Restaurant Reviews from cheezypuf
No. of Reviews: 55
Member Since: 28 June 2007
Last Visit: 11 January 2016
Chapter One Restaurant
18/19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, City Centre North, Dublin, Area Code: Dublin 1
Reviewed 10th March 2008 ( visited 04th March 2008 )I had the pre-theatre menu. I always suspected they only had one table for pre-theatre and just used it as a publicity ruse. I booked in January, thinking two months should be enough notice. It was, and I found the restaurant full. I was a little put out by the very strict instructions I had received about the importance on attending promptly at 6 p.m. sharp and that lateness may mean the loss of the table. The food was excellent – I started with a baked beetroot cake with grilled goats cheese, which was superb. My dining companion had ‘seared’ tuna, which looked more like raw tuna. It went down well but wouldn’t have been to my taste. My main of coupe de boeuf (beef cheek) was excellent. They told me it had been slow cooked for five hours, and it was served with turnip puree and potato croquets. The matching main of sea bream fillets was also excellent. No supplement was charged even though one was advertised. My dessert of warm chocolate mousse with ice cream and orange and Campari jelly was excellent and full of surprises. The lime parfait and mango mousse was also pronounced good. Service is excellent and very attentive, without being intrusive. I didn’t even notice my glass being regularly filled, but it was. Superb value (€37.50 each for three courses) and outstanding food. The wait for a booking is worth it, but the panic to attend by six wasn’t: we were finished by 7.15.
13 Dame Court, Dublin, City Centre South, Dublin, Area Code: Dublin 2
Reviewed 05th July 2007 ( visited 05th July 2007 )I ate in Odessa last night, from the early bird Menu. It’s only €18.50 for two courses and coffee, which is really good value. Unlike other early-birds where you feel you’re eating cheap food, it offers duck confit, mussels, and lots of other nice things. I had both of the above. They were excellent, and the portions generous. Rare Thai beef salad is another starter option that is also very good. My only extravagance was a gin martini @ €10.50. A very good value meal, with excellent service.
24 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1, City Centre, Italian Quarter, Dublin
I'm slightly embarrassed writing this review, as this must have been one of my worst restaurant experiences in Dublin. We arrived at 7.30pm and left at 9pm. We had difficulty attracting the attention of the waiter to order. It had taken so long to get menus and longer still to order that we decided to forsake starters and just order a main course. I ordered a pizza rustica and my friends ordered chicken, pizza and a Caprese Salad. As the salad was only listed as a starter and my friend wanted it for a main course there was considerable negotiation to arrange this, but eventually the waiter agreed to bring him two portions. We ordered fizzy water, a jug of water and a bottle of white wine. I can't remember the name of the wine, but it was described as being flavoured of grapefruit and bergamot. It was delicious when it eventually came. Luckily glasses were supplied with the wine, which is more than can be said for the bottle of water. It was left sealed and without glasses on the table. After considerable difficulty we found the waiter again and requested both glasses and the jug of water. The food came out apart from mine. As we were now late I asked everyone to start. The man having the salad didn't want to start as the salad was undressed and there was no olive oil on the table. Yet again we focused our attention on trying to attract the attention of our elusive waiter to request olive oil. After some considerable time the oil arrived, but, despite repeated reminders, my pizza never materialised. Having run out of time we requested the bill (by leaving the table and walking over to the cashier). The only thing they didn't forget was to charge me for the meal I never received. After some negotiation my pizza was removed from the bill and a discount provided. Unfortunately the manager didn't apologise to me for my lack of meal, so the only thing to pass my lips (beside the wine) was a sour taste, which still lingers.
Peperina Bistro Garden
25 Dunville Avenue, Dublin 6, Ranelagh, Dublin
Four of us dined on Saturday and really enjoyed our meal. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable about the wine. The food was excellent - little details like the salad being decorated with fresh flowers meant we really enjoyed the experience. My calamari were light and fresh. The beetroot salad was good too. My rib eye steak was ordered medium rare and came rare, but I didn't mind. We really enjoyed that the waiter recommended an Argentinean wine and then admitted he was Argentinean when asked. He was friendly and really warm. The chicken skewers with coleslaw and corn fritters were great. The fritters were really fresh and sweet, even if perhaps still a little gooey inside. I hope the place does well. With the professional and friendly service and good quality food that we experienced they deserve to succeed.
The Wild Geese
Rose Cottage, Adare, Adare, Limerick
Our meal in the Wild Geese was superb. My scallops to start were generous and beautifully presented. A friend had the monkfish, which was imaginatively presented and enjoyed. I had duck three ways for the main course which was fairly good. The food was universally well received. The service was friendly and tolerant of our slightly bawdy behaviour. I would recommend the Wild Geese highly.
ely gastro bar
Grand Canal Square, (Next to the Bord Gais Energy Theatre), Dublin 2, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin
As I was attending a show in the theatre, I booked a table for an early bird. I had checked the menus in advance on the website and saw that there was a wide choice of four starters and five main courses. I was surprised and disappointed to be given an early bird menu which had a single starter and just two mains, neither of which appealed. I thought a pre theatre menu was supposed to be cheap because you’re coming early – not because you’ll be given the cheapest ingredients and no choice. In the end we ordered off the main dinner menu and the rib eye steak and fish and chips were very tasty. In fact, the fish and chips (at €14.95) and soup (at €5.50) from the dinner menu (a total of €20.45) were quite a bit cheaper than the pre theatre menu at €23.50 for two courses. The service and quality of the food was good, but we came away feeling feeling disappointed by a very badly designed pre-theatre menu offering. If I was a cynical man I might conclude that Ely is deliberately exploiting its proximity to the theatre to draw people in with an early bird menu, and is then charging them a premium price with a poor offering. Either way, they should do better than a pre theatre menu which is more expensive than the regular dinner menu but offers no choice.
El Toro Bravo
27 South Richmond Street, Portobello, Dublin
We really enjoyed our visit. The staff were very attentive and friendly, making various recommendations. We started with pork and croquettes from the aperitivo menu. The pork was the winner. We went on to have various bits and pieces, which were all excellent, apart from a chicken one, which was pieces of cubed chicken but included pieces of bone and gristle which were a little off putting. The food closely resembled tapas I’ve had in Madrid and although the atmosphere wasn’t much like a Spanish tapas bar it was friendly and warm.
The Port House Ibericos
5/6 Pembroke Cottage, Pembroke District, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 14, Dundrum, Dublin
Had an enjoyable meal after a spot of shopping. The tapas were generously sized and enjoyable, although the chorizo in red wine was a little heavy. The atmosphere is warm and cozy.
Coppinger Row, off South William St, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin
As it was a balmy evening dining al fresco was a very attractive proposition. We saw various other people being turned away shortly after our arrival. They don’t take bookings, so you may be waiting around for a while or ultimately disappointed. However, our evening in Coppinger Row got off to a great start. We were offered a table outside with a minimal wait at the bar inside while it was prepared for us. We both started with dressed crab and crayfish salad on sourdough toast. This was light and sweet with quite a Tabasco kick. I loved it, but lesser mortals may have been unnerved by the cayenne punch. I went for rib eye steak with bone marrow from the special board. It was very tasty, with the bone marrow providing an explosion of salty creamy flavour. The salad it came with was a bit over-dressed so I ended up with quite a puddle of olive oil on the plate. My dining companion had the lamb sausage which went down very well. My desert of baked peaches was unremarkable and my companion had warm cherries which were a hit. I thoroughly enjoyed the coffee which was served in a shot glass and was an espresso mixed with cognac and sweetened condensed milk. It was a lot more enjoyable than it sounds and left a very pleasant taste in the mouth. Excellent food, very friendly and efficient service. My only reservations would be that the a la carte menu is a little expensive, and that we were approached by no fewer than seven beggars looking for money. I can’t blame the restaurant for this, but it’s not an endearing feature of their outside seating.
The Red Bank House & Restaurant
5-7 Church Street, Skerries, Skerries, Dublin
We went for a Sunday evening early bird at 5pm. The place was fairly quiet, but it was an odd time to arrive. We got a warm reception and waiting in a sort of drawing room while we had a drink, read the menu and relaxed before dinner. We were brought through to the dining room, which is what would have been the main part of the old bank building in which the restaurant is based. The menu was generous in its choices and I had nettle, watercress and lettuce soup, followed by spicy haddock Louisiana. I’d never had nettle soup before and I enjoyed it. The spicy haddock was good too. For me the highlight was having a big proper 70s style desert trolley wheeled over. We all became much more interested when we saw what was on offer. I had some Greek style baklava and some chocolate cake. Three courses were €24 per person. The choice and quality was good and the service very attentive. The decor is old fashioned as is the place is quirky, but I found it charming and very enjoyable.
31 Deansgrange Road, Deansgrange, Dublin
Ate a pizza for lunch. It was a generous size, as was my companion’s. It was very tasty and had been made from scratch. The dough is clearly made in-house. The salads and charcuterie looked great too. The place is small enough and no frills, but that’s what you want for a neighbourhood deli type place. I’ll be back.
The Ring of Kerry Hotel
Cahirciveen, Caherciveen, Kerry
I had salt and pepper squid served from the barfood menu. It was very tasty and good value. The service is excellent, with the friendliest staff going.
52 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 , City Centre South, Dublin
It wasn't awful, but I ordered pea soup and got mushroom and the waitress made quite a fuss about changing it - she asked me three times if I wanted it changed and then came back to the table on four occasions to apologise. I'd have preferred to spend the evening talking to my dining companions rather than answer questions, which have already been answered. My mother ordered linguine with seafood and received spaghetti with seafood. She didn’t eat the pasta, as she doesn’t like spaghetti. When it was cleared she mentioned that she would have preferred the linguine she’d ordered. Rather than accept this, the waitress went to get the menu. When it was established that spaghetti with seafood isn’t on the menu and couldn’t have been ordered she did apologise. Given that it hadn’t been ordered or eaten I don’t think she should have charged us, but we were so sick of all the fuss and nonsense that we chose not to pursue it further. Oh, and himself’s bruschetta was still chilled from the fridge and the bread was soggy from having been left preassembled for a number of hours. And we were sat down beside other people sharing the same table. It wasn’t a problem, but it would have been nice to be asked if we wanted to share a table with strangers – some people would rather wait for a private table.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK Temple Bar)
Unit 1, Temple Bar Square, Dublin 2 , Temple Bar, Dublin
Enjoyed a Kiwi and Chorizo burger on Friday evening. We got the fiver deal which was great value. It strikes me as a bit cheeky charging extra for chips – apart from McDonald’s it must be the only burger in Dublin that comes without chips. The Kiwi burger is so big you’d need to be a pelican if you’re going to try and pick it up and put it in your mouth. I had to disassemble it to eat it, but it was very tasty. The terrace outside is great on a warm day, but I was a bit shocked by the violence and drunkenness I witnessed in the square. Obviously that’s not the fault of the restaurant, but the streets seem pretty bawdy around there. Friendly efficient service, although they did forget the onions rings.
Gourmet Burger Bistro
8 Bridge Street, Cork City, Cork
I had an avocado, bacon and cheese burger with was tasty and came with a nice portion of chips. The service was friendly and professional.
The Boardwalk Bar and Grill
Lapps Quay, Cork City, Cork
We had a pleasant enough meal for a party of ten. We all at off the early bird menu and all had the steak. The food was adequate, but the steak was fairly dry and flavourless. Mine was also not served as ordered, i.e. it was overdone. The cheese cake would have been suitable for those with an allergy to cheese, as it was cheese free, nor had it seen the inside of an over: an underbaked confection of gelatine and sugar. The service was pleasant if strained, although our antipodean server was charming. The atmosphere was a little tired and the food was fairly ordinary. Nothing was awful, but I wouldn’t rush back.
14/15 Trinity Street, Dublin , City Centre South, Dublin
Food was excellent. I started with butternut squash risotto, followed by daube of beef with ox tongue. The terrine and white onion soup starters looked good, as did the cod with crab, shellfish and chorizo. Deserts were tempting, but I was well full. We split a mini carafe (pichet –250ml) of red between us. It was a tenner and very nice. Glasses of wine ranged from €5.25 up to a tenner, and the selection by glass, carafe and bottle was good. The service was friendly and efficient, and the room comfortable and stylish.
The Blackboard Bistro
The Basement, 4 Clare Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin
I ate at The Blackboard Bistro just a few days before Christmas and was surprised and disappointed to find we were the only customers for the whole evening. Disappointed because a place this good deserves to be busier. The food was excellent and the service friendly and professional. We sat in front of a large blackboard with tantalising dishes written on it. We were in the process of choosing and the waiter advised us that the board was out of date and gave us menus. Seemed funny to name the place after a blackboard but not keep it updated. I started with roast pepper and coconut soup which had a good kick to it. I followed this with a very juicy salmon steak. My companions’ meals were equally good, particularly the Dover sole and rack of Wicklow lamb. The chef came out to talk to us, which was a nice touch, but with only four punters for the night he probably had little else to do. Fairly good value and above average food.
St Andrew Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin
Went for a pre-theatre meal in Trocadero before a trip to the opera in the Gaiety. We got a very comfortable booth by the kitchen door. Our waitress was efficient and pleasant. The food was great. I started with chicken liver pate and followed with duck breast. We had the ‘only’ desert on the pre-theatre menu – a chocolate affair. As I left I realised I’d left my programme on the table by accident. Without even being asked the manager darted across the restaurant and retrieved it for me. It’s this charm and friendliness that makes Trocadero a really special place. Highly recommended.
6 Merrion Row, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin
Four of us went for an early bird birthday meal. We enjoyed the evening, in a very comfortable restaurant. The food was reasonable good. A smoked mackerel salad disappointed. It was a fairly plan salad with half a dead fish on top. There’s nothing wrong with mackerel, especially when you’ve ordered it, but I was expecting a bit more than a lump of it plonked on top of an ordinary salad. I followed with a steak, hand-cut ships and greens. The steak was great. The chips looked nice, but they had that slightly metallic taste that potato takes on when it’s been reheated. Two of us chose this dish and neither finished the chips. Deserts were good. I wouldn’t have said anything about the chips, but when asked if everything had been good, the birthday girl explained her disappointment. The waiter rather curtly said that the chips are cooked to order and aren’t reheated. When it was suggested that perhaps they were par cooked and allowed to cool, and heated in oil to order he insisted that they were not reheated. Birthday girl then popped down to the loo and spied a big bowl of cold par cooked spuds on a counter top in the kitchen on the way. Part cooking food and keeping it warm or reheating it is standard in a commercial kitchen, so my difficulty is not with that (although if done properly it shouldn’t taste stale), by difficulty is that the waiter immediately dismissed the feedback. If would have been nice if he had at least passed in on to the kitchen and a dismissal could have been channelled from the kitchen. Notwithstanding the not-very-well-handled feedback, it was an enjoyable meal and was quite good value.
26 Parkgate Street, Parkgate Street, Dublin
I live in D8 and got a flyer for a fee glass of wine with a main course, so we gave it a try. I had slow-roast belly of pork with cabbage and black-pudding mash. The mash was delicious and unusual – black pudding isn’t something I would have thought of adding to mash. The pork was very tasty and beautifully succulent. The sweet apple sauce went well with the pork and was clearly freshly made. The service was good, but as we were the only people there (apart from one person on their own) I would expect it. My partner had bangers and mash and enjoyed them. The only slight niggle were that the free wine was awful. It tasted like it has over oxidised. I saw someone wandering around with three half consumed bottles of red wine with corks in. Perhaps our wine was left over from someone else’s bottle? Perhaps not, but it was poor. It’s great to see Juno’s on Parkgate Street – the area is short on dining choices. I wish it well, and recommend it.
Fishy Fishy Restaurant
Crowleys Quay, Kinsale, Kinsale, Cork
As part of a group of about 8 we at dinner at Fishy fishy. The food was excellent. I had seafood chowder and crab claws. Both were very enjoyable, but the highlight of the evening seemed to be the crab crumble. The food, décor and service were all very impressive. It was good value too and is highly recommended.
Max's Wine Bar
48 Main Street, Kinsale, Kinsale, Cork
Ate lunch in Max’s and really enjoyed it. The food was excellent – I had roast pheasant which was cooked both roast (breast) and confit (leg). Food and service were excellent and very good value. It was surprisingly quiet, but is probably busier in the evenings. Highly recommended.
Pinocchio Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar
Luas Kiosk, Ranelagh Village, Dublin 6, Ranelagh, Dublin
I went for lunch and enjoyed grilled chicken with rosemary, I may have been mistaken but I was sure it was described as coming with roast potato - which didn't arrived. Nonetheless it was very good and was served with good freshl bread and olive oil. It was a very pleasant lunch.
6-7 Jervis Street, Millennium Walkway, Dublin 1, City Centre, Italian Quarter, Dublin
A Sunday evening trip to Koh was very nice. We ate outside on one of the few balmy evenings. Thai spicy salad was good as was Penang Beef Curry. The service was pleasant but pretty slow. It seemed to be nearing the end of a busy weekend.
73 Manor Street, Stoneybatter, Dublin
Popped in on spec on a Thursday evening. We were too late for the early bird (we arrived at 6.30) but were the only customers in the place when we arrived. The food was pleasant but unexceptional and not terribly imaginative. The staff and atmosphere were good. That would be fine in a neighbourhood, pop-in-mid-week kind of place, but the prices weren’t consistent with that. We had fish cakes, calamari to start and sausage and mash and pork belly for mains, and a nice bottle of pinot grigio. The bill came to €69.75 with no coffee or desert or service. Not the most expensive in the world, but not great value for every-day food. .
Upper Kilmacud Road, Dundrum, Dublin
Had lasagne there for lunch today. It came with three salads and was very tasty. It cost €10.50, which is a little expensive for a self service lunch. The setting is great, even if most of the other customers have white hair and sensible slacks. The only thing that irritated me is that the only way to the outdoor eating area is out a narrow door that my tray wouldn’t fit though. I had to eat inside, as attempting to hold open a narrow spring-loaded door on a windy day and negotiate a step while holding a tray at an angle wasn't going to produce a good result. Excellent food though.
Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 14, Dundrum, Dublin
I finally got around to trying Ananda in Dundrum. It’s a pretty awful location for a restaurant –it’s beside HMV and KFC. Not a place most discerning gastrophiles would easily find. Ananda doesn’t display a menu outside. Not only is this very poor business sense, it is also illegal. Once in (after asking the waiter for a menu) we opted for the early bird menu. We were seated beside a drunken woman slurping wine, eating a sloppy wet curry with her hands and shrieking loudly. I began to wonder if there was a reason we were seated in the vicinity of KFC. With good grace the staff acceded to our request to move tables and we found a quieter one, where we managed to avoid being splattered with other guests’ saliva and discarded food. The food (and service) was really good. I started with aloo tikki, potato cakes containing spicy peas. It was accompanied with various sauces and a very finely shaved onion salad. Himself had chicken skewers, which had a minty sort of a sauce. Both very were tasty My main was a leg of Guinea fowl on a little mound of potato, surrounded by curried lentils. I’m not sure how delicious this sounds, but it was divine. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Himself had Goan meatball curry which also went down well. Rice and beautifully soft naan bread accompanied both dishes, and we got a peshwari naan to sweeten thing up. Its almond paste and honey was a sweet diversion from the heat of the curry. We left it there, being pretty satisfied without deserts or coffee. At €20 a head for the early bird menu (before 7 pm) it was very very good value. This isn’t your average Indian restaurant. It was elegant and luxurious; the food was adventurous and exciting. I can’t wait to go back and try the curried venison chop or the pan-fried lobster in Goan sauce. Ananda comes highly recommended, but I really would suggest that they could double their business if they displayed their menu
The Millenium Tower, Charlotte Quay, Ringsend, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin
Food was quite good and reasonably priced, but the service was very slow and spoilt the night. Although the staff were pleasant they were totally inadequate and unable to cope with even a moderately busy night.
1st, The Fitzwilliam Hotel, 128 St Stephen's Green, City Centre South, Dublin
I overcame my aversion to Kevin Thornton’s reputation and ate the €25 three-course set luncheon at Thorntons on 6th. ‘Lightly’ smoked John Dory was heavily smoked, very difficult to eat, and utterly sublime. It was one of the most impressive and enjoyable dishes I’ve ever had. The beetroot salad was described as tasty but looked very mean to me. I had the rabbit, and it was excellent. You wouldn’t have wanted to have been hungry. It consisted of the rack, loin, liver, kidney and a very small carrot, accompanied by a rabbit terrine. I don’t; know if you’ve ever seen a rack of rabbit, but it’s tiny! Although beautifully presented and very tasty it was a very modest portion. I ordered potato, but would have been hungry and disappointed if I hadn’t. The second main course was black sole, which went down well. The white chocolate mouse tasted fabulous. We didn’t mind the booking being mixed up and a beetroot encrusted fork being dropped on a pair of cream colour trousers, as they were done with a casual, warm informality. Mother was disappointed that water was offered as still or sparkling. My still water cost €7, but she insisted on a jug of tap water, which cost nowt. She likes to be offered tap does Mother. I was quite pleased to be able to see Kevin Thornton carrying plates out from the kitchens to the waiters’ station, and greeting the odd guest on the way. All in all I’d say it was excellent value and very enjoyable.
VnV at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel
Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin
Apart from the awkward name and difficulty of locating the restaurant from within the hotel, we had a very enjoyable brunch on Saturday. There’s a buffet brunch for €30, which includes a glass of cava (not champagne as billed). The choice of food is excellent with well-stocked salad, fish and desert tables. The carvery serves roast striploin beef (available well done or rare), which is really excellent. My only small gripes were the car park; my companions spend ages trying to (a) find it, (b) get someone to let them in and (c) obtain a ticket - and the wine. The cheapest house wine is described as a 500ml carafe of ‘blended red’ for €27. This would work out at well over €30 for 70cl. That’s a bit rich for a ‘blended red’, although despite the unappealing description it tasted fine. The food was excellent and very plentiful. Oysters and langoustines were thoroughly enjoyed, as was steak tartare and really nice salads. I would recommend brunch – it’s very good value.
Short Quay, Kinsale, Cork
On an impossibly wet afternoon in Kinsale I took a quick decisions and dashed to Jim Edward for shelter and respite from the rain. I quickly warmed to the half lobster starter and baked fish pie. Both were excellent and made for a very generous lunch. Service was professional and attentive, even if the pub-like atmosphere wasn’t that comfortable. It wasn’t cheap, but the food and service were good.
16 Lancaster Quay, Cork City, Cork
29-11-08 Had an excellent lunch for two in Paradiso. We shared celeriac fritters and a small salad, which were unusual, fun and very tasty. For mains I had roast pumpkin & leek gratin with herbed hazelnut & Gabriel cheese crust, lemon cream and braised fennel. This was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We shared some chips, but they seemed more like roast potatoes and were delicious. My first impression on seeing the menu for the first time was that there was a huge array of delicious options, rather than disappointment at the lack of meat. Café Paradiso is highly recommended for fresh, interesting vegetarian cooking.
Ryan's & F.X. Buckley Steakhouse Parkgate Street
28 Parkgate Street, Dublin 8, City Centre South, Dublin
Four of us went for dinner on thanksgiving evening, as a nod to an American friend. We arrived just before seven, so we opted for the early bird menu. It’s really good value, but you won’t be offered it, and we’ve always had to specifically ask for it. Two courses is €20, and three are €23.50. Given that I had an excellent 10oz Char-grilled Rib Eye Steak which on its own costs more than €20, the early bird is a really good deal. The meal was pleasant and service is very attentive and friendly. Being able to order pints from the pub downstairs is a nice feature.
82 O'Connell Street, Dungarvan Waterford, Dungarvan, Waterford
Had an excellent dinner. The food is good value and of exceptional quality. The service is good and informal. The decor in the bar in particular is really nice – it’s a traditional Irish pub, but painted in Farrow and Ball colours. The food ranges from hearty homemade chowders and sours, through to game and fairly sophisticated dishes. Highly recommended.
The Tannery Restaurant
Quay Street, Dungarvan, Waterford
Had Sunday lunch, which is great value at €30. Food was excellent and service friendly and efficient. The Tannery is a good value winner.
Buenos Aires Grill
Unit 2 Castle Way, Golden Lane, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin
I had an early dinner there on Saturday evening. The atmosphere was good, even if a few rugby-shirted types did lower the tone. If you’re going to dine in an Argentinean restaurant on the day of an Argentinean rugby international this might be expected. Rather oddly the maitre’d had difficulty uniting us with the rest of our party. I say oddly because at 6pm we were the only diners dressed in black tie, but we eventually got over that hiccup. Having read about twenty ounce T-bone steaks we passed on starters and made straight for the mains. Two of us shared the Buenos Aires grill. Consisting of a very thickly cut and superb sirloin steak, a large piece of chicken, four herby sausages and some not terribly exciting black pudding it was a veritable meat-fest. This was the more modest of the two grills – the other featured an additional steak. Who in God’s name would eat three pounds of meat for dinner is beyond me. The grill was accompanied by some nice grilled yellow courgettes, and cauliflower, along with suspiciously industrial looking chips. My dining companions had a rib eye steak, and half ducking with orange sauce. Both were declared excellent, with the duck being slightly pink – a welcome hue. The coffees were good. Wine was good and modestly priced. And the service was efficient and friendly. Next time I’d like to try one of the Empanadas de carne – a type of pastie.
The Market Bar
Fade Street, City Centre South, Dublin
I ate in the Market Bar last night and was pretty pleased with the food. The pricing structure - €8 for small dishes and €12 for large is easy and very reasonable. Between two we had a goat’s cheese and chorizo salad, patatas bravas and chicken and chorizo skewers. Each was good, with the salad being particularly enjoyable. A few minor quibbles though – they offer table service, but I tried to order a drink from one guy who could’t take drinks (or any) orders. Eventually I got someone to take a drinks order, but he could’t take a food order. The food guy then could’t take an additional drinks order. They could really simplify the system. Finally, they whacked 10% service charge on my bill because we were a large party – even though there were only two people eating. And the bill with the 10% service charge had ‘Service Not Included’. They could do a bit better than that.
MV Cill Airne Boat Bar & Restaurant
MV Cill Airne, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1, IFSC, Dublin
I booked a meal for sixteen last Friday. We got friendly, efficient service and good food. I had a steak, which was excellent. The fish cakes were described as too much potato and too little fish; the cod was described as delicious and in general the food was well received. I had a chocolate mousse for desert, which was a little uninspiring. For the prices charged the meal was great value. I was pleased that no service charge was added automatically.
Indian Ocean Dublin
15 Montague Street, City Centre South, Dublin
I ate dinner there last night. I just happened to be passing and spotted the sign for early bird for €19.95. This includes starter, main course, naan bread, glass of wine or beer, desert and coffee. The food was excellent. I started with a stuffed pepper and my companion had a mixed tandoori selection. I had chicken tikka biryani and my dining partner had a Bangladesh (?) curry. Both were excellent and we had some lovely sweet naan bread. The wine was pleasant. Some slight confusion on my part mean we skipped the desert (which was included) and had good quality coffees. We were astonished to be offered a free drink at the end of the meal. The service was good and was the atmosphere and quality. The choice was excellent, and astonishing for an early-bird menu. This is the best value early bird menu in Dublin.
The Forum, Ballymoss Road, Dublin 18 , Sandyford, Dublin
Just back from lunch. Atmosphere is dreary and the restaurant is dark and grotty. The food was just about OK, but pretty bland. Service was excellent and quick. For the money (€24 per head for lunch) I understand China Sichuan is moving to Ballymoss Road in Sandyford shortly. They could do with smart new premises.
The Leopardstown Inn
Brewery Road, Stillorgan, Dublin
The Lep Inn has always been a bit dark and dingy for my liking, particularly for lunch. It’s just been done up and looks a little cleaner, although the main pub part isn’t any brighter. I ate lunch there last week and had the carvery which is pretty good value. The food is unexceptional, but fine and the portions are generous. The service was good, but the atmosphere was a little claustrophobic, and the place still feels dark and cluttered. Oh, and the parking at lunchtime was horrendous!
Jade Chinese Restaurant
27 Little Mary Street Off Capel street, Dublin 7 , City Centre North, Dublin
Ate there last night and was really pleased. The service was very friendly and attentive. I started with a quarter aromatic crispy duck, which was delicious. My companion had a slightly spicy beef soup, which he enjoyed. My main course was steamed pork belly, which was good and very plentiful. My co-diner had Jing Chong Duck, which was delicious (I tasted some of it!). Including three beers the bill came to €52, which is very reasonable. The décor is a little less than glamorous, and it’s down a quite side street, but if you’re prepared to overlook these things, you’ll have a very enjoyable and reasonably priced meal.
The Gin Palace
Middle Abbey Street, City Centre North, Dublin
Ate there last week as part of a group of 8. The staff couldn't have been more friendly or attentive. The portions were very generous and everyone was happy. It’s not haut cuisine, but it suited us very well.
Good World Chinese Restaurant
18 South Great Georges Street, Dublin 2 , City Centre South, Dublin
Found myself in town on a weekday evening, and my first and second choice of restaurants were closed down and too full respectively. The Good World was my third choice, but should have been my first. I had salt chilli squid, and my dining companion had salt chilli crab claws. Both were delicious and a real treat. Sure it has paper tablecloths and isn’t exactly opulent, but it has damn good food and is usually full of Chinese people. I’d prefer good authentic food in modest surrounds. Horses for courses.
Milano (Clarion Quay)
Unit 6, Excise Walk, Clarion Quay, Dublin 1, City Centre, IFSC, Dublin
Visited the Milano on Clarion Quay over the weekend. It's great if you're hungry and you're there. Waitress was pleasant and efficient, but the place has no atmosphere at all. Good if you want food, but not the place to go for a meal out. Cheap and cheerful I think it's called. I had the Pinglestone pizza, which was very tasty, and good value. Other half had four seasons which was fine.
137 Rathmines Road, Dublin 6 , South Dublin, Rathmines, Dublin
I enjoyed a visit to Jo Burger last week. I was barley able to finish my Molapo (crozier blue and cream cheese), and my companion similarly struggled with her Moroka (bacon and brie). We shared a bush fries (chips) between us and a bottle of Merlot. At €16.50 for the wine, it was really good value. The seating is at long tables, on benches. I didn’t really have enough room and got a few digs from stray elbows. Pleased and all as I was with the generous size of the burgers, they are so big they’re difficult to eat, and I ended up covered in goo and smelling of cheese, but not in a good way. I was amused that the menus are served in Beano annuals and that waiting diners are given Battleship and other board games to keep them amused. The restaurant was surprisingly busy for a Wednesday night. I’m keen to visit again, but I’ll try and make it an even more off-peak time to avoid congestion.
Chapter One Restaurant
18/19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, City Centre North, Dublin
I had the pre-theatre menu. I always suspected they only had one table for pre-theatre and just used it as a publicity ruse. I booked in January, thinking two months should be enough notice. It was, and I found the restaurant full. I was a little put out by the very strict instructions I had received about the importance on attending promptly at 6 p.m. sharp and that lateness may mean the loss of the table. The food was excellent – I started with a baked beetroot cake with grilled goats cheese, which was superb. My dining companion had ‘seared’ tuna, which looked more like raw tuna. It went down well but wouldn’t have been to my taste. My main of coupe de boeuf (beef cheek) was excellent. They told me it had been slow cooked for five hours, and it was served with turnip puree and potato croquets. The matching main of sea bream fillets was also excellent. No supplement was charged even though one was advertised. My dessert of warm chocolate mousse with ice cream and orange and Campari jelly was excellent and full of surprises. The lime parfait and mango mousse was also pronounced good. Service is excellent and very attentive, without being intrusive. I didn’t even notice my glass being regularly filled, but it was. Superb value (€37.50 each for three courses) and outstanding food. The wait for a booking is worth it, but the panic to attend by six wasn’t: we were finished by 7.15.
120 Ranelagh Road, Ranelagh, Dublin
Three of us went for a birthday dinner on a Sunday evening. The meal was pleasant and reasonable value. The service was excellent, the food good and atmosphere busy and warm. A carafe of Spanish rose for €13 was a steal! Amongst my slight gripes were that all the deserts on the menu had prices apart from the cheese course. The menu had the times for early bird sittings and gave a price for two courses, and a price for three. What it didn’t say was that the choice of courses is restricted from the menu. While this condition is fine, it is misleading not to print it on the menu. Finally, although we didn’t eat steak, it’s a bit expensive –it looked really tiny, and at just under €30, a mini-tower of 6 chunky chips might have cut it in 2001, but it doesn’t pass muster in 2007. All in all, it was a pleasant experience, but some of the prices were a little erratic
28 South Anne Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin
Booked an early bird sitting for two on Tuesday. The place was busy, but we got a table quickly and were handed the pre-theatre menu. At €16 for two courses it’s very good value. We started with goat’s cheese salad and pate, and for mains had the fish special of baked haddock, and a piece of salmon. The goat’s cheese salad was excellent – the generous piece of cheese was topped with walnuts and the salad was pleasant. The pate was very traditional and adequate. The haddock was nice if a little modestly sized, and served with mashed potato and a few veggies. We had deserts described as grilled peaches and chocolate mousse. They both looked like they were out of a 70s retro design book, as indeed did most of the décor. I was amused to be asked if we wanted some nice wine or the house wine instead. When I opted for the latter the waiter visibly grimaced. But the service was pleasant and the atmosphere both warm and friendly. I suspect if wouldn’t feel so claustrophobic if it was less than a week to Christmas. All in all, the food was quite good, but the value and atmosphere were very good. I’ll be back again.
Alexis Bar And Grill
17 / 18 Patrick Street, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin
I went to Alexis for lunch yesterday and really enjoyed it. We shared two starters between four- goats cheese tart and chicken and mushroom crostini. Both were excellent and generous. For mains we has two duck confit, sausages and mash and a slow-roast lamb. The duck confit was good and the portions generous. We were a little surprised to see the cassoulet an orangey red colour from the inclusion of tomato, but it tasted great. In fact after the half starter each, we struggled to finish it. This was a reflection on the generosity of the portions, not the quality of the food. The sausages and mash went down very well, and the accompanying crispy onions were spectacular. The lamb was proclaimed delicious, but it was commented that for the words ‘slow roast’ on the menu, the diner had chosen to read ‘shank of lamb’ and was a little surprised to receive carved slices. Surprised, but not disappointed. They were, however, a tiny bit fatty for her taste. We had two desserts (not shared) and a coffee. The bill was about €103, which was astonishingly good value given that we’d also had a bottle of wine. The service was flawless – professional, pleasant and relaxed. The food was very good and the value exceptional. I’ll be back.
Elephant & Castle
18/19 Temple Bar, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin
The Elephant and Castle is one of the better-established Temple Bar restaurants. It features 'American' food. It makes a nice change to have somewhere offering honest food. Indeed, it has spawned many copycats. The burgers are great, the salads are very generous, but the chicken wings are famous. On my recent visit I ordered the wings and my companion ordered crab cakes. His crab cakes were beautifully presented on a bed of ruby ’slaw (coleslaw made with red cabbage). They were modest in size (which is fine for a starter) but he did comment that they seemed a bit light on crab flavour. I ordered my perennial favourite – chicken wings. They’re served in a tangy spicy sauce, along with blue cheese dressing. They could have been hotter (in temperature) and I was disappointed to notice the addition of half a shredded lettuce in the bottom of the basket. €13.50 is not an unreasonable price for a basket of chicken wings, but it’s a bit steep for half a basket of tepid wings, and half a basket of warm flaccid lettuce. The E&C doesn’t take bookings, and being popular, a queue at the door is inevitable and common. I was a bit disappointed to see several tables vacated while I was waiting, but the tables remaining unoccupied. If people are waiting for a table, the restaurant has a duty to ensure they are seated as promptly as possible. Leaving vacated tables empty and hungry people standing unnecessarily is short-sighted. After our food was finished, it took too long to wait for the bill, get it paid and get change. The process should have been very quick (there was a queue of punters waiting to eat), but instead it was tardy. In short, the food is still good, the atmosphere still pleasant, but the service is a little complacent. Although longevity is a sign of quality, the Elephant and Castle had better pull up its socks if it is to retain its popularity.
12 Capel Street, Dublin 1, City Centre North, Dublin
I ate there yet again last night. As usual, the food came with a big smile and pleasant friendly service. We both had pizzas and no starters, but from previous visits I recommend the bruscetta. The pizzas were delicious and covered in the freshest ingredients. We also had a carafe (50cl) of house wine, which, at a tenner a pop is unbeatable value. Two pizzas and the wine came to €36.00. For a filling and pleasant bite before the cinema, Romano's is the job. Don't let the dated decor put you off. The food and service are top-notch - that should be more important than Disney characters on the glassware.
Bobo's Gourmet Burgers (Wexford St)
22 Wexford Street (Beside Whelans), Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin
Having seen Bobos take ages to open up, I really wanted them to be great. There is a proliferation of mediocre places in the Wexford Street area, and I was really hoping for something special. I was to be slightly disappointed. I’ve eaten there twice. I thought the service excellent – warm, friendly and professional. But the food just wasn’t up to scratch. The chips are served in a steel bucket, and are plentiful. But I thought they tasted soggy and mushy. I wasn’t impressed at all. There is a bewildering choice of burgers – from Wellington, to all sorts of cheese and caramelised options. The actual beef patties are unexceptional, and devoid of flavour. The prices aren’t outrageous, but they aren’t cheap. I couldn’t understand why the burgers aren’t great and the chips much much better. It’s a fun idea to offer lots and lots of adornments and topping for your burgers, but if they aren’t great to begin with, you’re fighting a loosing battle. That said, the location is excellent, the décor funky, prices and service are good. If they could just fix the food (and get some beer) they could be a great success.
118 Kilmacud Road Lower, Stillorgan, Dublin
I've eaten in O'Dwyers for lunch regularly in the past, but the service is so consistently slow that I've given up. The food is quite expensive; restaurant expensive but is canteen standard.
13 Dame Court, Dublin, City Centre South, Dublin
I ate in Odessa last night, from the early bird Menu. It’s only €18.50 for two courses and coffee, which is really good value. Unlike other early-birds where you feel you’re eating cheap food, it offers duck confit, mussels, and lots of other nice things. I had both of the above. They were excellent, and the portions generous. Rare Thai beef salad is another starter option that is also very good. My only extravagance was a gin martini @ €10.50. A very good value meal, with excellent service.
The Front Lounge
Parliament Street, City Centre South, Dublin
The Front Lounge doesn't really do proper food, just 'tapas'. I ate a plate of crisps with a tomatoey sauce. It was uninspiring and pretty poor. Which is a shame, as they used to do a very good lunch. That, alas is no more than a fond memory now. Their menu consists of a few nibbles to stave off the hunger while you slurp you G&T and decide where to go for dinner. Great bar though, apart from the food (or lack thereof).