10 to try: British restaurants in the UAE
From relaxed pubs to fine dining, these restaurants offer a taste of home for Brits in the UAE
Reform Social & Grill
This popular gastropub in the Lakes always has a packed schedule of family-friendly events held in the rustic, charming restaurant or outside on the lovely terrace and lawns, depending on the weather. The pub grub is great, with British classics such as fish and chips, bangers and mash, and a traditional fry-up all on the menu, as well as afternoon tea.
Dhow & Anchor
While this is a great iteration of a contemporary British gastropub, its environment is unmistakably Dubai. The modern interiors in the Jumeirah Beach Hotel eatery stand out, but not as much as the brilliant, vast terrace that looks out onto the property's gardens and stretch of shore. On the menu at D&A, as it's called, there's all the usual suspects, from pies to curries, as well as a daily roast, which rotates between lamb, beef and chicken (and there's a nut roast option).
The late, great chef Gary Rhodes was behind this contemporary restaurant, which serves great British classics with a touch of refinement and modernity. The upscale interiors resemble an English garden, with foliage-strew walls and butterfly pendant lights, but also feature fabulous views over Dubai Marina from its Grovenor House home. Expect items such as roast cod, lamb cutlets and white asparagus risotto.
Bread Street Kitchen
From another British celebrity chef comes the casual Bread Street Kitchen by Gordon Ramsay at Atlantis, The Palm. From the moment you step inside, the decor, complete with a queen motif, and garden terrace area scream Britannia, as does the food. From fish and chips to Ramsay's legendary beef Wellington and sweet puddings that every British grandma used to make, this place offers a home away from home for Brits in Dubai.
Pots, Pans and Boards
Tom Aikens, who had two Michelin stars by the time he was 26, is behind this JBR eatery, which is inspired by the chef's childhood memories of a busy family kitchen. The unlicensed venue has communal seating and an upbeat vibe, and the menu, while predominantly British, has undertones of Mediterranean and even Middle Eastern influence, too.
The focus is primarily on seafood at this British restaurant in Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa. The interiors are fresh and vibrant, but don't detract from the star of the show: the food. Of course there are fish and chips on the menu, with the options to choose your fish and batter, but also plenty of other seafood picks, from mussels to haddock and salmon. The sharing dishes and platters are cleverly named, too, such as Tower of London, The Shard and The Billingsgate.
Abu Dhabi and Dubai
British chef Simon Rimmer has outposts of The Scene in the marinas in Dubai and Yas Island. The menu is a real people-pleaser, with curry, steak and chips, and pies on there. But it's also about the vibe: the interiors are decidedly cosy and eclectic, and the venues are always buzzing as people enjoy themselves and the food.
The Lion by Nick & Scott
Whether you're looking for a spot to pop into after a long day at work, a venue to watch the latest football matches or somewhere for a leisurely dining experience, The Lion, which is heavily influenced by London's eating out scene, is a good option. It's brought to us by Nick and Scott, the duo behind Folly in Madinat Jumeirah. The focus is on proper pub grub and vibes. From match-day roasts to curry nights and the all-important fish and chips to pie and mash, this place is bound to make Brits homesick.
Porters English Pub
It might be a pretty basic venue but Porters English Pub at Grand Millennium Al Wahda has long been famous among British residents of Abu Dhabi for offering a taste of home. It gets lively with its weekly events, which include karaoke night and a carvery, and the food hits the spot. There's the innovative chicken tandoori naanwich, Irish sliders, plus a classic steak and mushroom pie, but also other international favourites, from quesadillas to cajun-spiced salmon.
Based in The Village at Le Meridien Abu Dhabi, the Captain's Arms offers a very cosy, charming environment and there's no doubt over the British influence. Whether you sit inside, amid the slightly rickety-style interiors, or outside on the lovely terrace, there's always a great atmosphere. Tuck into a baked potato, shepherd's pie or "The Full Monty", or you could always opt for something a little more international, as the rest of the selection is inspired by cuisines around the world, from pizzas to burgers and crispy squid.
Updated: March 5, 2020 07:14 PM