Restaurant Reviews from finefoodfan

Status: Guru

Credibility Score:
28%

County: Dublin

No. of Reviews: 48

Member Since: 30 September 2008

Last Visit: 13 April 2014

The Best Restaurant

Darwins restaurant

80 Aungier Street, Georges Street, Dublin, Area Code: Dublin 2

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Cuisine:
Coeliac options

Price Range:

Good
274 reviews

Reviewed 13th April 2009 ( visited 04th April 2009 )

If you are the kind of person who always orders your steaks rare because you know how much better they are that way, then this is the place for you. A temple to the carnivore, where respect is paid to the master chef by savouring every mouthful of pure beef with the respect that such rare chunks of meat deserve. In other matters, the staff are very friendly and helpful. Even when they had a problem with their credit-card machine (turns out it was low on power, not that my account was empty!) they were very good about it and it was not an issue, though I'm glad we were in no hurry. Don't order sides, I know the helpings of potatoes may look small but when you start into them you'll realise why we didn't touch our order of a side of fries between us... what a waste, I know.
Most Visited Restaurant

Dunne And Crescenzi (South Frederick Street) restaurant

14-16 South Frederick Street, City Centre South, Dublin, Area Code: Dublin 2

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Cuisine:
Cafe

Price Range:

Good
218 reviews

Reviewed 16th November 2008 ( visited 16th November 2008 )

Reading the other reviews below I am stunned! I had always heard good things about this place and had been looking forward to going for a long time. I wasn't disappointed in the least. Maybe the staff have had the re-training suggested by rachg below! I had the bruchetta which was as good as any (of many) that I have had in Italy. The tomatoes where tasty and wild like none you'd ever find in Tesco or Superquinn and the Ciabatta they were on was crisp and light (not doughy) so that you were eating the tomatoes and not a lump of bread as in some Irish restaurants. The staff were as attentive as I could ever ask. We were sitting right next to the counter so that may have been the deciding factor but it worked whatever it was. I dropped a tiny piece of tomato and informed a passing staff member who was about to step on it. and he had it off the floor and the floor cleaned in 30 seconds or less. The one pointer I would have is that the menu is quite Italian and therefore you don't get the 'old reliables'. Go with an open mind (or an Italian friend) and you'll be treated to delights like you can't imagine.
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L'Atmosphere Restaurant
19 Henrietta st, Waterford, Waterford City, Waterford

5:30pm and my wife and I arrived at this restaurant with our two small children having been on the tourist trail around Waterford for the day. It was still empty and it's seldom we get to eat out so we enquired was it ok to bring children and it was. No problem at all. From there things went uphill. The food was such good value that we were sure the portions would be tiny or just terrible. How wrong could we have been? The portions were just perfect, 3 courses for €20 WITH a glass of wine! A level of quality in food that could only make you think that kitchen staff really love what they do. Exactly what you want. The food was only matched by the service. Our waiter was incredibly attentive. Even as the restaurant filled up we knew we were being well looked-after. Next time I am in Waterford I will making it my business to have l'Atmosphere on my MUST list. Notes: I had the duck and it was done to perfection. Falling off the bone. It was served with just the right amount of potatoes to keep me full but not too full for the fabulous Chocolate mousse. If you're a coffee connoisseur look no further, their coffee is also not to be missed. My wife too enjoyed her beef bourguignon (which I stole some of, sorry!) and her chocolate soufflé was excellent too (sorry!)

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Rustic Stone
South George's Street, Dublin 2, Georges Street, Dublin

Dylan McGrath would be better off putting his name to a local Dublin chipper. At least then when the food served was bland and unimpressive the customer wouldn't feel like they'd been robbed on their way out the door. We went here for our anniversary dinner and were looking forward to it, having heard the name so often. For starter bites we chose the Olives and the Breads & Dips. We got 4 olives on a bed of ice. The description sells you the ice as part of the food as it contains cucumber juice and dill! Thus the theme is set. Our humus was overly processed to the point where it was more like puree with no character or textuure. The organic Saint Marie, Bordeaux, Red wine we chose was flat and quite watery in taste. I went for the fillet steak, unfortunately it is not available off the stone (though I didn't ask) so when it arrived I had to remove it immediately to prevent it being cooked through. The garlic chips with pesto were fine. Nothing amazing, I would have preferred them cut thinner but I seem to be in the minority in that way these days. Desert was also a disappointment. There were many things I wouldn't go near and so I was left with chocolate soup. No meringue or pavlova but instead brulee, panacotta, tapioca and casanade. In summary I think the attempt to be earth-friendly, wholesome and environmentally conscious has left this restaurant with a tasteless menu which I won't be rushing back for more of.

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Wallace's Taverna
24 Lower Ormond Quay, Italian Quarter, City Centre North, Dublin

As a fan of great Italian food I am so often disappointed by the meals produced in 'Italian' restaurants in Dublin. Italian recipes bulked-up to cater to an Irish appetite. Not so here. This was as close to eating in Northern Italy as I have experienced since I was last there in person. The ingredients were all obviously fresh and selected, prepared and cooked with a passion for producing great food. My Tagliatelle with Courgette and Tiger Prawn was cooked to perfection. We were there with our 10-month-old son. The staff were very happy to see him and were great around him. I will be choosing this restaurant the next time the choice is mine without hesitation. I urge you to do the same.

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Gallahers Bistro (formerly Mona Lisa)
16A D'Olier Street, City Centre South, Dublin

Coming at this from a slightly unusual angle. Ate here twice recently and both times with baby & buggy in toe. The staff were only fabulous. So acommodating. I'm sure it helps that there were very few other people there in the afternoon but they really were lovely. As for the food, it was both prepared and presented with real care and attention. Yesterday I had a BLT which had the meetiest back-rashers and a huge ring of tomato. Ok, so you might not be picking it up as it was a bit awkward but it was all delicious. My wife had issuues with the greasiness of her chicken-wings but the rest was all top-notch. We were brought there only last week when we met a friend in town so it was an easy choice yesterday when we wanted somewhere to eat. We'll keep coming back if they keep those standards up.

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TriBeCa
65 Ranelagh Village, Ranelagh, Dublin

As per usual with TriBeCa, this was a great meal, good atmosphere, attentive staff, all-round solid restaurant. I'd go there anytime and have only had great experiences there, whether with my young son in a buggy or my elderly father who had mobility issues. This visit was no different. Of course the sauce on their chicken-wings could be clouding my judgement as it is just THAT good!

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Tir na nOg Caife
Mount Prospect Avenue, The Red Stables, Clontarf, Dublin

In Tir na nOg today for lunch with my wife, one of her friends and our 5-month-old. It was the first sunny day in a while so St. Anne's park was full, not packed, just full. We live near-by and have been meaning to try Tir na nOg out for some time. On arriving we pushed through the queue of ice-cream buyers that blocks the door and made our way to the lift (a tip: you have to hold the button on the lift for it to keep moving, it's designed that way). When we go to the restaurant we saw a table immediately and space for the buggy so no issues there. The table had the remains of the previous guests but that happens. We stayed about 2 hours and during that time saw tables come and go around us. The kitchen being downstairs causes logistical problems for the servers in that meals have to be carried up and empties brought down. Nothing earth-shattering you might have thought. Unfortunately nobody told the staff this, first we waited, then 20 minutes later when a pair of coffees were accidentally brought to our table, they noticed us. With empty plates on our table they came and went carrying tiny amounts of food up the stairs and returning with tiny numbers of empty plates in big basins that really only seem to get in the way. They also used little judgement when deciding which tables to empty/clean. The idea that a customer is staring at an empty plate should always usurp an empty (and unneeded) table with a few plates on it. Better yet, ditch the basin, pile them high and get rid of them all! I went to pay eventually. I would have waited a while had I known that I was going to interrupt a staff-member’s snack. Despite being in clear view I was left waiting at the till until the manager was finished talking to her. This fabulous location is unfortunately let down by a completely untrained staff who don’t know how to make it what it could be and a manager who tries to pick up the pieces but has way too much covering to do.

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Thunder Road Cafe
Fleet Street, Temple Bar, Dublin

The hard working and yet jovial staff of this once-proud American style diner are let down in their attempts to bring the best to their customers by a lack luster setting and a kitchen that no longer cares. Like something out of a 1950's novel we ate, put aside the pieces of wilted cabbage and celery and left a mountain of perfectly good food. The quantity only surpassed by the greater mountain of thick sauce used to cover the plate. I had chorizo & chicken pasta and my partner had the ribs & wings combo. Either could have fed us both with left-overs. My side-salad was piled (and dressed) so high I couldn't get into it without spilling all around. With a bit of a make-over and some better quality control, bought with the money saved with serving smaller quantities, this place could be back to its former glory.

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l'Ecrivain Restaurant
109a Lower Baggot Street, City Centre South, City Centre, Baggot Street, Dublin

As I said to the charming waitress when she asked me what was my favourite part of the meal, 'I could have had that piece of veal for starter, main, desert and again with my coffee'. Unfortunately it was so far beyond great that I remember very little else of the beautifully put-together meal. It seems to be the way Derry likes to do dishes, that each, be it starter, main or desert, be a 'collection' of parts. So I would encourage you to read the menu well. Once you have decided which you are having based on the key element, go back and memorize the other elements so that you know what is looking back at you from your plate. The alternative it to ignore what it might be and just let the master craftsman decide how to put tastes together. Perfection.

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The Yacht (Clontarf)
73 Clontarf Road, Clontarf, Dublin

Had dinner here last night. We like to walk as it's a good walk from the house and works up an appetite! We had no starters (despite the wide variety for a pub) and moved straight to mains. I had the fish special and asked for chips instead of mash but that was not the way they serve it and I didn't mind so no big deal. As it happens, chips would have spoiled this meal. It had cod, which was beautifully cooked and falling apart, smoked salmon, prawns & baby-shrimp and tasted fabulous. Veg on the side wasn't much to write home about but the chocolate AND meringue cake for desert was absolutely fabulous! All washed down with whatever you want from the bar (seems obvious but so many restaurants of this quality don't have much of a bar). We'll be back... regularly. Pity they don't pay much attention to their Menupages page though!

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Louies Bistro
20 Mountjoy Square East, Dublin 1, City Centre North, Dublin

Impromptu dinner with a friend who happens to live close to this restaurant. I was very suspicious when he told me we should try the place down the road. The north inner city is not known for it's vast array of eateries. On entering this Georgian house basement restaurant I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I could just as easily have been on Merrion as Mountjoy square. The staff were well trained and helpful without being in-your-face the whole time. We were asked once was everything ok and it certainly was. I was driving so no wine and only a main course but what I had was fabulous. It was the fish special and was hake, muscles, new potatoes, mange tout, broad beans and the nicest sauce I've had in quite some time. This will definitely be on my re-visit list. Only problem is location, it's not a short stroll from any public transport so as to leave the car at home. If I have any issue (no complaints) it would be with the bread. A fresher, crustier bread would have been nicer and lighter than the dense white we were given. Again the service was fabulous though as they offered to take the empty bread plate or give us some more if we liked! Can't say enough, check it out some night you have a driver!

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Frango's World Cuisine
Level 3, Dundrum Town Centre, Sandyford Road, Dundrum, Dublin

Here for Sunday dinner with my elderly father. Other than being a bit mad with crowds and kids running everywhere it's one of the few places we can go. Little distance to walk (car-park > lift > restaurant) and a very bright and spacious eating area where people with reduced mobility can easily be accommodated. The 'system' for finding what you want and ordering takes a bit of understanding as the menus are not displayed clearly enough but when you eventually get your food it is always well done. On Sunday I had a starter of smoked salmon and salad, followed by (you have to get up and go queue again) a fabulous piece of slow-cooked beef which I was not expecting much from but I ended up polishing off because of how tasty it was and that's despite the generous portion size. The chips are also the medium sized, crispy ones, just the way I like them. Another thing is that you are left alone to eat in peace, as there are plenty of tables you never feel a need to finish up. We will definitely be back.

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Le Bon Crubeen
81-82 Talbot Street, City Centre North, Dublin

I was in this restaurant tonight for dinner and found it was a very nice place with a nice selection of drinks and some great house-wines (I sampled two lovely reds) but it was terribly let down by the food. I had a seafood chowder to start which was too thin and full of vegetables. I couldn't tell at first if it was shell-fish or fish so I looked closely to find that there was only one (no exaggeration) piece of fish in it! Enough extra salt and pepper made it edible. Then the main, a €12.50 8oz sirloin steak is never going to be fabulous but I tried to keep an open mind. When I asked for it Very rare and the waitress said 'would you like it blue' I was impressed and said 'yes'. Of course it came out somewhere between medium-rare and rare (no surprise there as Irish restaurants don't seem to understand that rare implies a cold centre) but it certainly was a good cut of meat. Unfortunately it was terribly let down by being smothered in a sweat, nearly translucent 'pepper sauce' and served on a cold plate. 'No', Not the plate! The centre of the steak is what should be cold!! I prefer my fries skinny so no complaints there and a wonderful apple crumble for desert. I'll go back for the house Cabernet Sauvignon alone!

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Cortina’s Mexican Restaurant
The Pembroke District, Dundrum Town Centre, Dundrum, Dublin

We were in for Sunday dinner, just my dad and I and had a grand meal. I asked for the Muscles to start but they are not being served any more. That was no problem as the Guacamole was my alternative option and it was great. Free re-fills of sauce too (if I'm not mistaken) so pile up each chip! My dad had the vegetarian version of the Tortilla Soup which he was happy with (which is rare because he is fussy about his soups!) and which was also quite spicy. For mains, I had the Fajitas with all-beef, but options were no problem. They were tasty but the meat had a lot of sinew so was tough at times. The sauce they gave me on them was fab and the selection of toppings was great. Presentation generally was also good but the food was a little cold. We were the only ones sitting outside which I don't think helped as they took time to noticed we had finished each course but there was not the usual sizzle that I associate with Mexican food. My dad had the burrito with pork (you can also have it with chicken) and again wasn't impressed with the temperature. Other than not noticing us quickly enough because we were outside, staff were courteous, helpful and polite. I will be going again and maybe leave the car at home next time.

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Indian Brasserie
Butterfield Avenue, Rathfarnham Village, Rathfarnham, Dublin

Haven't written anything in quite some time but today I was in the Indian Brasserie in Rathfarnham and I just HAD to. The food was fabulous and the service was second to none. The place was really well done out and the seats and tables were comfortable. As for the selection, that is what really makes this place amazing. They have a full all-you-can-eat buffet counter which is only: €19.90 and includes starter and main. But that's not the best of it, the best is that this is no slop that they wouldn't care if you ate them out of house and home... this is the best Indian food I have had in quite some time. Jaipur and the other big Indian restaurants in Dublin only breathe a sigh of relief that this place is in Rathfarnham and not off Grafton St. They also have an a-la-carte menu with Indian dishes side-by-side with fillet steak and the like for the foolish amongst us Irish, and you can add drinks or wine to the all-you-can-eat for a reasonable price more. Were they in town I'd be back Very soon, as it stands I'll be awaiting the opportunity eagerly.

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Aqua Restaurant
1 West Pier, Howth, Dublin, Howth, Dublin

Went to aqua because my girlfriend has been raving about it for as long as I've known her and it was her birthday. Suffice it to say we weren't disappointed. The seafood chowder was as a chowder should be, salty and full of seafood. Maybe a touch too much potato but I never was a potato person. The main of lamb shank was of the perfect consistency. Not falling off the bone because it had been steamed to a pulp but easily removable and tasty meat with some consistency to it. For desert I had a fine bailys coffee which wrapped proceedings up nicely. Staff were very highly trained and the view is nothing short of spectacular. My one complaint would be that *all* the 2-seater tables are in the middle of the floor so you'll never get a window seat no matter how early you book (apologies in advance if I missed one). The tables at the window are all 4-seaters.

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L'Officina by Dunne And Crescenzi (Dundrum)
Dundrum Shopping Centre, Dundrum, Dundrum, Dublin

I called here because of my father's usual problem of poor vision in even slightly darkened places. I knew one of these 3 restaurants would have a table at short notice. Though a very fussy eater/diner my father was quickly quietened when the food arrived. The choice on the menu was quite small and did not leave much room to stay in your comfort zone as it probably just wasn't there but, as it turned out when the food arrived, what was there was done impeccably. The ingredients were fresh and the cooking was Italian. No substitutes allowed. I'll definitely be back.

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Olesya's Wine Bar
18 Exchequer Street, City Centre South, Dublin

Sitting in the window of this bar having a sneaky glass of fine wine and a cheese and meats board to kill for. The ultimate way to relax while allowing a few Saturday afternoon hours slip by. Perfect!

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Kitchen
3 South Anne Street, City Centre South, Dublin

Stopped off for late lunch after a day walking around town. I wasn't going to be eating a big meal but when I saw the options I decided to have a little more than just lunch. The menu looked very appetising and the prices were not bad either. I had the Bocca Pizza which was mushrooms & roasted peppers with Pepperoni on a base which I thought was a little thick but then I do like mine very thin. On ordering first I had seen the beef strips and the warm Chicken salad and I asked if I could have the beef strips instead of the chicken only to be informed in no uncertain terms that there was no flexibility in the menu. This is something I don't like. Were I the waiter I would have said 'I'll ask' and even if you know there's no give, just pretend to ask and the customer will be happy, happier anyway! Was a lovely place to sit outside on a sunny day in Dublin though.

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El Paso Steakhouse
Upstairs at the Waterside Inn, Opposite the yacht club, Harbour Road, Howth, Dublin

We had intended on going to an Italian also in Howth but when they were fully booked we remembered this place and decided to give it a try. It is a bit rough 'n' ready and as a previous comment said, you are quite tightly packed, but it was worth it. We shared a nachos to start and then I had the burger with Guacamole & Bacon bits. Thankfully I remembered to remove the bun from the burger as there was loads of food and I'd never have been able to finish it otherwise. The burger worked out well, very tasty. We had a bottle of wine and I also ordered desert and the bill was very reasonable. Don't be put off by the size or the prices, if you are looking for good food with little fuss, this is the very place.

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Darwins
80 Aungier Street, Georges Street, Dublin

If you are the kind of person who always orders your steaks rare because you know how much better they are that way, then this is the place for you. A temple to the carnivore, where respect is paid to the master chef by savouring every mouthful of pure beef with the respect that such rare chunks of meat deserve. In other matters, the staff are very friendly and helpful. Even when they had a problem with their credit-card machine (turns out it was low on power, not that my account was empty!) they were very good about it and it was not an issue, though I'm glad we were in no hurry. Don't order sides, I know the helpings of potatoes may look small but when you start into them you'll realise why we didn't touch our order of a side of fries between us... what a waste, I know.

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Fallon and Byrne
11-17 Exchequer Street, City Centre South, Dublin

Here to say good-bye to friends who were leaving Ireland for a while we were grateful for having chosen somewhere we weren't going to be disturbed. The menu was a little slim on choice so I went for something a little different in the beetroot & goat's cheese soup. This was tasty when taking bits of the floating lump of cheese to go with the soup but nothing impressive. My main of rare fillet-steak more than made up for any lack of anything. Just touching the outside of the beautifully cooked steak showed a movement that made my mouth water... and it wasn't disappointed. I ate it slowly to savour every last morsel. Our wine was a Malbec which complemented the meat perfectly. The cheeseboard which I had for afters had a wide variety of cheeses any two or three of which would have done nicely. A great night out.

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Restaurant Ten Fourteen
324 Clontarf Road, Clontarf, Dublin

Whisked in from the cold to a tall veil of thick curtain which keeps the Irish winter from the dinning hall, our mouths were watering with anticipation. It had been a while since we were out and during that time we had been building up a list of must-go-there's of which this was definitely near the top. The service was fast, attentive and friendly. My opener was a seafood chowder which was very well filled with all I could have asked for. I was in the mood for steak, so was disappointed to see there was no fillet on offer but the sirloin was easily up to taking my mind off the fact. Beautifully cooked and presented it has to be up there with one of the tastiest I've had. My friend ordered the 'Shoulder of Lamb' which has to have been the best I've seen a piece of lamb presented in a long time. The 16 hour slow-cook left her with a piece of meat which fell apart and was as tender a piece of meat as ever I have witnessed. Usually at this point I'm so full I can only skip desert and move straight to coffee. Here this was not the case though and I am fortunate. I was presented with one of the best pavlovas I can remember. The berry topping created a complexity of taste and texture that I will be remembering and returning for.

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Bellagio
92 Terenure Road North, Terenure, Terenure, Dublin

A flying visit for a quick dinner that I can only complement. I have had a few Italian meals in Ireland but only a small percentage actually leave you thinking 'these people must be Italians'. I hope they move to the city-centre some time soon and I could easily recommend a few 'Italian' restaurants that I wouldn't mind seeing them replace. Well done.

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Baan Thai (Ballsbridge)
16 Merrion Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin

I had booked this for Valentine's Day as I was looking for a Thai place we had not tried before and Baan Thai came well recommended. On arriving first we were shown to a fairly cramped corner of upstairs. Once seated it wasn't a problem but you wouldn't want to be having a private conversation. The waiter explained to us and the table beside that he had been out the night before and was hung-over so that is why he was taking time with getting our orders. Not a problem though as we were not going anywhere after. The food arrived and the soup was a fairly standard Mushroom Thai Veg with button mushrooms. Tasted fine, as did the duck I had for mains. The fried rice was not the best but adequate. All told the food was good and made the meal enjoyable but nothing to write home about. That said, at the price being paid, I suspect it couldn't have been better. We paid under a hundred euro (without the tip) even though we had a €40 bottle of wine.

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O'Dwyers
118 Kilmacud Road Lower, Stillorgan, Dublin

This is somewhere I've been many times before and will continue to return to for various reasons. When eating out with my father, the prerogative is a well-lit place. A table by the window here fits the bill perfectly. As most of the tables are near a window that's never a problem. Another important factor is a service staff that will listen attentively to his remarks, comments & anecdotes and not turn to me as though begging me to stop him ranting on at them. As if satisfying both of these conditions were not enough O'Dwyers do good food too! A reasonable selection of well-presented dishes, cooked well. My sirloin steak was beautifully cooked as I had asked for rare and it came rare. Pepper sauce on the side nicely presented and lovely thin chips. The started we both chose from the menu was the seafood chowder but as this was not available they conjured up a deep-fried brie for me and gave us two other non-menu options. All the above at a reasonable price and in a very well finished setting.

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Purple Ocean Restaurant
St Michael's Pier, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin

Nothing special. Place was grand. We were there for the €20 set menu but would have avoided it if I'd have known. You do get 3 courses for your €20 but it's no surprise to anyone how they manage to do it. My Beef & Mushroom pie had 3 cubes of beef, 20 tiny button mushrooms and a bowlful of gravy in it. The pork didn't look any more appetizing and neither did any of the other mains. My friend was given to complain about the piece of meat he'd received as his sirloin of beef was tough, he thought it was because he had asked for an end piece but I'd hazard to guess that it was more got to do with the fact that they were giving the OAPs at the lunch tables the cheap meat. The table rocked slightly on the hard floor and the plates all rocked loudly on the hard table. I chose this place as I had been impressed on a previous occasion. I booked it on the Monday before as it used to be impossible to get a Sunday lunch seat after Wednesday. It was very empty on Sunday and I can see why. The bad weather won't have helped but the finish isn't going to either.

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The Dining Room
35 Dawson Street, City Centre South, Dublin

A special treat, being brought somewhere a-cut-above by my partner. First impressions must be the surprise at the very small number of people there. Initially we thought, maybe 8:30 was early but this turned out not to be the case as only 5 or 6 tables were ever used. Our starters were beautifully cooked and presented, I had the grilled prawns which were the meatiest prawns I've ever had. Beautifully cooked. The wine was a lovely Valpolicella though the menu did say '05 and the wine was '06 but forgiveable error as it was a fabulous wine. My lamb main course was also beautifully turned-out. The sauce which really made the meal was just right and the side of roast potatoes was done to a tee. To finish I Just had room for the Creme Brulee which set the meal off nicely. The lack of dining company probably contributed to the fact that we were given all the time in the world to finish up, but maybe not. A great night out.

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Wongs of Clontarf
436 Clontarf Road, Clontarf, Clontarf, Dublin

Dropped in on a Saturday night for dinner. We would have made a reservation but for the fact that their phone number was not working. My soup was crab & sweetcorn soup which was lovely. The beef stir-fry came in a very elegant dish carved from half a pineapple. The wine was a lovely Cabarnet Sauvignion which was €22 for a bottle and was listed under 'house wines' of which there were four white and four red. The deserts were the standard fare but unfortunately the ones we like best (the lemon sorbet and the orange sorbet) were out of stock. Our other main course was a 'peppery chicken' dish which was also very well cooked and presented. Wongs is a breath of fresh air for someone who only knows of 'Chinese Food' as the mass of MSG & batter you get from the average take-away.

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Hibernian Bistro
Citywest Hotel, Naas Rd, Saggart, Saggart, Dublin

As carverys go, this one is as good as they come. I was working in the area and stopped in to the hotel for lunch. The selection was all you could ask for both meats and accompanying sauces. The usual choice of two vegetables and either chips, roast or mash and a selection of deserts. The service here is also excellent. There are always ample staff around to take you tray or to clear your table when you are finished your meal and bring coffees. The only comment here is that you have to take water Before you get your tray! a strange setup that leaves you carrying your water in one hand and trying to take out your tray and get a knive & fork with the other hand.

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Thai Garden Restaurant (Galway)
Unit 2 Portmore Spanish Arch, Galway City, Galway

While on a quick break in Galway I had asked to Galway Bay Hotel to recommend a Thai restaurant in town. They chose this place and when approaching in the taxi I was wary because the outside looks cheap and unkempt. Inside is nothing of the sort. Ushered to our table we were served with the very best of everything. Thai fans this one is a MUST! Two comments, the staff don't speak much English, but enough. Secondly they do go a bit over-board on the sauces. My duck was dripping with sauce though thankfully this did not seem to be an attempt to hide anything as it is in all too many cases.

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Marios (Ranelagh)
39 Ranelagh Village, Ranelagh, Dublin

This restaurant is in a very convenient location for me so it is very unfortunate that they consistently drop the ball on simple things like service, cheap coffee, lousy pizza-bases, cheap meat slices as toppings both on pizzas and starters. The potential is all there as the menu is solid and mouth-watering but that's not enough, obviously. I'll probably be back because this place has lots of fans and it is very near my house but it will never be my choice of where to go.

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Luigi Malones Restaurant
5/6 Cecilia Street, Temple Bar, Dublin

A quick celebratory dinner, late one cold Sunday night. Booked during the day and were thankful we had. Expected it to be empty but it was full, upstairs at least. As we were not having starters or deserts I can't comment on those but my "Lamb & Chorizo Espetadas €21.90" (basically hanging skewers of Lamb and Chorizo) was done to perfection. I asked for it rare and it came rare. Such beautiful pieces of lamb I have not had in some time. First rate. The services was fast and courteous and our drinks and dinner both arrived in very quick time. I have always had good experiences in Luigi Malones and today was no exception. Two very generous meals, two soft drinks and two coffees came to just under €55.

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Mao Restaurant (Chatham Row)
2-3 Chatham Row, City Centre South, Dublin

I was looking around Chatham Row with a friend for a quiet restaurant where we would not be overheard. Mao was spacious and empty enough that it fit the bill well so despite a bad experience some months back in the Dundrum branch we gave it a try. I had the spicy coconut, chicken and galanga soup as a starter and despite it only having 1 pepper on the menu it had 4 or 5 pieces of pepper in the soup; once these were gone it was quite nice though a bit sweet for my taste. For mains I had the stir-fried duck with rice which came very poorly presented with an up-turned bowl of rice on a place. The stir-fry was heavily steeped in sauce which was also very sweet so also not to my liking. By this time an office party was arriving also with some very boisterous people. Their voices and laughter took over the whole upstairs and we found ourselves shouting at each other to make ourselves heard. Though this may not have been entirely the restaurants fault it did detract from the experience.

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Il Primo
16 Montague Street, City Centre South, Dublin

I had often passed by and wondered how a restaurant managed to stay afloat with only 3 tables. So when it came up as a suggestion for our Christmas team dinner I was thinking there was obviously more to this than meets the eye. On arrival we were directed upstairs past many boxes of wine, around the corner by the coat rack and into a room no bigger than the average living room but at least with plentiful windows. Our waiter was excellent. My colleague who had been before suggested I ask for the duck risotto which was not on the set menu as it is his favourite. I did and after a quick chat with the kitchen it was deemed possible! Well, he was right. It was probably the best risotto I've ever tasted. The portion was large without being obscene and I finished it easily without having to be helped out of the restaurant afterwards. The waiter was also very helpful with choosing from the Italian-only wine list. The wine he chose was to everyone's liking and went very well with the meals. I'll be back. It is a place for a special night as it is not cheap but definitely one to remember for a birthday.

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Eddie Rockets (Citywest)
Citywest Shopping Centre, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24, Saggart, Dublin

Here for lunch with the lads from work. Service was fine. Seated promptly. Food came on time and was well cooked. All standard Eddie-Rockets fare but all good nonetheless. To their usual high standard. I'll be back.

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Johnnie Fox's Pub
Glencullen, Dublin Mountains, Glencullen, Dublin

We wanted to go out but neither of us could have a glass of wine as we both had work commitments. We have also been looking to go to Johnnie Fox's for some time but usually you think, 'we'll go somewhere we can have a glass of wine and don't have to worry about driving home'. So last night we decided to kill two birds with one stone. When we got there the pub has a fabulous old-world charm. It was empty compared to summer-sunny days. This is really not a place for rainy December nights, but maybe it should be. We were seated immediately and presented with the standard menu. Many dishes are at the higher end of the price range but we went for the Swordfish steak and the poached Salmon which were reasonable. The portions were generous and the service was excellent. The meal seemed to opt on the lazy side for the pub-grub feel, rather than going the whole way toward a restaurant quality. The sauce with my Swordfish had a skin on it by the time it arrived at my table (not long mind you) and the vegetables were over-cooked and seemed as though they had not really been paid much attention at all. The service was fine though, so there were only the finishing touches that let the place, with so much potential, down. Certainly not somewhere that I would want to go if I was going to fork out for one of the more expensive dishes!

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Punjabi By Nature Indian Restaurants & Takeaway
(Formerly Punjab Balti), 15 Ranelagh Village, Ranelagh, Ranelagh, Dublin

This was a lovely place to eat. The kind of place you pass every day of the week and never think to call in to until you hear about it from someone who lives miles away. The menu was very full and the staff were excellent. For the price that we paid for our meal it is really of the highest quality. We turned up without reservation at about 7:30 and were seated immediately and without problem. We did let them know that we would be leaving early and the restaurant was quite empty but there was no problem anyway which is always good. Even the constant stream of customers (obviously more 'in the know' than I) who were coming to collect their take-away were not a problem as the double-door kept the wintry cold out and they were kept to the area around the reception desk.

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Dobbins Restaurant
15 Stephen Lane, City Centre South, Dublin

Had dinner with a big group in Dobbins today and it was excellent. I don't give it 5 stars for atmosphere as we were upstairs and the room (which only has windows on one side was a bit cramped. I had the smoked salmon to start and it was lovely. I never find much variety in smoked salmon but it was with a lovely garnish and capers which added to it very well. The selection of breads were also very nice. As a main I had the Wicklow lamb. This was tender and well cooked. It came with a very nice gravy and on a bed of mashed potato. One of the best things was the quantity. It was as if the meal was tailored for me. I was well-satisfied and yet I had plenty room for either a sticky toffee pudding or the pavlova. In the end I went for the pavlova which was an individual portion of meringue with a mix of berries. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Espresso was just OK, I have certainly had better and the house red was very respectable. I will certainly be back, but maybe not recommending it for large groups, at least if it was my choice, I'd ask not to be seated upstairs unless privacy was important.

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Captain America's Cookhouse and Bar (Tallaght)
Unit A3 Tallaght Cross Dublin 24, Tallaght, Dublin

There for a quick lunch on a Tuesday. Service was fine. Staff not exactly jumpting to help you but ok nonetheless. The food was lovely. My burger was juicy and the chips were just perfectly crispy. My butterscotch milkshake was also lovely. Be aware though, they are not very big! The glass is generously topped off with whipped cream to make them look bigger. I know that's probably a CA's standard portion though so not the fault of this branch. We were waiting some time to get attention when we wanted to leave but will certainly be back for another of those burgers.

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The Old Orchard Inn
76 Butterfield Avenue, Rathfarnham, Rathfarnham, Dublin

I have written glowingly about this place before but what a turn-around. The last time I was there we were kept waiting for far too long for each course and when it came, the food was really not worth waiting for. You can understand when this is due to busy staff etc. but on this day it really was not busy. There was just no excuse.

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Dunne And Crescenzi (South Frederick Street)
14-16 South Frederick Street, City Centre South, Dublin

Reading the other reviews below I am stunned! I had always heard good things about this place and had been looking forward to going for a long time. I wasn't disappointed in the least. Maybe the staff have had the re-training suggested by rachg below! I had the bruchetta which was as good as any (of many) that I have had in Italy. The tomatoes where tasty and wild like none you'd ever find in Tesco or Superquinn and the Ciabatta they were on was crisp and light (not doughy) so that you were eating the tomatoes and not a lump of bread as in some Irish restaurants. The staff were as attentive as I could ever ask. We were sitting right next to the counter so that may have been the deciding factor but it worked whatever it was. I dropped a tiny piece of tomato and informed a passing staff member who was about to step on it. and he had it off the floor and the floor cleaned in 30 seconds or less. The one pointer I would have is that the menu is quite Italian and therefore you don't get the 'old reliables'. Go with an open mind (or an Italian friend) and you'll be treated to delights like you can't imagine.

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Yamamori Sushi
38-39 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1, Ireland, City Centre North, Dublin

Was there on a Monday night with a big group of friends of mixed age-groups. Everyone seems to have had a good time generally with many people trying their hand at chopsticks for the first time (though knives & forks are supplied) and many trying Sushi for the first time too. The points I would note are that the menu takes a lot of reading to for the novice. The titles are all in Japanese (see the menu on this page) so you have to read and imagine the descriptions under each one. We were all very relieved when the waiter suggested the Bento Box which has 'a little of everything' and he was right. Curried Beef, Breaded Fish, Sushi, etc. The only problem with this box was that some of the food was intended to be hot and the fact (I think) that we had a big group meant that the beef in particular got cold very quickly after landing in front of me. So the moral of the story is go when you have lots of time, study the menu well and you can't go wrong, fabulous food and a good night had by all.

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The Egg Cafe (Avoca Rathcoole)
Naas Road, Rathcoole, Dublin

Here for lunch today. Had the special of the day which was ham & spinach quiche. It came with three salads. I chose from the 7 or so on offer, 4 of which involved couscous. I chose one of the couscous ones, a carrot one which was quite nice (plenty of vinegar just as I like it) and a broccoli, feta & cherry tomatoes one. The room is large, spacious, and well lit from massive glass wall on one side. It was also quite full but there was not the loud noise of people chattering that you get in some places that have open plan large areas. The Quiche was lovely. nice sized pieces of ham, though maybe not enough of them. The lady insisted on loading my plate up with each of the salads I had to stop her with two of them. I didn't realise why until I came to pay for my meal. I got a small bottle of cranberry juice and the whole thing came to over €15. I was taken aback. I didn't even want the salads particularly. The juice was two Euros something so the piece of quiche was over €12. I'm sorry I didn't keep the receipt. If price is not an issue. They also had a phenomenal selection of gorgeous deserts and coffees to choose from and the very relaxed atmosphere is definitely a great way to get away from the office at lunchtime. I'll be back, but only when I'm really treating myself.

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An Poitin Stil
Naas Road, Rathcoole, Dublin

Ate here on Thursday for the first time since office moved to Citywest and I think it will be one of my regular choices from now on. It has a large eating area which very often (at lunchtime pub carverys) means a small selection of food but this is not the case. The hot and cold food choice was on the upper end in terms of range. Also being a bar it has a full selection of drinks which is always handy. I had a bit of a mixture, taking the chicken, with the vegetables that were meant of the fish dish and the rice that was meant for the curry dish and it was no problem at all to the staff. They were very pleasant and prompt. The price was about €11.50 for the meal which is fine and then we had coffees. The coffee was the standard filter stuff, so not worth comparing to a restaurant coffee but other coffees were available. All-in-all, no complaints, I'll be back.

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Mulino's
23 Watermill road, Raheny, Dublin 5, Raheny, Dublin

We arrived in on a Saturday night. Hadn't planned or booked ahead and landed in at about 7:30. We were not going for anything special just had decided not to cook dinner at home. We were seated with the proviso that they needed the table back by 9pm which was no problem. The drinks order was prompt with the very normal selection of wine (fair range of wines), tea, coffee or soft-drinks (served in their cans with a glass of ice). We went for soft drinks and each had a pizza from the menu. Though it seemed like an age because of how hungry we both were, the pizzas did arrive in good time. The base was just perfect, thin, crispy and absolutely yummy. I love the irregular shape which always means the base was thrown for you rather than having been bought in perfectly circular. The toppings too were absolutely fabulous, the house speciality is the rocket-leaves, artichokes and Parma ham. My friend had this and was just as impressed as I was. I had the Vesuvio (the one with the fried-egg in the middle) and this too was perfect. It hadn't been cut at all which I assume was to preserve the egg but it could have been cut a bit?? Coffee was also amongst the best in Dublin. I have been blessed with some lovely after-dinner coffees recently and comparing them all, this rated Very well. Though it was a simple meal and we weren't hanging around, it was certainly a great intro to this hidden gem and we will definitely be back.

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Anvil Bistro Restaurant
Saggart Village, Saggart, Dublin

Anvil is a solid option for lunch if you work in Citywest or around Saggart. My entire party had a great meal. Cooked to perfection and with a great selection. The staff were obviously well trained and proud of doing a good job. The complaints I'd have would be that the place is a bit 'cold', not temperature but décor. The prices were also not something I could afford every day. At about €14 for a lunch, much as I might wish!

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The Oar House Fish Restaurant
8 West Pier, Howth, Howth, Dublin

Absolutely excellent restaurant. We went for dinner even though neither of us are big fish eaters but we were going to be in Howth so booked to have dinner there too. Dinner was absolutely gorgeous. Coffee (and we are picky when it comes to coffee) was as good as I've had anywhere in Ireland or abroad. Can't believe I went for dessert as it's not something I usually have space for but it was all so good that I just had to. Well done all in The Oar. I'll be back.

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Jaipur Restaurant (George's Street)
41 South Great Georges Street, Georges Street, Dublin

Everything really good. One thing I just have to comment on as it was SO well handled. My friend was approached by the waiter just before my meal was brought out to tell her that they had had a minor accident in the kitchen with her meal and it would be delayed by a few minutes. Perfect. Less than 5 minutes later, there it was. No problem. No need to hide anything if your operation is running well. Treat the customer with respect, tell them what happened and apologise. Then do your best to get it fixed ASAP! Everything else was lovely.

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