Restaurant Reviews from Melendez

Status: Connoisseur

Credibility Score:
52.5%

County: Dublin

No. of Reviews: 37

Member Since: 08 November 2006

Last Visit: 18 October 2018

The Best Restaurant

Ananda restaurant

Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 14, Dundrum, Dublin, Area Code:

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Cuisine:
Indian

Price Range:

Good
264 reviews

Reviewed 27th August 2012 ( visited 26th August 2012 )

I really can't fault this restaurant, and judging by the way it was packed out at 6.30 on a Sunday evening my view is shared by many. I tend to cringe at non local ingredients being used but I have to make an exception for the very generous jumbo prawn starter, always perfectly cooked, spiced and the mango salad accompanimentis ideal with it. Just about my favourite starter in any restaurant. Main of pork chop vindaloo is also a big winner. The sauce is sour rather than mad spicy and served with a little bit of pork belly and apple.Fantastic dish. Unfortunately I did not get it on this occasion, I had the monkfish, which came with a little fish cake and roasted yellow cherry tomatoes.A beautiful dish which I would have enjoyed more if I hadn't been jealously eyeing the pork chop on the other side of the table. One of those restaurants that never disappoints.
Most Visited Restaurant

Diep le Shaker restaurant

55 Pembroke Lane, (Off Pembroke Street), Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin, Area Code: Dublin 2

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Cuisine:
Asian Fusion

Price Range:

Good
386 reviews

Reviewed 03rd September 2012 ( visited 31st August 2012 )

Rerturned a couple of weeks after a previous visit on the menupages voucher - with another voucher. Enjoyed it every bit as much. I especially enjoyed the oyster starter. I could happily spend the night eating nothing but those oysters and a nice bottle of wine - they have to have an option to buy them by the dozen, or even open an oyster bar and expand the range. Music was welcome and the atmosphere was great. Will definitely return for more oysters.
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Manifesto
208 Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin 6, Rathmines, Dublin

Very enjoyable meal. Two very good starters. two very good pizzas. The wine is expensive, but any I was familiar with were very well priced and they have a great selection. Card machine failure on payment resulted in a double payment and could have been handled better, but not worth losing a star over. I will be back.

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Mulberry Garden
Mulberry Lane, (directly behind the Bang & Olufsen Store), Dublin 4, Donnybrook, Dublin

I love this restaurant. Nice buzz to the place. Service is relaxed and friendly but efficient. Each course tends to be smaller than might be the norm, but by the time you have finished your third course you have had more than enough to eat. Everything on the plate is tthere for a reason and is prepared and placed there with care and attention. I have been here many times. Sometimes the menu doesn't seem to suit, but when presented, every dish seems to exceed expectations. In my opinion it is up there with the top restaurants in Dublin.

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Belluccis
22-30 Merrion Road, Dublin 4, Ballsbridge, Dublin

Good honest food. Some nice wines on a fairly priced list. Friendly service. Well worth a retirn visit.

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Belluccis
22-30 Merrion Road, Dublin 4, Ballsbridge, Dublin

I enjoyed my meal here. Starters of Caprese salad and fritto misto were both generous, nicely presented. Squid in fritto misto wasn't great but there was plenty of other tasty bits. The pizzas we both had, had nice thin bases, well cooked and full of flavour. Was impressed by the look of the other main courses passing us by for other diners - will be back to try them.,

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Rock Lobster (Inactive)
Above Kiely’s Pub, 22-24 Donnybrook Rd, Donnybrook, Dublin

I visited Rock Lobster only a few days after it opened. The waitress was a little "green" but, more importantly, was friendly and helpful. A delicious cocktail to get the ball rolling. We got a variety of tasty titbits to start. On pricing we had reckoned on 3 each at a tenner for a starter, but it turned out to be a little over the top. We got the full variety available. Every one was enjoyed. We shared a full turbot to share for the main course, taken off the bone at the table. A rare treat. All in all, an excellent first visit, that left me looking forward to the next visit. A great addition to the area.

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Matt The Thresher Seafood Bar and Grill
31/31 Lower Pembroke Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

4 of us had a late Sunday lunch. Good atmosphere and nice setting. Water glasses filled on arrival but a bit slow taking the order and getting drinks, nothing of concern. Starters of Chowder (2) , oysters, and crab claws all good. The crab claws in particular were a generous portion and well cooked, avoiding the rubbery texture often get. Scampi mains had far too much batter but somehow remained tasty, least successful dish we got. Black Sole was a decent size with a creative sauce/topping. Burger was very good. Wine and Food all very well priced for the standard, staff anxious to help. Excellent value.

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Restaurant FortyOne
Residence, 41 St. Stephen´s Green, Dublin , City Centre South, Dublin

Had a superb night out. Everything from the greeting to leaving was spot on. The prices are high but you are getting top ingredients in well thought out dishes, very accurately cooked and presented. Pretty much faultless. Service excellent. Room magnificent. I would unreservedly recommend for any special occasion meal. Worthy of inventing a special occasion just to go there.

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Les Freres Jacques
74 Dame Street, Dublin City Centre, Temple Bar, Dublin

I returned after an absence of 10+ years. I really enjoyed it, as I always used to. The sole meuniere is worth a visit on its own. Excellent food, excellent service. The a la carte is not cheap but still decent value for what we got - there are "value" options available. It won't be 10 years till my next visit. If a special occasion arises on a Monday or Tuesday it is a no brainer for me, 50% off all wines means you can get superb wines that I couldn't normally justify ordering on a meal out, at house wine prices.

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Diep le Shaker
55 Pembroke Lane, (Off Pembroke Street), Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Rerturned a couple of weeks after a previous visit on the menupages voucher - with another voucher. Enjoyed it every bit as much. I especially enjoyed the oyster starter. I could happily spend the night eating nothing but those oysters and a nice bottle of wine - they have to have an option to buy them by the dozen, or even open an oyster bar and expand the range. Music was welcome and the atmosphere was great. Will definitely return for more oysters.

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Chi Asian Restaurant
9 Georges Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin

I enjoyed my meal here. A la Carte menu is a little expensive. By the time you have added rice, the standard curries/stir fries are over the magic €20. There are good value early bird options, but I'd prefer if the normal prices were just a bit lower. Good service, generous, well cooked, and well presented portions and a nice room.

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First Floor Bar & Brasserie @ Harvey Nichols
Dundrum Town Centre, Sandyford Road, Dundrum, Dublin

Came here on Friday evening after finding a nearby restaurant booked out. Only one other table in use when we arrived and it didn't get much busier. Good bread was followed by a Smoked duck salad which consisted of 4 barely detectable slivers amongst a non-descript salad. Crayfish cocktail wasn't as good as it sounded, quite bland. Main course of hake was a small overcooked dried out lump which was barely edible. Fish and chips, well, the chips were ok. Little was done wrong with the chicked breast, but the chef wasn't overtaxed - not restaurant standard. All in all, a very poor effort. I used to enjoy coming here but the menu now is very limited, unoriginal, and almost badly cooked.

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Ananda
Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 14, Dundrum, Dublin

I really can't fault this restaurant, and judging by the way it was packed out at 6.30 on a Sunday evening my view is shared by many. I tend to cringe at non local ingredients being used but I have to make an exception for the very generous jumbo prawn starter, always perfectly cooked, spiced and the mango salad accompanimentis ideal with it. Just about my favourite starter in any restaurant. Main of pork chop vindaloo is also a big winner. The sauce is sour rather than mad spicy and served with a little bit of pork belly and apple.Fantastic dish. Unfortunately I did not get it on this occasion, I had the monkfish, which came with a little fish cake and roasted yellow cherry tomatoes.A beautiful dish which I would have enjoyed more if I hadn't been jealously eyeing the pork chop on the other side of the table. One of those restaurants that never disappoints.

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Diep le Shaker
55 Pembroke Lane, (Off Pembroke Street), Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

I went here on the menupages deal, first time in many years. I really enjoyed it, enough to go home and buy another voucher, although I doubt that's what they had in mind. I can see Diep becoming a bit of a regular. Good menu, well executed.

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Alexis Bar And Grill
17 / 18 Patrick Street, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin

Interesting menu superbly executed. The wines we had were excellent (organic or biodynamic) and great value when compared to retail prices. Service was spot on, just the right tone of informality without straying from professional efficient service.This restaurant continues to offer the best value for money in Dublin.Twelve dishes between four people, all were very much enjoyed. I would unreservedly recommend.

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

Went on a fairly expensive voucher (compared to usual discount voucher prices - €69) from Rewarding Times. What wasn't mentioned at the time of the offer was that it would be an abridged version of the PreTheatre menu with the cheapest bottle of plonk they could get there hands on. They couldn't even rise to serving you their cheapest bottle of house wine. As the restaurant manager took pleasure in telling me, while they didn't say in the offer you would be given a poorhouse selection, they also didn't say they wouldn't do it. As an "Afternoon Show" topic on how to produce a 3 course meal for 2 with wine for around a tenner (probably an exaggeration, but not by much) it was a work of art. Starters were ok, verging on elegant. Mains were less so. Daube of beef was just a piece of soft beef cheek with a spoonful of turnip and about a quarter of a creamy potato. No rich red-winey sauce just a hint of moisture. Chicken looked like it was half a dish, just the chicken and a few smears of veg (asparagus mentioned in the menu was one tip). Desserts were ok, but no better then you'd get in a decent cafe for 3.50. Overall decent enough pub standard food but not what I'd choose to eat in a "proper" restaurant. Magnificent room and excellent waiters deserve better than a management team who feel the best long term strategy to run a restaurant is to deceive 500 Irish Times coupon holders and their companions. I marked the service low because of the manager's attitude of "we are legally entitled to do this and Rewarding Times agree we can, so tough", it sort of killed the atmosphere on the evening for us too. Never again. Edit: The issue was very satisfactorily resolved with "Rewarding Times".

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Guinea Pig
17 Railway Road, South Co. Dublin, Dalkey, Dublin

The restaurant that time forgot. The restaurant itself is quaint enough however tables could be bigger and seating more comfortable given the price levels at which they are setting themselves. Interaction with staff\owner was spot on from booking to leaving. Starters were all fairly simple, and should maybe have been around €8 each rather than around €11. Calamari was cut into rings without removing the outer membrane, leaving an unpleasant looking "thread". Not a biggie but shouldn't have been there at those prices. I suppose it proved it was fresh squid. Crab gratin had a predominant flavour of brown meat. Perfectly valid, but I think most people prefer the sweeter white meat coming through. Not so valid were hard little bits that should have been removed. The little smoked fish gratin was a simple tasty dish well executed. Sorbet after the starters added nothing to the meal. Main course of lobster was perfectly good, as was the fillet steak. The batter was too heavy on the scampi for me, like an effort to recreate donegal catch with expensive ingredients, why? A light batter to bring out the flavour of the prawns is surely better. Sole stuffed with prawns was the least successful. The whole thing was covered in a thick gloopy sauce that tasted of very little, with virtually raw mushrooms added. You couldn't tell anything about the quality of the fish through the gloop. If it was a beautiful fresh piece of fish that was criminal. Desserts of nicely presented strawberries were better than a heated pear cake slice and a apple strudel messed up by the pastry being in a microwave. We went on a menupages deal for €30 a head which, given ingredients available like scallops, lobster, dublin bay prawns, should have been a steal, but somehow just was bare value. I would have been very cross had I paid full price.

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

Went on the menupages deal. I really enjoyed the meal. The service was excellent from start to finish. Everything beautifully cooked and lots of interesting little details. Budget would prevent returning too often at full price, but with €75 off what would otherwise have been a €230ish bill, I'd definitely snap up future similar offers, even if they are off peak.

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Kitchen
3 South Anne Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Convenient spot just off Grafton Street. 3 good starters were followed by 3 average pizza's (thicker base than I prefer anyway). Pleasant quick service. Not a place for a big night out, but I wouldn't put anyone off that was in the area and wanted to make a pit stop.

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O'Connells Restaurant Donnybrook
135 Morehampton Road, Donnybrook, D04 HX46, Donnybrook, Dublin

Came here on a Sunday Evening. Excellent value for a strter "buffet", which is a small counter full of lots of tasty bits from crab to smoked salmon, various salads, meats, cheese. You can't heap on in an all-you-can-eat way, but dealt out with a generous hand. We both had the lobster from the a la carte to follow which were, very well priced, but you're probably better off again sticking with the Sunday Menu. Nice buzz to the place, with a good mixture of golden oldies, families and couples. Good quality ingredients, all well cooked. I enjoyed it very much.

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The Lobby Lounge, InterContinental Hotel
InterContinental Hotel, Simmonscourt Road, Ballsbridge , Ballsbridge, Dublin

This review is for "Ice" at the Four Seasons Hotel, rather than the Lobby lounge. Ice doesn't seem to exist on Menupages. We went on a voucher amounting to €25 euro off the bill. Nice trendy spacious room, comfortable seating arrangements along with freebie olives, salted nuts and salty bits to get you going. A perfect start. We had 1 sharing plate, 5 savoury tapas and 2 dessert tapas between the two of us. It was sufficient eating for the night. If you are someone with a big appetite, have a sandwich a couple of hours before you go. This isn't about feeding you up, it is lovely little tasty bits to enjoy with your drinks. The "foie gras bruleed" is literally a teaspoonful, but, at 4 euro, is the tastiest and best value teaspoonful available in Dublin IMO. Everybody wont like everything. I found the cheese and charcuterie the least interesting while it was the other half's favourite. Plenty of interesting and tempting options to keep everyone happy when you find your way around the menu. The waiters were excellent, quick with advise and recommendations. Parking ticket validated as we were paying the bill as well, what more could you want. Without the voucher I would consider an Ice Tapas evening very good value for money.

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House Restaurant
Cliff House Hotel, Middle Road, Ardmore, Ardmore, Waterford

I had lunch in the bar. Both the food and service were top quality - top restaurant quality as opposed to top bar quality. The charcuterie platter was especially good but everything was that bit better than you might hope for, and exceptional value for what was on offer. The setting, looking out over the sea, moves an already excellent meal up a level.

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La Maison
15 Castle Market Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Lovely meal. The starter selection is more interesting than the main selection for me. Steak tartare, maybe could just have been a little "richer", I wasn't disappointed though. Langoustines and accompanying salad were spot on. No bread was offered, which is a bit disappointing as it used to be a bit of a treat. Someone at another table asked and a basket was whooshed up to them. Wish I had. Main of chicken w/foie gras was as light on foie gras as I'd expected, but was surprisingly tasty given it looked a bit plain. Seabass en croute was very well received. This review sounds more negative than I intended. I thoroughly enjoyed the meal, have been many times before and I will return regularly.

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O'Brien Chop House
Main Street, Lismore, Waterford

The ethos of the place is to have good quality food that isn't messed about with, and as such it delivers. Prices are a bit on the high side given that a decent home cook could produce equal standard. A few delays, but were explained and forewarned. Overall perfectly happy, but would have felt better if the bill came in 10 per cent lower.

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The Tannery Restaurant
Quay Street, Dungarvan, Waterford

I had what I would consider an exceptional, faultless meal here. Despite the menu not being heavy on my favourite main ingredients, what came out of the kitchen was exactly what you want from a restaurant, inventive food that you would not think of cooking yourself or not have the skill to pull it off. Lovely room, exceptional service. Well priced for the standard on offer.

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Asian Tea House
15 Mary Street, Galway City, Galway

I can only add to the good reviews. this place covers an awful lot of Asia in its menu but seems to pull it off very well. Fu Chuck Rolls were new to me, tasted a bit like deep fried won tons, I enjoyed them. Mussels were good, although maybe the sauce was a bit overpowering. Won tons and spring rolls went down well. Main courses were big, but also high on quality and presentation. I had a radang pork belly curry, which was beatifully spiced and flavourful with good well cooked meat. No complaints from any of my companions. Good variety, good value, good service, good quality, good room, what more can you ask for?

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The Gables
McCabes Wines, The Gables, 1 Torquay Road, Dublin 18 , Foxrock, Dublin

Expected to find a quiet restaurant on a bank holiday Monday at 6.30. The place was packed. Very good value on offer with a tenner off a lot of wines (prices starting from €10 per bottle) and a good early bird offerings. One or two minor improvements could have been made to the food IMO. Lamb and cous cous starter could have been spicier or garlickier, was a little bland. Fish Pie a bit too heavy on smoked fish. Other than that all meals and starters between the 4 were fully appreciated, especially Fish and chips. Chips in particular were very good, of the big fat variety. Service was excellent, informed and polite.

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Dobbins Restaurant
15 Stephen Lane, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Went for a Mother's day lunch. The standards of ingredients, cooking and service were all a little above what you would expect from a €27.50 Sunday Lunch menu. No complaints whatsoever from 4 starters/mains/desserts. This is my third visit since they revamped a year or so (maybe more) back. It wont be the last.

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Roast
10a Merrion Rd, Dublin 4, Ballsbridge, Dublin

Went on a voucher at the weekend. Unexpectedly nice room. Two two-thirds full glasses of prosecco set the tone. Starters were fine to nice. Main courses were plain enough with portions on the mean side of acceptable - good chips as a side order. Wine was mediocre for the price charged. I think the kitchen staff is probably capable of producing decent food if it weren't so restricted by the company accountant. Service was fine.No real complaints, just not really worth spending a night out on. I suspect the place will improve when all these citydeal vouchers expire, but I didn't particularly enjoy the visit and there are too many good places about to give it a second chance.

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Bianconis Bistro
232 Merrion Road, Dublin 4, Ballsbridge, Dublin

Called in for lunch. Quiche wasn't great but acceptable and came with three nice fresh salads. Half pizza and chips was excellent - being awkward I asked for a fresh pizza as we were late for lunch and the one waiting to be reheated looked a bit tired, it was worth the wait. Nice people and good value.

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Village Cafe
Rathmines, Rathmines, Dublin

Went here last night on a generous Boardsdeals voucher. The place was empty when I arrived, not surprising on a wet Tuesday night at 6.30. We were warmly greeted by the waiter(manager?) and had our choice of tables. My starter was an attempt at an elegant salad of king prawns. The 4 prawns were a bit swamped in a big salad which would have been better had the avocado been ripe. Other half's fish cake starter consisted of two big roundies, heavyish on potato but enough fish to come through. Quite good. It would have made a substantial main course. Main courses were very successful. For me, rack of lamb. None of this trimming-off-the-fat-to-beautify-it business, you got the whole chop with the fatty layer on the outside, and tastier for it, interesting smoked bacony new potatoes and and veg mix to accompany it. The chicken main course was similar style and equally enjoyed. Panna cotta was another generous portion and delicous, the apple pie was good also. Nice bottle of pinot grigio, plus an extra, generously poured, glass of red (corbiere) with the lamb would indicate the short wine list is well priced and well chosen. This is not michelin star fancy food like you see on the tele - This, and I mean it is the best possible way, is good honest home cooking, or how some might like to be able to cook at home, priced very competitively for what it is (rack of lamb €17.50!!!). The sparkling water, espresso, and extra glass of wine we got, cost sod all - it's all too common for restaurants to pile on the price for little extras like water and coffee which help the meal and you don't really consider the cost when ordering. Honesty in pricing as well as in cooking. Pub prices, with good food, in a much nicer environment.

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Bloom Brasserie & Wine Bar
11 Upper Baggot Street, Dublin 4, City Centre South, Dublin

I went to Bloom last night on a promotion. Great basement room and comforting welcome. Starters of foie gras and blue cheese with pear salad were spot on. Mains consisted of a perfectly roasted whole sea bass and steak, which was originally overdone, but when this was pointed out they brought back a magnificent rib steak, medium-rare as requested and full of flavour. I was brought a carafe of red wine to make up for the delay which wasn't required as these things do happen and the steak was as good as I've had recently. I turned down the carafe on the basis that I was driving, but they still knocked the price of wine off the bill. A few trendy veg might be preffered by some to the salads you get with the mains (and starters) - they go through a lot of salad - but that's being picky. Dessert of creme brulee wasn't as good as other courses, but a cheese selection was excellent, presumeably from the cheese merchants nearby. One or two service blips but overall the rectification of the steak would have you think better of them than if no mistake was made. Overall everything is good. There are far worse restaurants than this packing them in every Friday night, it's hard to understand why, maybe the small amount of road frontage means it can be easily passed without noticing it. I'll be back.

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Pinocchio Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar
Luas Kiosk, Ranelagh Village, Dublin 6, Ranelagh, Dublin

I went to Pinocchio's in Ranelagh on a voucher that amounted to €30 off the bill. Starter of Caprese salad got the hard part right, good Mozerella and good tomato, but somehow decided to use rocket instead of basil - didn't work, but no biggie. Scallop starter had 5 plump scallops sitting in shells with a breadcrumb and pine nut crust. The scallops had no sweetness or flavour at all to be honest (I can only speculate why), outside of what the crust added, although a generous portion and well cooked. We had the two "specials" of the night. Lasagne main course was terrible. Shocking. A big stodgy lump of pasta smeared with tomato sauce and a few flecks of meat (for over €16). No white sauce, no salad, no garnish. Nothing else. Other main was a beef pie, which I quite enjoyed, lots of flavour, plenty of meat, but not much else, and a mashed potatoey top (which we were told wasn't potato) but that cost €22. The meat was beef cheek. I found this out because the person at the table complained that she was paying €22 for what essentially you'd get in a pub for a tenner, cheap cut of meat and not a bit of veg in sight. Although I quite liked it, she had a point. Finished with a tiramisu, which had no discernable alcoholic content and seemed to be just boudoir biscuits topped with sweetened cream and cocoa powder(although it probably wasn't). Even if this was a case of me (and our neighbouring table) "not getting" the food, the prices are just exorbitant given the nature of ingredients, the random, although enthusiastic, service, the spit-on-the-floor nature of the room and the sound of the Luas rumbling through every so often. I had heard good things about Pinocchio's before. I've gone to a few places on these vouchers, it's great to get an opportunity to try a new restaurant out without breaking the bank. Of the vouchers I've got I thought this was a banker bargain. I'm amazed and disappointed how bad it was. Glad I wasn't paying full price.

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Saagar Indian Restaurant
16 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2 , City Centre South, Dublin

Came here on a voucher. Room, needs a bit of freshening up. It's a nice area for a basement. €500 and a hard couple of days work would go a long way. We had the value menu with the addition of a big prawn main course off the a la carte. The value menu items were all ordinary take away standard, although, in fairness, priced accordingly, while the prawn in batter dish was a bit better and a generous portion, but a little oily. Service was excellent, although even with the voucher, they managed to undercharge us.

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Dakshin
22 Donnybrook Road, Dublin 4, Donnybrook, Dublin

I visited Dakshin on Valentine night. It turned out to have the high standards of food and service I would have expected given the people involved in starting up the operation. Anyhow, nice freshly made popadoms with three dips to settle in, followed by a tasty battered prawn on a roundy blini like thing, with bits on, as an amuse bouche. Beef pepper fry for me was good - sticky and mildly tangy - but not a patch on my Valentine's prawn starter which really is a have-to-have. Lamb shank was a good main, but being covered in sauce, I was in fear throughout the meal of putting something objectionable in my mouth, which, with care, I managed to avoid doing. Good sauce and a lean meaty shank. Sea Bass was probably the winner of main courses, a little more subtle and refined. We were going to order Naan but were told it would be too much, he (the owner) would get us another lighter bread instead. This turned out to be a huge sort of rolled up semi crunchy pancake which was nice on its own or for sauce dipping. I'm not sure if we got this as guinea pigs or because he recognised us from his previous life (which he did), but it wasn't on the menu. Probably a bit of both. A nice touch anyhow. Looking at google now I think it might be dosai, we were told at the time but I wasn't listening. Worth asking for if you visit, if only to encourage them to put it on the menu. Wine wise we had a lovely Gavia di gavi which I thought was notably nice, whether it is a case of being generously priced or well chosen, I don't know, but I enjoyed it.

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Ananda
Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 14, Dundrum, Dublin

I'm a big fan of Ananda, having visited it more times in 2010 than any other restaurant. Early Bird and especially the lunch are great value but it also hits the mark for a special blow out meal. I'm a big fan of the jumbo prwawn starter and would stick with the non-traditional side of the main course menu, with the addition of a lentil side. On this occasion I had the January Seafood Tasting menu. I'm sure similar will be available from time to time. I'm not sophisticated enough to have had many tasting menus but I'm not sure they really are for me. You just get enough to establish you really would enjoy a nice big plateful of this or that and then it's all gone. A teaser menu is what I'd call it, not a tasting menu. A monkfish dish in a greenish sauce with creamy coconut rice was the best of the night, while the dessert, a trio of tiny bits of dessert, was the only weakish link. You got an Amuse Bouche, followed by two more amuse bouche sized courses, followed by sorbet, then two starter sized courses followed by Dessert and coffee with homemade jaffa cake things. Good value for €45, and while not stuffed at you'd often be after an Indian meal you were well fed. I'd still prefer to go the "starter/main course/couple of sides for the table and feck the dessert" route which would cost much the same. More elegant people than I am might prefer the tasting menu. I imagine Ananda will be my most visited restaurant in 2011.

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Harrys Cafe Bar
21 Upper George's Street, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin

I came here on a citydeal voucher. Arrived into a comfortable room and were offered a choice of tables. The waitress welcoming us was well informed about the deal and explained it back to us carefully so there would be no misunderstandings. All good. Wife's starter was Nahcos Grande. Despite being perfectly pleasant tastewise it was a lazy dish, broken nacho's, slopped together without any great thought. My starter was much more successful, a prawn bruschetta. Six or seven whole prawns in an oily chilli dip with toasted bread. I love this sort of dish, making a nice mess as you peel the prawns, the oil was nicely flavoured. A simple dish again, but this time done with a bit of care and craft. Chicken wings for son, again a good sauce, good quality wings and another simple dish properly executed to growed up standard. The attentive waitress noticed how uneconomical we were being with the tissues provided with the fingerbowls and brought more over without a need for request. Winning main was a piece of cod sitting on a mussely casserole. Steak, was a nice piece of striploin, properly cooked on good mash with french beans. Risotto was also very tasty and well executed, apart from somebody in the kitchen feeling the need to throw a lump of cranberry jam on top, maybe they were thinking of a rice pudding. When the jam had been surgically removed, it became a highly satisfactory dish. Lovely night with exceptionally good service. A couple of minor aberations with the food but overall very tastey and excellent value for money - even without a voucher.

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Oliviers at the Schoolhouse
2-8 Northumberland Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin

I had a very positive experience here. For the €28 pre theatre, you got a rosemary flavoured pastry stick freebie, a salmon tartare with truffle oil foam freebie, a basket of housemade bread, an unusual curried mussel dish which was very tasty (alternative was a very generous portion of terrine with tasty chutneys - a couple of others as well), a decent sized, well flavoured rib eye steak (or chicken stuffed with foie gras, which I didn't taste but was declared magnificent, and looked it). You add another €7 for desserts which we didn't get. Well worth the extra few euro you pay on top standard early birds in the area. The place was probably only a third full by the time we left at 7.30ish, which is harsh for such good food in such a nice room with excellent service. It would help to have a full house, you have a tendancy to talk to each other in lowered tones.I should take a star off for atmosphere on that count, but I won't, as it must be one of the most pleasant dining rooms in Dublin. I'm looking forward to going for the whole shabang sometime, they have a very interesting looking a la carte, hopefully the quiet evening was just a slight aberration and they will become one of the big guns of the Dublin dining scene.

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