Like The Address Montgomerie’s eating and drinking spots before it, nearby Reform Social & Grill has become a firm favourite among residents in The Lakes and the wider Emirates Hills community. A family-friendly place for mum and dad to take the kids and still enjoy a drink or two, the British restaurant and bar is reminiscent of the classic (albeit slightly upmarket) pub and garden.
Despite being on the pricey side for dining, the bar part of the outlet’s offering is on a par with the rest of the city, with a daily happy hour from 5.30pm-7.30pm that ensures a good trade most nights of the week, particularly among those for whom Reform is just a short stroll around the corner. On the regular beverage menu, there’s a short but impressive list of mixed drinks with British themes, including some rather quaint-sounding options named after old-fashioned currency denominations. Though this is all fine and dandy, we wouldn’t object to a wider variety of hop beverages from the country (particularly considering the current hop renaissance among young drinkers in the UK) to underscore the overall Britishness of the experience.
Staff (a handful of whom are actually from the European nation) are particularly polite and helpful, despite being exceptionally busy during peak times such as 2014 FIFA World Cup matches, which Reform is currently showing in its own specially erected tent. Fans can watch every game, including those that kick off at 2am (though the bar is only serving until 2am) with plenty of special snacks and drinks bargains to keep spirits high, whatever the score.
While it may be a little dear for a full-blown family lunch, Reform’s not a bad spot for parents to enjoy a quiet drink while the kids tuck into an ice-cream (there’s small but well-stocked parlour just off the main restaurant). Dubai lacks kid-friendly gastropub options for grown-ups who are fed up with being thrown dirty looks for bringing their infant entourage along, and in this sense at least, Reform is still onto a winner.