Restaurant Reviews from SamKB

Status: Connoisseur

Credibility Score:

County: Dublin

No. of Reviews: 24

Member Since: 05 April 2007

Last Visit: 03 May 2017

The Best Restaurant

The Pembroke restaurant

23 Pembroke Street Upper, City Centre South, Dublin, Area Code:

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Casual Dining

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6 reviews

Reviewed 22nd May 2015 ( visited 08th May 2015 )

Hubby and I had a lazy lunch here a few Friday's ago. We were given the best seat in the house, right at the window and sat in comfy armchairs watching the world go by. The staff were friendly and attentive. Hubby had a Guinness steak and mushroom pie with mash and I had a ciabatta with roasted veg, basil pesto and salad, and even though this was a deviation from the menu slightly, it was no problem at all. Their pineapple coleslaw was absolutely delicious and my hubby raved over his pie and mash. I had a cheeky dessert of banoffi and it was yum. Perfect spot for lunch or dinner, and very comfortable surroundings. We will definitely go back again.
Most Visited Restaurant

Casa Pasta & Pizza (Donnybrook) restaurant

3 Eirpage House, Donnybrook Road, (Opp Rugby grounds), Donnybrook, Dublin, Area Code: D4

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Coeliac options

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66 reviews

Reviewed 05th April 2007 ( visited 05th April 2007 )

I love this restaurant. Have been many many times. Good service, great food (slightly pricey unless you are going for the lunch menu special) but worth it. Their deep fried brie is amazing with a tiny but gorgeous side salad. Also their veggie stir fry is much tastier than anywhere else serving the same dish - and combine that with the basmati rice its served with - its a very low fat healthy option for eating out. Only downside to this restaurant is the hard wooden seats.
All reviews

Fallon and Byrne
11-17 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

This restaurant has the best location – in the People’s Park in Dun Laoghaire. The setting is just gorgeous, and the construct of the restaurant itself is just beautiful.\nFallon & Byrne have a wide ranging menu, but even better still, they have a vegan and vegetarian menu which they update regularly. They sell a lot of produce in their Exchequer Street store, and you can see the freshness of their fruit and veg there, but even if you couldn’t, it’s really evident from their food that they only use great produce. Their dishes are creative, colourful and delicious. I’ve enjoyed their tomato soup (vegan), their asparagus and beetroot salad, as well as a delicious knickerbocker glory dessert.\n\nI’d recommend Fallon & Byrne to any veggie or vegan looking for something other than risotto to be offered up for them, and the staff are lovely too. Overall top marks from me, and make sure to check out their breads to buy to take home – yum.


Peruke & Periwig
31 Dawson St, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Had lunch in Peruke


KC Peaches Wine Cave Nassau St
28-29 Nassau St, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

My husband and I dined with two friends in The Wine Cave at KC Peaches on Nassau Street last Friday. For starter I had a fig and cashel blue cheese dish which was beautifully presented and delicious. My hubby had crab tacos which he loved and both our friends had a black pudding dish. Everyone was happy. We enjoyed a bottle of house Sauvignon and a few craft beers too. For main I ordered a starter of Bl e cheese tart and also ordered a side of sweet potatoes (mashed) and a side salad. Everything was fab and my side salad was particularly delicious containing one of my favourite things - pomegranate seeds. Yum. My hubby and one of our friendship ends had salmon served with samphire, and our other friend had the steak. All beautifully presented, perfect quantities and yum. For dessert we shared a bottle of muscato wine. Two of us had Eton mess, one had chocolate mousse and one had lemon


Liberty Grill
32 Washington Street, Cork City, Cork

On a recent trip to Cork, we met up with friends at the Liberty Grill for dinner. Of the four of us, I am a fussy vegetarian, we had a vegan and two meat eaters. Its a lovely comfortable, warm environment, and the staff were friendly and attentive too. To have a choice of 3 veggie burgers is pretty much unheard of in a restaurant that is not solely vegetarian. I was absolutely spoiled for choice. I went for a nutburger with vegan cheese (as the waitress was not sure whether their normal cheese was vegetarian). It was just delicious and a great size portion too. My hubby had a meat burger and prawns and loved both also. The key lime pie for dessert was absolutely delicious and Id have it again right now if I could. Fairly priced wine, music but not too loud - overall it was a great night and Id definitely dine there again


The Pembroke
23 Pembroke Street Upper, City Centre South, Dublin

Hubby and I had a lazy lunch here a few Friday's ago. We were given the best seat in the house, right at the window and sat in comfy armchairs watching the world go by. The staff were friendly and attentive. Hubby had a Guinness steak and mushroom pie with mash and I had a ciabatta with roasted veg, basil pesto and salad, and even though this was a deviation from the menu slightly, it was no problem at all. Their pineapple coleslaw was absolutely delicious and my hubby raved over his pie and mash. I had a cheeky dessert of banoffi and it was yum. Perfect spot for lunch or dinner, and very comfortable surroundings. We will definitely go back again.


The Meeting House (LARNE)
120 Brustin Brae Road, Ballygally, Larne, Antrim

No idea how it took my so many months to discover this fantastic new restaurant. The concept is kind of like Asian (Burmese) tapas. Each dish is €9.99 but they offer discounted deals for 2 or 3 or 6 dishes. Sides are 5.99, as are the desserts. We went with three foodie friends of ours and we were all blown away! As a strict vegetarian I was in foodie heaven having several options to choose from. I had tofu scallops on a bed of Asian greens, a mixed vegetable rice, veggie tempura wish a delicious dipping sauce and a side of Asidn style sweet potatoes and just loved every single bite. The tofu scallops were a thing of beauty - the best new concept dish I've had in years. My hubby had mini Asian style burgers in a coconut bread bun, and a chicken curry with a side of Jasmin rice. He really enjoyed both. Our friends had some of these dishes as well as also having sashimi, the tomato salad, a prawn curry, a duck salad, tempura. The table was a sea of Mmmm and Yum. Cocktails were delicious, the Pinot Grigio was only €28 for a 1L bottle and for dessert the whole table each ordered an assiette of 5 mini desserts. The music was well worth a mention too. It was the perfect level in terms of noise but still being able to hear everyone at the table. The staff were fantastic and we will definitely be going back very soon :)


26 Wexford St, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

We have been to Opium a few times in the last year with friends. We all love Asian food and the flavours and choice of food is undeniably great, even the cocktails are superb. Unfortunately on each occasion we have come away half deaf and with sore throats from screaming across the table to have a conversation. Think Opium need to decide if the ground floor is a restaurant or a pub/club. The tunes are always wicked... a great mix of music to get you in party form... But blaring loud is not for dinner. You can go upstairs if you want to dance, so they need to consider lowering the music to a lively but manageable level for the comfort of those wishing to catch up with friends over dinner. It is also ALWAYS very warm. Even my hubby who is as cold as cold can be at all times, breaks a sweat in there. That said - the menu is creative, the dishes are beautifully presented and the dessert menu is a thing of beauty. Please just turn the air con on and the music down a touch. Not sure we will give it another chance if not. Shame really, cause we love the food and the vibe.


The Grafton Lounge
Unit 2, Royal Hibernian Way, Dawson Street, City Centre South, Dublin

My hubby and I stopped in here after the St Patrick's Day Parade and while it was packed as we expected, we still found two stools at the bar. I loved their toblerone cocktail, totally delish. I ordered their Ardsallagh Goats cheese salad minus the black pudding as I am vegetarian, and also a side of garlic aioli potatoes and coleslaw. Hubby had smoked salmon with fries and slaw. We were both very impressed with the food. I'm very fussy and usually have to plan restaurants in advance due to my strict vegetarianism.... and even I thought it was fantastic. We will definitely be back


Bay Restaurant
369 Clontarf Road, Dublin 3, Clontarf, Dublin

Hubby and I enjoyed a really tasty dinner here last night. We had booked in advance and its a busy place so you definitely need to reserve a table at the weekend. Waited about 10 minutes to be seated. Seating is tight to all the other tables. It's a bit too cramped, but the food made up for it. I had mushroom bruschetta which was good, hubby had prawns with couscous which he loved. For main I had the halloumi and rocket buckwheat crepe and it was delish - a great vegetarian main. Hubby had steak and a side of spinach which he enjoyed. A lovely bottle of Pinot Grigio, two pints Guinness, a coke, and a dessert for me (gorgeous duo of creme brûlée) all came to €100. Good food, good service, very enjoyable overall. Can't give it the top mark because it was crazy hot and quite cramped.... But we would go back anyway :)


Brambles Café Bistro
102-104 Terenure Road North, Terenure, Dublin

My husband and I dined in Brambles restaurant last weekend. The setting is absolutely stunning with comfortable luxurious chairs, an amazing chandelier and mirrors surrounding. Plenty of parking outside too. We both ordered garlic mushrooms which were delicious and served with garlic aliol and a balsamic side salad. Not a hint of grease to be seen and beautifully presented. For mains hubby had chicken done in a cream sauce with potatoes and a sweet potato crisp. A good sized portion and he enjoyed every bite. I went for the veggie pasta, a tomato based roast veg dish which was the perfect size for hungry food lover. Two glasses of Chardonnay and two cokes finished off our meal. We are happy to recommend Brambles to anyone. Even the staff were top notch x


Kitchen 62
62 Upper George's St, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin

This brand new restaurant is open only 3 weeks and I am pegging it to be one of the big success stories of 2015. If you are a foodie person, this is the place to try for your next dining out experience. We booked in for the early bird on new years eve, 3 courses for 25euro - it was an absolute steal. My husband had chicken wings to start - not the tiny sticky kind - but the size you would get in a snack box, covered in buttermilk crispy batter. To follow he had the pork belly which again was not done the way lots of other places are presenting it. It was sliced pork belly meaning that each slice had crispiness to it, and it was served with jumbo asparagus, a gorgeous jus and a salad that he went into orbit over (pomegranite with mango, pear and chilis). As a vegetarian, I went for the griddled veggie salad which was colourful and delicious, and then the veggie tempura with dips. Both were very good and presented beautifully. We shared a side of mash (heaven) and candied yams (you need to try these - yum). My husband was in absolutely foodie heaven and he never gets excited about food. We both went for the eton mess for dessert and this was equally superb as the starters and mains. Aside from the food, the decor was beautiful, the 1920'2/30's music was fantastic and the staff were a pleasure to deal with. The man behind this new restaurant has a long history of restaurant management behind him (had a chat before we left) and am sure that this new venture will be a great success for him. My husband and I wish them the best of luck and highly recommend a visit. They seem to do a fab brunch too :)


Da Mario
Maynooth Road, Celbridge, Kildare

My friend and I ate in Da Mario’s last Thursday and loved it. I had a voucher to cover an early bird dinner with bottle of house wine. As a strict vegetarian I have to be careful about what cheese I eat. Most of Da Mario’s non-meat dishes have cheese in them (pizza’s, or filled pasta for instance) I had emailed in advance to ask about whether the cheese they use is vegetarian friendly. While they didn’t advise about this specifically in reply, they more than compensated by being most agreeable to my ordering dishes/adapting dishes to suit my vegetarian requirements and I was delighted with this. I had the regular bruschetta (minus the brie) and this was a great sized portion and served on absolutely delicious bread with a small side salad garnish. My friend had the feta salad and loved it. The presentation of both dishes was superb. For main course I ordered a pasta dish. It was listed on their menu as a gnocci dish with mushrooms, peas and bacon in a creamy sauce, but I was allowed to order it with fettuccini and minus the meat and have to say it was amazing. The portion was a good size, there was plenty of veg and the creamy sauce was gorgeous. I had brought my own vegetarian cheese to sprinkle on top as Parmesan is not vegetarian friendly. For dessert I had the profiteroles and my friend had the apple tart with ice cream. Both were delicious and so beautiful that I took a photo to show my hubby afterwards. We enjoyed a bottle of house wine too and it was gorgeous – very drinkable. My overall impression is that they are very customer focussed, particularly the Maitre D who looked after us very well and is an absolute credit to the restaurant. The atmosphere is inviting and warm and the food was of a high standard. I am giving it a very high score that could only be improved by clarification on their menu whether their pizza/pasta dishes that hve cheese, are in fact made wth vegetarian friendly cheese. Will definitely go back & are happy to recommend it


An Bhialann
120 Ranelagh, Dublin 6, Ranelagh, Dublin

My husband and I dined in An Bhialann yesterday evening. As we were the first to arrive for their evening sitting we got to choose our own table and went for a window seat so that we could watch the world pass by as we ate. The décor is warm and modern and the general atmosphere is very comfortable. As a vegetarian, this review probably will seem out of place to most people, since this restaurant is steak and seafood oriented – but I had been drawn in by a very interesting starter of beetroot, tofu, pear shavings, rocket and caramelised walnuts which did not disappoint. I enjoyed it hugely and my husband who had ordered prawn cocktail loved his starter too. I must mention that it was anything other than the old school style of presentation for prawn cocktail and my husband commented that they were the best prawns he has ever had in Ireland. For main course there is only one dish that as a vegetarian I could order – however that said – that’s not really what this restaurant is about, so no complaints there. I had the vegetarian goats cheese file parcel with spinach and green beans and it was served with salad and a tomato/chili jam (not too hot). I had liaised in advance by email with the maitre’d, who assured me that the cheese is definitely vegetarian (they use Five Mile Town for those who may be interested and it is made with vegetarian rennet). I know a lot of top restaurants offer cheese based dishes to vegetarians which in fact contain animal based rennet – so it is refreshing to find a top Dublin restaurant that is aware of this issue and offers a proper vegetarian friendly dish – so top marks there!! My husband had the seabass which was served on a bed of leeks and spinach with a cream sauce and he absolutely loved it. The presentation was fab too. We shared a side of mash, but to be honest once I tasted it I wished I had ordered a serving just for myself – it was to die for – properly yum mash. I finished off with the chocolate fondant de


Siam Thai (Dundrum)
Dundrum Town Centre, South Dublin, Dundrum, Dublin

My husband and I dine here regularly as it is local to us. We ate here a few weeks ago with a friend. We booked to take advantage of the early bird which runs on weekdays up until 6.45pm. I had the veggie spring rolls to start and they were fab. My husband and friend had a ribs and loved them. I had the ginger and cashew nut mixed vegetable stir fry with rice which is my favourite thai dish - it was gorgeous. The plate was a sea of colour and the mix of veg was excellent. My husband had his usual - the yellow chicken curry which he loves, and our friend had the seabass with ginger and enjoyed it a lot. I had the best dessert Ive had in a long time - it was like a mousse and served with a side of rhubarb compote - amazing. As usual, the staff were lovely, the vibe of the restaurant was buzzing and Id recommend it to anyone. Tip - go for the early bird, otherwise its a little bit expensive.


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

My husband and I dined in here two weeks back. If you haven’t been, its pretty cool. You decide what size burger, what kind, what greens, what cheese, what toppings, what bun and what sauce. I went for a 1/3lb veggie burger in a bun with lettuce, roasted peppers, beetroot and garlic mayo. I shared a side order of 50/50 onion strings and fries with my husband. He went for the 4 mini cheese burgers and loved them. We both had a coke each. The restaurant itself is pretty funky, the staff were attentive and the food was delivered promptly. Our burgers, a shared side and a coke each came to 32euro which is not cheap, but it was all very tasty and we would go again. My only point to note is that the staff were not able to tell me which of their cheese’s are suitable for vegetarians, so I could not have any cheese at all on my burger. It would be a good idea for them to clearly indicate if any of them are vegetarian society approved.


Red Torch Ginger
14/ 15 Andrew Street , Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

I dined in Red Torch Ginger with 3 friends last Saturday night. I booked a week in advance and it was lucky I did because the Christmas rush was definitely in effect and the restaurant was completely full on the night. I had the vegetable spring rolls to start and they were gorgeous, served with plum sauce (a bit more sauce would have been good). My friends all had a combo plate each and loved their starters. For main I went for vegetarian sweet and sour with fried rice and it was yum. A lovely mix of colourful vegetables and the sauce was gorgeous too. A generous sized serving also. My friends had a red curry (she loved it), the beef salad (again loved it but found it very hot) and the Singapore noodles (loved it, but similarly found it very hot). They did all say that they would have those dishes again so I guess the ‘hot’ was manageable lol. The staff were excellent, the food was great and prompt considering how busy they were. We enjoyed a bottle of Sauvignon which was affordable and very tasty, and a few cocktails. The Eton mess for dessert was to die for (we all had it). If you can make it there for the early bird, do – after the timeframe of the early bird some of the dishes are a little on the expensive side. I definitely recommend Red Torch Ginger – we had a great night there overall.


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

My friend and I had a long leisurely boozy lunch here recently. It was nice enough to sit outside in the courtyard area which on a warm day is very refreshing. It did spit rain twice over our 4 hours here, but the staff simply closed over the roof covering for a few minutes until it had stopped – all very discretely. The great think about Japanese food is that you can order lots of smaller things and get to sample more than just the one thing. I had the yasai goyoza to start (vegetarian dumplings) and then went on to have the veggie tempura and a serving of steamed rice. Not being a fan of aubergine, I asked could the chef amend the dish to only have sweet potato and asparagus and this was no problem at all. My friend had two different kinds of sushi followed by the beef carpaccio a side serving of gherkins. We both ordered dessert and shared a bottle of sauvignon with our meal. We also each had a coke, and then two glasses of dessert wine each after we had finished eating. It was a very chilled out experience, but then that is the general vibe of Yamamori Sushi. Our meal was not cheap, and it came to just short of 100euro – but we enjoyed every mouthful and every second of it. I’d definitely recommend this restaurant over the other branch on Georges Street – it just always seems more airy and less crowded too.


Toto Ristorante Italiano
8 Talbot Street, City Centre North, Dublin

Café Toto (previously Rayhoon) My husband and myself dined in Café Toto last night – their early bird menu is a choice of 3 starters and any pizza or pasta plus a glass of wine/beer/soft drink for 15euro. For a Wednesday night the place was very busy which I guess stands to show what a good deal the early bird is. The waitress was run off her feet as two others were out sick, but to give the girl credit – she did a great job making sure everyone was looked after and not left waiting for attention too long. I had the garlic bread to start and had the fettuccini with broccoli and mushrooms. It was gorgeous. Being a strict vegetarian, this is the perfect dish for me and I brought along my own vegetarian version of parmesan (Twineham Grange pasta cheese). I’d say people think I’m mental when I do that because most people don’t realise that parmesan is not vegetarian friendly – but apart from a few glances as I unwrapped my tinfoil it was all fine. Worth noting that although I have previously asked about their cheese on their pizzas by phone and also in the restaurant – they have never been able to advise whether the cheese is vegetarian friendly – unfortunately this means a strict vegetarian cannot order any pizza at all. Would be fantastic is they could ensure that they use only mozzarella that is made with vegetarian rennet. My husband went for the steak with sauté potatoes and salad with a glass of red wine and he thoroughly enjoyed it (its part of the early bird deal but there is no starter option on it – I think it is 13euro inc the glass of wine/beer). He eats there all the time at lunch as he works locally and only has good things to say about it in general. I added a dessert on to the end of my meal – vanilla and chocolate icecream and that was good too. All in all our bill came to 34euro which included the extra dessert and a second glass of red wine. Really good value, and service with a smile.


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

My boyfriend and I are at opposite ends of the scale when it comes to this Baan Thai. He absolutely loves this one, where as I prefer the food in the Ballsbridge branch. That said, the decor is fabulous, the tables are spaciously set apart (which is the reason he prefers this branch), the service is fantastic and the authentic outfits just add to the experience. We have celebrated both our anniversary here as well as birthdays and other occasions and it has always been a positive experience. To comment on the parking situation as mentioned by others - I do think there is a parking area underground - the details of which you dont get to see/hear about until you are in the restaurant lobby. Baan Thai is particularly a good choice if you are vegetarian like myself, there is a wide range of choice. Frozen desserts are never going to win any brownie points in my book, but they do the usual one or two non-frozen.


Brannigans Dundrum
Dundrum Town Centre Dundrum, Dundrum, Dublin

I like this place. The food is good, the booths that look out onto the towncentre waterfeature are comfortable and with a great view. Would benefit from adding to their veggie menu with maybe a veggie burger or something to match all the meaty/fishy options that is not hot or spicy.


8 Talbot Street, City Centre North, Dublin

Went there with 4 friends last Sat night and felt that everything about this restaurant has taken a turn for the worse. The menu has changed and is not as good as it used to be. The panfried garlic mushrooms were almost tasteless (they used to be fabulous). My friend ordered the bruschetta - it was just chopped tomatoes on slices of toasted bread - not a sign of any garlic anywhere, and no infusion of basil - just one leaf sitting on top. These guys need to learn how to make bruschette - Pizza bases were awful, the cheese was tasteless - and to top it all off - yes... they brough out the trusty frozen dessert menu (complete with spray cream). Very disappointed. Definitely gone drastically downhill. ********************* MY PREVIOUS REVIEW FROM EARLY 09 Loved this place. Been here twice for lunch and both times would give it 10 our of 10. The menu is classic italian and ticks every box in terms of variety. The range of starters is fantastic and I can vouch for the garlic pan fried mushrooms, the stuffed mushrooms and also the bruschette (to die for). I can also recommend the bolognese, as well as the fettuccini con broccoli - yum. Service was good, friendly and prompt - no complaints at all. Booking this place for Saturday and bringing friends this time.


Cafe Topolis
37 Parliament Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

**** update of 16th October 2008 ***** Was at cafe topolis last Sat night with my boyfriend, and at the next table, quite unassumingly was Cliff Richard and a few friends. As always the food was fabulous, the service was friendly and not rushed and the bill was very affordable. Yum ***** THE POTATO AND MUSHROOM STARTER IS CALLED SFORMATINO ALLA PUGLIESE - its a must !! One of my favourite Italian restaurants (except for the hard wooden seats). Great menu, large selection to choose from, good waiting staff, lovely choice of wines. One or two very unusual dishes that differ from the average Italian menu. I recommend the Sformatino Alla Pugliese starter - it’s a small tower of pecorino cheese, slices potatoes and mushrooms in a light oil with pesto round the edges - WOW. Or the beef tomato stuffed with goats cheese and spinach. Yum.


Casa Pasta & Pizza (Donnybrook)
3 Eirpage House, Donnybrook Road, (Opp Rugby grounds), Donnybrook, Dublin

I love this restaurant. Have been many many times. Good service, great food (slightly pricey unless you are going for the lunch menu special) but worth it. Their deep fried brie is amazing with a tiny but gorgeous side salad. Also their veggie stir fry is much tastier than anywhere else serving the same dish - and combine that with the basmati rice its served with - its a very low fat healthy option for eating out. Only downside to this restaurant is the hard wooden seats.


new plaza
Unit 4, 1 st Floor , Main Street , Swords, Dublin

I had eaten in this restaurant approx 50 times over a two year period, including having my birthday dinner there two years in a row where the owner had produced a cake for me each time. All the staff knew my face and so did the owner. I loved the places and had introduced about 10 different friends to it, all of who then started to eat there regularly. Then one Sunday one of the regular staff told me that to take meat out of one of the dishes on the set menu (no veggie main course had ever been on the menu so I did this on every single occasion I was in the restaurant) was a variation on the menu and she would have to charge me a €1. I took exception to this, reminded her that I had never been asked to pay extra before, then asked for the owner who was not on the premises - so I decided it was completely ridiculous and left. I wrote and complained, explaining who I was and what had happened. The managed called me and said he would change the set menu (Mon-Thurs and Sunday lunch) to accommodate vegetarians, and also apologised. I never went back, to be honest I wasn’t satisfied with a simple apology. And I have heard from several friends who have been along since then, that there is still no veggie main course on the set menu. Never again.

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