Restaurant Reviews from HungryBum

Status: Guru

Credibility Score:
52.5%

County: Dublin

No. of Reviews: 66

Member Since: 10 January 2008

Last Visit: 26 June 2012

The Best Restaurant

Thornton's Restaurant

1st, The Fitzwilliam Hotel, 128 St Stephen's Green, City Centre South, Dublin, Area Code: Dublin 2

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Cuisine:
European

Price Range:

Good
88 reviews

Reviewed 20th December 2010 ( visited 18th December 2010 )

Across the board, fantastic. Was disappointed to point of annoyance when I saw it was a fixed Christmas menu, and the descriptions looked very boring and ordinary, but the food that was served was anything but. As with most of these places, it's the little touches that give them the star quality, and it for me it was the amuse bouche and the cheeseboard at the end of the meal, and the tea pouring ceremony, that were very cool. €500 for 3 of us inc a decent bottle of wine and 3 post-prandials, certainly not cheap; nor were we rolling out stuffed to the gills. The staff were friendly, but it was a bit higgeldy-piggeldy in terms of service; we were not allocated any on particular server so it was difficult to get attention when we needed something. We had to ask a number of people to get the wine order taken, and it was after our starters before it arrived out (hmmmm), plus we received no palette cleansers (fell through the cracks somewhat). Table was in the middle of the room which I wasn't mad about, but overall, experience was great and I would certainly aspire to going again (when I've saved up!)
Most Visited Restaurant

Happy Garden Chinese Restaurant and Take-Away

53 High st, Waterford, Waterford City, Waterford

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Cuisine:
Chinese

Price Range:

Great
5 reviews

Reviewed 08th December 2008 ( visited 06th September 2008 )

Lovely place - atmosphere depends on how busy the restaurant is; in my experience, the busier, the better, otherwise it can be a bit of a mausoleum! The food is lovely - especially the duck starter. I went with 3 friends and the service was amazing, now, that could be because 2 of them are restauranteurs in Waterford and well known, but either way, I really enjoyed it. Wines not bad either. One of my favourite Chinese restaurants in town. And dead handy as bang in centre too!
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Thornton's Restaurant
1st, The Fitzwilliam Hotel, 128 St Stephen's Green, City Centre South, Dublin

Across the board, fantastic. Was disappointed to point of annoyance when I saw it was a fixed Christmas menu, and the descriptions looked very boring and ordinary, but the food that was served was anything but. As with most of these places, it's the little touches that give them the star quality, and it for me it was the amuse bouche and the cheeseboard at the end of the meal, and the tea pouring ceremony, that were very cool. €500 for 3 of us inc a decent bottle of wine and 3 post-prandials, certainly not cheap; nor were we rolling out stuffed to the gills. The staff were friendly, but it was a bit higgeldy-piggeldy in terms of service; we were not allocated any on particular server so it was difficult to get attention when we needed something. We had to ask a number of people to get the wine order taken, and it was after our starters before it arrived out (hmmmm), plus we received no palette cleansers (fell through the cracks somewhat). Table was in the middle of the room which I wasn't mad about, but overall, experience was great and I would certainly aspire to going again (when I've saved up!)

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Boojum
Millennium Walkway, Dublin 1, City Centre North, Italian Quarter, Dublin

High end of average; the value is pretty good (€5 for a burrito and €3.50 for lunch portion of chilli). Nothing terribly exciting, flavour-wise, but chilli hit is about right. Staff a little hit-and-miss in the friendliness stakes. Good place for lunch and handy location.

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Bar Italia (IFSC)
Lower Mayor Street, Custom House Square, IFSC, City Centre North, Dublin

Went for late lunch and wasn't disappointed, the food was great, the antipasto plates (veggie and non-veggie) were as good as anything I've eaten in Italy. Their olives are yum, and the house Rose was delicious (we bought a bottle to go afterwards). Staff very friendly and helpful, typical Italian service (s-l-o-w) but if you're not in a hurry (we weren't) it is a pleasant place to pass a couple of relaxing hours over some tasty real Italian food. Will go back. Have been several times now (always for lunch).

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Farm Restaurant (Dawson Street)
3 Dawson Street, Dublin 2, Dawson Street, Dublin

Not bad, overall, but not great either. The decor is a bit mixed-signals; outsides almost looks Holier-Than-Thou-Veggie, inside is a funny mish-mash of trying to be trendeeeee and wholesome at the same time. A bit weird. Food is also a bit mixed signals-y. Wings were pretty good, mains were definitely tasty but not really as described. Wines were average. Staff were very friendly but had to be prompted a number of times. Bill came to more than we were expecting, but we enjoyed it and will go back.

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Shanahan’s on the Green
119 St. Stephens Green, Dublin , City Centre South, Dublin

Superb, top notch, stunning food and service as always. They accomodated several changes of date (due to my eating partner's availability) with good grace. They accomodated several requests on the night in question (minor enough, however each was accepted and honoured with equal good grace). The food was the usual... uber-fresh, perfectly cooked, amazingly presented, tasty, delicious. The staff were the usual... friendly, kind, accomodating, chatty, the right amount of attentive but not obsequious or sycophantic. I think their Appletinis are the best in Dublin, their Guinness apparently also perfect, their mussels probably the freshest I've ever eaten, the steaks cooked perfectly and served exactly as they should be, the side orders as tasty as ever... No stars removed for them this time I've eaten there, or the number of other times I've been there... not cheap but an amazing experience everytime...

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Chapter One Restaurant
18/19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, City Centre North, Dublin

I have scored this low because I didnt' feel it lived up to expectations. When visiting a Michelin starred restaurant, I think you should be feeling "wow" about the experience, but in particular the food. I can't and won't fault the staff who were very friendly and attentive without being intrusive. The atmosphere unfortunately was ruined by a rather boorish and overly-lubricated idiot at another table. The wine was good but not worth the price tag. The food was _lovely_ but definitely there was no "wow" factor, if we'd paid half the price I'd've thought it was nice. But at those prices, I expect invention and surprise. Perhaps it was the set Christmas time menu (which we weren't informed of prior to our visit) which was a bit of a let-down. Overall, would I recommend? Not sure. I've read so many good things. It was grand, but definitely not stunning, and in that respect, definitely not worth what we paid. Would I go back? For lunch perhaps. Not for dinner. Disappointing, given our expectations.

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Gemelles
23 Quay Street, Galway City, Galway

This place is /ok/, nothing spectacular. Staff were attentive and friendly. Despite the poor dessert option, they actually managed to make a proper (and yummy) brownie (as opposed to a chocolate cake masquerading as a brownie). Starters were ok, but nothing special. Mains were the same; tasty but nothing to write home about. Portion sizes for some items are huge, and for others, just average. No imagination in catering for lactose-intolerant or gluten-intolerant amongst the group, because everything seems to be pre-prepared, which is poor in this day and age. House wine is more than drinkable, and the litre carafe is good value too. Not a bad place for a crowd, if you want average food and there are no fussy eaters, but I wouldn't go there if it were a special occasion.

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The Counter Dundrum
Pembroke District, (adjacent to the Mill Pond at Town Square), Dundrum, Dublin

Average overall. There are better burger places out there. The concept is great. The service, appalling. Waiting forever for diet coke and a malt (delicious when it arrived, but no malt in it). Waitress didn't know if the chilli cheese fries had meat in them or if they were cheesy fries with a veggie chilli sauce. And didn't seem inclined to find out. The burgers are good, but nothing stunning. The price is on the high side for what you get (2 burgers, 2 fries, 2 drinks for €40, saucy in this day and age). The decor is "what were you thinking". The atmosphere was what you'd expect, however kudos to whoever (either by design or accident) put singles and non-kid-accompanying people in 1 half, and the kiddie brigade in the other half. Tables are very close together, so being hit by high pitched screams, or low pitched fries not terribly interesting, so well doe on that. I'll go back, but I'll go back to other burger places first.

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The Bridge Cafe
Bridge Street, Dublin 4, Ringsend, Dublin

Cheap as chips, this place. Which is all it's trying to be. It's a very traditional type café, no frills, safe, simple, ordinary, food. Nothing fancy, no expensive ingredients, nothing that would make you rush back. Service is perfunctory, nothing special, but not bad either. Coffee is dreadful (like most cafés in Dublin). Good value mini-Irish-breakfast, around a fiver. It's closeby for me, so I may revisit, but I won't rush it, nor would I specifically go there for breakfast, whereas I might make a trek to another café of a weekend for that particular purpose...

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The Cake Cafe
62 Pleasants Place, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

This place is "ok" across the board; nothing spectacular. The food is ok. The cakes are ok (but a bit slapdash and they also didn't have 2 of those advertised at mid-day on a Saturday). The homemade lemonade is good. The Moroccan mint tea is not (it's not rocket science to make it properly). The home-made beans on toast that everyone raves about? Sorry, there's a veggie restaurant in Dublin whose effort is leagues better. The service is friendly but apart from that, truly appalingly slow. The tables are set up outside in a lovely, charming area. Although I applaud their eco-efforts, and their selection of food (esp for veggies), there's something a bit twee about it, and something a bit sanctimonious about the prices they charge for supposedly "ordinary" food. Definitely on the expensive side for a café. Despite deliberately setting out to visit on this occasion, I think it's not good enough to merit a 2nd trip up there; it's a bit off the beaten track and not that hugely amazing... I wouldn't discourage a vist, but I won't be going back myself. Disappointingly average.

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Szechuan Garden Chinese Restaurant
100 Parnell St., Dublin, 1, City Centre North, Dublin

This place is charming, lovely. Great food, smashing staff; a mistake was made that they were happy to rectify without question, and they comp'd us some prawn crackers as an apology. The food was simple, good, steaming hot (rare in restaurants these days) and plentiful. The service was great; the staff have only broken English, but I don't care about that, they understood enough for us to tell them what we wanted to order, but they are helpful and friendly. Cheap-as-chips feel to the place, but so what, the food spoke for itself. And cheap, but clean, efficient staff, good food and buckets of it. 2 starters, a freebie prawn crackers, 2 mains, chips and fried rice, and 6 beers for €50. Far too much food that we had to leave behind, but they will wrap it to go if you want. Can't argue with all of that. We'll be back. Highly recommended.

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Le Tire Bouchon
112 south main street, Wexford Town, Wexford

Delicious. Fantastic value set menu €24/pp for bistro style. Very friendly staff. Kind enough to substitute a cheese plate for the desserts and not charge a supplement (and quite a decent size cheese plate too!). Good house wines to accompany meal. One really really fabulous dessert _red_ wine, unusual and delicious. One of, without a shadow of a doubt, the best meals, all-round, we've had in a long long time. With a bottle of sparkling water and a glass of chablis and the aforementioned red dessert wine, dinner for 2 at 7pm on a Saturday for €67. A healthy tip was earned, and left. Can't recommend enough. Next time we're in Wexford, we'll be back!

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Cafe en Seine
39 Dawson Street, Dublin 2, Dawson Street, Dublin

Two words: bloody awful. Before I start, may I say that I love Cafe en Seine, and have eaten/drank here on many an occasion, not recently though. We came here to celebrate on a Monday evening. The staff were friendly and attentive, the atmosphere and decor as fab as ever. But the food was appalling. We ordered their equivalent of tapas, 2 veggie and 2 non-veggie. All arrived on the same platter. Needless to say the meat-eater wasn't impresed. What we were given was dreadful quality, really really poor. We tried some cocktails (€5 each, why not) and if there was alcohol in them, I'd be surprised. Strawberry dacquiris were essentially slushy grenadine. Toblerone was chocolate milk. Appletini was vodka shaken in the general direction of apple schnapps, if even. Sad to say but frankly we won't go back. Don't go out so much anymore with the Big R affecting the lifestyle extras like eating and drinking out, and we were both annoyed to have spent about €60 on this poor excuse for cocktails and food. Really really dreadful show. The only reason they get any stars is because of the staff and decor...

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Emerald Court
11 Ranelagh, South Dublin, Ranelagh, Dublin

They've updated their menu, prices (lowered I think) and the place itself has had an overhaul; it's basically a take-away with a few tables and chairs. The staff are consistently really friendly and the food is really good; it's not Chinese haute cuisine, it's Chinese take-out food, but done well. Although their veggie & cashew nuts not as nice as it used to be, and they seem to have stopped serving glasses of milk :-) overall the experience was as good as it always was... have been going here for ages and it's recommended for a cheap & cheerful takeout meal, or takeout meal in situ (they don't take cred cards however which is one of the "not so good" changes they've made). Recommended.

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Murphy's Ice Cream
Strand Street, Dingle, Kerry

In comparison to Killarney store, this is much better (but I believe this was "the original"?). Otherwise, same formula, same icecreams etc. Better staffed than Killarney branch and it shows, better service - albeit a bit more "American" over-effusive than "Irish", however it works here. Between us we had peanut, guiness, rum and raisin, and whiskey chocolate. Good icecream but I still maintain they need to address their prices, which are on the high side for this day and age. Again, despite their menus advertising different coffees, I had to explain to them what a ristretto and lungo were... but no problems getting them when I explained.

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Charming Noodles
105 Parnell Street, City Centre North, Dublin

Visited here off-the-cuff, just walked in from the road. Staff really friendly and attentive. Food average, really nothing special, and it wasn't particularly fantastic value for what we got either... the usual overly glutenous huge chinese portions. They did have gorgeous egg fried rice though, which isn't always a given. I wouldn't be against going back, and I'd definitely recommend if you are hungry and just want safe-average-food-in-huge-portions, but I think there are probably better Asian restaurants on this strip than this.

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Caracas Coffee House
Unit 5, Leopardstown Retail Park, Sandyford Industrial Estate, Sandyford, Dublin

Going here for lunch and coffee, on-and-off, for about 3 years. It's ok. Average. Nothing fancy, nothing brilliant, nothing amazing, nothing stand-out, but alright. They do Lavazza coffee to my knowledge. They used to have nice old fashioned Irish soda brown bread scones, but seem to have changed recipe/supplier and now they're the usual overly sweet cakey scones, yuck. Other than that, service is average, food is average. I can't fault it, I go back, but if there was a decent alternative I'd prob take it. Staff are nice, friendly, accomodating however.

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Flesk Restaurant
Main Street, Killarney, Kerry

I've been here time and time again, and highly recommend it. Seems to be family run, wonderfully understated, simple place with great food and great service. You may have to come back as it can be rammed. Excellent for meat and seafood, nothing fancy at all just really really good fresh simple food. Veggie options limited but what they do is also well done. Do not come here for fancy, and don't be put off by the tourist type menus etc on the outside, this is a really good place to eat.... I travel to Killarney 2-3 times a year and each time, without fail, I eat here...

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Cellar One Restaurant @ The Ross Hotel
Town Centre, Killarney, Kerry

I love this place. I stay in the Ross several times a year and I always eat "in" one night in their restaurant. The food is consistently good, the menu doesn't change a huge amount but what's done is always executed well. I had possibly the nicest mussels I've ever eaten there last weekend. The staff simply can't be more friendly, helpful or accomodating, whether it's a couple or a large group. Plenty of bread to start with, more if you are hungry, no skimping on the extras. When they didn't have a particular liquour I wanted, they asked what it was so they could look into stocking it (they like to stay current). I have had lunch, breakfast, and dinner there. For breakfast they do the best scones on the planet. They lose a star on atmosphere, the music is always something to be desired. And they lose a star on food as their lunchtime offerings aren't great. Otherwise, I can't recommend it enough.

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Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK South Anne Street)
5 South Anne Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Went here for lunch. I've been to a few GBKs now, I think the food and service here is the worst. My burger was charred so badly it was frankly inedible. My dining partner's was great, one of the veggie options, he was delighted with it. The chips were sodden with oil. As it was lunchtime, I didn't have time to complain and get a different serving. I like the food at the GBK restaurants in general, but this is the 2nd time I've been to this particular one, and it's not getting a 3rd visit. It gets 3 stars overall because I like the GBK formula, just not this partic GBK particularly.

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Murphy's Ice Cream Shop
Main Street, Killarney, Killarney, Kerry

Their icecream is pretty good, their mint is one of the best I've ever eaten. There are 2 main icecream places in Killarney, and they are opposite each other on the same street. I'm sure this leads to a friendly rivalry! I would be hard pushed to say which is my favourite, the icecream here is probably slightly better ok, and there are some interesting flavours from time to time (e.g. peanut). They need to work on their hot sauces, however, which do let them down. And frankly, their service. Perhaps it's just cutting down on margins and therefore understaffed as a result, but waiting 20 mins for 2 coffees was irritating. And despite a laminated "customer message" on all tables indicating they'll do coffee whatever way you want, this wasn't the case when we asked for a lungo and a ristretto - because "the machine is setup for a normal espresso and we can't change it". Hmmm. I will review the other place too and give my opinion on what's best there so it's balanced!

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Mac's Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlour
No 6 Main Street, Killarney, Killarney, Kerry

For lunchtime, I've been here many times. I've never eaten dinner here. I have also dropped in for icecream. There are 2 main icecream places in Killarney, and they are opposite each other on the same street. I'm sure this leads to a friendly rivalry! I would be hard pushed to say which is my favourite. For simplicity, I think I like this place the most. For no other reason than you can also eat here if you wish (the food is not bad either), and their hot fudge sauce is a better offering than across the road. I will review the other place too and give my opinion on what's best there so it's balanced!

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Isaacs Restaurant
48 MacCurtain Street, Cork City, Cork City, Cork

Lovely place. The last time I ate here was about 12 years ago, and it still lives up to my memory of the place. The tapas plate for starters was a welcome veggie choice, imaginative and tasty (why do most restaurants not have nice veggie food is beyond me). There were v few main veggie choices, this could do with a change ok however. Wine choices were spare, but what they had was nice, nothing startling, but nice. Sticky toffee pudding for dessert was possibly the best I've ever had. Overall, highly recommended; friendly staff and not bad value overall for tasty, good, food - nothing earth shattering but just good food done well. I will be back next time I'm in Cork.

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Greenes Restaurant @ Hotel Isaacs
48 MacCurtain Street, By the Waterfall, Cobbled Courtyard Close, Cork City, Cork

Sadly, although I'd booked & confirmed this through MenuPages (and have never had a problem with bookings made through MenuPages before), the restaurant had no trace of my booking, and furthermore (more to the point) were unbelievably unfriendly about same. Although the seemed to have spare tables that evening, we declined to dine there and instead went elsewhere. A shame, because I wanted to visit. We did have breakfast there the next morning (and this is what I'm basing my food & atmosphere marks on) and that was fine, nothing spectacular but ok.

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Hamptons Grill
Henry Street, Limerick City, Limerick

Visited with 2 others and we had to book in advance, it was buzzing there on a Saturday night. Nice experience, friendly but probably over-busy staff (getting their attention was difficult). Food was average - tasty, nothing stunning, but good value. Except for the desserts, which, although they seemed cheap enough (€3 ish) were petit four sized, which was cheeky and an annoying end to an otherwise good meal. Steak was cooked perfectly, rare enough occurance to get properly cooked steak. Sides all cost extra and can significantly add to the bill. Good veggie options, not great drinks (token effort across the board) but overall a nice experience, and would def go back next time am in Limerick.

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YO Sushi Clarendon St
Brown Thomas, Clarendon St, Dublin , City Centre South, Dublin

Been here twice now. First time we got so annoyed with ordered stuff not arriving that we just told them to stuff it. In fairness, they didn't charge us for any of the stuff we did eat, but that wasn't much. Still. I think it had just opened, and the staff were too busy saying hi to their friends to be bothered cooking or assembling food! 2nd time it was much better - lots of choice, lots of hot stuff, great value with the 33% off. Better food quality than its Dundrum cousin. It's still far from the best sushi around, but it's not bad. This time, staff were a bit more attentive, but still not great. There was a guy sitting beside me who obviously liked prawns, as all his plates were the same - prawn tempura or katsu. Eventually we had to go around him to get some prawns before he took 'em all *lol*.

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Ripleys Steak House
Butterslip Lane (off Kieran St), Kilkenny City, Kilkenny

Having read other reviews I was looking forward to going. Having went, well... all I can say is that it was "ok". Nothing fantastic. The buffalo wings were *not* buffalo, and very very fatty. The steak was *not* cooked med-rare, it was med-well done (not good for a steakhouse!). The red wine jus, let's just say the red wine was probably "near" to it when it was made, but not likely "used" in it. The sticky toffee pud was microwaved. The prices were a little on the high side. The staff were _lovely lovely lovely_. BUT I was still waiting for a 2nd glass of wine, and had to ask a few times for it (but then it was comp'd, so what odds). I probably wouldn't go again, but if someone dragged me there, I wouldn't complain too hard either. Edible, but nothing great for the prices. The decor was nice, though.

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Dada Restaurant
45 South William Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Fab, fab, fab. You could imagine you're in Morocco. Staff so friendly and nice. Food prices excellent. Food taste suberb. Best olives (they make them on the premises) in Dublin - one marinated with spinach and lemon, the other with garlic, chilli etc. Amazing veggie options (really nice for a change!) although the mains could do with veggie-ing up a little bit (if you don't happen to like cous-cous, you're banjaxed :-)) The chicken breast with lemon was amazing. Can't rate it highly enough.

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Juniors
2 Bath Avenue, Dublin 4, Ballsbridge, Dublin

Went for lunch. Had very tasty, unique and freshly made sandwich (for a veggie). Staff very friendly and brisk. Slightly crowded, but atmosphere good for what it is. Recommended.

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The Restaurant @ Marks and Spencer
Marks and Spencer, Grafton Street, City Centre South, Dublin

Service here is beyond, absolutely, dreadfully, appalling. I've been here a few times. Staff are friendly, but completely disorganised. Don't go if you're in a hurry! BUT the food is really excellent and the value even more so. We two shared a platter of cheese, a selection of breads and a bowl of chips. 2 coffees and a large bottle of water and the total was around the €20 mark, and we were nicely full. You just can't argue with the price. Coffees are not great, and asking for an espresso resulted in a smaller cup of what looked and tasted like brewed coffee, so that was the down-side, but overall (apart from the not-going-if-you're-rushed-bit), highly recommended.

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Sabai
19 The Mall, Waterford City, Waterford

Went here (big gang of us) for a 30th birthday party. Couldn't fault the service; very friendly and helpful. They also were anxious that we liked what we got, and actually offered to change my main meal if I didn't like it (unheard of!) and also dumbed-down a friend's meal, as it was to spicy for her liking. The food was really tasty, but overly expensive and not necessarily 100% as described on the menu. I would recommend, and I will go back, but perhaps plum for some of the more "usual" menu choices to try them out, and see... Major downside was atmosphere, it was dead, but perhaps after Christmas wasn't a good judge - and we were put upstairs, on our own... never good!

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Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK Naas)
Main Street, Naas, Kildare

Yum yum yum yum yum. I love the GBKs and this is no exception. Service slow and strange, like all the GBKs to be honest, but the food makes up for it. Actually has veggie /options/, as opposed to standard 1-offer for poor old non-meat eaters. Highly recommended. Again, their smoked mayo thing with fries is to die for...

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Ristorante Rinuccini Restaurant
No 1 The Parade, Kilkenny City, Kilkenny

This used to be a haunting ground; visit Kilkenny for the night and stay in one of the bedrooms here, have a meal. I found however that over time the food has gone downhill, the service and friendliness too. It's still an ok place to eat, but expensive enough for what it is. The table has never once been ready when we arrived, but at least we got a free drink out of it, or an upgraded bottle of wine. The last 2 times, however, we were simply sent away, told to return in 30 mins and n'er an apology or an incentive. I haven't been back since... shame, really, it used to be amazing.

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Chapter 40
40 New Street, Killarney, Killarney, Kerry

I have been here twice now; once on my hen night (we were a subdued bunch though) and once with my hubby for our anniversary celebrations. Wonderful wonderful food, the duo of pork was amazingly tasty. It's not a cheap place, but the set menu (€35 for starter-main-dessert) was great value. Their wine list needs some work, and the bottle of chablis I ordered (not cheap at €34) wasn't a particularly great one, which was disappointing. However staff extremely friendly, and nice little touches like home-made breads and nice pestos to start, and a fully stocked bar for pre-and-post dinner drinks. I would have to disagree with last poster, I felt that the portion sizes were more than adequate. We left, stuffed to the gills. And they happily gave me some side orders that weren't listed on the set menu, and didn't charge me for them. Overall I can't recommend enough, it's a lovely place with great food and wonderfully friendly staff. A la carte prices might need to drop a little in this day and age however.

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Baan Thai (Leopardstown)
Central Park, Block P, Dublin 18, Leopardstown, Dublin

I've only ever been for lunch, but this is always good value. The service is consistently average, it's hard to get the staff's attention and the dishes are served s-l-o-w-l-y... not great for a limited lunch break. But good food, apart from the rice which is plain nasty (tastes bleached), and the noodles (very greasy), but lots of choice, tasty, and good value. Despite the service issue, staff are always friendly and we go there again and again for lunch...

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L'Ecrivain Restaurant
109a Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Un-be-lievable. Amazing. Fantastic food. Go very very hungry, because you'll get Amuse Bouche and lots of bread before your starter even arrives... palete cleansers between each and every course... and petit four to finish off... and that's before the food. I had the rabbit, my friend had the venison, absolutely amazing. Only teeny comment was that the service wasn't what you'd expect BUT the staff just looked exhausted, friendly but a lot of tiny mistakes being made as a result (if you really really really wanted to be picky). Overall, amazing experience. €420 for 3 including 3 starters, 3 mains, 2 desserts, 4 cocktails, water and a fab bottle of amarone. Really not bad for what your'e getting. Couldn't recommend higher. Will go back (prob for a special occasion, and only after fasting for a week first... was rolled out of there!) Pity about the decor, apart from the crazy expensive Knuttel (Graham) pics, the rest of the decor was really naff, cheap looking... but that certainly didn't take from the food. Class.

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Cape Greko (Malahide)
Unit 1 First Floor, New Street, Malahide, Malahide, Dublin

Went for early bird and decided to just have a plate of mezze instead. It was ok, nothing fantastic. I've had nicer olives, I've eaten tastier mezze (albeit in Greece). There were a few tables taken, at 5:30 on Monday after Christmas, which says something. Staff were good, price wasn't bad, I'd go back there but I wouldn't necessarily run back there. Excellent veggie options. Overall I'd recommend.

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Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK Liffey Valley)
Unit 40B, Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, West Dublin, Liffey Valley, Dublin

I have mixed feelings about this restaurant. The options are great. The beefburger is delicious (I don't like fancy burgers, the plainer the better, with the meat speaking for itself). The fries are yummy. The staff, to give them their due, warned us that portion sizes (mains) are large and to just share a fries, which we did. Their smoked mayo type dip was stunning, amazing, yummy. But we did wait a while, and others were seated ahead of us, and the staff were a bit up-their-bum unfriendly. Excellent options for veggies, which is nice for a change. Starters of broadbeans were nice, but I wouldn't bother again. The olives probably would have been nice if we ever got them (and then didn't have to argue about it when the bill arrived), but how and ever. So - mixed feelings. I'd probably go again, but might not rush there.

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Uluru and Outback Bar & Restaurant
Dunmore Road, Waterford, Waterford City, Waterford

Greasy pub grub at its best... they do a good steak and nice finger food type stuff. Tend to eat here when I've had a few pints and am not in the humour for moving :-). Service depends on how busy it is (it can get really really busy) but friendly enough staff and good value for money.

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Gatchells Cafe @ Waterford Crystal
Waterford Crystal Visitor Centrre, Waterford City, Waterford

Yummy. Delicious food. Nice, homely, ordinary, stuff your Granny makes, done really well... excellent selection across the board, salads, sandwiches, hot foods, yummy cakes. Coffees are not great but palatable. The staff are lovely, really friendly and efficient. The setting isn't great, like a big canteen, and it's roasting in the summer (lots of huge windows). Tempting to go into the Crystal Showroom afterwards and splurge, so try avoid that if you're on a budget :-) Overall, highly recommended.

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Brunch Cafe
Georges Centre Georges Street, Waterford City, Waterford

Tends to be overlooked - it's upstairs off the main street opposite the cathedral - because it's not obvious. Good for cafe food... decent selection of salads, mains, desserts. Nothing exciting, but good selection and cooked well, tasty. Good value. Good staff. The single worst cappuccino I've ever had in my life came from here, so don't go if you're a coffee fan...

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Lattetude
20 Michael st, Waterford, Waterford City, Waterford

So-so. Been there for coffee and scone a few times. It's ok, nothing special. Staff friendly and service fast, but it's v small and the options are v limited (and largely uninteresting). Grand for the absolute basics, food is fresh, but uninspired and uninteresting. Not expensive. I don't really go there unless there's nowhere else free. But it's not bad, just boring.

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Geoffs Cafe Bar
8/9 Johns Street, Please call us directly for Bookings 051-874787, Waterford City, Waterford

Amazing food for lunch, amazing value. We had the garlic bread - 4 slices of bread with garlic butter, pesto, parmesan, and a side salad - for €4...and the smoked mackeral pate (same thing, with pate this time and another side salad). Seriously yummy and really good value. Recommended. The staff are still up-their-bum cool, and the service is still hit-and-miss, but this place just works.

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Jade Palace
3, The Mall, Waterford, Waterford City, Waterford

Can be a bit expensive. If you're watching the purse-strings (and the belt!) eat downstairs in the bar instead. Same food, a little cheaper, and a bar setting. If you prefer a proper sit-down-affair, upstairs is nice. The atmosphere can be a bit overly quiet when it's not full, but we are a boisterous crowd and made our own noise :-) Food is definitely good, and huge portions, like a lot of chinese restaurants. Lovely staff. Highly recommended overall.

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Sumatra
53 John St Co. Waterford, Waterford City, Waterford

I was hoping to have a similar experience with Sumatra. Sumatra is a bit ragged around the edges. Staff friendly but useless, I waited for ages to pay the bill while someone behind the counter ignored me, the food is so-so... a bit disappointing overall... skip it.

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Oskars Bar and Grill
Ballinakill S.C., Dunmore Road, Waterford City, Waterford

Hmmm... overall this is not a bad place. It's exactly what you'd expect. A large pub with lots of seating, average unexciting food (but done well). Dreadful options for veggies or anyone with other dietary concerns, good if you're a meat-and-two-veg carvery fan. Decent ordinary sandwiches, decent ordinary desserts, nothing fancy, nothing amazing, average value for money, staff a bit aloof but overall, grand for what we went for (a big gang for Sunday lunch). Recommended if that's what you're after.

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Cafe Lucia
2 Arundel Lane Co. Waterford, Waterford City, Waterford

Nicest place to eat lunch in Waterford. Hands down. They have a good formula there, they don't change it too often, and it just works. Their Mediterranean chicken salad is gorgeous, as are their fishcakes, their DF Brie salad, their wedges, their chicken-bacon-panini... yum. Getting hungry thinking about it. Desserts are really good and you'll also get a good cappuccino there (not a foregone conclusion in Waterford). Apart from the naff cappuccino cups, that is! Service lovely, efficient, friendly... good value and there's always a queue, which says something.

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Ginos
The Apple Market, John Street, Waterford City, Waterford

THE Best Pizza Restaurant in Waterford. Open for donkey's years apparently. Not stingy with toppings and use a real pizza oven. Their garlic bread is gone healthier than it used to be (used to be dripping with butter and a whole meal in itself), but still nice. I'd LOVE to know what they use for their salad dressing, it's just yum, the right mixture of tangy and oily. The pizzas are to die for. Forget fancy and just go for ordinary Gino's special. I have been there dozens of times and will be going back when I'm in Waterford again, for sure. GREAT value. Service can be hit-and-miss. But they'll serve you freezing cold milk with your pizzas if you ask, and the icecream (if you're into it, I'm not), I believe is amazing. Nope - THE best pizza restaurant in IRELAND. Go there!

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Happy Garden Chinese Restaurant and Take-Away
53 High st, Waterford, Waterford City, Waterford

Lovely place - atmosphere depends on how busy the restaurant is; in my experience, the busier, the better, otherwise it can be a bit of a mausoleum! The food is lovely - especially the duck starter. I went with 3 friends and the service was amazing, now, that could be because 2 of them are restauranteurs in Waterford and well known, but either way, I really enjoyed it. Wines not bad either. One of my favourite Chinese restaurants in town. And dead handy as bang in centre too!

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Maxim House
8 O'Connell Street, Waterford City, Waterford

Food was really really really bad. I mean really bad. The service was lovely, really nice staff. But a few things on the menu for desserts that weren't available (simple stuff, like banana split etc) - we could have jelly and icecream, or nothing. This was with my other half and his parents, who are difficult to please (very picky eaters). Poor starters, gloopy mains, but then again, what did I expect... I remember going here years ago and it wasn't any different. There are a few really really nice Chinese restaurants in Waterford; this is NOT one of them.

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Poppy's On The Park
Park Road, Waterford City, Waterford

Appalling service, we were there for a Sunday lunch (4 of us). Despite getting menus quickly, we waited 30 mins to get our orders taken, then another 50 minutes to get our lunches. All of them salads. The food was nice, but nothing fancy. This is the same crowd that has Sumatra and Cafe Lucia, and those places are good-good-good! So what's the problem with Poppy's? Perhaps just a once-off, but I wasn't impressed and won't be rushing back.

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Bodega! (Waterford)
54 John Street, Waterford, Waterford City, Waterford

I have been here for lunch and for dinner - once for an early bird, and once later on. I had very different experiences each of the times I visited; for lunch, it was nice, relaxed, good ordinary food slightly fancied-up (and prices to match). The early bird wasn't a great experience, I was made feel like I was being done a huge favour by being allowed to perch on a table right beside the door (staff and customers kept banging off the table and knocking stuff off!). The time I was there for dinner I enjoyed it. The atmosphere is defintely the biggest draw, small, intimate, candles, etc. Lovely and cosy. The food is pricy, but I really enjoyed the spring rolls (like the last reviewer). Again, service not the best this time either. But I would go back. Maybe just not rush back (there's a huge number of fabulous restaurants in Waterford, I'm trying to work my way through them!)

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The Gingerman Waterford
6 Arundel la Waterford Co. Waterford, Waterford City, Waterford

Went there for lunch a couple of times, it's dead handy (middle of town). Am not usually crazy about a pub for lunch, I don't like the smell of old beer with my sandwich, but the food is good here - ordinary food, nothing crazy fancy, but tasty and fresh. Service was hit-and-miss (when it's good, it's v good, but when it's bad, it's rotton) the few times I was there. I would recommend though, especially for ordinary food like soup and sandwiches. Yum. It's hard to get a decent "ordinary" lunch these days (everything is gone very fancy) and the Gingerman does ordinary very well...

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La Palma Ristorante Italiano
Parnell st, Waterford, Waterford City, Waterford

Consistently good, this is one of the best restaurants in Waterford, and arguably the best authentic Italian restaurant in Ireland. Service is sublime, attention to detail is fantastic, food is excellent, wine is well thought out and there's a good range (with good advice on hand for what goes with what), setting is gorgeous, decor amazing, lots of candles... Their bread is fab (and they'll always give you more if you ask). Very good about veggie, coeliac food, helpful with cranky in-laws who don't like garlic (yep, in an Italian restaurant) and their cocktail bar and private dining room are fantastic. All-in-all a wonderful experience. In my experience, equally friendly staff for parties, romantic-meals-for-two... you name it. I've been there again and again (and am going again, in another couple of weeks!) Highly recommended.

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Spurs Family Restaurant
U42 Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, Liffey Valley, Liffey Valley, Dublin

The food is very middle-of-the-road. I remember this place being a lot nicer, years ago. Their marinades are quite good but everything tends to be overcooked. They make a bit more effort for veggies than most of these steakhouse type places, but don't carry through on taste. Price is what you expect to pay for this kinda food/place (ie middle-of-the-road, not cheap, not expensive). However it's got very tatty around the edges. The floors were filthy, the tables sticky (even after cleaning), the shelves and walls etc covered in layers of dirt and dust... even though the staff were friendly and the food seemed ok, I won't eat here again until they start to clean up their act...

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

Not quite as good as the Dun Laoghaire version it seems... but still consistently good, tasty, healthy food with lovely friendly service. They've recently added the Matchabar teas that they've been serving in Dun Laoghaire for a while... yum, good move. And their cocktails are nice, and good value Sunday evenings after 8:30 - think they're a fiver? Pretty good...

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Milano (Dundrum)
Dundrum Shopping Centre, Dublin 14, Dundrum, Dublin

Average across the board. Can be unfriendly. Service is usually interesting mix of average-to-appalling. Absolutely no interest in trying to accommodate someone who is gluten/wheat intolerant and would rather not eat salad. And the only non-pizza courses were not available at 8:30pm on a Monday evening... Dough balls are always fab, noci are a yummy amuse-bouche before your meal... but I wouldn't rush back.

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Gotham Cafe
8 South Anne Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Always good, providing you can get a table. But in fairness, a restaurant in the middle of town that tries to cater for both bookings and walk-ins... not bad. Food always good and this was no exception. Wine not bad too, middle of the road, which is what you want with the nice comfort food that they serve. Best caesar salad around, and the guacamole starter is seriously yum. Very accomodating and an outside table, day or evening (heated terrace) is much nicer than inside, where it's usually a tad too warm (esp the further back you go). Although service outside can be a bit hit-and-miss... if you do opt for outside/get a seat outside, make sure you're wearing your bossy hat to ensure your orders are taken etc... otherwise, very enjoyable comfort place... I go there time and time again...

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Eddie Rockets (Baggot Street)
33 Upper Baggot Street, Dublin 2, Baggot Street, Dublin

Standard Eddie Rockets fare. Tastes good, service adequate, portions excellent if you're hungry, price very high for fast food (but then again, it's good fast food). Veggie burgers (in THE 3-4 Eddie Rockets we've visited lately) haven't been available, which is pretty poor considering the lack of other "real" veggie choices on the menu. Not sure why - none of the staff we've tried asking seem to have enough English to explain the situation...

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Mao Restaurant (Dun Laoghaire)
The Pavillion, South Co, Dublin, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin

Would def recommend. Prices a little bit higher than they need to be. Chef seemed to be a total prima donna - we were at the opposite side of the restaurant, which is quite noisy as someone else pointed out, and we could still hear him shouting and berating people. It was entertaining for 5 mins, it quickly got boring. Food is consistently good here, esp some of the new menu additions (and they've kept the old faithfuls, which is great). Veggie main options a little tired now, need updating a bit. I like the effort they make with the teas and the smoothies and other drinks... overall a good restaurant

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TGI Friday (Dundrum)
Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 14, Dundrum, Dublin

TGI Dundrum used to be the worst, in terms of food quality, quantity, and service. It has improved, it's still not on a par with TGI in town, but it's not bad (whereas before I would have actually avoided it like the plague). That said, they still didn't have 2 of the things on the menu that we were looking for... but what we did have wasn't bad. Service is adequate without being anything special. Free soda refills are a nice touch for the teetotalers.

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Cornucopia
19/20 Wicklow Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Not the cheapest place around, especially considering there's no meat involved. The menus change all the time which means eating here is never boring, however sometimes the inventiveness applied is a little off, and the result doesn't always work with flavours going away. However full marks for effort. They also do one of the best breakfasts in the city, veggie or otherwise. Their home made baked beans are amazing, and the veggie sausages are every bit as "meaty" as the "real" kind. PS. I am not a veggie and I love it here!

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Wagamama - Stephen's Green
St Stephen's Green Centre, South King St, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Average. I used to love Wagamama, but I think the Feed 'Em & Street 'Em attitude is reflecting in the food. Quality good but e.g. a basic chicken stirfry noodles dish containing 1 piece of chicken??? Hmmm. Service not bad, not stunning. I know that they argue there's no such thing as a side dish, a main dish, a starter portion - but to get your Edamame with your desserts is a bit ridiculous (and happens every time). A little overpriced, noise levels are through the roof. Granted, I went there while recovering from a flu, and had no voice, but I had to sit and eat in silence as I couldn't hear, and couldn't be heard... unfortunately everyone else's conversations were deafening. I don't dislike the place, but I won't rush back.

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YO Sushi (Dundrum)
Level 1, Unit 26A, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 14, Dundrum, Dublin

Sad to say I can't recommend this place any longer. When it opened first, it was great: great staff, great attention, good quality food (basically fast-food sushi), friendly. All gone downhill - heaps of old menu choices removed, some improvement made for fish sushi, but less veggie options than before and the chicken salad frankly gone nasty - cheap grizzly chicken with a nasty greasy taste. we gave it the benefit of the doubt and went back another 2 times after our initial disappointment (we would have been at least once-a-week regulars there), but have given up. really disappointed. friends of mine (also previous frequenters) have also given up the ghost. won't be returning, sadly.

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Cafe Fresh
Top Floor Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, City Centre South, Dublin

Consistently the best vegetarian restaurant in Dublin for lunches etc. Excellent homey, nourishing, tasty, healthy, delicious, inventive food. Eating out made easy, without the guilt (I mean calorie-free, not meat-free, as I am actually a carnivore, but enjoy their veggie food a lot). Had the breakfast and enjoyed the homemade baked beans, but not so much the "sausages", however full marks for attempt. My other half is a veggie so we try to eat in veggie restaurants as well as non-veggie ones - we keep coming back here, at least once a week. Couldn't recommend any higher. Full marks.

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Saba
26-28 Clarendon Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

price: €82 what this bought: 2 starters, 2 mains, 1 side portion, 2 desserts, 2 glasses of wine, 1 large bottle of sparkling water overall impression: smelled authentic from get-go. rammed full at 20h30 on wednesday after christmas. impressed with quality of food, taste, portions, but **** main definitely wasn't particulary hot, chili-wise. starters: vietnamese spring rolls were interesting, but they were served cold, personal preference dictated I wouldn't order them again (and too much mint, I wasn't a fan). Chicken satay was a good sized starter portion but tasteless marinade on chicken and satay sauce not at all spicy, plus no pickled cucumber served with it. mains: both mains were delicious, authentic tasting, lots of veggies (yum), included rice instead of making you pay again for it as a side. we also ordered 1 side dish and it was delicious - I'd have a few of them on its own as a main. Portions perfect size for hungry people - not overflowing, but you weren't leaving hungry either. Desserts: chocolate pudding steamed and not great (quality of chocolate used should have been better/higher %, and baked would've been better than steamed). Banana spring roll is very Thai dessert, would've been nicer if cooked for longer, or using riper banana. wine: white wine first ordered not as described (I actually suspect I was given a different one altogether). Although nice, slightly sweeter than a Sauv Blanc should be and not as cool as it should be. 2nd glass was €2 dearer again, a NZ Sauv Blanc - a little acidic and not high on taste - served slightly too cold I think also. White and red wine served in same universal sized glass (far too big for white). service: very good, friendly, accomodating, attentive (without being intrusive). negatives: extremely loud, no noise damping would recommend: yes would go back: yes, but ask for a quiet table (if one exists), skip the dessert and try different starters.

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