McGettigan’s, the Irish gastro sports pub established way back in the 1960’s, has already made its mark in the UAE. Their branches have a cosy Irish charm which makes McGettigan’s rather unique in the UAE setting. I was not aware they have a branch in Fujairah, so when I got a brunch invite for a #ZomatoMeetup there last Friday, I jumped at the chance.
We rarely see the morning sun on Fridays, and crawl out of bed just past noon. Last Friday was different. We had to be at McGettigan’s Fujairah by 12.30 sharp, and hit the road by 10 am. The drive to Fujairah is a scenic treat. With a kaleidoscope of rocky mountains and brick-red sand dunes on either side, and a free road with speeds of up to 120 km, a trip to Fujairah on a Friday morning makes for the perfect weekend road-trip.
McGettigan’s Fujairah is located inside the Fujairah Tennis & Country Club. You would think this would be easy to locate, but we got rather lost. We took the GPS coordinates from Google Maps, and this took us right in front of the entrance of Ajman University of Science and Technology. After a few frantic calls to the club’s reception and getting all the more confused, we took the help of an assistant at the neighbouring petrol pump and realized the club was exactly on the parallel road behind the university. Lesson learnt; never rely on Google Maps 100%, check the location map on Zomato as well!
Thankfully we made it on time, and the club has ample parking. The grounds of Fujairah Tennis & Country Club is all plush and green. Beautifully fit and tanned regulars battle it out on the courts, and idle families take solace by the pool.
McGettigan’s is located on the left of the club’s foyer, and like the branches I have seen in Dubai, the interiors resemble a cosy pub you are more likely to see in the nooks and crannies of Europe.
Television screens play live footage of a football game, yet the sharp electronic blare is subdued with the deep wooden accents of the setting. Gilded mirrors hang on bare walls, and a whole pile of logs take dominance of an entire wall where patrons are encouraged to leave a message.
Ofcourse I had to sign off on the blog’s behalf!
Sharing a meal with foodies from Zomato is always a treat. It’s very refreshing meeting likeminded people who have a genuine love for good food, and a real need to share their experiences with others. Best of all, when dining with a crowd like this, no one minds me taking out my DSLR and getting flash-happy over every dish to hit the table!
When the hostess asked me what I’d like to drink, I asked her to get me something ‘really pretty and photogenic’ 🙂 This is how I got introduced to the Strawberry Daiquiri, a slushy berry treat tinged with the bitter boldness of rum. Before long, many of my fellow foodies were ordering in this beauty as well!
We started off with a shared salad sampler. It included a coleslaw with walnuts, a shrimp salad, and one with broad beans. My favorite of the lot was the very fresh and minty cucumber and feta salad.
A plate of Jalapeno Poppers was being passed around the table, and this had everyone raving for more. Crunchy brown on the outside with a gooey cheese interior inclusive of a slice of sweetened Jalapeno, these pops of yumminess are the perfect accompaniment with drinks.
The menu at McGettigan’s is loaded with Irish favorites, and the prices are very reasonable too (nothing exceeds AED 80).
After the two-hour drive, we were all rather famished, and the orders were taking a while to hit the table. We therefore asked the hostess to serve our starters and mains together; a really bad idea as we were short on table space!
For starters, I ordered McGettigan’s Seafood Chowder. This was a thick, creamy mash-up of seafood flavors including smoked haddock, salmon and mussels. It is a rather large dish for a starter, and can easily be eaten as a main.
Hubby’s starter dish was the Tempura Softshell Crab, and this was a big hit around the table. The crabs were battered a beautifully crunchy golden brown, and the insides were really soft and flavorful. A drizzle of wasabi mayo on the top made it a stellar dish.
For my mains, I tried out McGettigan’s Wagyu Beef Chili, and am so very glad I did! This is an absolutely intense, flavorsome bowl brimming with a decadent play of chili bean and beef, and topped with melted Gruyere cheese. It is one of those soulfully rich, meaty dishes you would dream of devouring on a cold winter’s day. It comes accompanied with a serving of fries which went untouched. The chili beef was all-consuming and moreish all on its own.
Pallavi, our Zomato hostess, ordered McGettigan’s Fish & Chips and I stole a bite off her plate. These Fish & Chips deserve a special mention because the battered fish was absolutely divine! The deep-fried golden coating was crisp and light, and had the traditional hint of bicarbonate. The fish fillet enclosed within was beautifully moist and steamy, and had the perfect amount of seasoning. I think I’ve finally found perfect Irish-certified Fish & Chips in the UAE!
For our round of desserts, we decided to order everything on the menu and share it around the table. Yet another advantage of dining with Zomato enthusiasts!
I really enjoyed the Apple Crumble at McGettigan’s. It was warm and moist, and the apple filling had the perfect balance of tart and sweet. I also like how they serve the crunchiest crust on the side, so you can break into a bit of it with each spoonful, or choose to use it as a crunchy scooper on its own.
The Deep Fried Ice-Cream was a bit of a let-down. I am a huge fan of deep-fried ice-cream, and was expecting to see it in the form I am accustomed to, a scoop of frozen vanilla encased in a crunchy deep-fried batter. However, the one at McGettigan’s is ice-cream in a deep-fried filo pastry outer, pretty much a sweeter version of a spring-roll, but the contents were melting out and the pastry was hard to break into with our dessert spoons.
Appreciating Lemon Pie takes an acquired taste. You either love the hit of lemon sourness, or detest it. This was therefore the least loved dessert on the table, but I for one really enjoyed its overly tart hit of flavor, and the pie filling was incredibly smooth and silky.
The unanimous dessert favorite was McGettigan’s Sticky Toffee Pudding. The pudding was beautifully spongy, and soaked in the rich indulgence of toffee decadence. Every spoonful was wickedly moreish, and I found respite in the cool simplicity of the scoop of vanilla ice-cream accompanying it on the plate.
If you want a perfectly sweet Irish ending to your meal at McGettigan’s, I suggest you try their Nutty Irish Man. This is a decadently creamy, sweet muddle of hazelnut liqueur, Bailey’s Irish Cream and whipped cream. It’s a frothy hazelnut dessert in a glass, and as the menu suggests, it should really be renamed as the ‘Naughty’ Irish Man!
Overall, our brunch at McGettigan’s was a Friday afternoon well-spent. The scenic drive up to Fujairah sans the mad city traffic makes the location a perfect weekend getaway. I love the chilled out, cosy vibe of McGettigans. As we were making our way out, we stopped to listen to the live performance of McGettigan’s resident artist crooning to ‘Killing Me Softly’. I also noticed they have a little library in one corner. You might just find me there one idle weekend, book in hand digging into some more of their delicious pub grub.
McGettigan’s Fujairah is located inside the Fujairah Tennis & Country Club. Look them up on their website, or call 09 2244880 for details. They have plenty of offers and events lined up to keep it interesting 🙂
Thank-you #ZomatoUAE for a fabulous foodie Friday, and the wonderful company of fellow Zomans 🙂