Restaurant Reviews from Lothaar

Status: First Timer

Credibility Score:
52.5%

No. of Reviews: 8

Member Since: 08 December 2007

Last Visit: 29 December 2011

The Best Restaurant

Thai Garden Restaurant

Church Avenue, Blanchardstown Village, Dublin 15, Blanchardstown, Dublin, Area Code: Dublin 15

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Cuisine:
Thai

Price Range:

Great
161 reviews

Reviewed 22nd August 2009 ( visited 18th August 2009 )

This is my favourite restaurant. It's all about value for money. The two early bird menus - either €17 or €21 - are three courses and every dish is delish. Can't beat that for value. The food is way nicer than the prices would suggest (and the average thai restaurant). The atmos is grand and the staff are amazing. My eight-year old daughter is always at us to go to the Thai Garden. I don't think she even likes the food, it's just that she's treated like a princess by the staff! Since I moved to Dublin 15 five years ago I have gone to the Thai Garden, on average, once a month. It has never let me down.
Most Visited 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 22nd August 2009 ( visited 20th August 2009 )

I had the lunch here with my brother last Thursday. It was our first trip to Thorntons, lured by the 3-courses-for-€25 offer. We both ordered the same thing for all three courses (skipping the wine, which started at €13 per glass!). Starters were the wonderfully theatrical smoked John Dory served with a clear tomato gazpacho. The power of the flavours knocked me for six - I haven't tasted anything like it since I visited Mint earlier this year (got in a month before it closed down). Main course was rabbit: five different cuts of little Bugs arranged on the plate. A tiny half-kidney sat at the tip of a swish of carrot puree. Beside it, the rack of rabbit ribs was almost too cute to eat, but too delicious to bypass. Elsewhere on the plate were rabbit breast and shoulder and a filo parcel containing rabbit mince in a slightly oriental mix. I'm usually a little cold on rabbit but this was succulent, interesting and tasty with a large side order of spectacular presentation. Lemon mousse with cassis sorbet washed it all down in piquant style, rounding off a great meal. My only gripe is that the restaurant was dead - only three other people. It led to a fairly subdued atmosphere. The worst part is that, with this level of value, Thorntons should be booked out every lunchtime. If you haven't been already: go.
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Aqua Restaurant
1 West Pier, Howth, Dublin 13, Howth, Dublin

It's difficult to fault Aqua's early bird offering. I took my parents for the early bird on a Saturday. Sitting against a full-length panoramic window that creates the illusion of floating in the sea, this was an extreme dining experience for a snip! At €70 for two people, you get 3 courses and a bottle of wine between you. Between the four of us - the wife, my parents and mise - we tried nearly everything and it all hit the spot. The only con I can think of is that there weren't enough prawns in the prawn starter, but in fairness they were fresh and succulent... and it's not like we left hungry. My dad and I had the steak for mains (manly men, us) while the womenfolk went for a couple of different fish dishes. All were bang on the money. We got a bottle of Lebanese wine - Chateau Kefraya. It's beautiful! I haven't seen it elsewhere in Dublin but it's certainly worth getting in Aqua. The 2 bottles of house wine that came with the menu were given to us after the Kefraya, and we retired to the cosy bar until closing time to drown our sorrows. Total bill for four people and an extra buideal came to €184 (but we lashed a load more wine on top of that!). Great value.

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Thornton's Restaurant
1st, The Fitzwilliam Hotel, 128 St Stephen's Green, City Centre South, Dublin

I had the lunch here with my brother last Thursday. It was our first trip to Thorntons, lured by the 3-courses-for-€25 offer. We both ordered the same thing for all three courses (skipping the wine, which started at €13 per glass!). Starters were the wonderfully theatrical smoked John Dory served with a clear tomato gazpacho. The power of the flavours knocked me for six - I haven't tasted anything like it since I visited Mint earlier this year (got in a month before it closed down). Main course was rabbit: five different cuts of little Bugs arranged on the plate. A tiny half-kidney sat at the tip of a swish of carrot puree. Beside it, the rack of rabbit ribs was almost too cute to eat, but too delicious to bypass. Elsewhere on the plate were rabbit breast and shoulder and a filo parcel containing rabbit mince in a slightly oriental mix. I'm usually a little cold on rabbit but this was succulent, interesting and tasty with a large side order of spectacular presentation. Lemon mousse with cassis sorbet washed it all down in piquant style, rounding off a great meal. My only gripe is that the restaurant was dead - only three other people. It led to a fairly subdued atmosphere. The worst part is that, with this level of value, Thorntons should be booked out every lunchtime. If you haven't been already: go.

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Patrick Guilbaud
21 Upper Merrion Street, Dublin, City Centre South, Dublin

I tried the lunch deal in Paddy G's last week. Not great in terms of value. If you're into overly fussy service in a pristine, formal setting, then this place is for you. If that stuff doesn't particularly twist your biscuit, you might be slightly disappointed. The deal is €50 for three courses (€38 for two). The food is interesting, without being mind-blowing. For the price of it, I guess you get what you pay for... but 'value' means exceeding that expectation, so there's not great value here. Moreover, the formality of the service and setting makes for slightly uncomfortable dining. You could literally hear a pin drop.. if anyone had the bad taste to drop a pin on the sparkling floor, that is! Hmph! I felt as if the price of my meal was inflated to cover the opulent room and intrusive service, which isn't what I'm looking for when I'm eating. That said, if you wanted to impress a business client/associate, or even a ladyfriend, Guilbaud's would do the job!

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One Pico Restaurant
5-6 Molesworth Place, Schoolhouse Lane, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

I went for the lunch special on Wednesday 18th Feb. The value is incredible - better than I've ever experienced in Ireland! €19.95pp for a three course meal that would typically cost about €60-€80 per head. Food was delicious, interesting and perfectly cooked. Service was efficient and unintrusive. Atmosphere was buzzing, yet relaxed. In a word: perfect. Everybody should go for lunch in One Pico! In 'the current climate' this is exactly what all restaurants should be doing - getting bums on seats with top class value. It's fine dining at not just affordable prices, but extremely inexpensive prices. Go!

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Flames
Unit 2&3, Ground Floor, Main Street, Dublin 15, Clonee, Dublin

We ate here last night. Arrived at 5pm, just as it opened, so the place was dead. I guess that's to be expected. The extensive menu included the standard Chinese fare but, interestingly, plenty of Malaysian and Thai dishes as well as one or two Japanese and Indian dishes. We decided to focus on the Malaysian food, as we're jaded with Chinese and Thai at this stage... and we weren't disappointed. Starters was the crispy lamb pancakes (same as the aromatic duck, 'cept with lamb) for two. Mains were a chef's special Malaysian sweet chilli type-thing and a rendang curry. The sweet chilli thing was excellent but I wasn't into the rendang curry - not that it was cooked badly, it's just not my cup of tea. Skipped dessert - it's Christmas and there's cake and chocolate at home - but we were given a calendar as we left! Service overall was friendly and attentive without being intrusive. Places like Flames should get much more custom as they are little gems. Total cost for 2 starters, 2 mains, glass of house white and a diet coke was €55! That's NOT an early bird, by the way! Outstanding value. I'll be back.

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Ryan's of Ratoath Bar & Restaurant
Main Street, Ratoath, Meath

I ate here on Saturday and it was the worst dining experience I have ever had. The place was tacky and horrible. Service was slow, despite the lack of custom, and we didn't find out until after the mains had been delivered that there were no half-bottles of wine. It was too late at that stage to bother ordering. I paid €8.50 for 'Prawn Cocktail' as a starter. What came out was defrosted prawns on a bed of shredded lettuce and covered in 'Marie Rose Sauce' (read: ketchup mixed with mayo). It was very, very basic for the price of it. Worse: there was a load of water at the bottom of the bowl, probably from the defrosted prawns. The sauce ended up mixing with the water and everything tasted bleh. For starters I plumped for the Surf n Turf (fillet steak and scampi for €30) after reading about their steaks on the web. In fairness, the steak was cooked right. It wasn't particularly flavourful, though. The 'Surf' part of the dish was deep fried, frozen, battered scampi and it was utterly disgusting. Little soggy parcels of mushy batter. Ugh. Sauce cost extra, and when it came out the 'chasseur sauce' tasted like the gravy on my sister's plate. I ordered carrots as a side and what I got tasted like tinned baby carrots that had been heated up. There was a lot of food on show, even though it was ming. My wife got the plaice and was served two gigantic battered lumps of plaice with a platter of chips. However, since the batter was disgusting, she was left with a plateful of scraped-off batter. Desserts were a saving grace... but it was WAY too late at that stage. Ryans obviously focuses on quantity over quality. However, unless there is the slightest shred of quality, why would we bother paying for this food? I could have cooked that meal myself in about 15 minutes and it would have cost about 10% of the price and tasted much nicer. And the punchline of this joke of a meal came when I asked waitress about the bar menu, which I noticed had a lot of the same dishes as the restaurant menu, except at half the pri

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Time Restaurant @ Carlton Hotel
Carlton Hotel, Blanchardstown, Blanchardstown, Dublin

Thankfully the Park Plaza has moved towards a value menu with the opening of Time, which replaces the over-priced 'Maya Che Restaurant'. The set menu of €28pp for 3 courses and half a bottle of wine is solid value for money, and it shows - on a Tuesday night it was 3/4 full, whereas Maya Che was generally completely empty even at peak times. I stopped giving my custom to that restaurant when I saw the menu prices go above €30 for a steak - that'd be fine in a steak restaurant, but in a quiet hotel in Tyrrelstown? We had starters of goats cheese and black pudding tartlet (swoon!) and a salmon and prawn dish, which was decent. I chose duck in orange sauce for the main course and was extremely satisfied with my choice. The Missus opted for the lamb, which was hearty and fulsome (but not as nice as the duck... so I won!). Spuds and crunchy veg were served on the side, which is a change - many restaurants will try to claw back some cash by charging €5 for a couple of carrots. Nice one. Dessert of brownie and a mocha cheesecake was wolfed down. All in all, great value and lovely service. My only complaint is that the house wine was very poor - I'd love to see the option of getting a nicer bottle for a €5 supplement! As long as Time can retain this quality, I'll be back on a regular basis.

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Thai Garden Restaurant
Church Avenue, Blanchardstown Village, Dublin 15, Blanchardstown, Dublin

This is my favourite restaurant. It's all about value for money. The two early bird menus - either €17 or €21 - are three courses and every dish is delish. Can't beat that for value. The food is way nicer than the prices would suggest (and the average thai restaurant). The atmos is grand and the staff are amazing. My eight-year old daughter is always at us to go to the Thai Garden. I don't think she even likes the food, it's just that she's treated like a princess by the staff! Since I moved to Dublin 15 five years ago I have gone to the Thai Garden, on average, once a month. It has never let me down.

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