As regular brunchers will know, Dubai’s weekend feasts fall mainly into three categories: cheap and cheerful, full-on party and a rather more sedate, grown-up affair. The Rib Room’s Friday and Saturday offering most certainly falls into the latter, providing a mature lunchtime treat.
Our booking is for the Saturday sitting and with mostly small tables occupied by couples or families, there’s a traditional Sunday lunch feel about this Jumeirah Zabeel Saray brunch, with a focus firmly on the (top-notch) food.
A classic British-style steakhouse – the décor is all dark wood furnishings and moody lighting – the atmosphere is upbeat yet relaxed thanks to a lively jazz band and the midday sunshine streaming through the windows.
Value-wise it’s pretty decent, too, with the Saturday soft drinks package coming in at Dhs295 – a steal when you think a main here will usually set you back around Dhs200.
There’s no traipsing around a buffet (ladies, you’re safe to wear your highest heels). You have two options: pick and choose from an à la carte menu or try the five-course (or six on a Friday) tasting menu.
The à la carte menu is packed full of standard steakhouse choices including shrimp cocktail and short ribs, plus burgers and fish and chips if you’re after something simpler. However, despite a mixed grill and prime rib, there are no actual steaks such as fillet or sirloin on offer, which comes as a surprise.
We plump for the five-course tasting menu, which is generously portioned and kicks off with a light, yet creamy sunchoke soup (warning: you’ll be tempted, but don’t fill up on the bread, as delicious as it is).
This is followed by a smoked salmon quiche (with a crust Mary Berry would approve of), while a rich truffle risotto is the prelude to the undoubted star of the show, the prime rib.
This is about as comforting Sunday roast fare as you’re going to get – albeit far more handsomely presented than at home. Hefty slices of tender meat come alongside a crisp and tasty Yorkshire pudding the size of a small island (almost). A dainty salver of truffle jus is decadent and flavoursome and the trimmings are excellent too – carrots, beans and petite roasted new potatoes all served in chunky metal vessels.
We love the outdoor terrace for a drink now that the weather is beautiful and your sunglasses don’t steam up the moment you set foot outside, while the American-style bar, with high stools lends an old-school movie-set feel.
But there are plenty of kids running around the tables using the leather banquettes as a racetrack, which could be better managed – it somewhat takes away from what is otherwise a classy and chilled-out end to the weekend.
The Bottom Line Good value, classic steakhouse fare.