for an authentic Spanish feast.

A place that prides itself on offering a vast selection of scrumptious small plates alongside traditional dishes, with a menu which represents the variation of food styles and flavours across the vast Spanish regions. The décor is dark and intriguing, with pockets of seating nestled around every corner. Warm, cosy and indulgent interiors play host to tables large enough to hold the many dishes one will no doubt be tempted to order.

We take our seats and within moments our waitress, Polina, serves up some warm grilled bread, together with freshly roasted garlic and a bright burst of tomato salsa. From this moment, we know we are in for a treat!

With some help from our host, we choose some dishes from the Tapas selection to start. We pick well, as what arrives at our table is a delightful medley of textures and tastes, each packed with flavour and prepared with care and precision. Polina narrates the meal as it is delivered, sharing stories behind Spain’s popular dishes.

Each dish highlights a different Spanish region and our first, Pulpo a La Gallega, is a typical offering from Galicia in the northwest. It is described as a simple dish of octopus and finely cut potatoes, presented with a light dusting of paprika. But The Cellar’s take also includes a creamy and rich octopus mayonnaise which enhances the delicately charred flavour of the soft, almost sweet flesh. Exquisitely presented, this is a tapa to remember!

Alongside sit Croquetas de Cecina, beef croquettes, crisp on the outside and delightfully rich on the inside. What’s unexpected is the lightly spiced bechamel sauce centre that oozes deliciousness; these are so moreish we could order another plate! Next, we sample another regional classic, Calamars a l’andalusa, deep fried squid, cooked Andalusia style. Crispy, crunchy and light, these are best enjoyed with a drizzle of fresh lemon and a generous dunking of the intensely garlicky homemade aioli.

This delicious aioli features once again in our next dish, and boy am I glad. Patatas Bravas: you cannot say you have tried Spanish food if you haven’t tried these. Bitesize cubes of crispy and golden potatoes stacked up and smothered in a tomato brava sauce. The irresistible spicy kick is balanced by the homemade aioli’s smooth creaminess. Our final tapa, Rabo de Toro, common in Córdoba, comprises of fine layers of boneless braised oxtail meat, perfectly packaged into a pressed parcel. We tuck in and are instantly impressed, the soft meat, moistened with the rich thick jus and a side of seasonal al dente vegetables hits all the right notes!

Chef Jordan – who joined the restaurant this year – has been the driving force behind the newly curated menu. He talks passionately about how he has fashioned something entirely new by enhancing some well tested and well-loved favourites. With many years of experience working in the heart of Spain, he shares his love of Spanish cuisine and is dedicated to sourcing the very best ingredients to include in his dishes.

As we finish, our host Polina takes the opportunity to share some insights into one of the next items: Mar y Muntaña – the fish and the mountains. A European twist on a staple coupling, surf and turf. This dish comprises stewed chicken breast surrounded by a rich and creamy gravy-like broth, together with a mix of scallops and prawns. A dish so soft it could be eaten with a spoon a perfect blend of rich Mediterranean flavours, garlic, oregano, thyme and black pepper.

The arrival of a steak knife signals the star dish is upon us: Filete de Ternera, Wagyu beef tenderloin, served with green padron peppers, cherry tomatoes and Chef Jordan’s signature jus. Keeping to tradition, some items are prepared and presented in a very classic way, this is one of them. Recommended medium rare and delivered to perfection, the striking presentation draws you in, a huge spoonful of the rich, almost marmitey jus lays alongside carrot whirls. It is delectable to the last bite, do try it!

Almost too full to finish the evening with a dessert, we are very quickly tempted as churros are spotted on the list of sweet offerings. I’m going to put it out there, these are the best churros I’ve ever tasted (and I’ve sampled a few!) the sheer size of them and the crunchy sweet outer layer makes us ‘mmmm’ with every bite. The cool vanilla sauce sweetness of the brown sugar and cinnamon and the chocolate dipping sauce cracks the sweetness up a notch for those that can handle it! Our final dish of the night is cheesecake, Basque Tarta De Queso Espanola. Do not be put off by the burnt looking exterior, inside is soft and super creamy. Served cold and topped with a mix of berry compote and fresh summer fruits it finishes the meal beautifully.

Are you the kind of diner that loves not only to taste their way around a cuisine but to learn about the stories and traditions behind a dish or recipe? If so, then I urge you to sample the new dishes in addition to The Cellar’s à la carte menu, all served up with plenty of stories to tell! ✤