If you’re looking for live cooking stations, mounds of seafood spilling over crushed ice displays or something or other to dunk in a chocolate fountain then the brunch at Red-Hot & Chili, frankly, isn’t for you. If, however, you want something distinctly no-frills but fun, then you should maybe give it a shot. Especially when you consider the price.
To be clear: your Dhs150 here isn’t exactly going to take you on a gastronomic journey (unless you consider a chicken drumstick the pinnacle of culinary sophistication). But it will, with its unlimited house drinks and tasty-if-basic dishes, keep you happily occupied while you watch the varied sports shown on the multiple screens, or perhaps in between games of darts or pool with your mates.
In keeping with Red-Hot & Chili’s brand values, this is a nothing-fancy lark populated by small groups of folks after a chilled afternoon. Dress code: whatever.
Staff here are friendly and laidback, to the point that this is very much a do it yourself affair – right down to the carve it yourself because no-one else is going to beef joint. This is nicely pink in the middle but could use something a bit more inspired (what no Yorkshires or horseradish?) than chunky chips and veg to accompany it. Those drumsticks, meanwhile, are drab, as are the puddings, which consist of fruit salad and so-so chocolate cake. And there’s a bread basket.
Basically, that’s your lot, with the exception of the undisputed star of the show: the shepherd’s pie. The ideal grub for the occasion; it is well-seasoned, generously overlaid with a smooth-as-silk mash and deep in flavour. The perfect partner to an afternoon of sport-watching with your pals, and a nice, how-mum-used-to-make-it preamble to the live music that follows after 8pm.
This is most definitely not an event to take someone to if you are out to impress. But for an afternoon out with the boys, the value is hard to argue with.
Dhs150 (house beverages). Fri 5pm-8pm. Buffet. Donatello Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 340 9040).
The Bottom Line
Distinctly average food but decent service and live sports.