Restaurant Reviews from fgoulding

Status: Guru

Credibility Score:
52.5%

County: Dublin

No. of Reviews: 42

Member Since: 02 January 2014

Last Visit: 30 January 2016

The Best Restaurant

Bianconis Bistro restaurant

232 Merrion Road, Dublin 4, Ballsbridge, Dublin, Area Code: Dublin 4

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Cuisine:
Bistro

Price Range:

Good
49 reviews

Reviewed 09th May 2015 ( visited 25th April 2015 )

We made our second visit to Bianconis for dinner in just a few weeks, as we really enjoy this Italian Bistro. It looks like a cafe or deli from the outside but inside it's one of D4's little secrets. The Italian owner is really attentive (which you may or may not like) and the food is great. Whilst they do have International food (which truth be known is standard & boring), you really should stick to the Italian cuisine as it's wonderful. You can even pick up the ingredients from the deli when you leave. We prefer to eat late and this place is full of atmosphere up until closing time.
Most Visited Restaurant

The Vintage Kitchen restaurant

7 Poolbeg St, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin, Area Code: Dublin 2

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Cuisine:
European

Price Range:

Great
59 reviews

Reviewed 12th January 2016 ( visited 05th January 2016 )

This is a great restaurant and we especially like the "bring your own wine" as there is no corkage fee. However, maybe it was just an off night or a lack of experienced kitchen staff but the Pork Belly was more belly than pork and the veggies were mushy like baby food. The owner recognised that we didn't eat the food and mentioned it to the chef but didn't make any comments to us. We (being typically Irish) didn't make a fuss and I'm sure we'll be back at some point in the future. Assuming you can get a table with a 6 month waiting list!
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The Vintage Kitchen
7 Poolbeg St, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

This is a great restaurant and we especially like the "bring your own wine" as there is no corkage fee. However, maybe it was just an off night or a lack of experienced kitchen staff but the Pork Belly was more belly than pork and the veggies were mushy like baby food. The owner recognised that we didn't eat the food and mentioned it to the chef but didn't make any comments to us. We (being typically Irish) didn't make a fuss and I'm sure we'll be back at some point in the future. Assuming you can get a table with a 6 month waiting list!

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Dillingers
47 Ranelagh Village, Dublin 6, Ranelagh, Dublin

We had never been to Dillingers and didn't expect to be able to book a table on Saturday night (such is the popularity of Ranelagh) but we were seated in the window which was nice. The atmosphere is American Diner but it's looking a bit tired. The striploin was wonderful but the green beans were cold and quite frankly horrible. I had expected the Chilli Fries to be just fries with some flakes but it was in fact a bowl of soggy chips with chilli con carne topped with cheese. This was a meal in itself! The staff are very friendly but I would say that this place has lost it's way. The prices are way to expensive for this kind of experience and Eddie Rocket's is a better choice.

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Ragazzi Italian Ristorante
109 Coliemore Road, South Co. Dublin, Dalkey, Dublin

This was my second visit to this great restaurant in Dalkey. I like the redecoration but I do miss the smurfs. The food is great, sizeable portions, value for money and friendly (unrushed) service. I highly recommend a visit.

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The Old Spot
14 Bath Avenue, Sandymount, Sandymount, Dublin

This place is owned by the people that run Paulie's and Juniors, so we had high hopes for the food which was great. Although the list of options on the menu is a bit spartan and the dishes could be bigger (the owners should visit Arthur Mayne's). But the service was top notch and the atmosphere is good. They have rejuvenated this old pub into a good gastro option but it's not quite in my top 5.

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

We made our second visit to Bianconis for dinner in just a few weeks, as we really enjoy this Italian Bistro. It looks like a cafe or deli from the outside but inside it's one of D4's little secrets. The Italian owner is really attentive (which you may or may not like) and the food is great. Whilst they do have International food (which truth be known is standard & boring), you really should stick to the Italian cuisine as it's wonderful. You can even pick up the ingredients from the deli when you leave. We prefer to eat late and this place is full of atmosphere up until closing time.

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Urban Picnic - Market Arcade
South Great Georges Street, City Centre South, Dublin

We popped into Urban Picnic today and really enjoyed the wraps which were not too expensive. All the ingredients are fresh and the food is made to order (unlike other cafes). However, be prepared to grow a beard whilst waiting for your food, as whilst the staff are friendly they are really slow. Bring a book :)

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Ashtons GastroPub
11 Vergemount, Clonskeagh Road, Clonskeagh, Dublin

We returned just recently to what was one of favourite Gastro Pubs but what a disappointment. Food prices were always high but now they've reduce the size of the portions which is a really bad way to make more money. The management should visit Arthur Maynes or The Bridge to see how things should be done or run the risk of going out of business.

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Arthur Maynes
48 Donnybrook Road, Donnybrook, Dublin

Dublin is fast becoming the kings of Gastro pubs and Arthur Maynes is right up there. The food is great with huge portions and just the right amount of choice for a pub. The craft beers are excellent and the bar itself well stocked. The design of the place is also great with three distinct sections; A snug for the older folk, a front bar with high tables for the hipsters (with wine tasting) and a back bar with occasional live music and sports on the TV. You really couldn't ask for more.

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

Fallon and Byrne is great. An excellent wine bar in the basement and a great food shop on the ground floor. Last night we tried the upstairs restaurant and it looks in reality a much nicer place than the photos. The food is excellent but the portions are tiny. So you'll need to factor in a dessert which can push the price up a bit. All in all, a good place for a special occasion but you'll find us downstairs from now on (we know our place!).

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The Bridge 1859
13 Ballsbridge Terrace, Ballsbridge , Ballsbridge, Dublin

Visited this remodelled pub last night in high hopes of it being a new Gastro pub to add to our favourites. The evening menu on a Sunday is quite spartan but they do have plans to add more items in the future. The food was really very good and the service was very friendly. The brunch looks excellent and we may return for that one day. However their craft beers are really lacking and the deal they have with Urquell Pilsner to sell it on draft might be unique but it tastes horrible (in my opinion). Early days for The Bridge but the signs are encouraging.

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Crackbird
60 Dame Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

If you're stuck in Dublin on a Saturday night without a reservation, then Crackbird, Jo Burger or Skinflint (all the same chain) should be your first port of call for a good evening. You may need to wait for a table but the food is always great quality and it won't cost you an arm and a leg. All these three restaurants, from the same chain, are quite the hipsters place with good music and truly minimalistic menus. Jo Burger has the better options, Skinflints Pizzas are great and I thought that Crackbird would be great as a 'chicken' themed restaurant. But the menu is disjointed (some things are for lunch, some dinner) and there is a distinct lack of sides (chips should be on the menu!). I would have thought that wraps would have been a simple addition. Plus there are no desserts which was a surprise but then this is a hipster joint with quick turn around of clients. The staff are very efficient but they don't talk to you or even smile. You really have to work hard to order a second beer, as they never come by to see how you are getting on. Seems a bit like a food factory more than a restaurant. But I've been to worse places! However, Crackbird is good for a one off night but I recommend their other restaurants for more choice.

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Odessa
13 Dame Court, Dublin, City Centre South, Dublin

Odessa is the hipster's place for brunch on a Sunday and it can be a bit hit & miss in terms of service (which for us was slow) and food temperature if they are busy (and our food was cold). Also, a full Irish breakfast with an English muffin is just wrong! But it is a great place to go for the atmosphere, however there are better options in Dublin for the money.

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TriBeCa
65 Ranelagh Village, Dublin 6, Ranelagh, Dublin

Visited TruBeCa yesterday for second time this year and we really enjoyed it. We were seated upstairs where it's less noisy and the service is great. The mains on the menu are a bit spartan but great. However there is a good choice of burgers and omelettes as well. But for us, TriBeCa is wonderful because it's open until 11pm on a Sunday as we are late eaters :)

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Caffe Italiano
7 Crow Street, Dublin 2, City Centre, Temple Bar, Dublin

Cafe Italiano was recommended by some Italian friends and I have to say the food was great, plus the service was really friendly. Like other reviewers have said, this is a Latin hangout, so the place is empty before 8pm. We also experienced the loud music which did make it difficult to talk at times. But the Jazz tunes, coupled with the Hipster styling, made this an enjoyable place to visit. I reckon we will return soon.

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

Visited this restaurant last night on the spur of the moment and we were pleasantly surprised. The service is wonderful, great Italian hospitality and attention to detail. The food is a mixture of Irish fare and Italian specialities. You can even buy some of the products used for the cooking in their Deli. It's not the cheapest place but if you're in D4 and can't be bothered to visit the centre of town, it's worth a visit. By the way, it's more Italian than Dunne & Crescenzi. Highly recommended.

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SkinFlint
19 Crane Lane, Dublin 2, City Centre, Temple Bar, Dublin

Skinflint is a great value, pizza/meatball restaurant, in the centre of town. The atmosphere is great, using old front-doors as tables and they even have a hipster DJ on the weekend (like Jo Burger). The proximity to Temple Bar is great, if you like the area for some beers and music but it does mean that the restaurant can be prone to stag/hen nights. Personally I thought it was funny to watch a bride-to-be doing press ups whilst I munched on my pizza but many others didn't quite see the 'free' entertainment value. My only gripe is the wine list contains just four wines (2 house & 2 others). But I highly recommend the place and we'll be returning again.

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Jo'Burger - Town
Jo'Burger Town, 4/5 Castle Market, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

This was our second visit in a month to Jo'Burger in town. It's quite the hipster place (especially on a Saturday night) and the DJ was playing great House tunes. You can't book a table and the place is always packed but you shouldn't have to wait too long. The later you go, the easier it is to get a table. The food is great, even if you don't like burgers. The buns are a bit stupid, as it's impossible to eat them by hand. But now I always go for the Tortilla version. If you're in a couple, be prepared to be sitting with strangers. This is fine for us as it's quite fun to ear-wig couples conversations. The benches are a bit hard for sitting around for a long time and the bathrooms could do with cleaning more often. The service is slow due to the number of people but the waiters & waitresses are really nice people. My tip is to double up on the beer order and you'll be sorted for the evening. All in all, a great place, great food and not too expensive. It might not be for you if you don't like loud music and are looking for a romantic evening.

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Rolys Bistro
7 Ballsbridge Terrace, Dublin, Ballsbridge, Dublin

The food at Rolys is really great. Good portions and a really excellent fixed price dinner menu. However the menu hasn't changed much over the years and so Rolys is pretty much a once a year visit for us, as we prefer variety. The wine list is reasonable and there's something for everyone's pocket. It does get noisy (even at 8pm on a Sunday night) and the waiting staff can be slow. We were served our starters way before the wine showed up. Rolys is still a great place to go but there are also great options elsewhere as well.

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Dunne And Crescenzi (Sandymount)
11 Seafort Avenue, Dublin 4, Sandymount, Dublin

We haven't visited D&C for a few months and so we were pleasantly surprised that the restaurant has had a new lick of paint which makes it even more cosy. The staff are great and the food is top notch italian. I just wish that the pasta/risotto portions were bigger, they are just too small for my liking.

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Chez Max (Baggot Street)
133 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2 , City Centre South, Dublin

We decided to give this place a go on a Saturday night and it was really busy. The atmosphere was lively but too noisy (which wasn't the restaurant's fault). The service was very slow and we had to ask to place our order. The food was ok but lacked any great flavour and I'm sure that a French native would have been very disappointed as the dishes don't make you want to visit France too soon! Obviously the wine list was all French but then again it wasn't too exciting. I doubt if we'll return but it's not too bad a place for a one off French meal.

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The Vintage Kitchen
7 Poolbeg St, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Had to wait 6 weeks to get a reservation on a Friday night but it was worth it. The food is well presented and plentiful but more importantly, the flavours are amazing. It makes many other restaurants seem bland in comparison. The tables are close together and it can get noisy. But there is no best place to sit. Near the window can be drafty and annoying as people pop out to smoke. The tables at the back get consumed with the smell of the kitchen. The Bring Your Own Wine is a great bonus and the waiter opened our bottle the moment we arrived, with no fuss. He was however, a little too enthusiastic (read annoying) but was probably right to be passionate about the food. He even nipped next door to Mulligans if anyone wanted a Guinness. Oh, by the way, the picture of the restaurant here doesn't do it justice and also their web-site menu does not match what was on offer but that's no big deal. We will definitely go back, if we can get a reservation but I fear that Dublin's best kept secret is out....

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An Bhialann
120 Ranelagh, Dublin 6, Ranelagh, Dublin

The service in this restaurant is great. Very friendly and very efficient. We also really enjoyed our meals and the steaks were excellent. You won't be disappointed visiting one night. My feedback is for the owners: The name of the place is a bit off-putting as it's hard to pronounce (for non Irish speakers) and when you translate it, it's quite boring. I thought the restaurant was middle eastern until I realised it was an Irish word! And that's why I avoided going. Now you might be very patriotic but I don't think it helps. Then the menu has too many options (the difference between an 8oz filet and 10oz one is hardly worth detailing). Also, there are too many appetizers. So, many that we couldn't decide. And the sides should be a bit more fancy to accompany the mains. For instance, maybe serve the fries in a cone and not in a bowl. And they should probably be free and not an option. These are just my suggestions and I'm not a restaurant owner. But the place was empty on a Friday night, where other restaurants were full. But we do plan to go back :-)

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The Pig's Ear
4 Nassau Street, Dublin, City Centre South, Dublin

Went to this restaurant on a Wednesday night and was really surprised as to how busy it was. The food is really excellent but the plates are quite small (note to my friends from the USA). But the quality is excellent and the service was really great. It's on the pricey side but that's a theme right across Dublin right now. However, I recommend this place for a good night's fare.

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Juniors
2 Bath Avenue, Dublin 4, Ballsbridge, Dublin

What a great place! We were heading somewhere else but we took a chance on Juniors which is across the street. The atmosphere is great for such a small restaurant. In fact you sit near the chef and can watch your food being cooked. The food itself is excellent and the service outstanding. Really friendly staff and it's a place that we will certainly return to. One of Dublin's best kept secrets :)

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The Merrion Inn Bar & Kitchen
188 Merrion Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin

This place is great since the refurb and the food is good. The restaurant section can be noisy and in fact I prefer the atmosphere of the bar area where you can eat in more comfort. The service can be too attentive. For example on this occasion as soon as we arrived and before I could take my jacket off, the waitress was rattling off the specials for the night. Plus they constantly ask you if you are ok. But don't let that put you off, this is one of the better gastro pubs in D4. Although they will need to change the menu soon in order to keep the regular locals.

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The Bank on College Green
20-22 College Green, City Centre South, Dublin

I love eating at the Bank as the food is good quality and the cost is reasonable. You have to watch out as some nights the place is packed and hence very hard to talk above the noise (usually Fridays & Saturdays). One tip is to reserve a table in the small upstairs mezzanine. It's not quite as noisy and it feels quite special.

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Buenos Aires Grill
Unit 2 Castle Way, Golden Lane, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Received a meal deal for 2 deal and visited with my Argentine girlfriend. The staff said they didn't know about the online voucher (embarrassing) nor the reservation (super- embarrassing). The steaks were average and the free wine was pretty basic. But I guess you get what you pay for! We wanted to order desserts but couldn't get served, so we went for beers instead - good decision. The atmosphere in this place is grim, a bit like a cafeteria or an airport restaurant. It's not a place I can recommend.

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Elephant & Castle
18/19 Temple Bar, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

The food is really good with quite a variety. The beers are also really good. But the service is really poor. It's a busy place with lots of tourists and it seems to me that they don't care too much about locals or repeat business. Which is a shame. But don't let that put you off, it's hard to find this kind of value in Temple Bar.

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La Bodega Tapas y Vinos
93 Ranelagh Village, Dublin 6 , Ranelagh, Dublin

The web-site pictures don't do this place justice. It's really nice inside and there's live music on the weekend (ok, it was a guy singing spanish songs that we couldn't hear but at least he tried!). The tapas are great (especially the one with black pudding) but be aware if you are hungry, as you'll run up quite a bill! Some people say the dished are quite oily but this is pointed out on the menu, so it's quite easy to avoid those dishes if you want.

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The Green Hen
33 Exchequer street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Great atmosphere and really cosy, especially for a romantic evening. Don't order the steak well done unless you like your food cremated. My girlfriends steak was really burnt, as was the guy at the table next to us. One strange thing was the smell of Lilly's or Orchid's inside the restaurant which some people might find irritating.

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Marco Pierre White Courtyard Bar & Grill
1 Belmont Ave, Dublin 4, Donnybrook, Dublin

The food is amazing. Especially the goats cheese starter and the steaks. My only concern was on a Tuesday night the place was really quiet. Three tables out of maybe fifty. I've been to the other Marco restaurant in Dawson street and that place is really noisy, so I guess they can't win! But I must admit that such a large restaurant in Donnybrook surprised me. You won't be dissapointed with the food but the atmosphere could let you down mid-week.

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The Butcher Grill
92 Ranelagh Village, South Dublin, Ranelagh, Dublin

Great place with a wonderful atmosphere. The steaks are to die for and the service is wonderful given that it's quite a small restaurant. The tables and chairs are quite high (bar stool style) and some people don't like that. The only downside is the price. It's border line whether or not it's worth it, but nonetheless it's great.

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Milano (Ranelagh)
Ground Floor & First Floor, 62 Ranelagh Village, Dublin 6, Ranelagh, Dublin

We really liked the atmosphere because we could talk without having to shout (some places are really noisy). The food is basic Italian fare but quite good. Everyone enjoyed the lighter pizzas. The price was good but the service was really slow. I had to go to the bar to order the drinks myself.

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Kinara Kitchen
17 Ranelagh Village, South Dublin, Ranelagh, Dublin

Expensive but truly excellent food. The atmosphere isn't the best, the service was really great but most of all the food we had couldn't be better.

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Marios (Sandymount)
2 Sandymount Green, Dublin 4, Sandymount, Dublin

This is not a good restaurant. It looks & feels like a cheap cafe and the food is quite basic (probably lots if frozen stuff microwaved before serving). I couldn't recommend going to it at all.

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Dunne And Crescenzi (Sandymount)
11 Seafort Avenue, Dublin 4, Sandymount, Dublin

We love this place and the food is excellent. I would recommend going late after the main dinner crowd, as the service can be slow during busy periods. We've been here 4 times and for lunch as well. Each time we were not disappointed and for us the service was great.

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Brownes Deli and Cafe
18 Sandymount Green, Dublin 4, Sandymount, Dublin

We love the atmosphere of this place and have returned a few times but only for lunch. The food is good not great and the service can be hit or miss. One of the staff members is quite rude and unfriendly but most of the others are great.

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TriBeCa
65 Ranelagh Village, Dublin 6, Ranelagh, Dublin

The atmosphere here is great and the food is good. But I had hoped for something better based on the reviews, especially for this price. But all in all its a good option in Ranelagh and we enjoyed the evening. It just wasn't special enough for us to add it to our list of favourites, so I doubt if we'll return.

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Canal Bank Cafe
146 Upper Leeson Street, Dublin 4, Ballsbridge, Dublin

This is one of our favourite places to eat. The menu is always interesting, the value is great and the service is friendly. Not the greatest decor in the back part of the restaurant but the tables up front are great.

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Bear
35 South William Street, Dublin 2, South William Street, Dublin

We had high hopes for this restaurant but the service is really poor. The staff had a great knack of ignoring eye contact! Plus they seemed quite unfriendly. Maybe it was just a slow night and they were bored. When we did get served, the steak was good but not much more than you would find in a good pub. Also, the draught beer selection is spartan but the bottle based craft beers were great. I don't think we will return due to the service.

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

We thought that this was going to be a pub experience due to the outside of the restaurant but it's quite a posh place inside. The food is really excellent and the service was just right for us. I can see why some people say the service can be too much, as there seemed to be a lot of staff working there. The wine list is basic but good enough. We would go back based on the food.

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Rustic Stone
South George's Street, Dublin, City Centre South, Dublin

We visited on St Valentine's night, so it was quite crowded and the tables were very close together. Everything was really tasty but I must admit that it's quite expensive for stone based cuisine. However, the steak was really excellent....I know because I cooked it myself!! The decor isn't great (strange shelves with jam jars on them and a chalk board for specials from a road side cafe) but it's comfortable. I thoroughly recommend the experience of hot stone cooking, as it's good fun and great for a group of friends. But I doubt if we'll return as the novelty wears off quite quickly and the cost is a little high once you include wine, starters & desserts.

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