The Lion by Nick & Scott

Revamped gastropub now helmed by the award-winning local chef duo. But can they do it again?
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Time Out Says


Great pub grub is no easy feat. It comes with huge responsibility to honouring and honing old-school favourites, and a great deal of expectation. And there’ll rarely be more of the latter for a pub opening in Dubai than that accompanying the arrival of The Lion by Nick & Scott. This is, after all, the award-winning chef duo behind Time Out Dubai’s Best European Restaurant 2018, folly by Nick & Scott. So, can they make it roar?

Formerly the culinarily abysmal The Black Lion, the chefs took over the bar back in April. The décor was given a nominal refresh (peaking at the introduction of live sports on TV), but on the food front the changes are significant.

It’s a long-held dream of the chef pair (who met while working for Gordon Ramsay in London) to own a pub, and of that the menu is telling.

Toasties and cups of tea sit next to match day roasts, burgers and biryanis. It’s classic and contemporary in the way of all great, modern British pubs.

Keen to try as much as possible, we kick off with a sharing basket of bar snacks. Quail egg Scotch eggs feature rich, runny yolks, while the herby flavour of the beef sausage rolls bursts out from the light, pastry casing – despite being accompanied by a strangely sweet sauce. (Our kingdom for some HP.)

On to mains, and the fish and chips is hit and miss – the meaty white fish is well cooked, but the chips are vastly underdone.

A beef pudding looks every bit the part, housed in buttery pastry, but the beautifully rich, delicious gravy can’t mask the toughness of the beef. It’s served with a generous dollop of creamy mash (yum) but no greens, so we order the seasonal veg. Only to be surprised by the arrival of a dish of not-so-pub-classic pak choi.

While the menu is on track, the execution doesn’t quite hit highs we’d hoped for. Nick and Scott have shown they can do it with folly, so with a little fine-tuning, there’s no reason why this Lion shouldn’t become king of the concrete jungle.

The bill (for two)
1x bar snacks basket Dhs55
1x beef pudding Dhs95
1x fish and chips Dhs90
1x seasonal veg Dhs18
Total (incl service) Dhs253

The bottom line
Decent, but some dishes miss the mark.

By Time Out Dubai staff  | 21 May 2017

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Payment OptionsCash, Credit Card
Dress CodeCasuals
Show number 04 359 2366
Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Sheikh Zayed Rd - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

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