When is a brunch not quite a brunch? When it’s The Black Lion’s Thursday night Street Feast. We’ve no qualms with the timing – we’ve been in Dubai long enough to know that the term “brunch” has absolutely nothing to do with the time of day – it’s more the offering at this Sheikh Zayed Road pub that makes us question the use of that ubiquitous B word.
This is, to all intents and purposes, post-work drinks. With snacks. But that’s no reason to give it a miss. The venue is industrial-cool, the music is an upbeat mix of old-school hip-hop, soul and R&B – with a set from DJ Somalie following later on – and the vibe is upbeat and lively, the bar thronged with a crowd clearly happy to see the back of the working week.
Turn up any time between 8pm and 3am, and get stuck into three hours of unlimited food and house beverages (a choice of selected grape, hops and short measures). Food is served as sharing platters, with two different boards bearing selections of snacks – both of which can be ordered as many times as you fancy.
As the name of this Thursday evening event suggests, the grub on offer is an assortment of the kind of snacks and bite-sized nibbles you’d expect from street vendors and food trucks around the world.
Highlights include juicy chicken tikka tenders, tangy short rib Korean buns and deep fried, crunchy orbs of mac ‘n’ cheese.
Some others fall a bit flatter – the prawn skewers are bland, with a plasticky texture, while the dense fillings of the samosas and empanadas are almost indistinguishable from one another.
Looking around the bar, however, it’s clear few revellers are in the room for the food. Dhs285 for three hours of drinks after work is a good deal – the bar bites just offer a bit of extra value, and the necessary sustenance for staying out to enjoy the music that little bit longer.
This isn’t strictly brunch, but for shaking off a stressful week at under Dhs300, it’s not too shabby at all.
Dhs306 (soft drinks), Dhs359 (house beverages), Dhs423 (mixed drinks). Thu 8pm-3am. The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 359 2366).
The Bottom Line
A good-value Thursday night out, if you’re not too fussed about fine dining.