Once becoming acquainted with the beautiful lobby in Dubai’s exquisite Jumeirah Beach Hotel, (or as some tourists like to call “the wave hotel”), the hungry individual may be wondering where to direct their attention to. If you’re craving anything remotely close to pub food, wonder no more. Take a left down the little hallway, where you’ll end up at the Dhow & Anchor. Or as Time Out Dubai likes to call it, a place where “British boozer meets Mediterranean taverna in Jumeirah”.
It does sure appear that way. You’ll walk by a crowd of pub enthusiasts, embracing the finest things about this lifestyle. Booze, good old fashioned pub food, and on this particular night, one of the most anticipated football matches of the year. We’re sat down towards the back, right beside a window overlooking the gorgeous Jumeirah Beach Hotel grounds with a speck of the Burj Al Arab peeking out from behind a palm tree. Okay it’s established, scenery gets major points.
The waiter is enthusiastic in helping us out when we have a bit of difficulty selecting a beer. I myself like to venture outside what I know, so I go for a Kilkenny, a beer that appears to fall in the Guinness family. The waiter picks up on my initial hesitation, running off to fetch me a sample of my new discovery before I opt to order a pint of it. One sip confirms that this will be my drink of the night (Try a Kilkenny if you haven’t already…amazing stuff!)
I order a burger, an order not as pub oriented as my company’s order of fish and chips, but I feel like it so what the heck. The food arrives pretty quickly, but I’m a little shocked at our misunderstanding. “Our” as in me and the chef. Or was it miscommunication by the waiter? Because when I said to the waiter “a tiny..tiny bit of cheese, emphasis on the tiny..”, they took this to the kitchen to interpret as “the most cheese we can possibly pack into this burger…and then some”. The grease soaked bun isn’t making me much happier, but the condiments make up for it…sort of. The fries are so-so, not bad by any means, but nothing up to par with much of Dubai’s superb take on cuisine. (Side note: If you’re looking for the best fries around, head over to fellow JBH venue “360” where you’ll experience the indescribable truffle oil and parmesan frites…you can’t even fathom how delicious they are without physically trying one…get there asap when in Dubai).
Luckily the Dhow & Anchor has one more chance to win me over. Tonight happens to be the Portugal vs. Spain Euro 2012 game, (Go Spain!) and they will be featuring a set-up on their downstairs outdoor patio to watch the game in typical Dubai fashion. We’re talking wide screen TV set up amongst an abundance of people crowded around tables lined with drinks and shisha all round. The best way to watch a game. hands down. The service outside is impeccable, the “shisha guy” is always on top of replenishing my charcoal, and empty glasses are soon replaced with full drinks. Sigh. Dubai gets it right..again.
With this new development in the night, the bill did reach great heights. Nothing I can knock them for though. The restaurant did an amazing job in the football portion of the night, earning them a much higher opinion (and therefore higher praise) from yours truly!
Let’s SCALE it:
Group of Friends: 2-10 – The range is bigger into the night continuation. Many of the 8-10 sized groups were crammed into tables that seated half their number, but they made it work.
Fanciness: 7/10 – You’re at Jumeirah Beach Hotel so there’s an automatic expectation for a couple levels up from casual, but nothing extravagant required.
Ambience: 9/10 – With both parts of the night factored in, D & A earns itself a fair 9. The noise is minimal so you can hear what’s going on (even picking up on convos around you that you may/may not want to be a part of), but packed enough to give you a solid idea of how popular this place is.
Location: 9/10 – In the midst of gorgeous JBH and Burj Al Arab…the patio is incredible. Easy 9.
Food/Drink Selection: 8/10 – Great for an English pub.
Food/Drink Quality: 8/10 – The fries and burger were a tad generic, but the fish and chips were highly appreciated by my company.
Service: 10/10 – The service was amazing.
Price: 9/10 – Actually pretty great for how much we had.
First Impressions: 7/10 – Let’s see where the night takes us.
Last Impressions: 9/10 – One of the best venues to experience live television entertainment if you’re lucky enough to snag a table outside. I will definitely try to return!
Population: Early 30’s-Late 50’s
Summary: Dhow & Anchor is DEFINITELY ON my radar!
Jumeirah Beach Hotel
+971 4 4068999
Jumeirah Beach Hotel…never ceases to amaze.
Euro 2012 JBH layout…with a skeptical Ronaldo.