We are super excited to experience Reel Cinema at Jebel Ali Recreation Club, not least because it features a menu put together by Guy Fieri and eating is our favourite thing about movie trips.
Opened in November 2017, the renovated and upgraded Jebel Ali Recreation Club is one of those little-known secrets, that is neither little nor, any longer, a secret. The cat is well and truly out of the bag for the leisure district – and it’s easy to see why. The Guy Fieri restaurant / Reel Cinema combination is the sixth dining outlet to open in the space (which has a family brunch run that’s recently been extended through to May), and like the others, it’s fully licensed.
The first thing to note is that, if you’re traveling by car, the parking spaces are practical, plentiful and just a short walk from the cinema. Walking in to the restaurant area you are immediately struck by styling synonymous with Guy Fieri flair. Find graffitied cartoon muscle cars bristling on the brickwork, a diner that is bold and an unashamedly trendy slice of rustic roadhouse Americana that’s beloved of the charismatic US TV personality.
The seating space outside the screens is quite limited, but the focus of the venue is firmly on the joy of in-screen dining. Outside you will find a few scattered tables and a bar with a batch of barstools, perfect if you arrive early for a pre-flick drink or nibble.
The interior of each of the five screens are set up specifically to provide the best combined viewing and dining experience. Seats are not luxury recliners, but comfortable enough for a two hour movie. The counter in front of you seems a bit alien, or out of place at first, but you quickly get used to it and it in no way compromises the viewing pleasure.
On to the food. If you’re looking for vegan macro nutrient kale smoothies, this might not be the menu for you. Fieri is famous for gourmet fast food. The sort of tastes that happen when five-star kitchens and traditional ‘greasy spoon’ diners collide. He will have you licking your plate clean, as even the crumbs seem to be infused with some sort of Fieri magic. Start with flatbread and a trio of hummus samplers, Trash Can Nachos or chicken tenders with intelligently varied dipping sauces. The mains include the human-face sized Bacon Mac-and-Cheeseburger and a South West Lobster roll. And if you get time before the credits roll, dig in to the New York Marbled Cheesecake.
There’s also a range of signature beverages. We tried out some of the mocktails, which were absolutely worthy of a nomination for an academy award, should a category for best beverage ever be added to the bill.
Altogether it was a great new experience and the service was first class. Great movies (as long as you make great choices), great food and, basically – you have your own personal butler to bring anything you might require during your movie.
Enjoy Reel Cinema by Guy Fieri with a special package deal which includes a blockbuster movie, starter and a main, all for AED 160. www.reelcinemas.ae/