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The EmiREDEMPTION: Reform Social Grill – The Lakes, Dubai

Those who follow my posts or my page on Instagram (@theemireati), will know that I tore Reform a new one a few weeks ago. Being a Brit, a place that feels like a typical UK gastro-pub with a spacious garden filled with childrens’ laughter, craft beverages, proper full English breakfasts and the best roast dinner this side of my Grandma Audrey’s house, is always going to be a favourite.  Sadly, I took my parents a few weeks ago, was sorely let down, and I let the world know.

When I write a bad review, it can go a number of ways. One unnamed venue sent me an email about how I “ruined his birthday” after waking up to see me naming their burger the worst I’d ever had and that “I should support smaller businesses, not slate them”; some PR companies won’t go near me anymore for fear I’ll rip into one of their establishments (yes, some of my reviews are from invites, but it makes no difference to whether I’ll give it a good review or not); some (like Reform) will appreciate the constructive feedback, get in touch with me and invite me back after issues have been addressed.

The whole reason for me setting up The EmirEATi was because I was fed up with the amount of “influencers” around, who claim to be serious foodies and then fill Zomato, Instagram, Facebook, their blogs etc. with hyperbole (a.k.a hyperbollocks) about how AMAZING EVERY BIT OF FOOD IS FROM EVERY VENUE BECAUSE THEY GIVE ME FREE FOOD. The amount of times I’ve rocked up to a place that is critically acclaimed only to find out its terrible; or attended an absolute car-crash of an event/restaurant/brunch alongside these “food writers”, to see them give it a 4/5 or 5/5 is astonishing. Now, I’m not saying my opinion holds any more power than these writers, but at least when you read one of my reviews, it’s a true, balanced reflection of my experience not a cry out to PR companies and restaurateurs for more free food.

So, to sum up my previous issues with Reform’s breakfast:

  • the eggs were overcooked
  • the bread was barely toasted
  • the delicious sausages and bacon had been replaced by cheap alternatives
  • the portion size had been decreased
  • the service was slow and mistake-laden
  • the coffee was weak and served in a paper cup

I visited on Friday morning to avail my invite with my wife to see if they could win their way back to my heart again.

We were greeted warmly and let to our table by the window. We got there around 9:15am and the restaurant was pretty quiet, but by the time the clock hit 10, there was barely a table free inside. They have a new breakfast menu; from my last visit I remember that there was a lot more options – but this is not necessarily a negative, as I’d rather they do less and make it all better rather than trying to appeal to everyone by serving everything under the sun.

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As it was the English Breakfast that broke my heart on the last occasion, it was only right that I order it again but the allure of fried bread and black pudding meant it was “The Breakfast of Champions” that I went for and the wife ordered the “Breakfast Bap”. We got a couple of coffees whilst we waited and they were much better than before – strong, nice and hot.

About 15 minutes passed and the plates arrived. It had honestly felt like I was in a completely different restaurant to last time; I remember the plate arriving before and just feeling underwhelmed by the soggy toast and bacon thrown on the plate and dumped on our table, whereas this looked majestic:

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I’m not saying that they looked through my last review and decided to individually address all issues that I raised – but it sure felt like it, this time:

  • the eggs were perfectly cooked, oozy with the whites cooked through
  • the toast was hot and crunchy and the fat-soaked fried bread was a joy to behold
  • the sausages and bacon were obviously premium quality, not the ones you’d expect to find in a buffet tray like last time
  • the portion size was HUGE – you can’t really tell from the photo, but I had at least 5/6 rashers of the delicious bacon
  • the service was efficient, polite and a few tweaks we’d requested were followed through with perfectly
  • THE COFFEE WAS SERVED IN A MUG! NOT A PAPER ONE!

I usually can polish a big breakfast off, but after half an hour of tackling it, it had me beat. By 3pm, I was still feeling full so it definitely does the job!

FOOD: 13/15 – Fantastic Full-English packed with premium quality ingredients and all cooked well.
SERVICE: 12/15 – No complaints, looked after us well and food came quickly.
DRINKS SELECTION: 4/5 – Good selection of coffee, teas, juices and smoothies and are back to serving coffee in mugs again thankfully!
AMBIANCE: 4/5 – Same as last time, busy and packed with happy families.
DESIGN: 3/5 – Again, same as before – feels like a nice, homely UK pub – but please sort the stickers out on the windows!
VALUE: 4/5 – Still in the Entertainer and the quality and portion size was excellent

TOTAL: 40/50

CONCLUSION: After a blip over the summer, I can confidently say that Reform have once again got it right with their breakfasts and if you’re suffering from an awful hangover, it’s the best place I know to go to get your fill of greasy-goodness.

Reform Social & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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