Sitting in a pretty location with a terrace overlooking the beach, cool weather will afford brilliant seaside vibes at this popular JBR eatery.
Inside, it’s quirky, with the eponymous utensils hanging up and featuring prominently in the décor, making you feel like you’ve just walked into British Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens’ own kitchen for a meal.
Preserves neatly stacked on shelves make up an entire wall and add pops of colour to the rustic furniture, giving the space a vibrant, contemporary café feel.
Food-wise all the classics are on the menu, from salads to roasts and traditional mains.
However, breakfast is where this restaurant comes into its own, as it proved picking up the Best Breakfast gong at the 2019 Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards. Breakfast is served daily from 8am until noon, plus several dishes are served all day until 6pm, including eggs royale (piled high with fresh Loch Fyne salmon) and Merguez sausages, which are punchy, flavoursome and meaty.
We also recommend the poached eggs with crushed avocado on sourdough and the full English, fully loaded with fried eggs, homemade sausages, bacon, roasted tomatoes, Portobello mushrooms and baked beans. The sweet and moreish chia pudding is also a hit.
The pastries are flaky, buttery and delicious, and if you visit between 8am and 9am you’ll get a free coffee with any dish.
Being set right on the beach it’s a perfect location for a family-friendly morning out, and that’s proved by the huge amount of families enjoying breakfast here every weekend.
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.
First things first, you don’t need to actually be a surfer to visit this ca-fé, which is fortunate, as otherwise you’d be massively missing out. The Surf Café is a chilled-out haven near the beach that’s worthy of a weekend visit. Floors and walls are covered in a washed, smooth concrete, and to one side of the dining room, there’s a little bar counter where juices and coffees are made.
As well as the top breakfasts – we’ve waxed lyrical about the avocado toast many a time – the lunches and dinners are also great, with seafood, perfectly cooked grills and a huge choice of fresh, colourful salads, all perfect for a casual family meal.
There’s also a large selection of dim sum, and the very on-trend poke bowls ranging from salmon to crab or tuna. Bento boxes, grills and a massive selection of sushi – you’ll pretty much find everything you could hope for here.
While a little pricey for the average café experience, The Surf Café is pleasant enough to justify the extra dirhams.
The bottom line:
Excellent for breakfast, but a great choice all day.
A venue that proudly serves up proper pub grub such as fish and chips, all-day breakfasts, pies and burgers and does them all very well, with little fuss or fanfare. Portions are huge, especially the steak pie, which has an enormous puff pastry top hiding rich, slow cooked beef underneath. Breakfasts are excellent (and available throughout the day) and the cheeseburger is another monster. Not one where Dubai’s glamour set will be heading, but all the better for it.
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