Posts Tagged 'dublin'

Dine in Dublin is Back

Press release as follows:

‘Dine In Dublin-Restaurant Week’ Is Back!

Monday October 12th to Sunday October 18th

Today, Wednesday 30th September, the Dublin City Business Improvement District in association with the Restaurants Association of Ireland and The Irish Hotels Federation announced details of  ‘Dine In Dublin-Restaurant Week’ which will run from Monday October 12th to Sunday October 18th 2009 – so mark your calendar and start saving room for dessert as we embark on yet another culinary adventure!

For the second time this year ‘Dine In Dublin-Restaurant Week’ will see many of  the city’s top restaurants offering special promotional rates of €25 or €30* per person for traditional three course dinner menus. From 7pm each evening, customers will be presented with a three course dinner menu at a set price of at least 20% below what the menu would cost outside Restaurant Week. There are over 50 restaurants participating in the initiative including Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse & Grill, Fallon & Byrne, Bleu Bistro, Saba , Brasserie 66 and many more.

For the first time several of the city centre hotels are also offering customers a 10% discount off the lowest quoted accommodation rates. Hotels confirmed to participate in the initiative include the Westbury Hotel, Conrad Hotel, Westin Hotel, Jurys Inn Hotel Parnell Street, Hotel Isaacs and the Academy Hotel, to name but a few. Customers will not only have the chance to experience the culinary delights of the city centre restaurants but also be able to treat themselves to an overnight stay in some of the city’s top hotels.

Commenting on the event, Richard Guiney, CEO of Dublin City Business Improvement District said, ‘The inaugural ‘Dine In Dublin-Restaurant Week’ saw over 17,500 people eating in participating restaurants during the course of the week with positive knock on effects for bar, retail and theatre outlets. The involvement of the Irish Hotels Federation adds another dimension to the initiative as it will open ‘Dine In Dublin-Restaurant Week’ to a wider audience making it accessible not only to Dubliners but also to people living outside the city who want to come and experience Dublin’s vibrant culinary scene and soak up the city’s unique atmosphere. We want to encourage even more people to come into the city this October and experience this unique culinary initiative”.

‘Dine In Dublin- Restaurant Week’ will allow culinary enthusiasts to please their palates without draining their wallets, experience new gastronomic delights and discover new cuisines. A list of participating restaurants and hotels is available online at

According to Adrian Cummins, CEO of The Restaurants Association of Ireland , “We are delighted again to get involved in ‘Dine In Dublin-Restaurant Week’ as  it provides the perfect answer for diners who have been watching the pennies but long for a gourmet meal during these tough economic times. It is also a great way for participating restaurants to attract extra business during a typically slow time of year. The economy may be gloomy, but what better way to brighten your day than with an indulgent yet inexpensive night out on the town?”

*determined by the participating restaurant


Bang Café, Dublin

IMPORTANT: Sadly, Bang Cafe is no more, according to this article. An incredible loss to Dublin’s restaurant scene. I have some very fond memories of dining here.

It’s true what the newspapers are saying about restaurants; there is really is some great value to be had in Dublin these days. I’ve long been a fan of Bang Café and often recommend it to people. Even in the days when the “Celtic Tiger” was roaring and the phrase “early bird” was never to be uttered, I always felt that Bang was extremely good value. The menu always offered a great selection of dishes to suit every pocket. Head chef Lorcan Cribben’s dishes were always creative and superbly executed.

The restaurant is currently offering a value menu for both lunch and dinner which offers plenty of variety. I took lunch there recently and was so impressed by the chef’s “Slow roast shoulder of lamb” that I vowed to return as soon as possible for a meal with The Wife.

Gravlax with Beetroot Purée

I started with a “Gravlax of Salmon with beetroot puree, orange salad, citrus dressing“. Such a great combination of clean and light flavours, I loved the balance between the citrus flavours and the sweet beetroot.

Slow Roast Shoulder of Lamb

Slow Braised Shoulder of Lamb with colcannon, organic carrots rosemary jus” was incredible comfort food with some stylish restaurant presentation. I’m a huge fan of slow-cooked lamb and this meat was perfectly cooked, braised to almost melting tenderness. The rich, buttery colcannon made a great accompaniment.

Coffee Creme Brulée

I must admit I’m a little precious about crème brulée. What is it with chefs putting things like stewed rhubarb into creme brulee? The point of crème brulée is that it’s rich and silky. Adding fruit ruins the consistency. Add flavourings like coffee or liquer is a different matter, however. I finished off with “Coffee Crème Brulée with apricot and pistachio biscuit“. It was pretty damn good, the coffee flavour was not too strong. I did think the sugar topping was caramelised a little too much, but overall it was a winner.

I’m very pleased to see what is probably my favourite restaurant in Dublin roll with the punches of this recession by offering even more value to diners. It never disappoints.

Verdict: 8/10

Bang Café [website]
Merrion Row, Dublin 2
Tel: 01-6760898

The Market Bar, Dublin

The recession must be over. On walking through the door of a certain city-centre restaurant (whose name no-one can seem to pronounce…) the missus and I were patiently informed by a waiter that they did not open for another five minutes. O-kayy. There was no “would you like to order a drink while you wait?“; no “sure, come on in anyway“. It didn’t piss me off or anything, I was just surprised. Funnily enough, we weren’t really in the mood to stand outside the door for five minutes, so we went elsewhere. All I can say is that business here must be positively booming…

So we opted for the nearby Market Bar. It’s on Fade Street, just off George’s Street. It fancies itself as a tapas bar, but in truth there’s only a smattering of tapas-like dishes on the menu. It’s a strange place, like it can’t make up it’s mind whether it’s a bar or a restaurant.  There is some limited seating at the bar, but if you want to sit at a table you must wait to be seated. It’s not a great place for a drink because the waiting staff are usually all over you to order food. Despite this, I like it a great deal. On reflection, I’ve been here three times in the last month and each time I visited I’ve been delighted at the great value it offers.

On my last visit to the Market Bar, I was accompanied by The Editor. Many of the dishes on the menu are available in small and large versions. Greedy-guts that we are, we ordered large versions of  far too many dishes: A dish of meatballs accompanied by fried potatoes, skewers of chicken and chorizo and that old favourite, patatas bravas. We also munched on a basket of bread and a dish of  marinated olives. The olives, which came complete with stones, were truly some of the best I’ve ever eaten in a restaurant (nothing soggier or sadder than stoned olives in a restaurant. Salamanca, please take note…).

Two hours later, after much eating, drinking and nattering we were presented with a bill for €40. Wow. I know a lot of people that don’t like the Market Bar; granted, the place is a bit cavernous and noisy. But the food is excellent and it offers some great value.

Verdict: 7/10

The Market Bar [website]
Fade Street, Dublin 2



It seems there are two types of people in Dublin – those who have been to Jo’burger and those who haven’t. I’ve heard so many people recommend this place but as I’m rarely in Rathmines these days, I’ve remained uninitiated. Last weekend though, we made a special trip to Jo’burger to have a lazy bank holiday lunch/hangover cure.

Is it overrated? Not a bit. This is no run of the mill burger joint. This is how it goes; first you choose your protein: beef, lamb, chicken or veggies. And then the fun bit – you style your burger from an extensive list of interesting and bizarrely-named toppings. One in particular caught my eye: “Zondi” which is “Green thai curry mayo, coriander and chilli“. Ehh, maybe next time. We eventually plumped for the “Mofolo – chipotle, pineapple, balsamic relish & rocket” for me and a “Chiawelo – fresh mango salsa & rocket” for her. We both ordered beef, but herself opted for a tortilla while I opted for a good old-fashioned bun. We also ordered some fries and a side of corn on the cob.

What can I say? The food was big, spankingly fresh and very tasty. The burgers are so huge that after a while we had to resort to “knives and forks” because it got a little messy – all part of the fun. The Jo’burger relish which is available on all the tables is really delicious, perfect for dunking those fries. The corn was sweet and crispy with a light coating of garlic butter. Top marks. Simple food, done very well.

I’m not sure if this is a place for a quick meal; the service when we visited was a little “relaxed”, but we didn’t mind as we weren’t in a hurry. This place would do a bomb in town, hopefully the owners can translate the formula to the city centre and still keep the laid-back, neighbourhood feel. Super stuff, we’ll definitely be back.


137 Rathmines Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6.

Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Dublin

Excuse the rubbish photos! I found these shots from a fantastic birthday lunch my wife and I had in “Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud” last year. RPG (unfortunate initials!) is mecca for many Irish foodies. It is Ireland’s only Michelin 2-star restaurant and is located in Dublin’s swanky Merrion Hotel.


Myself and The Wife arrived at the Merrion and were ushered into RPG’s lounge. We ordered a couple of glasses of white wine while we looked over the lunch menu. We were personally welcomed to the restaurant by front-of-house manager Stephane Robin which was a great start to the meal. A lot of people imagine RPG is incredibly stuffy, but it’s actually very friendly and relaxed.

After squinting at the blurred photo I took of the menu, I recall we started with “Roast Quail with Apple Polenta & Verjus” and “Terrine of Foie Gras & Smoked Eel, Salad of Vegetables, Soy & Maple Dressing“. Both dishes were excellent, but I seem to remember the flavour of the smoked eel overpowered the more delicate flavour of the foie gras.


Mains were a resounding success; I had “Fillet of Venison with Roast Salsify, Spinach & Morel Jus” and The Wife was happy with her “Fillet of Atlantic Cod cooked ‘A la plancha’ with petits pois à la Française“. Desserts (pictured) were “Roast Pineapple, Mint Sabayon & Pineapple Sorbet” and “Chocolate & Coconut Tian with Coconut Sorbet“; both delicious, but the tian made me think “Michelin star Bounty” …


Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud

21 Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2.