Restaurant Reviews from tablepourdeux

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Credibility Score:
52.5%

County: Dublin

No. of Reviews: 44

Member Since: 02 July 2009

Last Visit: 05 August 2015

The Best Restaurant

JD's Steakhouse restaurant

4 Rathfarnham Road, Dublin 6W, Terenure, Dublin, Area Code: Dublin 6w

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Cuisine:
Casual Dining

Price Range:

Good
424 reviews

Reviewed 29th July 2013 ( visited 21st May 2013 )

Three of us visited on a wet Tuesday night and didn't expect much atmosphere at 6.00pm. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find four tables already occupied and a nice buzz in the place. For starers we opted or buffalo wings with blue cheese dip ... gorgeous and plentiful. For mains two of us had the rib-eyes cooked to perfection (med. rare) and one had the fish and chips - all accompanied with beautiful fries. An apple pie and a wonderful banoffi completed the meal. Excellent service complimented the tasty good value food. It was ourfirst, but not last, time there. Recommended.
Most Visited Restaurant

JD's Steakhouse restaurant

4 Rathfarnham Road, Dublin 6W, Terenure, Dublin, Area Code: Dublin 6w

View on Map

Cuisine:
Casual Dining

Price Range:

Good
424 reviews

Reviewed 29th July 2013 ( visited 21st May 2013 )

Three of us visited on a wet Tuesday night and didn't expect much atmosphere at 6.00pm. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find four tables already occupied and a nice buzz in the place. For starers we opted or buffalo wings with blue cheese dip ... gorgeous and plentiful. For mains two of us had the rib-eyes cooked to perfection (med. rare) and one had the fish and chips - all accompanied with beautiful fries. An apple pie and a wonderful banoffi completed the meal. Excellent service complimented the tasty good value food. It was ourfirst, but not last, time there. Recommended.
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Avoca Cafe (Suffolk Street)
Avoca, 11 Suffolk Street, City Centre South, Dublin

Went looking for a full Irish this morning when wandering around town and saw the menu outside Avoca, and it looked good. The restaurant was on the second floor and, at 11.00 am, was mainly occupied by ladies who brunch. The five ladies at a nearby table raised the decibel level to near jet take-off proportions when the laughed at their jokes, but otherwise it was a pleasantly bright environment. The full Irish as interpreted by Avoca is slightly unorthodox. Witness, no choice as to status of egg - scrambled is the only way; no back rashers here - its american style streaky; no potato components available and no puddings of any kind; fried half tomato, check; and a very good mushroom and onion fry up; rocket on top - now that's a first for a full Irish. And did I mention that there was only one sausage - but that was a beautiful double-sized specimen that tasted sublime, if a sausage can be deemed to taste sublime. This was a classic case of the finished product being greater than the sum of its parts. And did I mention that it came with three slices of bread, two of which were a fabulous sweet, moist seed bread - gorgeous. The only down side was that a glass of (organic!?) orange juice and a very good but small sized americano pushed the breakfast to a lunch-priced €21.30, including the non-optional 10% service charge (and service was good - so no complaints there). A lot to like, but I do love my fried egg, and a little bit expensive.

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

This was my first visit to l'Ecrivain and it did not disappoint. We were eating the 8-course tasting menu with wine on a discount voucher but l'Ecrivain's booking system means that there is no mention of vouchers when you arrive - so no reason to feel like a cheapskate. Service from arrival, through pre-dinner drinks at the lovely little bar area and during dinner was impeccable - professional but friendly without a hint of stuffiness that plagues some other Michelin-starred establishments. The meal began with a wonderful amuse bouche containing crab, pea puree and tomato concasse among its components. Second course was sea bream with fennel followed by melt-in-the-mouth beef carpaccio cured in coffee. A prosecco, rhubard and sorbet palate cleanser followed and the main meat dish was lamb a number of ways including impeccable pink loin and rognons. Cheese was fourme d'ambert served with glazed peach slices - a match made in heaven. Chocolate tart followed by beautiful petit fours and coffee rounded out the evening. Each course was accompanied by an intelligently selected wine choice - 2 x red, 2 x white and a dessert wine - which perfectly accompanied each course. Each wine was patiently introduced by sommelier Martina Delaney and Joint General Manager Sallyanne Clarke popped over to check if everything was to our satisfaction (no doubt Derry Clarke was busy getting the great food out of his kitchen. Wonderful food, wonderful evening.

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The Queens Bar & Steakroom
12 Castle Street, Dalkey, Dalkey, Dublin

I've visited Queens Bar a number of times, most recently for Sunday lunch with my wife and her parents from Belgium. My father-in-law ordered mussels and declared them as good as any he has ever had in Belgium - high praise indeed. I had a half-roast chicken with wonderful crispy skin and moist flesh - very more-ish. Service was efficient and friendly. It's not haute cuisine but good value bar food. Recommended

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The Chop House Gastro Pub
2 Shelbourne Road, City Centre South, Dublin

We had two visitors from the US to entertain for the evening and booked a first-time table for four at the Chop House for 6.30pm. When we got there early at 6.10pm there was already a buzz picking up in the restaurant. Table arrangements are fairly informal and the place got quite loud during the course of our meal - not a criticism, just an observation. We started with cocktails for the ladies and a glass of O'Hara's IPA for the men - excellent. For eats, to start with two of us had goats cheese with beetroot which was delicious but perhaps not well thought out. It looked uninteresting on the plate and three portions of cheese were too many for a starter. More successful were the King Scallops and Tortallini starters our two US guests had, which looked and (by all accounts) tasted delicious. For mains I had a rib-eye ordered medium-rare which was served medium, but still was tender and tasty. This cost €28.00, not the €26.00 shown on their on-line dinner menu. The steak came with a portobello mushroom, fries and peppercorn sauce, all good. Other mains were the Fishboard and slow-braised neck of lamb specials which got the thumbs up from my dining companions. One of our guests had a dessert that she seemed very happy with. Service throughout was friendly and efficient with no long wait between courses. Not a place for quiet romantic dinners but a great place for a lively dinner group. Would return.

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Dillingers
47 Ranelagh Village, Dublin 6, Ranelagh, Dublin

Had brunch here with my wife on a Sunday morning. When we walked in there were empty tables and counter positions but they all seemed to have not been cleared from the previous customers so we had to remain standing as a place was cleared at the counter. This seemed to be the pattern during our stay - tables were left uncleared until customers came in and were then left standing while a table was prepped. We had a Dillinger's breakfast and Spicy Kenmare crab cakes with poached eggs, aioli & green salad. The breakfast was OK with the exception of the sausages which were undercooked and were completely unbrowned. It is an Irishman's expectation that a sausage is golden brown on the outside.The fish cakes and poached eggs were enjoyed. As this is a brunch it would have been nice for a cup of coffee or tea to be included to wash it down, but it wasn't and tea/coffee is extra. With two glasses of home-made lemonade that was a bit sweet for my taste the total came to €34.00. Ranelagh is full of good eating places and I will probably be trying some other options rather than returning to Dillingers.

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Ouzos Bar and Grill Blackrock
Main Street, South Co. Dublin , Blackrock, Dublin

We found ourselves in Blackrock at lunchtime on a Friday and decided to try Ouzo. We were greeted by a warm friendly waiter and his initial tone echoed pleasantly throughout our lunch. Which goes to show that the Irish can make great waiting staff, provided they take their jobs seriously and with enthusiasm. Onto the food - we shared some salt and pepper Calamari to start and it was hard to fault. For mains we had a fish and chips and a lobster and crab claws salad. Fresh food well presented - full marks. The only negative I had was when I asked if French Fried Onions were available (de rigeur with fish and chips IMHO) the waiter said he'd bring crisp fried onions which, unfortunately, bore no resemblance to french fried onions. Still, the sun was shining outside and I wasn't letting this hiccup spoil an otherwise lovely lunch. We'll certainly be back when next in Blackrock and well done to the waiter who served us.

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Peploes Wine Bistro
16 St Stephen's Green, Dublin , City Centre South, Dublin

We had a walk in Saturday lunch and there was just one occupied table at the front of the restaurant when we arrived. We were seated along the long banquette just at a table where the banquette seat adjacent to where my partner sat was cut open. With the whole back restaurant empty it was careless of the waitress to seat us beside a gaping gash in the upholstery. Orders were taken and bread was delivered (and very good it was too together with some delicate olive oil - nice change from butter). Then a second waiter came to take our order and was suprised that we had already ordered. I had the starter of Fritto Misto “Crispy Fried Squid & Prawns’’ with Aioli (€2.00 supplement) which was very good. Unfortunately, my Confit Duck Leg “Alain Francoise” with Celeriac, Chestnuts & Orange Gastrique, despite its grandiose description was less than stellar. This is a dish that I must confess I have eaten much more often in France than in Ireland and the version I had disappointed on a number of fronts. Most importantly the meat was not falling off the bone, as it should be. Secondly, the skin was not crisped but remained rather fatty. Finally, there was very little meat to eat on the tiny cuisse presented. This is a classic bistro dish that is available in modest restaurants throughout France and is rarely less than wonderful - this version was less than wonderful. My partner had The Daily Fish (€2.50 supplement) which was a superbly cooked tranche of cod on a good risotto. She was very happy with it. As she was with her dessert - a wonderful lime cheesecake with mandarin sorbet - and it looked wonderful on the plate. Service was OK but we were sitting near to the exit from the kitchen and waiting staff, who were not particularly busy it has to be said, spent to long discussiing their personal travails within earshot of us. When I go to lunch I like to hear the conversation of my partner, not the waiting staff.

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

This was our first visit to the upstairs restaurant for lunch on a Saturday. We hadn't booked but got there just after 12 pm and were seated under the large mirrors that adorn the back wall. The atmosphere is very "bistro" as was the menu. We settled for the set lunch menu with two courses for just over €20 per person and we both started with the Fivemiletown goat’s cheese tart, white onion marmalade, port & star anise reduction and rocket salad. This wasn't my idea of a classic goat's cheese tart - rather it was designed to be kitchen friendly and quick to prepare. In fairness, the flavours were excellent - a beautiful sweet onion marmalade and the goat's cheese was delicately flavoured (not overly "goaty") and generous in quantity. However, the pastry base disappointed. To call it a tart is perhaps somewhat inaccurate.My partner's grilled fillet of plaice, crushed new potato, mango, shallot & coriander salsa was deemed to be very tasty by my partner but sized perhaps for ladies who lunch and not for their gentlemen companions. For myself I went with the rib-eye steak (€5.00 supplement) which was requested medium-rare. The steak arrived cooked to my instructions but I struggled to cut it due to both its toughness and the fact that there was quite a bit of gristle in the cut. It came with decent fries and a wonderful sweetish black pepper sauce that may have had a hint of brandy or port in it. However, at least a third of the steak remained uneaten on the plate which was removed by the waiter without query as to whether the dish was enjoyed or not. The maître d' did ask if everything had been OK as he accepted our credit card and did offer a dessert or glass of wine when I explained about my steak, which was declined. I can see why this is a popular restaurant in terms of atmosphere, but a steak should be an easy plate to get right. Maybe we will return to see if I was just unlucky, but with so many very good restaurants in Dublin today it might be quite a while before that happens.

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La Mere Zou
22 St Stephens Green, Dublin , City Centre South, Dublin

My wife brought me to La Mere Zou for a birthday lunch - my first time here but not hers. We ate off the lunch menu, supplemented by some dishes from the blackboard specials. I soarted with terrine of ham hock and dark chicken meat which was good and came with a wonderful red cabbage chutney. My wife had black pudding and duck ballotine which looked great on the plate and was declared a success. For my main I had Supreme of chicken, potato fondant, sage & chestnut stuffing, baby spinach toasted pine nuts, butternut squash purée. I wouldn't normally choose chicken but the alternatives (bavette steak or trout) didn't appeal. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the plate of food that appeared in front of me. Succulent chicken with crispy skin with beautiful accompaniments. My my had moule frites and it came with an enormous bowl of chips. I had a side of chips, which again was enormous for lunch time. Hardly a fault, but it might be appropriate to warn customers about ordering two bowls of frites when one would have more than done the two of us. My wife's dessert was the only weak link in the meal - a badly thought out blueberry panacotta that looked badly colour matched (purple and green?) and presented on the plate and the flavours didn't work for us. My own dessert was an espresso served with a trio of miniature desserts which was well worth the €2.50 supplement. With a glass of good house red the bill came to a very acceptable €61.50 excluding tip. Five great courses out of six at a reasonable price in a lovely bistro surroundings with attentive but unobtrusive French waitresses adds up to a solid 4-star rating. Look forward to returning for dinner at some point in the near future.

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Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill
51 Dawson Street, Dublin 2, Dawson Street, Dublin

My wife and I dropped in for lunch midweek early in the new year to take a break from shopping and got a table without booking - there were only three tables occupied when we walked in at 1pm and probably about five occupied when we were leaving about 2.30. While the lunch special menus looked vey good value we decided to dine off the a la carte, fillet steak with onion rings for me and seared tuna steak for her.The food was very good, though my steak - ordered medium rare - was medium to medium well in places, but of a decent size and great flavour. Served with chips and pepper sauce it was a decent lunchtime meal. My wife's tuna was perfectly seared and served with a Nicoise-type salad and chips. We both cleaned our plates. My wife ordered a slice of their homemade chocolate tart for dessert which was ridiculously large for one person (and priced accordingly at €8.95). However, two plates were brought and we managed to finish it. With one espresso the bill came to €81 before tip. Not an everyday lunch, but enjoyable for a special occasion.

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

Three of us visited Roast for the first time last Tuesday and we met up in the associated Crowes Bar downstairs for a pre-dinner drink, which was marred by customers being allowed to smoke at the open front door and the smoke blowing straight into the bar. When we moved upstairs the atmosphere improved, both figuratively and literally! The restaurant is cleanly decorated in an informal style and tables are well spaced. Two of us dined from their well-priced early bird while a third ordered a la carte. For starters two us had a wonderfully tender and flavoursome daube of beef while the third person had the calamari which was declared tender and plentiful. Mains consisted of a vegetarian dish, a duck dish and fish and chips for myself. My main complaint was that the fish and chips were cokked in oil that may have been too low in temperature as both fish and chips were soft an oily rather than crisp, as hoped for. Also, the meal was served on a wooden platter, which does nothing for me and I always wonder if it is possible to get the food from the platters in the dish washer to the same extent as smooth tableware. When I needed to use the mens room I was informed that they were out of order and that I would have to go downstairs to the rear of Crowes bar and then up some more stairs to use their facilities. Total for two three course early birds and a two course a la carte plus a carafe of house red and a green tea was a reasonable €87.00 excluding tip. The lack of toilet facilities on the night plus one disappointing main just stops me awarding Roast 4 stars, for an otherwise enjoyable and well-priced meal.

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JD's Steakhouse
4 Rathfarnham Road, Dublin 6W, Terenure, Dublin

Three of us visited on a wet Tuesday night and didn't expect much atmosphere at 6.00pm. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find four tables already occupied and a nice buzz in the place. For starers we opted or buffalo wings with blue cheese dip ... gorgeous and plentiful. For mains two of us had the rib-eyes cooked to perfection (med. rare) and one had the fish and chips - all accompanied with beautiful fries. An apple pie and a wonderful banoffi completed the meal. Excellent service complimented the tasty good value food. It was ourfirst, but not last, time there. Recommended.

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Il Primo
16 Montague Street, Dublin 2 , City Centre South, Dublin

We made our maiden visit to Il Primo on a warm Monday evening with a 6.30 reservation. We were greeted by a pleasant waiter and shown to a window seat in the upstairs dining room. We were the only diners in the restaurant at that point and were joined by one other couple half way through our meal. The tables are generously sized and well spaced to permit private conversations. We were brought some bread and delicious olive oil to whet our appetites and the a la carte and pre-theatre menus. We both opted for the latter (€23 for two courses and €26 for three) as the available choices suited our taste as well as our pockets. We were impressed at how the waiter could take both our foof and drinks order without writing anything down, but less impressed when our starters arrived before my apertif. My partner started with Buffalo mozzarella, heirloom and vine tomatoes/basil pesto, Kalamata olives which was good but spoiled by the use of tomatoes straight from the fridge, which masked their flavour heirloom or not. My starter of organic salmon and pollock fishcakes, pickled cucumber, caper and dill dressing was spot on tasty with a wonderful dressing. For starters we both opted for spaghetti dishes - courgette ribbons, peas and ricotta for her and prawns, chilli, garlic and spinach for me. Both dishes were deemed excellent - mine with a nice bit of chilli kick but not so much that it masked the other flavours. It was also evident that the pasta was home-made, a fact confirmed by the waitress. Unfortunately a side dish of wild rocket and aged parmesan salad did not arrive with the meal and only came half way through the main course when the waitress re-emerged and was reminded. We finished with a delicious affogato al caffé and chocolate cake with vanilla cream (from the a la carte menu €8). With a bottle of house Rose and one Peroni beer the total came to €100 including tip. Quite good value for some excellent food though let down by too cold tomatoes and a forgetful waiter.

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Chandpur Indian Restaurant
Main Street, Donegal Town, Donegal

We had picked out this restaurant from Tripadvisor for a recent visit to Donegal as we are both fans of Indian food. We got there at 6 pm on a dreary Monday evening and were not the first to arrive. Indeed the restaurant seemed to be doing a good trade for a Monday, so business must be OK. The decor of the restaurant is very pleasant and the bathrooms were clean and modern. We decided to eat a la carte although they had a reasonably-priced early bird. I ordered the chicken tikka chat to start and my partner ordered the prawn puri. My starter came with plain chicken rather than the ordered chicken tikka and was OK but rather bland. The "light pancake bread" which accompanied my dish was a little oily and I did not finish it. This bread appeared identical to the "lightly puffed bread" that accompanied my partner's starter which I suppose was meant to be the "puri" part of Prawn Puri. Again, the prawn dish was OK but had little in the way of distinctive flavouring. For our mains we had a chicken madras and a Railway (lamb) curry with pilau rice. Here we had more success. My chicken curry was tender well flavoured and quite hot (as a Madras should be). The lamb in my partner's curry was tender and lean and the flavour of the curry was good. Unfortunately she felt it was too hot. When ordering she had asked if the Railway curry would be hot and the waitress had told her that it did not even warrant a one-chilli rating on the menu. I tasted her railway curry before I tasted my Madras and can confirm that, in my opinion, it would have warranted at least a one-chilli rating on most Indian restaurants in terms of its capsaicin content. This was not a bad meal, it just was not a great meal, let down by so-so starters and a mis-rated (or mis-prepared?) railway curry that was too hot. The flavouring of both curries shows that Chandpur can prepare good tasty food.

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Carluccio's Caffe
52 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 , City Centre South, Dublin

My first time in Carluccio's this morning, though I've walked past it many times. We had some time to kill on a Saturday morning and said we'd treat ourselves to a coffee/tea and a pastry. We were told at the counter that it was full waiter service and that our order would be taken when we were seated. Fair enough. We were promptly seated and brought the breakfast menu - all tasty stuff eg eggs Benedict, etc. But we were only there for a beverage and pastry. The waiter promptly took our order - cappuccino and raisin Danish for me and green tea and brownie for her. The waiter re-appeared a few minutes later to ask again what kind of Danish I wanted - he seemed to write it down when we gave the original order so not sure what happened there. The food and beverages were both excellent (the brownie gets a particular commendation) and reasonably priced at €8.45 given the pleasant surroundings. The only hiccup we had was that the waiter who served us only gave us €8.45 change out of a €20 note (I'm presuming he read our check wrong and gave us the "cost" rather than the "change" back as listed on the receipt). When this was was pointed out he quickly rectified the problem. One waiter, two (minor) issues, perhaps he had too much fun the night before! Hence the 3 stars as opposed to 4. Would go back for lunch or dinner to check out the "real" food.

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JD's Steakhouse
4 Rathfarnham Road, Dublin 6W, Terenure, Dublin

Three of us visited on a wet Tuesday night and didn't expect much atmosphere at 6.00pm. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find four tables already occupied and a nice buzz in the place. For starers we opted or buffalo wings with blue cheese dip ... gorgeous and plentiful. For mains two of us had the rib-eyes cooked to perfection (med. rare) and one had the fish and chips - all accompanied with beautiful fries. An apple pie and a wonderful banoffi completed the meal. Excellent service complimented the tasty good value food. It was ourfirst, but not last, time there. Recommended.

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Bistro Spice
101 Monkstown Road, South Co. Dublin, Monkstown, Dublin

First visit last evening. We were dining on a voucher which entitled us to starters, mains, sides, dessert, plus tea/coffee. I started with a prawn puri which didn't look great but tasted fantastic - a good number of prawns in a (very) hot sauce served on a puri bread. The prawns and sauce were very tasty but the puri was more like a chappati, i.e. flat, not puffed up like puri should be, but still a fine platform for the dish. She had Bonda, which was a lightly spiced and battered potato cake served with coriander and tamarind sauces - beautiful. Mains for both of us was lamb, always a good test of an Indian restaurant. Both our dishes (mine a medium/hot Lamb Rampuri (billed as hot, but not quite) and hers Neelgiri (should that be "Nilgiri"?) Gosht) had very lean and succulent lamb as the main attraction and each dish was well spiced with whole spices and completely different in flavour - but both equally good. These were served with boiled and pilau rice as advised on the menu. We finished with one (prepacked) dessert and an indian (spiced) tea which were both fine. We enjoyed our early meal in a buzzingly full restaurant at 6pm and they should be complimented for their BYOB (no corkage) policy (Offy conveniently next door). While this trip was on a voucher, we look forward to returning and paying full price for great food in a cosy atmosphere served by smiling faces. Recommended.

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FXB Monkstown
3a The Crescent Monkstown, South Co. Dublin, Monkstown, Dublin

We visited Monkstown to eat in a nearby restaurant on a rainy sunday but finished up in FXBs as the other place had a queue. We were not disappointed with our second choice. We shared a substantial starter and had two mains for a very reasonable price. The service was warm and friendly if a little eccentric (they were playing Christmas carols in April!). Both our server and the manager came over to check that we were happy with our food. Haven't been there yet for dinner but would recommend it for lunch.

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L'Officina by Dunne And Crescenzi (Dundrum)
Dundrum Shopping Centre, Dublin 14, Dundrum, Dublin

The food is generally pretty good here. We shared an anti-pasta between us at €10.50. They used to bring this out on a large wooden platter but now bring it out on a smallish dinner plate. Methinks the portion has shrunk as well as the plate. Good selection of italian meats and preserved vegetables with some bread. Tasty and a good starter for two persons. We both had the lunch special of linguini with seafood (vongole and prawns) and cherry tomatoes. A filling and well seasoned dish at €14.50. So with tap water and no service charge our lunch came to just shy of €40.00. Not cheap, but good value for what we had.

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Avoca Handweavers
Kilmacanogue, Bray, Bray, Wicklow

We dropped down to Kilmacanogue for the bank holiday monday at 12 noon thinking it might be reasonably quiet. Wrong! it was thronged with visitors most of whom, like ourselves were there for lunch. The choice is a bit overwhelming but we settled for a slice of nut loaf with three salads out of a choice of about seven. The plate was groaning with the amount of food on it. Total for two of the same was just under €25. Filtered water with lemon and ice is gratis. I went back for one of their legendary desserts, a pavlova at €5.40, that we shared - it was more than two standard desserts in size and absolutely gorgeous. Great value and great food. Try to go early for lunch or you may face a wait for a seat.

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

We visited as a group of 4 and kicked off with the two mixed platters (€21) which consisted of almost entirely deep-fried food (prawn toast, chicken wings, spring roll, prawn in batter, chicken satay and won ton). There was only 3-items per person which made this quite an expensive starter. The individual items were between average and good - nothing exceptional. The mains we had were excellent, jumbo prawns, prawn and squid yellow curry (tender squid), chicken with cashew nuts and a lamb curry which was beautifully spiced with kaffir lime leaves. Desserts were banana fritters and a mediocre banoffi - well, you don't come to a Thai restaurant for the desserts! With two bottles of house red the meal came to €160 - not cheap, but good value for what we had. The restaurant was humming when we arrived at 7pm on a Friday evening and was still busy as we left at 10.30. Service was friendly and efficient. Look forward to a return visit.

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Chi Asian Restaurant
9 Georges Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin

Dined here on a Groupon voucher which gave us two mains, two sides and two (generous) glasses of wine for €29.00. We added two starters, squid rings in batter with chilli salt and pepper for me and vegetable spring rolls for her. The squid was tender plentiful and tasty while the spring rolls were declared just OK. For mains I had a Vietnamese prawns in sweet plum sauce with a side of fried rice and she had chicken with lime. It has to be said that the two dishes were too similar (with the exception of the sauces). Both had large slices of onion, red and green peppers and chunks of pineapple and lacked any great authentic flavours. Maybe it was our choice of mains but I felt that they used the same base vegetables for both our dishes. That said, the dishes were filling. Overall we enjoyed the evening and would go back , but would try different mains to see if they can produce authentic asian flavours.

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BD Spice
Eden House (Above Eden House Pub), Grange Road, South Dublin, Rathfarnham, Dublin

We had a table booked for 6 on a Sunday evening and although the car park of the Eden Pub downstairs was busy, we were the only two in the restaurant. I started with chicken shashlik, which was suspiciously like chicken tandoori, though tasty all the same. My partner had the vegetable pakora which was OK. For mains we had a chicken chili masala and a chicken karai with pilau rice. Both dishes were distinctly different, well spiced with plenty of heat and tasy. The only disappointment was the chicken which was over cooked and dry. Dessert was a quite good chocolate fudge cake of the frozen variety. We were on a coupon deal that offered the 3 course meal and a glass of wine each for €30 for the two of us, which was terrific value. I'm not sure I would have been so happy had we paid full price given the way the chicken was cooked. I should mention that the service was excellent and the waiter did ask how we found the food and promised to relay our comments back to the kitchen. Would like to go back and give them a second chance to show me that they can cook chicken properly.

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Amerta Chinese Restaurant
Clifton Avenue, Monkstown, Dublin

Had lunch there on Sunday of June bank holiday which was our first visit to this restaurant tucked half way down Clifton Avenue in Monkstown. There was only one other couple in the restaurant while we were there but the service and food were great. The first floor dining room is spacious and nicely decorated and we had a table by the first floor widows. We were offered a set lunch menu at €10.99 and a buffet menu at €12.00 and the waiter told us that the buffet menu was better value, which it certainly was - though a 3-course lunch for €10.99 is still pretty good value. We opted for the buffet and had starters of tasty spring rolls, sweet corn and chicken soup, and mains of sweet and sour chicken and szechuan chicken (nice chili heat!). We could have ordered further starters and mains but we were nicely full after just three courses. Tea/coffee was also included but we passed on this. The bill (excluding optional service charge) was just €24.00 for the two of us - terrific value for good food in nice surroundings. It should also be stated that Amerta lists their Irish suppliers of meat, fish and poultry together with their phone numbers (in case you want to check), which makes us feel good about the food we're eating as well as supporting Irish businesses. Will definitely return.

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Indian Brasserie
Butterfield Avenue, Rathfarnham Village, Rathfarnham, Dublin

We have been here a number of times, sometimes on a coupon and sometimes full price and we have always enjoyed the food. Most recently we dined on a Groupon coupon giving us a main course each with rice or naan bread for €18.00. We added a starter each and an extra naan and we came out well full. I had the Mirchi Vada to start (pepper stuffed with spicy potato in a pakora-like batter), one for those who like it hot and spicy and my partner had Vazhuthananga varuthathu a well spiced (but not hot) fried aubergine dish. My Gosht Laal Maas had tender lamb in a sauce thick with freshly ground spices (green and black cardamon, cumin, fennel and dried chillis were all accounted for) and it was hot as advertised. My partner went for the mild Koh-E-Awadh, another lamb dish but this time with cream, fenugreek, almonds and cloves among its components. Each main came with a very generous portion of pilau rice and we shared a tasty crisp naan bread. The only disappointment was that they had no wine in 500 ml carafes as listed in the wine list. For our two starters, two mains with rice, a naan bread and a lassi drink each the total came to €35 including tip (remember that we did have a voucher). The food in the Indian Brasserie is quite different from a lot of the generic Indian restaurants that are out there - no tikka masala, korma, madras or vindaloos here. What you have instead are freshly made dishes with individual spicings from regions of India often not well represented. The staff have always been friendly and attentive and I would recommend a visit here, even without a voucher.

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Ravi's Kitchen - duplicate
174 Pembroke Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin

We visited Koishi on a Friday evening with two friends who were first timers to Japanese food. When we arrived at 7.00pm we were the first guests and the restaurant was quite quiet (no music). The pleasant waitress brought us a complimentary bowl of steaming edame beans with homemade pickle while we decided what to order. We ordered sushi and sashimi a few items at a time so we could gauge what our friends could and couldn't eat. As one of the friends is coeliac the waitress advised what could and couldn't be eaten and was able to provide her with gluten-free soy sauce. The quality of the tuna and salmon sashimi was particularly good, The octopus was a bit watery - possibly from previously being frozen. The nigiri sushi, maki and hoso maki rolls were all pretty good and nicely presented. Washed down with green tea, which was discretely replaced when the pots were empty, we had a pleasant evening. As the restaurant filled up with a few noisy tables the atmosphere improved. To eat your fill you will leave a bit of a dent on your credit card if you are very hungry when you go - good sushi is never cheap in Ireland. However, this is good sushi and, as such, is good value for money. A final word about the two kimono-clad Japanese waitresses who were very helpful, professional and friendly.

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China Sichuan
The Forum, Ballymoss Road, Dublin 18 , Sandyford, Dublin

This was our first visit to the China Sichuan in the Forum, Sandyford since it reopened after being closed for a few months. We popped down for lunch and parked in the Beacon South car park (3 hours for free 3 minutes walk from the restaurant). They have a nice good value lunch menu (2 courses for €15.00) and we had €2.50 off vouchers from their website which were valid until end of July. The choice on the lunch menu isn't extensive, but there should be something to suit all tastes. We had Bon Bon Chicken and Spring Rolls to start and Sweet and Sour Chicken and Prawns in Black Bean Sauce with boiled and fried rice for mains. Quality and flavour of the food was excellent (I asked for extra chili with the prawns and they duly obliged) and the portions were more than ample for lunch time. Service was friendly but professional and the owner was attentive to all the customers. We look forward to trying their evening menu soon and the early-bird looks particularly good value.

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The Arch Bistro
Above the Glenside Pub, Landscape Road, South Dublin, Churchtown, Dublin

Our second visit to The Arch and our first time having the Early Bird. We were three and arrived at 6.00pm to a restaurant with just one other occupied table. There was a reasonable (for an early bird) choice of four starters and four mains. For starters two of us had a cream goat's cheese starter with beetroot and pear sauce while the third person had a warm chicken salad. The only negative comment related to the goat's cheese starter which lacked a goat's cheese flavour - otherwise starters were well presented and tasty. Mains selected were fish and chips, chicken supreme and roast cod with capers and olives. Again all nicely presented and enjoyed by all. My only issue was my fish and chips which comprised quite a small portion of fish and chips with a small tub of tartare sauce - I was hoping for a slightly more substantial portion and was still hungry when I finished my main. So I had the apple and blackberry crumble for dessert (as did my fellow diners) which was served piping hot in a ramekin with a little jug of quite good custard on the side - delicious! For the three of us the three course dinner (with no bar drinks) came to €54 in total excluding tip. Reasonable value in this day and age. The restaurant was still almost empty when we left at 7.30 on a Thursday night, so there was a lack of atmosphere. But overall (with the few caveats mentioned above) , satisfied with the food

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YO Sushi (Dundrum)
Level 1, Unit 26A, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 14, Dundrum, Dublin

Having eaten in Yo Sushi in Paddington, London last week where we found the food excellent in quality and value we decided to have lunch in the Dundrum branch yesterday. The first thing that surprised me was that the dishes on the conveyor did not have time stamp stickers on the lids so I wondered how the staff know when to remove unsold stock. The next thing that surprised me was how much more expensive the Dundrum branch was. For example, the most expensive (grey) dish is €6.75 in Dundrum while it is L5.00 in London - given an exchange rate of 0.88 that should be L5.68 in Dublin (19% more expensive in Dublin). All the lower-priced dishes are also significantly more expensive in Dundrum. We had a miso soup which was very good, piping hot and at €2.00 for unlimited refills excellent value. I tried a chicken yakisoba which I had cooked fresh in front of me last week in Paddington and was superb there. Unfortunately it was a disaster in Dundrum. A bowl of bland noodles appeared with dried out chicken bits on top, some of which were barely lukewarm. I brought this to the attention of the manager when we were paying and he apologized and explained that the Dundrum store did not have the facilities for cooking hot dishes to order and the hot food is prepared in a kitchen elesewhere in bulk in advance and stored in holding ovens for up to two hours. This explained the dried out chicken sitting on the noodles. Although we were there for peak lunchtime the choice of sushi on the conveyor was quite limited when compared to their menu. I also had a squid salad (good, nice spicy sauce) and some salmon sushi (also good). Between the two of us we had six dishes a filtered tap water (€1) and a miso soup. The bill came to €31.25 (the manager downgraded the chicken yakisoba to blue from purple because of my comments). In conclusion, if you stick to the sushi it is generally good (though pricey). Could not recommend the hot dishes though.

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Rasam
18-19 Glasthule Road, South Co. Dublin, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin

Went for the early-bird special last Monday. It was our first time at Rasam and we had heard a lot of good things about it. We arrived at 6.15pm and we had the restaurant to ourselves though a number of large groups arrived not long after. Service was friendly and prompt and the food was up to the reported standard, I had the Pork Ke Sooley to start (very different from any Indian starter I had previously - but very tender and tasty) and she had the Galinha Cafreal (spicy chicken pieces, again very tasty). She had the Lal Maas and we both agreed that this was excellent,with flavourful lean tender lamb and a piquant but not overtly hot sauce. My Tandoori Butter Chicken was requested "hot" and came appropriately spicy but still allowing the sauce flavour to shine through. Both main dishes had plenty of gravy but were a little short on meat. A single bowl of pulao rice accompanied our dishes and this could have been more generous. A naan bread cut into quarters accompanied the rice. While portions of meat and rice could have been a little more generous, this is a budget priced early bird, so I don't want to make too much over this apart from hoping that if we had ordered a la carte that portions would have been more generous. We declined the included tea/coffee and thoroughly enjoyed the food. Our only criticism was that we paid €4.95 each for two 330ml bottles of Heineken, which, if my arithmetic is right, comes out at €8.52 per pint. I feel that this represents poor value at any time not just in the current economic climate. Come on guys, let us enjoy a reasonably priced beer with our meal like you can in most Indian restaurants in the UK.

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

We dropped in about 7:30 after a late afternoon film thinking that we would get in an out pretty quickly. As all tables were taken we chose to sit at the counter where we were promptly given menus. We had two made to measure 1/3lb burgers, fries, onion strings and sweet potato fries. We waited for or food, and we waited and we waited. When a couple sitting at the counter beside us, who came in after us were served I asked when we would be served and were told it was on its way. The mains arrived 5 minutes later without the side orders. We were told they would be right there. I was practically finished my burger when the sides did arrive. The waiter apologized and said he wouldn't charge us for them. The burgers we had were quite tasty as were the fries and onion strings. Be warned that their side dishes are very big and one portion will more than serve two adults. I had a glass of milk which must have been close to a pint in volume and served nice and cold. Value is pretty good considering the size of the portions. Not too keen on the cheap plastic plate that my food was served on which had a tendency to go flying off the plastic counter top every time I tried to cut my burger. The atmosphere in the restaurant doesn't encourage one to linger - somewhat industrial with harsh lighting and tables quite close together. But I suppose it is a burger joint after all. Their one big problem is slow service - I would be very reluctant to go here if I wanted a quick bite before a film, or after one for that matter.

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The Goat Bar & Grill
Goatstown House, Goatstown, Goatstown, Dublin

Met with two friends for an evening meal last Wednesday. The pub was relatively quiet but they seemed to have quite a few serving staff on the floor. We were served by a friendly lady who explained the specials and seemed to enjoy her job - not always something you find in waiting staff. We just had main courses - two of us had the homemade burger, which was very thick and tasty but perhaps just a little greasy. The accompanying salad and chips were pretty good. The third member of our group had the sea bass special and had no complaints. With one coffee, two pints of lager and a sparkling water the bill came to €50.00 inc. tip. Not gourmet food but good pub grub.

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Saba
26-28 Clarendon Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

We met with two friends here at 7pm on Saturday night and the restaurant was already very busy when we arrived. our friends had a table booked some weeks in advance and we found ourselves adjacent to a large birthday party of twenty-something girls who were quite lively. In fact our major complaint with the restaurant was that we just found it too loud overall to have table conservation among ourselves. Maybe its an age thing but when we go out to a restaurant for a night it is to enjoy good food and conversation in a convivial atmosphere. While the food was generally OK, if not somewhat overpriced given the quality, and the service was attentive and friendly (although the waiters had to shout to make themselves heard above the din) the atmosphere resembled that of a busy city centre bar than a restaurant (not a table cloth in sight). Great if you like that sort of place but just not my cup of tea.

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Gong Chinese Restaurant
8 Lower Kilmacud Road, South Dublin, Stillorgan, Dublin

We had lunch here on a snowy Sunday in December and there was only one other table occupied during our time there - so the place was a little low in atmosphere. We had the lunch special which offered a selection of starters and mains followed by tea or coffee for just €11.95, which is surely good value, even in these straightened times. For starters (between three of us) we had spring roll, barbecued spare ribs and a chicken and sweetcorn suit - all perfectly serviceable. For mains we had shredded squid with beansprouts and chili, fried prawn in black bean sauce and sweet and sour chicken - all with fried rice. The mains were tasty and of good-sized portions for lunch - my squid was particularly tender. Lunch for three for a shade over €35 is hard to grumble about - particularly when the food was tasty.

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Jimmy Chungs
Eden Quay, City Centre North, Dublin

Not fine cuisine. But incredible value for money. Had lunch there today for two persons - cost €19.80. Where else in Dublin can you get an all you can eat buffet for under a tenner? The starters were varied - satay chicken, vegetarian spring roll, spicy ribs, bbq ribs, onion rings, chicken maryland, battered squid, won tons. Not all of them were terrific (the veg spring roll seemed to be stuffed with scrambled egg??), but everything else was tasty. They had two soups - chicken and sweetcorn and my favourite Chinese soup hot and sour which I had. It was thick, tasty and spicy hot with plenty of egg and crisp vegetables, as good a hot and sour as I've tasted. Tried the Singapore noodles, cantonese rice and chow mein with a variety of pork vegetable and chicken dishes. The quality was up to good take away standard. For desert they let you loose with the whipped ice cream machine and in addition to the standard banana fritter with syrup (which I had two portions of) there were a selection of desert cakes and fresh fruit - really something for everybody. The restaurant was much nicer than I imagined and the service was friendly and attentive. If Jimmy Chungs can offer a damned good buffet for under a tenner one wonders at the profit made by the chinese restaurants that charge over a tenner for a starter or €25 for a main course (sorry rice will be an extra €2.50 with that!). Well done Jimmy and keep up the good work.

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Ananda
Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 14, Dundrum, Dublin

Last night, we were out again, this time at Ananda's, with friends. Had a great night. Service was poor, though - one girl in particular had too much attitude and not enough customer care - she handed me the menu before I even got a chance to sit at the table, and didn't offer to take our coats. And when we told her we hadn't yet decided on our desserts, she nearly flicked her hair at us before turning her heels! No tip was left. What do you expect! But the food was good - my prawns were a tad overcooked, unfortunately, but her's were perfect (she had the seafood curry - prawns, white fish and a crab claw in a rich spicy bisque). My starter was delicious - guinea fowl with a coriander and lime marinade, and a yogurt and pomegranate side sauce that complemented it well. And 3 chips (I originally thought there were only 2, so finding the 3rd one under the breast of guinea fowl was a bonus!). The place was packed. The decor is gorgeous. Pity about the service. We've been there other times and the service has been perfect (the waiters there are generally more attentive than the waitresses, I find.)

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

Four of us booked for a Saturday night early bird special @ €25 for two courses. We had apertifs, two bottles of wine and starters, mains and desserts and the bill came in at €200 inc. service, so no complaints on the value front. The food on the other hand got a mixed review, with some of the dishes being better than others. I had their seafood sausage starter which was a bit bland and had a slightly greasy taste to it. My pork belly main was excellent. One of the other diner's found her fish main somewhat underwhelming - Hake Tempura with curry oil. She described it as essentially fish and chips without the chips. The fish was lovely, with mushy peas but the curry oil was nowhere in evidence. The duck was praised by one of our group and puddings were generally well met. We had a booth across from the serving hatch and the buzz in the restaurant was good. The waiters seem to have a tendency to top up your glass with over-zealous frequency. My glass was topped up a second time within 5 minutes and I hadn't drank from it. Perhaps a little eager to sell you an extra bottle of wine?

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Il Fornaio Restaurant (IFSC)
1B Valenta House, Custom House Square, Dublin 1, City Centre, IFSC, Dublin

Prices need a reality check. Had lunch here with my wife last Saturday. We've been here a few times before and always enjoyed the food, but the prices are not value for money. Remember, this is not an upmarket restaurant, more a cafe environment with simple tables and chairs along an L-shaped serving counter. We paid €17 for a smallish dish of ravioli with a walnut sauce which came unaccompanied - no salad or bread. The food was tasty, but this was lunch on Saturday (there was only one other person eating at the time we were there). €5.50 for a small side order of roast potatoes with rosemary also was pricey. My main of mixed cold meats was good, but I think €8.50 rather than €12.50 would be closer the mark. With a 500ml bottle of water lunch cost €40.00 inc tip - too much considering the portions and surroundings. A similar meal in a comparable establishment in Rome would be in the region of €25.00. The food is good but won't return until they get their pricing right.

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Aprile Ristorante
10 Lower Kilmacud Road, SET MENU ALL NIGHT MONDAY TO FRIDAY, Stillorgan, Dublin

For a midweek treat we dropped into Aprile's for the first time last night. Really funky decor - touch of the Austin Power's perhaps but certainly not dull. They make good use of the first-floor space by employing interesting lighting and crisper tones (predominantly black and white). The menu is fairly standard Italian fare, mainly pizza and pasta, with a number of fish and meat dishes added. Specials are noted on a high level blackboard that could easily be missed, and weren't mentioned by the waiter. Skipping starters, we had a pizza Napoletana and a ravioli with ricotta and spinach filling as our mains. Both were competent if not exceptional. Service was prompt and professional and the bill, with two small bottles of water, came to €33.50 exc. tip. I would be tempted to try one of their specials next time rather than pasta and pizza. There was a good buzz as we were leaving about 8.15 and I imagine it being booked out at weekends. A good neighbourhood restaurant to have.

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Utsav
Number 2, The Rear, Lower Kilmacud Road, Stillorgan, Dublin

Four of us went for dinner at 6:30 last evening and entered through the new front entrance which leads into their new wine bar. To pass into the restaurant we had to go down a short linking corridor past the kitchen and was-up area - not ideal. We had their value meal which was €23.50 for any starter and main course inc. rice and nan. I had the fish starter, which I found a bit dried out. Others had the seekh kebabs, corn and potato patties and chicken tikka, which were all good. My main was chicken chettinad (hot, spicy and excellent), Others had lamb dishes and a fish dish and all tasted unique and pretty good. Inc a house red cost €120 inc tip. An enjoyable night.

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The Queens Bar & Steakroom
12 Castle Street, Dalkey, Dalkey, Dublin

We stopped into the Queens at 12:30 on the Bank Holiday Monday after a pleasant walk around the coast. The restaurant was quiet but we were invited to find a seat that suited by one of the friendly waitresses. We settled for two of their burgers (with cheese, crispy bacon, salad, relish and side salad) and asked for them to be cooked medium. The burgers duly arrived in about 10 minutes and they were cooked as requested. As burgers go these were pretty good, served in enormous soft baps. A more than adequate lunchtime indulgence. The two mains with one glass of milk came to €23.70 ex. service. Good value.

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Yamamori Noodles
71-72 South Great Georges Street, Dublin 2, City Centre South, Dublin

Good, but not great. We arrived for lunch at 12.45pm on a Saturday and there were already a few tables occupied. Menus were presented as soon as we sat down and I went for chicken teriyaki stir-fry while herself ordered the lunch bento box. We also had an ebi gyoza and squid tempura on the side. Sides were pretty good though the squid was a little bit rubbery (but nice light tempura batter). My Terraki chicken was a "sizzling" dish which basically consisted of a sweetened soy sauce mix poured over veg and sliced chicken breast with a bowl of rice on the side. All OK but not what I know chicken teriyaki to be. The bento lunch box came with chicken on skewers, trout katsu (heavy breadcrumb batter, salad and rice and a competent bowl of miso. The meal came to €33.70 ex. service and, it was hard to fault it in terms of value. Unfortunately it was also hard to praise my main in terms of authenticity, though everything else was satisfactory.

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The Stillorgan Orchard
1 The Hill, Stillorgan, Stillorgan, Dublin

First visit to the Orchard at lunchtime today. The wife and myself decided to head out for lunch as a treat and we drove to the Orchard. Suprised to find the car park full at 12.30 and suspect that some commuters may be using their facilities. We parked across the road at the closed Esmonde Motors garage. Good buzz in the place and decor was nice - bright and trendy, but warm and welcoming. We had just sat down when we were immediately brought menus. Good selection of lunchtime meals. I settled for beef lasagne with chips while she had open prawn sandwich. Both were very tasty. The wife asked for extra bread which came with a smile and no extra charge. Two mains plus a glass of milk came to €20.70. Feel we got very good value for money together with (untypical) friendly efficient service from Irish waiting staff. Will be bringing inlaws here next week and I think they will enjoy it.

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Bistro One
3 Brighton Road, Foxrock Village, South Dublin, Foxrock, Dublin

The wife's birthday was yesterday so we used that as an excuse to revisit Bisto One which we've been to a number of times before - sometimes just the two of us and sometimes with friends. One of the key points about Bistro One is their commitment to using local seasonal produce as far as is possible. They had a number of specials on the menu that included brill and john dory and also a Plat du Jour of stuffed loin of pork (free- range saddleback pigs from Moyallen I was told when I asked for their provenance). The Plat du Jour was €19 and included a 250cl carafe of pinot grigio or merlot. The brill and turbot were about €28 as far as I can remember. We started with a prawn risotto (me)(€12) and a caprese salad (her)(€10). The risotto had a rich flavor from, I suspect, a patient shellfish reduction over some time. The rice was just right, not too soft and mushy and the prawns tender and not overdone. A wonderful starter. The caprese salad consisted of baby vine tomatoes, sweet and ripe, accompanied by mozarella cheese and fresh basil. My wife enjoyed it. For mains I had the Plat du Jour and wasn't disappointed. The tender pork loin had a great stuffing that had definite hints of lemon in it, some jus and apple sauce. It was accompanied by a trio of veg on the side (boiled potato, glazed carrot and cauliflower). My wife had the fish and chips (€18), which I've had before myself which comes with mushy peas and tartare sauce. The fish was light and tasty. (Some reviewers seem to think that chips are out of place in a Bistro. We were in the Corbieres region of France last week and had a wonderful lunch in Le Clos des Souquets restaurant in Fabrezan which consisted of a sublime cuisse de canard and frites!). Choc fondant and Limoncello Creams with raspberry sorbet (€8.00) completed the meal. €104.50 including 750 cl wine and service charge. Good value for great food and always consistent.

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