A new year and new offerings from the hospitality scene in Doha – out with the old and in with the new! So it was that we found ourselves at one of the year’s biggest events thus far – yes, I know it’s only the beginning of February – to whit, we introduce you to STK restaurant.
For those unaware of STK, this is not Internet slang but an upscale American steakhouse based in New York City, for want of a better description. In reality, prepare to be amazed!
Upon setting foot at the restaurant chain’s newest location, the already fabulous Ritz-Carlton, Doha hotel, you are ushered into a private elevator and whisked away to the 23rd floor, home of the former La Mer restaurant and close to the recently refurbished and sumptuous business lounge. One walks out of the lift and is met by charming (and incredibly well dressed) members of staff, who deign to walk ahead of you to open the large double doors. Why the dramatics, we pondered to ourselves? For the simple reason that once the doors are opened, all you can say is ‘wow’.
The former dining space has been completely transformed and now features the signature STK décor – dark walls, white marble bar, stunning floral displays, and an iconic wall featuring a large number of longhorns! Definitely IG worthy. We were glad we had put on our Thursday best …
We settled in to a comfortable banquette seating area and my dining companion was already salivating over the prospect of his steak dinner. An all-American beef fiend, he was fully engrossed in the menu with its choice of fine steaks. A most affable waiter explained the menu in further detail – and don’t worry, they are happy to accommodate any dietary quirks.
Beefy opted for the roasted sea scallops while I had the grilled romaine salad to start with. The scallops were perfectly seared with a tangy carrot puree and ginger foam, while the salad was huge, full of smoked salmon, asparagus, peas and a date dressing.
However, the mains are, as so often is the case, the real stars of the show, and boy we weren’t disappointed. Beefy’s ribeye steak was almost the size of the table – this was apparently just the medium size option available. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grade prime cut was juicy and the knife eased its way straight through. There was really no need for a sauce, it was that good, but the STK special was just the right accompaniment – tangy, just a touch spicy. Beefy’s eyes were obviously bigger than his stomach, given the sides that came with the steak – a perfect creamed spinach, American style creamed corn (with popcorn!), and some of the best French fries in town.
For those not into steak, fear not – the menu has a number of fish, seafood and vegetarian options. I ordered the seared Gulf hamour, made without the crumb topping due to my gluten intolerance. It was absolutely delectable and made all the better with the accompanying quinoa risotto – a first for me but certainly not the last.
Replete with our meals, we took the time to relax and savour the incredibly relaxed yet fun ambience. The DJ was spinning some top tunes and the music was just the right volume, enough to keep the vibe going but not so loud that you have to shout to converse with your party.
However, there was no chance of resting on our laurels as the chef popped out to see us and gave us a special surprise – called the Giant Junk Chalice, a huge bowl of something was placed before us and Chef proceeded to engulf the dessert in dry ice. A fabulously entertaining piece of drama! Without further ado, and spoons in hands, we lifted off the candy floss hat to find vanilla and caramel ice cream, whipped cream, marshmallows, peanut M&Ms and caramel sauce. OMG as the kids would say – this was going to take a few extra laps of the gym to work off, but totally worth it!
PS: Ladies are in for a surprise in the restaurant’s main washroom – let us know what this is when you visit!
For reservations, call +974 4484 8588 or email [email protected]
Review by: Sarah Palmer
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