The venerable Red Lion has risen. The original, at the (also) original Met, was a pub my friends and I would visit quite often. There was another outlet we would visit there which, in the interests of matrimonial harmony, I shall not mention by name. But it was at The Red Lion where the boys and I would meet to get our giggle going. So, walking into this new incarnation was always going to be emotional.
This new venue, at the new Metropolitan Hotel Dubai off (Exit 41) Sheikh Zayed Road, is massive. Although still an exact replica of an old British pub, without people, noise, smoke, etc. it was…um, just another replica pub in Dubai, something the original never felt like. I am told it’s packed at nights. But at lunchtime, we were so alone, we could (almost) hear an echo.
Although there are a couple of decent combo deals on offer, like a five-bottle bucket of Heineken plus a bucket of chicken wings for Dhs139 (which our server conveniently forgot to mention to us), and a reasonably priced menu of pub grub, plus the fact that Entertainer is accepted, I was shocked to find the place almost completely empty at lunchtime. And as such, there is only one server for the entire venue. So, unless you are sitting in the immediate vicinity of the bar, you have the options of a) waiting for him come check how you’re doing (not a good idea), b) yell (which we tried but only ended up scaring the other two guests), or c) getting up and going to find the man – hmm.
We ended up ordering the pub’s ‘munchies’ sampler, the Red Lion Platter, for lunch. It took half an hour to be brought to our table, by which time we had finished our exorbitantly priced (AED50) pints of Heineken. Now I was beginning to understand maybe why no one was here. Happy hour starts at 16:00 and is a 2 for 1 affair. At 14:00 that knowledge did nothing but make me want to…! Moving on…, the platter is good for two but has these awful chicken wings drenched in barbeque sauce pulp – ugh.
I’ll try The Red Lion at night soon, for old times sake, and also so I can make a balanced decision. However, as good as it may be at night, its lunchtime appeal is…well, non-existent. The Red Lion may have risen but it has no roar.
Waste NOT. Want NOT.