Restaurant Reviews from RestaurantFan99

Status: Connoisseur

Credibility Score:
52.5%

County: Dublin

No. of Reviews: 22

Member Since: 24 July 2007

Last Visit: 14 August 2014

The Best Restaurant

Smyths Cock Tavern Swords restaurant

31 Main Street, Swords, Dublin, Area Code: Co. Dublin

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Cuisine:
American

Price Range:

Good
68 reviews

Reviewed 09th July 2014 ( visited 27th June 2014 )

We used to eat here regularly so we decided to go to the Cock Tavern - our old favourite. Unfortunately, the management and chef seems to have changed and the food we got was terrible. The chicken in my wrap was so overcooked it crumbled. It was absolutely vile and I explained this to the waitress. She offered another dish or a dessert in its place but I had already filled up on the chips it came with so I declined. However, when we got the bill, the wrap was still on there. I told her that I wouldn't be happy to pay for this in full, maybe half but she took it off the bill. The Cock Tavern has gone seriously downhill which is such a shame as it used to be great. They don't seem to get the crowds anymore either and I'm not surprised. I might come for a drink here again but I certainly won't be eating.
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Smyths Cock Tavern Swords restaurant

31 Main Street, Swords, Dublin, Area Code: Co. Dublin

View on Map

Cuisine:
American

Price Range:

Good
68 reviews

Reviewed 09th July 2014 ( visited 27th June 2014 )

We used to eat here regularly so we decided to go to the Cock Tavern - our old favourite. Unfortunately, the management and chef seems to have changed and the food we got was terrible. The chicken in my wrap was so overcooked it crumbled. It was absolutely vile and I explained this to the waitress. She offered another dish or a dessert in its place but I had already filled up on the chips it came with so I declined. However, when we got the bill, the wrap was still on there. I told her that I wouldn't be happy to pay for this in full, maybe half but she took it off the bill. The Cock Tavern has gone seriously downhill which is such a shame as it used to be great. They don't seem to get the crowds anymore either and I'm not surprised. I might come for a drink here again but I certainly won't be eating.
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Fade Street Social - The GastroBar
4-6 Fade Street, Dublin 2 , City Centre South, Dublin

Was really looking forward to eating here so decided to bring some clients for a Friday lunch. Very disappointing. As a previous reviewer said, food quality was ok but menu is all over the place. Popcorn chicken - more batter than chicken - revolting. Lobster hot dog was a rip-off. tiny portions and completely overpriced. Cocktails were the best thing about it but overpriced as well. Service wasn't great either - hostess couldn't have looked more bored and the waiter was quite condescending. I won't be back.

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Smyths Cock Tavern Swords
31 Main Street, Swords, Dublin

We used to eat here regularly so we decided to go to the Cock Tavern - our old favourite. Unfortunately, the management and chef seems to have changed and the food we got was terrible. The chicken in my wrap was so overcooked it crumbled. It was absolutely vile and I explained this to the waitress. She offered another dish or a dessert in its place but I had already filled up on the chips it came with so I declined. However, when we got the bill, the wrap was still on there. I told her that I wouldn't be happy to pay for this in full, maybe half but she took it off the bill. The Cock Tavern has gone seriously downhill which is such a shame as it used to be great. They don't seem to get the crowds anymore either and I'm not surprised. I might come for a drink here again but I certainly won't be eating.

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Andersons Foodhall & Café
3 The Rise, Glasnevin, Glasnevin, Dublin

Ate here with a friend on Saturday afternoon. We were lucky to get a table outside in the sun and delighted to hear we were just in time for tapas (they start serving tapas at 5.00). We ordered a selection to share and everything was just delicious - prawns, Spanish tortilla, pork with chorizo, duck pate & beetroot, smoked salmon & cream cheese, manchego cheese & fig jam. We enjoyed these with a bottle of chilled rosé - delicious! Some of the main courses (quiche etc) looked to be on the expensive side but the tapas were good value. This would be a regular spot for me if I lived closer. I can't wait to go back!!

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Geisha Restaurant & Bar (Malahide)
Marina Village, Malahide, Malahide, Dublin

I really wanted to like this place as we don't have any really nice Asian/Chinese restaurants near us in Swords and I'm looking for a place we can visit regularly but unfortunately, Geisha won't be it. Firstly, the decor. Because of the marble walls and floor downstairs in the wine bar, the place has an odd hospital-like feel to it. The decor upstairs really needs sprucing up and the colour scheme is a bit "winter wonderland" rather than warm and welcoming. The food isn't good. The best part was the chilli and salt calamari but my panko prawns were tasteless. I love prawns so much so that I ordered them for starters and main - big mistake. The "tempura" batter on the prawn main course (€25) was not tempura, not good quality. When I cut through this, again the prawns were tasteless. My husband had the Thai basil chicken and this looked and tasted like takeaway food. So disappointing. The wine was good. Geisha's only upside is its staff. The staff were excellent, friendly yet professional. Geisha is overpriced in my opinion especially as the food quality is nowhere near up to standard. Unfortunately, it was a first and final visit for me - we won't be back. Our search continues....

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Cronins Sheebeen
Rosbeg, Westport, Mayo

This is absolutely our favourite place to eat in Westport. The staff are so friendly and great at what they do. The food here is really excellent - I think it was Michelin Recommended a couple of years ago and deservedly so. I had the slow roasted lamb shank with a fabulously rich gravy and root veg and my husband had fish (can't remember exactly what) but both were delicious as usual. We ate here a couple of years ago with a vegetarian friend who had the vegetarian trio and she said it was the most inventive, well thought out and tasty veggie dish she'd ever had. Keep up the good work - we'll be back again soon!

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Il Pirata
Newtownards Road, Ballyhackamore, Belfast, Antrim

Had a fabulous meal in Il Pirata. My husband went for the Duck Egg Yolk Pappardelle with Asparagus and Truffle Oil (which resulted in serious food envy on my part!!) and I had some tapas - Mushrooms with Pesto & Parmesan, Whitebait and a Spiced Pork Slider. Everything was just delicious. Had a lovely bottle of prosecco and finished up with Mojitos. Great atmosphere, service and food - we'll be back next time we're in Belfast!

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The Grill Room at Ten Square Hotel
10 Donegall Square South, Belfast, Belfast, Antrim

It is extremely rare that I give anything 5 stars across the board but the Grill Room at Ten Square Hotel thoroughly deserves it. We took 10 clients to Belfast recently and because I really enjoyed the Grill Room @Ten Square last time, I knew it was a safe bet. They serve some of the best steaks I have ever eaten and the side dishes are just delicious. Service is excellent, atmosphere is great and it's great value too. I inadvertently left too large a tip (which doubled the amount of the overall bill!) but the waiter quickly spotted this mistake and caught me before I put my coat on (avoiding a messy situation in work on Monday morning!!). Many restaurants could do with taking a leaf out of the Grill Room's book!! It's a must-do in Belfast and I can't wait to go back!

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Made In Belfast
Units 1 And 2 Wellington Buildings, Wellington Street,, Belfast,, Belfast, Antrim

This was my second time eating in Made In Belfast. I really like the decor but choose your chair carefully - they are an eclectic mix and some can be of the plastic patio furniture variety and not very comfortable! We were only here on a quick visit so I just opted for a main course - fish n chips. It wasn't bad but I've had much better. I did really enjoy my first visit here a couple of years ago so maybe I was just unlucky on the day. I'll give it another chance though, next time I'm in Belfast.

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The GreenHouse
Dawson Street, Dublin City Centre, Dawson Street, Dublin

I booked the Greenhouse for lunch with a client last week as we both wanted to try somewhere we hadn't been before. I won't be rushing back. We were seated into the tightest table for two in the restaurant. I would have thought they would try seat customers as comfortably as possible when they have room to do so. The waiting staff were extremely polite and well-trained but none of them came across as friendly or natural but rather stiff, uninterested and rehearsed. I thought the lunch menu was very overpriced - €29 for 2 courses or €35 for 3! Only two choices for each course unless you count the cheeseboard which carried a hefty supplement of €8. We had a complimentary amouse bouche which was a nice touch. We both opted for the roast cod and were stunned at how small the portion of fish was. Now, I've eaten in many a fine-dining and Michelin-starred restaurant over the years and I'm used to modest portions but this was just miserable. It came with 4 or 5 pieces of asparagus, a spoonful of peas (maybe 10 peas) some micro herbs and some tiny drops of sauce. I had ordered sparkling water when we started lunch and after the waiter poured the last of the water into our glasses he returned straight away opening another bottle. Fine, but I didn't order it and I hate when waiters do that. The wine was also overpriced, I felt. We ordered a glass of white and a glass of red - the red was €11 and was the cheapest on the menu! We had the passionfruit soufflé to finish which was fine - nothing special, though. All in all, it was a very underwhelming experience. There are far, far better restaurants with better atmosphere, friendlier service and better value for money in Dublin.

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Pichet
14/15 Trinity Street, Dublin , City Centre South, Dublin

This is my favourite restaurant in Dublin city centre and although I haven't been in about a year, I am delighted to report that everything is as wonderful as ever. I had (probably my favourite starter anywhere EVER!) - the crispy hen's egg. As always, it was fab. For main course, I had quail - delicious. All of this was accompanied by a lovely Portugese red. We finished with a cheeseboard and some lovely dessert wine. Service was perfect. Yet another really long (apologies to the staff!!), enjoyable afternoon in Pichet. I'm looking forward to my next visit!

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Nandos Swords
Swords Pavilions, Swords, Dublin

Like a previous reviewer, I wanted to see what all the hype was about - I'm still wondering. We ate here on a Thursday night before going to the cinema. The atmosphere was like a typical food court, except this isn't part of a food court. A very nice waiter explained the ordering process. I chose a chicken burger and my husband went for a steak sandwich. The chicken burger was a dry fillet of chicken and one piece of lettuce on a dry bun - I really do make better chicken burgers at home! The steak sandwich was even worse - a thin, overcooked piece of cheap steak and a bit of lettuce on a dry "roll" of some sort. It really was extremely poor. The beers were nice - Brazilian - but when the beer is the highlight of the dinner, something's not right! Nando's - never again!

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Jack Whites Inn
Jack Whites Cross Brittas Bay, Wicklow Town, Wicklow

Really disappointed with this place. We arrived at 1.00 expecting to have trouble getting a table (as I'd heard good things about Jack White's over the years) but it was fairly empty. I should have taken that as a sign! We were en-route to Wexford so just wanted a quick lunch so I ordered the Fish & Chips in a Budweiser batter. It was pretty bad. The fish inside was grey so obviously was days old and the chips were lukewarm and some of the worst I've every had. The side salad was the best bit but that's not saying much. The only reason I have given this any stars for food is because my husband enjoyed the Bangers & Mash. I just wish I'd chosen that. Next time we're in the area, we'll be driving right by. Sorry!

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Simon's Place
37 South Main Street, Wexford, Wexford Town, Wexford

We dropped in here for lunch when we arrived in Wexford for the weekend. I was a bit reluctant as I hadn't heard about or read any reviews but I need not have worried - the food here is excellent. It's a really popular place with locals and visitors alike and you'll be lucky to get a seat at lunchtime if you arrive after 1.00 (we made sure we got there early the next day - yes, it was that good we had lunch there on the Saturday as well!). The food is good, home-cooked cuisine and I had the Minced Beef Wellington (so comforting and delicious) on the Friday and the Reuben Sandwich (house specialty) on the Saturday. My husband had the salmon and said it was cooked to perfection. One of the best things about Simon's Place has to be their homemade desserts. Their baker/chef comes in at 8 every morning to cook a selection of about 10 desserts/cakes. My favourite was the Pear & Almond cake but I also tasted the Lemon Tart which was fab. They were so good that I bought some to take back to Dublin with me! Well - it was my birthday so I allowed myself that indulgence!! All in all, I would highly recommend Simon's Place and we'll certainly return next time we're in Wexford.

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The Old Schoolhouse (Dublin)
Coolbanagher Church Road, North Co. Dublin, Swords, Dublin

We ate here years ago and it was only so-so. Have heard great reports recently so decided to give it another try and I'm so glad we did! They were having their "Fishy Wednesday" promotion last night and the place was buzzing. We had walked past a few restaurants in Swords which were practically empty - obviously everyone was eating in the Old Schoolhouse! I had the Fisherman's Pie and it was one of the best I've ever had. It came with chips and mushy peas and all for €10! Regular price was about €13 and I would gladly pay that any other day of the week. My husband had the prawns to start - delicious - and a fillet steak for main course which was cooked to perfection and came with onion rings, mushrooms, mash and chips. Service was excellent and I can see us becoming regular customers of The Old Schoolhouse!

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Chez Max (Palace Street)
1 Palace Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Had lunch here yesterday and what a find! It's a little piece of Paris in the heart of Dublin. I have eaten in the Baggot St location before (on the terrace in the sun) and whilst this is quite a different experience, we'll definitely be back. Lovely, relaxing french music playing in the background, excellent staff and the atmosphere was relaxing. Food was great - I had the Tartine Savoyarde and my husband had the omelette special - both were good. Excellent value too from the set "formule" menus. Had to try the apple meringue tartlet for dessert and it was lovely. As I said, we'll be back!

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Essence Bistro
75 Main Street, Swords, Dublin

Had the most amazing steaks in Essence Bistro last Sunday night. Had originally planned on having 2 courses from the Early Bird but I was so full after the main course, I couldn't manage anything else. The rib-eye steak was perfectly cooked - medium rare - to my liking, the chips were fab and the roast root veg (carrots and parsnips) were delicious. Although they were not included as part of the early-bird, they were well worth the extra charge. My partner had the marinated whiting (no mackeral that night) for starter which was also delicious. Service was great - very friendly staff. Atmosphere was a bit lacking but I'd put that down to it being one of those days between Christmas and New Year and the fact that we ate at 5.30. Finally - somewhere to get a delicious steak in Swords!! We'll be back!

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Restaurant Marinas
Radisson SAS Hotel, Lough Atalia Road, Lough Atalia, Galway

Stayed in the hotel and dinner in Marinas was part of the package. Unfortunately, despite the efficient service and friendly staff, the food wasn't up to much as all. My starter was 6 defrosted frozen prawns on fennel - it didn't work for me. I decided to go for the Thai Chicken Curry but I instantly regretted it. There was a film of grease on the surface of the curry, the chicken meat was brown (obviously leg/thigh which is not necessarily a bad thing but the fat wasn't removed) and I just couldn't eat it. It was simply revolting. Another diner at the next table left most of hers as well - I should have taken that as a sign. Desserts were great but wine was outrageously expensive - €18 for a half bottle of Santa Rita!! The restaurant has potential but they need to get the basics i.e. food quality and pricing right first.

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Raw
Radisson Blu & Spa, Lough Atalia Road, Galway City, Galway

We spent a weekend in the Radisson Blu in October. Dinner one night was included in the package but this was for Marinas Restaurant, not Raw. Still, being sushi lovers we decided to try Raw on the Friday night. The food is really, really good. I know they are going for an authentic Japanese experience but it might be an idea to include maybe one hot dish on the menu if possible. Not everyone will fancy eating cold food on a winter's night in Galway! Service was excellent and food was good value. The wine was expensive, though and we were glad to see they had two Japanese beers available - Asahi and another whose name I can't remember. The only downside, as others have mentioned, is the lack of atmosphere/customers. We ate here on a Friday at 8.00 and there were only three other tables occupied. I decided to have a quick look on the Saturday night as our room was on the same floor as Raw (4th) and again, it was surprisingly empty for 8.30 on a Saturday night. They need to do some advertising or something to promote themselves, I think.

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La Bucca Ashbourne
Frederick Street, Ashbourne, Ashbourne, Meath

We were here last Saturday night and liked it so much, we're going back tonight. We shared the garlic, parmesan and chilli flatbread to start and it was delicious. I had the prawn thermidor for main course and tasted the crab ravioli and they were both outstanding. There are so many dishes on the menu that you wouldn't find in a typical Italian restaurant (and I mean that in a good way!). There is plenty to choose from - steak, burgers, pizzas, pasta etc - there is something for everyone. We got a lovely bottle of red on special offer at €19.95 - the name escapes me now but if it's still on tonight, I'll update! Staff are really friendly and welcoming. We'll be back again and again!

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Smyths Cock Tavern Swords
31 Main Street, Swords, Dublin

We come here on a regular basis being locals. The Cock Tavern serves some of the tastiest food in Swords and has the friendliest waiting staff. I almost always opt for the Santa Fe wrap - delicious and such good value. Wednesday night is Burger Night where all burgers are €10 (with a couple of exceptions) so I decided to try the Southwest and opted for a chicken burger instead of the standard beef. The waitress recommended the Hawaii Five O with chicken to my husband and I have to say both burgers were outstanding! We've also eaten steaks, fajitas, pasta dishes and desserts here over the past couple of years and all have been excellent for the most part. I love the chips here but my husband prefers the home-made variety. Guess it's a matter of taste! As others have said, it's not the cheapest in Swords but the quality of food, atmosphere and clientele reflects this and we're happy to pay a little bit extra for that.

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Bon Appetit
9 James Terrace, Malahide, Dublin, Malahide, Dublin

Having read the other reviews on this restaurant I think we were just unlucky with the food the night we visited. I have wanted to try Bon Appetit for a long time so my expectations may have been too high. I was expecting a fine dining experience but we were shown to the basement which has a more bistro feel to it. We went for the Early Bird which at €55 for two including a bottle of wine, was great value. I had the pate to start which was pretty run-of-the-mill but would have been perfectly acceptable had the toast not been almost burnt on the underside. This was the over-riding taste, unfortunately. My friend had the salmon fish cake which was good. For main I had lamb, really soft but quite dry - it could have done with less cooking time, I think. My side order of mashed potatoes was cold but this was quickly replaced when I pointed it out to the waitress and it was taken off the bill at the end. My friend had the duck and was disappointed as it was duck leg as opposed to breast, which she was expecting. The wine was delicious, however and the service was excellent. I would like to go back to give Bon Appetit another chance but I hope that they are not cutting corners on the Early Bird menu like some other fine dining restaurants are on the "Business Lunch/Early Bird" menus these days.

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Pink Elephant
Mains Court, North Co. Dublin, Swords, Dublin

My husband and I visit this restaurant frequently and always enjoy the food. We have tried most dishes on the menu and, as one reviewer commented, it is the closest have tasted to authentic Thai food in Ireland. We have always found the staff to be very friendly but this could be because we go there so often and know some of them by name now. Those reviewers who claim that the staff smiles' are "pasted on" or "frozen" must realise that Thai people are very polite and reserved and do not tend to show too much emotion especially when they are working. This may be mistaken as being stand-offish, cold or rude but I don't believe that this is the case. In our experience, service has always been good, we have never felt rushed and have sometimes been among the last to leave. It is definitely my favourite restaurant in Swords.

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