Best Comfort Food at Leading Dubai Restaurants

Italian +971 4 441 6342 Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT)
It may be chain-y and, well, Pizza Express, but we’ve long been fond of the Jazz@ branch in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, with its devotion to live music, laid-back atmosphere and good-value pricing.
Since the restaurant recently underwent a revamp, we’re only too happy to return.
Its outdoor area has hugely improved, now feeling more like a restaurant than someone’s backyard. Inside, the relocation of the stage to the entrance of the restaurant divides opinion on our table – in fact, the whole overhaul of the interiors does (it feels a bit clunky and disorganised – our dining companion disagrees). Fortunately, there are two things we’re able to agree on – firstly, that the addition of high tables is a good move, and secondly, that service is woefully inattentive.
Sigh. At least prices are still keen.

Piping hot dough balls and an American on a Romana (super-thin) base are as good as they ever were, but calamari in a stodgy, cakey batter returns to the kitchen barely touched, while the rolled, stuffed eggplant (aubergine) dish is no worthy replacement for the seemingly discontinued Parmigiana melanzane.

Still, with bottles of grape under Dhs160 and some top tunes (will Jazz@ ever be so quiet as during local musician Chad’s super rendition of Percy Sledge’s When a Man Loves a Woman?), we’ll be back.

The bottom line
Casual, affordable eats in JLT.

As a venue, Lock, Stock & Barrel tries to do a lot of things, and it basically gets them all bang on. As a menu, it’s a similar story. This is a fantastic offering on the Dubai bar food scene and one we highly recommend you seek out. As a setting it has pool tables, big screens that descend for the big matches, a cracking stage for bands and a magic New York meatpacking district sense of cool oozing from its décor to its staff. And food-wise it’s hard to really go wrong. Feeling particularly peckish? Well, why don’t you check out the one-metre (really) flatbread, which is divided into quarters of margherita, “hotstuff!”, four cheeses and Buffalo chicken? It’s excellent. And, if that’s not to your fancy, the burgers are seriously juicy, the chicken wings plentiful, the chilli con carne deep in spice and all manner of pub-grub staples are delivered with style, too. No wonder it won our award for Best Bar Food, at the 2017 Restaurant Awards. Get down and stuck in.

Bar & pub food 056 404 0685 Sheikh Zayed Road

This is coffee shop gurus Tom and Serg’s fourth culinary venture and their first licensed premises. It’s impossible for the names Tom and Serg to be written down without the word “hipster” being close by. So we’ll get it out of the way now. In this bar, you’ll find many a moustache, a plethora of plaid and a smattering of snapbacks. There are also craft hops, innovative beef and chicken hot dogs and chicken and waffles. All of this, we are happy with. Brunswick brings something different to the sports bars of Al Barsha. In short, the food is better than other places nearby, it’s light and it isn’t filled with smoke. There’s an “outdoor” smoking area separate from the main bar, which is all industrial styling (exposed ceiling, concrete floor, bare light bulbs) and TVs showing sports from Australia, the US and the UK. Burgers are excellent and we can recommend the pink pepper squid and nachos for sharing. There’s plenty here to keep most people happy, not just sports fans.

Bar & pub food 04 332 2400 Sheikh Zayed Road

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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