AMS took the opportunity to discover a unique culinary legacy at Astor Grill.

Upon entering Astor Grill, at The St. Regis Doha, we found ourselves wrapped in a cocoon of contemporary splendour, where elements of nature subtly infused the space. The stone-effect wall at the entrance whispered of wild, untamed landscapes. Above us, metallic spirals unfurled against reflective surfaces, conjuring a sense of stepping into a futuristic realm that still paid homage to the organic roots of its design.

The lighting was soft yet deliberate, casting a golden hue that bounced off the polished floors and caressed the textured walls. It was in this interplay of light and shadow, metal and stone, that our first impressions of Astor Grill were formed.

As we were ushered to our table, a sense of seamless service was embodied by Jelandhar and his impeccable team. Their warm greetings and attentive care curated an atmosphere as inviting as the plush seating by the window, where we took our places with a commanding view over the undulating sea. The sun’s final rays dipped below the horizon, bidding farewell to the day.

Dusk settled in and a hush descended upon the dining area. In a ceremony honouring the founder, John Jacob Astor, we were invited to join in a salute that happens throughout the St. Regis properties worldwide. It was a gesture that imbued the evening with a sense of legacy. For a moment, within the walls of Astor Grill, we were part of a wider family gathered to pay homage to a visionary.

The Prelude

We were delighted to start our journey with Smoked Burrata. Heritage tomatoes bursting with sweetness were paired with the soft, smoky whispers of cheese. Almond pesto added a nutty counterpoint and the coal ash infused oil, a stroke of genius, painted smoky shadows on a rich canvas.

The Astor Salad, understated in its elegance, featured smoked duck that pirouetted with cool baby iceberg, while the asparagus spears and parmesan nodded to tradition with a caper dressing adding piquancy to each bite. Transitioning to the Wagyu Tataki felt like stepping into a different scene, one where the tang of koshu-pickled enoki and the fire of chilli met the earthy seduction of sesame seeds, with char-grilled maldon aioli providing a smoky caress.

An interlude of Fried Wagyu Wonton revealed a playful textural symphony, the crunch of nori sheets and peanuts juxtaposed against the tender beef, with edamame barbecue soy and sesame sauce conducting a flavour crescendo. In the Yellowfin Seared Tuna, we found the ocean’s robust yet refined character, the loin’s seared edges speaking of fiery grills, while edamame, avocado mousse and cilantro kanzuri sauce danced in a zesty mélange.

The Seabass Ceviche was a refreshing final act, with yuzu’s citrusy zing and wasabi leaf horseradish aioli bringing a sharp, exhilarating contrast to the delicate fish, the baby potato chips lending a satisfying crunch.

As we delved deeper into our culinary exploration, the warmth of Astor Grill emanated not just from the glow of the open kitchen, where chefs masterfully orchestrated a feast before our eyes, but also from the vibrant buzz of activity and the contented murmurs of fellow diners fully engaged in the joy of the meal.

Masterpieces From The Grill

With the arrival of our mains, the artistry and precision of Astor Grill’s kitchen were unmistakably spotlighted, particularly with the Jospered Short Ribs taking centre stage. This 350gm serving of ribs was a testament to both the chef’s skill and the superior quality of the meat, each bite infused with the depth of flavour that only comes from careful preparation and attention to detail. The smoky serenade of the ribs, adorned in a rich, blackened barbecue sauce, showcased a mastery of grilling techniques, ensuring every fibre was perfectly tender and succulent.

The Atlantic White Fish offered a contrast, its light batter enveloping the delicate flesh in a crispy shell, hinting at the freshness of sea breezes with each bite. Creamy tartar sauce added a refined finish to the fish’s crisp narrative.

Adding to the marine offerings, the Tiger Prawns were grilled to perfection, each prawn was a burst of oceanic freshness, their succulent flesh imbued with a subtle char that spoke of summer barbecues and seaside feasts.

Complementing these dishes, the Triple Fried Truffle Chips were a revelation in their own right, their decadent crunch and the subtle earthiness of truffles serving as the perfect accompaniment.

A momentary pause allowed us to marvel at the grill’s dedication to quality, epitomised by the meat cabinet. Nestled within, blocks of Himalayan salt stood guard, playing a crucial role in the dryageing process.

The Art Of Dessert

The short break gave us just enough time to prepare for the final offerings. The berry ice cream, whimsically presented in a miniature can, was the essence of a summer’s day captured in frozen form. With each spoonful, we savoured the alchemy of berries turned into a creamy, chilled delight, the fruit’s natural tang tempered by the sweetness of the ice. The kunafa dough ice cream was a revelation, a seamless fusion of the traditional and the avant-garde. Its crispy topping was a textural harmony sung over the soft, sweet melody of flavours below.

Between these acts of indulgence, we sat back and surveyed the restaurant. The clinking of cutlery – a gentle percussion to the soft jazz playing in the background – and the dim lighting, added a layer of intimacy to our secluded table.

Culminating the trio of desserts was the Coffee Explosion – a base of grilled hazelnut biscuit covered in velvety coffee crémeux and opulent espresso ganache. The act of pouring espresso over it not only intensified the flavours but also awakened the senses, each bite a harmonious dance of rich coffee and nutty sweetness.

An Unforgettable Evening

As our evening drew to a close, the harmonious fusion of fine dining, attentive service and the celebration of tradition left a lasting impression. Astor Grill, with its culinary finesse and the warmth of its welcome, is a destination for those seeking to create memories that last. ✤