As an all-around family focused British gastropub experience, Reform Social & Grill sets the bar for most other contenders of the same genre.
Located in the gated Lakes Community, a foot print of almost 1,400 square metres covers indoor and outdoor dining areas and manicured run-around lawn areas for the kids. The environment alone makes it a hard act to follow.
On a balmy evening, we opt for outdoor seating to make the most of being able to sit al fresco, but there’s plenty of room indoors too, with brisk a/c to boot.
Grace, our friendly waitress, is quick to build a rapport with us and to run through the menu. It’s a broad and balanced selection, the flavours of Britain practically leeching out of the pages – five fingers fish butty, chicken in a basket, Lancashire hotpot and the Great British roast. This a tough choice for any Englishman abroad.
We cannot resist the fish butty (pictured above), along with a slightly more international hot smoked salmon salad (AED 75) and 300g grass-fed ribeye steak with onion salad and more fat chips (AED 170).
The ambience of outdoor Reform is less boisterous than that of the popular indoor bar area to our rear. Here we enjoy observe the international community of people settled in around us and reminisce on some of the British chart classics being piped out.
Sharing is caring and we make the most of the salmon salad with baby beetroot, horseradish cream, chicory, rocket and dill and lemon dressing. Our butty is a nostalgic delight of butter dripping into slices of doorstop loaf.
The steak is more medium that our preferred medium rare but the meat is tender and fat free. We wolf the fat chips and side salad and leave the place spotless.
Salted caramel chocolate tart (AED 45) is an addition to the new summer menu that we hope sees it through to cooler months. Pleasingly sweet, the tang of salt saves it from being sickly.
If we are to sum it Reform up in one word (marrying that with a quintessentially British turn of phrase suited to our environment), the food is scrumdiddlyumptious.
Serving from breakfast through until dinner, Reform has a special menu for kids, as well as gluten-free options and platter packages that are perfect for summer (if you’re picnicking indoors).
What: Reform Social & Grill
Where: Lakes Club, The Lakes
Contact: 04 454 2638
GFC Member Review by:
Quote: “Wine is bottled poetry.”
Gourmet treat: The perfect Kettyle Irish grass-fed Aberdeen Angus rib eye
Guilty treat: Anything with chocolate in the title