Reform Social and Grill - A gentleman’s gastropub in Dubai

Far from the grandeur of the original outlet at London's Mandeville Hotel, don't let this tucked-away little leisure venue fool you.

Traditional roast dinners, afternoon tea, lunch, brunch and everything in between are served daily at this licensed eatery, but without the cumbersome rules of conduct of a fivestar hotel.

It's a trait that has put Reform Social and Grill on the proverbial map of foodies keen to drop the fancy for a more easy-going ambience.

A trip to Reform is like popping in at your favourite local joint. The former Lakes Club, frequented by many in the Emirates Living community, Reform has certainly stepped things up a bit while still managing to retain a friendly, homelike atmosphere.

No need for the posh attire — flip flops are more than fine. It's a place where friendly chatter and good food come over and above pretty much everything else. There's a level of familiarity, even if it's your first time.

Taking inspiration from classic British gentlemen's clubs, Reform Social and Grill offers an informal yet sophisticated experience with quality at the fore. The restaurant serves breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner using the finest ingredients sourced from around the British Isles.

It claims to be the city's first true gastropub and is based on one of London's most vibrant venues.

There's a lot to relish in this protein-heavy, clubby slab of Olde England. Turn a blind eye to the resort-style pool, palm trees and distinctive desert lake view and you could be somewhere in deepest, darkest Hertfordshire. Everything, from the leather banquettes, wooden seating, flock wall paper, vintage posters and board games create a UK vibe perhaps even capable of inspiring a dying British dining culture.

The food is good, but be prepared to pay for it. With Scotch egg (Dh70), goat's cheese pudding (Dh55), fisherman's pie (Dh145), lamb cutlets (Dh165) and desserts starting from Dh45, it's not the cheapest local you'll ever dine in.

That said, it's the touches that make this place adorable, and a restaurant you'd return to. You know you're in a UK-inspired establishment when the menu reads ''don't be afraid to ask for extra custard'' before the list of desserts.

The highlights

Reform Ice Cream: It's old-fashioned and it's worth it.

The Roast: Served every Saturday and Sunday from noon, the slow-roasted beef has all the trimmings. Dh110

The British Mad Hatter's Tea Party: Served daily from 3-5pm, except Friday. Inspired by the British fairy tale Alice in Wonderland. Dh95 or Dh145 inclusive of a glass of bubbles

The Great British fish-and-chip shop take away menu: Pickable fish and chips, tartar sauce, mushy peas, steak and ale pie, traditional gravy and everything in between. Dh25 chip butty, Dh110 fish and chips with trimmings

The Great British Curry: Available every Friday, it is served with chicken tikka masala. Dh99

Lobster vs Steak Lunch: Available Sunday to Thursday, noon until 3pm. Served with homemade vegetable crisps. Dh65

Reform Social and Grill is located at The Lakes, Dubai

Source: Kelly Ann Crane, Special to Property Weekly

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