Sometimes in Dubai, you just want to see a little bit of greenery.
No, I don’t mean those sad little patches of grass that have sprung up next to lots of the metro stations. I mean some real grass, albeit replanted and over-watered.
A few weeks back, we took a drive out to The Lakes, near Emirates Hills, an area of Dubai purportedly named after Beverley Hills. While this name provides a bit of a hint to the type of area, it’s not quite that fancy. However, both are nice enough areas, overlooking the Montgomerie Golf Course and various parks, and a visit provided some much-needed leafy relief in the middle of a hot Dubai summer.
I had heard of Reform Social and Grill (Reform), but I wasn’t sure what to expect. I obviously wasn’t feeling myself that day, as I didn’t even check out the menu online beforehand. Blasphemy! We arrived to find a British Gastropub plonked right in the middle of the complex, along with a Fitness First, Choithrams and Nail Spa. They know the ex-pat audience well here in Dubai.
Measuring a whopping 15,000 square feet, Reform appears to be a social institution and community pub. With a distinctly Anglo-Saxon feel, it offers hearty portions and a traditional menu, with a few interesting extras thrown in. It also sells… pork dishes! It’s a great spot for early risers, with food served from 8am until late every day of the week.
We ordered several servings of the Full English and the Breakfast of Champions. The servings were huge. Almost too huge, but at least they were good value. While this differed greatly from the more healthy fare we tend to enjoy when out and about in Dubai, it is certainly a very British experience, right down to the Worcestershire sauce. I’d give the fried bread a miss, however.
The menus on offer are extensive. Reform offers a range of food and beverages, and from what we could see, all the meals are very generously sized. It also has a range of special offers and events running on a regular basis, including:
- The Great British Fish and Chip Takeaway shop, from 95AED;
- The Mad Hatters Tea Party – 95AED (or 145AED with a glass of Prosecco);
- The Great British Road Trip, serving up regional specialities;
- The Reform Family Picnic for two (add the kids for 55AED each);
- The Great British Curry Night;
- A 99AED Pie and Ale night;
- A weekday English Country Lunch, at great prices; and
- An ice cream parlour!
While Reform’s food might not be to everyone’s taste, it has certainly cornered the gastropub market, providing an experience that is unique to Dubai. It does also have a fabulous outlook – and sitting on the terrace on a winter’s day looks like a relaxing way to while away the hours.
Service was, however, rather slow. Given this is a destination for families, I have to wonder whether folks with kids would be able to keep them amused while waiting. During the winter, I guess you can stick them outside on the playground. During summer this is obviously a less viable option! If it’s busy – which it sounds like it usually is – do be ready for a bit of a wait.
If you are a fan of British pub-grub, I’d give it a go. The dress code is casual. Stretchy pants are recommended.
Where: Between The Montgomerie and Emirates golf clubs, The Lakes, Dubai.
Opening hours: A comprehensive list of menu availability and opening hours is available here.
Delivery: Not available.
Platinum discount? Yes, 25%.