Bar & pub food 04 447 0219 Madinat Jumeirah

What is it about Irish pubs making great sports bars?

There are myriad reasons, but this popular haunt in Jumeirah Lakes Towers has it spot-on.

Highly Commended in the Best Sports Bar category at our 2018 Music & Nightlife Awards, this always-heaving spot from the global chain has so many screens you’ll barely know where to look.

Generously sized TV screens line your every step at this bar, whether you’re inside, loitering around the circular bar, playing a spot of pool, chilling out in The Baggot annex function room, down in the thick of it by the stage area, or sitting in the sprawling terrace/garden area, which now the weather is cooler is the perfect place to unwind with your pint.

It’s great for kick-off (for Premier League fans), but McGettigan’s also excels in rugby and, rightly so, prioritises Irish sporting endeavours.

But it’s not all about the sports. This friendly pub has a regular crowd that return for the warm vibe and the plethora of deals. Mondays mean a chilled-out ladies’ night with four free drinks, while there’s also a cracking happy hour every day from Saturday until Thursday from noon until 8pm where you’ll get up to 40 percent off. You can’t do much better.

Add to that brunches and comedy nights (see below for this week’s), there’s a heap of reasons to keep coming back.

WHAT IS IT...
A popular. chilled-out Irish bar in JLT

WHY GO...
For the sports – and the eight-hour happy hour

A bona fide family-friendly Dubai institution, Reform Social & Grill is that rare thing – a community pub.

Set in The Lakes, Reform is perfect for a weekend meal with a few drinks – mum and dad can chill out in the garden and let the little ones go wild in the small playground, as well as the makeshift football pitch that goes along with it.

During the week this place also gets rammed with people popping in for a pint and bite to eat on the way home after work. And those bites are very good, by the way, hence the award.

Pâtés, steak tartare and salads pepper the starters – and the pear and Stilton tart is a corker, too. Meanwhile there are four packed sharing platters to choose from, top grills good salads. A special shout out to the burgers as well. Juicy and fat. Just as they should be.

Weekends also mean special roast dinners, see right, with options including chicken and beef – as you’d expect. There’s also a properly authentic bangers and mash on the menu, too, and that will keep you coming back for more, as all the dishes here do.

There are good brekkies at this place, too. This is a real top choice for grub that we wholeheartedly recommend.

Japanese 04 552 0244 Palm Jumeirah

Ají is one of several beach-facing restaurants at Palm Jumeirah’s Club Vista Mare. And while many of them are on our recommendations list, if you’re after some stunning, upmarket dishes, Ají is the one to visit.

The Japanese-Peruvian Nikkei restaurant manages to balance creativity, palate-thrilling execution and, perhaps most significantly, value for money.
Try starting with shiromi tacos, filled with a sea bass and yuzu ceviche, and the oributako causa, one of the menu’s more classically Peruvian dishes. While the former are light, zesty and packed with meaty fish, the causa owns the table.

Fat, tender slices of octopus line up alongside a dollop of dense, whipped (and slightly lemony) potato, all encircling a tangy, creamy black olive mayonnaise. The robalo – a medley of seafood served with a light, smoky sauce and a black rice fritter – are also a winner. Don’t miss the scallop ceviche, either, it’s top-notch. All dishes are presented beautifully, it’s as if you’re eating a work of art.

Enjoy the food, take in the sea views and make an evening of.

Middle Eastern +971 4 330 0000 04 319 8760 DIFC

If you’re looking for a Lebanese restaurant for a treat-worthy meal, look no further than Al Nafoorah at Jumeirah Emirates Towers. The menu is executed with flair, and this regal eatery is a worthy winner for the second consecutive year in this category.

Dining at Al Nafoorah comes with a real sense of occasion. There’s always a decent buzz to the place, even at lunch.

Service is sharp and attentive, but not overbearingly so, so while you’re never waiting for your water glass to be replenished, you’re not smothered, either.

Dishes are classic – from mezze to grills. All the staples are on there, from fattoush to moutabel, via some tasty sambousek. Our main advice? Don’t miss the hummus. It’s some of the dreamiest and creamiest in the city.

Meats are simple, but special, cooked on a charcoal grill for an unmistakable flavour. Dishes are never overcomplicated, and as such, Al Nafoorah is a great example of how simplicity can be genius.

Serving up fantastic Lebanese dishes, this restaurant is hard to fault, and there’s a second luxurious venue at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray on the Palm, too.

It may be more expensive than your average Lebanese, but it’s definitely worth pushing the boat out.

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