The British are coming!
New wave of British-themed eateries opening in Dubai
\nFormerly the Dhow & Anchor, the Jumeirah Beach Hotel closed this longstanding watering hole, reopening a (not entirely new) but updated vision of British pub dining. And an excellent decision it proved to be, bringing to Dubai the 21st century spirit of the ‘gastropub’. The new D&A retains an accessible and laid-back ambience, but serving interesting, modern British-inspired plates, such as duck leg Wellington with truffle bubble and squeak and chicken parfait with pear compote. D&A is also now currently the only ‘original to Dubai’ gastropub concept open.
\nJumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Beach Road, Umm Suqeim (04 406 8999).
Fortnum & Mason
\nDating back to 1707, London’s Fortnum & Mason has been serving up gourmet groceries, house blends of tea and coffee, as well as an afternoon and high tea in the salon upstairs. In Dubai, the British institution opened its first ever international branch earlier this year, following a similar model. Premium teas, preserves and confectionary are all sold on the chichi ground floor retail space, while upstairs you’ll find a tea salon serving finger sandwiches, scones and some decidedly British cakes (from raspberry Charlotte, to Battenberg). There is also an ice-cream parlour on the top floor, serving cold treats made to traditional English methods.
\nSheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, next to The Address Hotel Downtown and The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai (04 388 2627).
\nAn import from London’s upmarket neighbourhoods of Chelsea and Notting Hill, this seafood-themed gastropub has recently opened in Dubai Marina. In addition to a seafood focussed à la carte list that spans fish and chips to lobster burgers, the concept has a market-style fish counter displaying scallops, lobster, turbot, sole, sea bream and more, weighed and prepared to your taste.
\nLe Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai Marina (04 316 5550).
Reform Social & Grill
\nThe first in the emirate’s recent spree of British gastropubs to open its doors (in late 2013), the original Reform Social & Grill is located in London’s Marylebone. Here in Dubai, this eatery offers a menu of English-inspired recipes, with a strong selection of smoked fish, as well as British cheeses and beef cuts cooked on a (actually Spanish) charcoal josper grill. The are additional twists to the restaurant’s repertoire such as an ice-cream parlour, afternoon tea and Friday brunch and promotional menus.
\nThe Lakes, Emirates Living. (04 454 2638).
\nNew British eatery The Scene is due to open in July, inside Pier 7, Dubai Marina, headed up by English TV chef Simon Rimmer. Aiming for an urban design, with a bar and dining ambience, the new venue boasts some quirky reworks of traditional dishes on the menu including juniper-beverage cured salmon with soda bread, plus fish and chips, roast chicken and shepherd’s pie.
\nFollowing the closure of chef Gary Rhodes’ modern British concept Rhodes Mezzanine, a brand new venture, Rhodes W1 is due to open in the Grosvenor House Dubai in September 2014. At the last count, chef Gary had something ‘more British’ and more accessible planned for the new restaurant, including an outdoor bar on the terrace and a specials menu of new British classics, featuring a variety of much-loved UK dishes, made popular by the island’s immigrant communities.
\nMichelin-starred English chef Jason Atherton, who famously made his name in Gordon Ramsay’s kitchens (including Dubai’s Verre back in 2001), is due to launch his first Dubai venture. Currently predicted to open in the last quarter of 2014, the new restaurant will open in the equally new InterContinental Dubai Marina.