Whilst we can now get most things we miss from home here in the UAE, every now and then there’s something that comes up that still tickles your fancy. And for me, it was a traditional roast dinner, complete with Yorkshire puddings and all the trimmings. I’ve not come across too many places in the city that offer this, so I went on an investigation…

Frequently, you can get the full roast experience at a Friday brunch, but for me, I don’t always want to go for the full extravaganza and expense (and often hangover!) that is a brunch – I just wanted to find a nice place where I could just go and get my roast dinner plate and go home afterwards. So far, there’s two places I’ve found outside of the infamous hotel brunches that offer a traditional roast, and here’s what I found:

Stars N Bars, Yas Island
Stars N Bars offer a traditional roast every Saturday from 1pm – 8pm for the rather bargainacious sum of Dhs80 per plate.

Stars N Bars roast lunch

Stars N Bars roast lunch

I went with the chicken as shown in the picture above, but they also have the options of roast beef, or lamb. The meal is served with two good-sized Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, mash, veggies, gravy and of course your chosen meat.

We all heartily enjoyed the meal and it was also a very pleasing price. The meat was good, served piping hot and everything was cooked well. My only point of note was that although the potatoes were roasted – they weren’t really roasted in the British traditional sense to be crispy and textured on the outside. They were a bit more like new potatoes, but regardless, they still tasted good.

It was the first time we’d had a roast in a long time so it was a very happy relief and certainly pleased each of the stomachs at the table. The plate they serve is a large one and comes with a very generous portion of meat – for the chicken dinner I was given two whole chicken legs! It’s a nice, easy-going place to find a decent roast meal at a good price and you can be assured that you’ll leave with your appetite well and truly satisfied. No booking required.

www.starsnbars.ae (02 565 0101).

Hawksbill Restaurant, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club
The second roast I’ve found is at the Hawksbill Restaurant at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club on Fridays from 6pm-9.30pm (advanced booking required).

The offering from the restaurant is a pretty enticing one – billed as the full traditional roast with all the trimmings and served to your table for you to carve yourself, complete with a bottle of house red or white wine all for Dhs195 per couple… Sounds reasonable to me!

The Friday Roast is currently listed on their website as a promotion for October, though it has been running for some months now, but if you’re reading this after Oct 2014 then you’ll need to call them and check it is still on.

Roast veg and Yorkshire puds!

Roast veg and Yorkshire puds!

The vegetables and Yorkshire puddings were brought to our table and served in pans and dishes so that we could help ourselves.

A huge slab of roast beef for two people!

A huge slab of roast beef for two people!

Next, after a short wait and a little concern that the veg and Yorkie puds might get cold, our meat (which was cooked to order as desired) arrived. Everything arrived in portions for two people, so on a table for four, space quickly became a limited commodity! The roast beef is served with gravy on the side and ready for you to carve yourself, just as you like it and would do at home.

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

The roasted vegetables were a nice mix of carrot, beetroot, parsnips, garlic and so on, which was a welcome change from the usual green beans and carrot mix that is often fairly standard. The roast potatoes again, were not roasted in the sense they would be back in the UK – they were very crispy and flavoursome on the outside, though they were more like baked potatoes since they still had their skin on, but again, regardless, they tasted pretty good.

All in all it was a great meal – with a huge amount of food for two people so make sure you go hungry beforehand! It’s also good value considering you also get a bottle of house wine included in the price. Thankfully, since I’m not drinking at the moment and my husband is not a big wine fan – they were also willing to substitute the wine and we were able to get a couple of apple juices for me and a couple of pints for Mr. Arabian Notes. A good deal all round.

www.sbgolfclub.ae (02 499 8107).

Cooper’s, Park Rotana
Whilst I haven’t yet visited the Cooper’s Traditional Roast Brunch and it is a hotel brunch, I thought it was still worthy of a mention as it is a brunch dedicated solely to the traditional roast. Taking place every Friday from 12pm-4pm, it is an all you can eat and drink carvery with roast, sausages, turkey and all the trimmings.

There are also three different drinks packages to cater for different needs:
Dhs125 per person for free flow soft drinks and juices
Dhs160 per person for selected house drinks
Dhs190 per person for selected premium drinks.

You can find more details on this here, or call 02 657 3333.

If anyone has tried this one, do let me know what you thought! I’ll update you when I can report back myself!

UPDATE: Nov 26, 2014 – I’ve now visited the Cooper’s Friday Roast Brunch, read all about it by clicking here

Also, if you know of any more roasts in the city, do let me know. Mr. Arabian Notes and I love a good traditional roast and are always on the hunt for more!