If you were labouring under the illusion that British food is all fry-ups and fish and chips, you’d be wrong. You’d be equally erroneous to think both dishes an abomination. So if your outlook on both matters is in need of an overhaul, Reform Social & Grill will sort you right out.
Designed to take diners on a culinary “road trip” throughout Britain, the menu takes in everything from Cornish smoked mackerel pâté to Morecambe Bay shrimp cocktail to grilled Scottish salmon (via a not-so-British cheeseburger, which we’ll gloss quickly over).
Even the setting couldn’t be more appropriate to a lazy weekend lunchtime in Blighty. On this particular visit, we only plan to stop in for a drink when things rapidly escalate. Won over by the menu and the laid-back atmosphere, we throw our hat in for brunch and within minutes an enormous sharing starter arrives.
After gorging on mini Yorkshire puddings and heirloom tomato salad (this is brunch, stranger combinations have happened), we’re offered a break before the mains.
The Angus rump steak is beautifully cooked, while the battered haddock and chips is a crisp, golden, flawless incarnation of the staple.
Despite having eaten our way around an entire island, our eyes fall ambitiously to dessert. The menu invites diners to “visit grandma’s for classic pudding”. Neither the rich, vanilla-y trifle nor the apple and plum crumble are anything like our nan’s, but neither are necessarily the worse for it (fewer rainbow-hued hundreds and thousands garnish the top, for one).
Brunch is not all fish and chips at Reform Social & Grill – it’s a journey. One best enjoyed on a lazy afternoon.
Dhs260 (soft drinks), Dhs360 (selected house beverages), Dhs405 (Italian bubbly). Fri noon-4pm, 6pm-10pm. The Lakes, Emirates Living (04 454 2638).
The Bottom Line
A relaxed, filling culinary excursion across Britain.