Sumo wrestling. Not the first thing that might spring to mind when you think of Friday brunch at one of Dubai’s biggest bars. But here at Lock, Stock & Barrel in JBR, it takes centre stage. This is a place that does things differently, and the weekends are absolutely no exception.
After paying at the door and sticking on your wristband, you’ll be led through the sprawling bar to your table – past giant Connect Four and ring toss games, revellers sipping drinks out of miniature bathtubs (complete with floating rubber ducks) and that room-dominating sumo ring.
Though Lock, Stock & Barrel typically does some stellar grub (the Grand Millennium branch has won Time Out Dubai’s Best Bar Food gong two years running), few are here on a Friday afternoon to feed.
Served to the table, the menu is, fittingly, divided into “rounds” rather than courses, which staff race around delivering to tables. Given the crowd and the rush, woe betide those bold enough to fuss over the ingredients or order in which dishes come out… Of the inaugural Americanas round, the Buffalo wings are the highlight – everything else is either a little undercooked or a little cold. Not that it stops us shovelling potato skins into our faces – we’ve got a wrestle to fuel up for.
Round 2 arrives, and though we’ve been keenly anticipating the battered sausage, the small nubbins that arrive (surrounded by a fairly meagre scattering of chips) are more backstreet Barsha chicken shop than British chippy.
After some tasty fried rice and a surprisingly succulent shish taouk, however, we’re well and truly ready to party – as, it seems, is the rest of the room. The place is swinging and fists are flying in the ring. Clad in giant plastic suits, friends spar with one another to the strains of the Spice Girls, and once the bell rings and brunch ends, the place really kicks off.
As The Fratellis’ Chelsea Dagger comes blaring through the speakers, staff bring around a short drink for everyone in the room, a video of YouTube fails beams onto the screen, and the band begin leaping around on stage. It’s at this point that (what seems like) the rest of the city’s brunchers pour into the bar to carry on their own festivities, and the entire room is suddenly packed.
Lock, Stock & Barrel JBR – The Walk serves up a Friday throwdown that is not for the faint-hearted. But for Dubai’s weekend party crowd (sausages aside), it’s pretty close to perfect.
See you in the ring.
Dhs369 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm. Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR (04 520 0049).
The bottom line
Less about the food, all about the fun.