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  • dobby
    replied
    Restaurant: Dada. Moroccan restaurant.

    Location: South William Street

    Price: €€

    This place surpassed all expectations. As somewhere I've wanted to try for a while I booked it as part of a night out with others so the pressure was on if it was shite. Thankfully everyone was happy at how great all the food was so mission accomplished.

    We arrived first and were greeted by the owner. Told him our friends would be a few minutes late and he said no problem. 2 or 3 minutes later, he appears from nowhere and asks am I the "big, tall guy from Kerry". I look up to see Hitch laughing his arse off and the owner in stitches himself. Funnily enough, with the description, he told hitch he knew exactly who he meant lol. Top craic and got the evening off to a flying start.

    After a look at the starters, we wanted all of them so thankfully the Mezze platter for 4 was suggested and it was a roaring success. More than enough food for 4 people with 6 bowls of food and 4 dips and the offer of more bread was made twice. There would have been no extra charge for more bread and even though it's a small thing, I think it's a nice touch that doesnt happen everywhere.

    I cant remember all the dishes that we had on the platter but I'd happily have them all again and everyone was happy.

    Mains of mixed grill, monkfish, lamb shank and koftas in tagine all went down nicely and the portions were very generous. So much so that the monkfish leftovers were packed up nicely for take away, another nice touch that was offered by the waiter instead of having to ask.

    They allow you to bring your own wine too which I happily did and they advertise a €4 corkage charge but they didnt charge for it. Also didnt charge for the 3 bottles of water we drank.

    Bill was a very respectable €135 bumped up to €160 with tip.

    I'd happily go here again and already looking forward to my next visit.

    As we were leaving, met the owner on the way out who shook hands and thanked us for coming. A really great dining experience that enhanced a great evening.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lao Lao
    replied

    Restaurant: Wild Honey Inn


    Address : Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare


    Price : €€€


    With Paddy's Day being a 4 day weekend, it was a great opportunity to get out of Dublin so we packed up and headed west. Mrs Lao Lao's friend moved to Co Clare a few years ago so between distance and the pandemic, we hadn't seen much of her over the last two years so we decided to kill two birds with the one stone, catch up with friends and take in a Michelin star restaurant.

    We booked a package deal that was two nights B&B in the Wild Honey Inn plus dinner on one night. I think the price was €570 quid but I'm not sure as I didn't pay (more on that later)

    After spending the morning at the Ennistymon St Patricks Day Parade (I don't think I've seen anything worse but it was great to catch up with friends), I was looking forward to a good feed. We checked into the Wild Honey Inn and got ourselves ready for dinner. The accommodation was grand - it's a bit dated but was clean and functional, apart from the door into the en-suite. That was some weird wooden double door where one door clicks into the other. I'm sure it was fine when it was installed in nineteen dickety two but in 2022, when you tried to open or close it, it made a noise that would wake the dead.

    Anyhow, the main attraction was the food so off to dinner we went. On entering the dining room , I was somewhat surprised to see a bar in the middle of it and more surprised to see a distinct lack of staff. From what I could see, there was two chefs (one of which was the co-owner), one lad looking after drinks and one person on the floor (who was also the co-owner and the receptionist), that seemed to be it. The dining room was also a little bit dated. We were a little early so decided to have a drink at the bar. As we got our G&T's, Mrs Lao Lao said 'Cheers, Happy Birthday' - I looked at her as if she had 3 heads as my birthday was two months previous. It took what felt like an eternity but was probably only a few seconds to remember that she had booked the stay and dinner in Wild Honey Inn as my birthday present. Regardless of how long it actually took for the penny to drop, it was enough for Mrs Lao Lao to kop that I'd completely forgotten about the present she got me. On the flip side, it was a lovely surprise for me to know, I wasn't paying for the weekend away

    Onto the food and the menu is relatively small with 3 starters, mains and desserts. If you weren't staying there, a 3 course meal would be €85 a head although we later found out that due to lack of staff, you can currently only eat if you stay there and even at that, they are only operating at about 75% capacity. For starters, I opted for the Ham Hock and Parsley Terrine, Celeriac Remoulade, Salsa Verde, while herself went with the Lobster & Crab. Both dishes were presented in a very plain/basic way. The terrine for example was a slice of terrine, a tea spoon of Salsa Verde and a small blob of remoulade. Both tasted fine. We washed them down with a glass of pinot & chardonnay respectively.

    For mains, Mrs Lao Lao opted for Venison, cabbage farci, kohlrabi, shallot confit, pickled blackberry & sauce poivrade while I went with the roast duck breast, ballotine of leg, roasted sand carrot, carrot puree & duck jus. This was washed down with a bottle of 2016 Frank Phelan which was incredible value at €78 (it retails for around €45 in an off licence) Similar to the starter, the food was presented quite simply but there was no issue on the taste front.

    For desserts, I went with the Vanilla Crème Brulee, green apple sorbet & hazelnut sable will Mrs Lao Lao went with the Warm Toffee Pudding, toffee sauce, nut toffee crunch & salted caramel ice-cream. The later was good but I was a bit disappointed with the desserts overall. They were both very safe and not very adventurous.

    Safe is probably how I would describe the meal as a whole. I totally get that there is an artform in presenting quality food simply as there is nowhere to hide but I just felt the meal was lacking something. There was no hor'dourves, no amuse-bouche, no petit fours. no flare, no real creativity, nothing that had us still talking about it (in a gushing way) the next day. Had I been blindfolded and dropped in Wild Honey Inn and not told where I was, I would never have said I was in a one star Michelin restaurant. A solid, decent restaurant - absolutely but that would be it. Maybe this is due to a shortage of staff but I think the place needs an injection of cash to bring the overall feel of the place up a notch or two.





    Leave a comment:


  • MysteryGuest
    replied
    Had a great meal in Mae recently- lived up to hype.
    unfortunately left most of it on the pavement outside after walking out into a crowd of Leinster fans leaving the Aviva- sickening stuff

    Leave a comment:


  • Denny Crane
    replied
    I was in Ananda recently. I was last there about 6 years ago. Last time it was a tasting menu and plush white linen. This time it was a little less silver service. But the dishes were just sublime. The flavours in were just amazing. They said they were closing the next day for a refit. Worth a visit.

    Leave a comment:


  • DeadParrot
    replied
    Originally posted by Goodluck2me View Post
    Recently Ate in Allta in the Trinity Car Park 4th floor

    ....
    ​​​​​​
    The entrance is bizarre in that you literally get into the heavily spray painted and piss-smelling lift, and pop out in the 4th floor to a greeter entry.

    Service was friendly and the walk to the table flows through a new “theatre space” which is essentially MDF with Minimalist art on the walls and various low level seating with throws and rugs strewn across them with ambient lighting setting the scene. You can still see the road markings and car park space underfoot so you never really drift too far from the reality, which was both jarring and exciting.

    The tables are set up like a picnic style, and each has its own rugs and soft furnishings, as well as a lateral heater overhead which keeps the temperature comfortable, overhead is a large tent to keep the draft mostly out.

    the first course was essentially a little cup of broth...

    Leave a comment:


  • Goodluck2me
    replied
    Originally posted by Lao Lao View Post
    Restaurant: Library St

    Address : 101 Setanta Pl, Dublin 2

    Price : €€€

    It was my birthday two weeks ago so Mrs Lao Lao had arranged dinner for us on the Saturday night. Now, being super organised as she is, she had a table booked well in advance, so far in advance, the new 8pm closing restrictions hadn't come into play when she booked so our planned 8:30 booking had to be rescheduled, to 3:30. Not ones to be put off by this, we ploughed on and thought of it as a late lunch rather than a dinner and were just happy to get out.

    Library St is in the building that used to be Allta and is owned/run by former Allta chef, Kevin Burke. Their concept is all about sharing plates and we had both being looking forward to trying it out.

    Upon arrival, we did what everybody should do on their birthday at 3:30 in the afternoon, we ordered a couple glass of champagne to sip on as we ran through the menu, which is split into snacks, starters, mains, sides and desserts. We had originally thought about getting a snack or two, a starter and a main each but the waiter told us that the best way to order was 3 or 4 snacks, 2 starters and one main and share everything. His preferred option was working out cheaper so we took this at face value and went with his suggestion and was not disappointed.

    From the snacks, we went with

    Choux, Horseradish & Cantabrian Anchovy
    Marinated Peppers, Salsa Verde & Kohlrabi
    Tartine Sourdough Baguette, Abernethy Butter
    Crispy Chicken Wing, Chanterelle and Tarragon Mayo

    I'm a big horseradish fan but the key is to get the balance right and they did this perfectly. The marinated peppers sounds so simple and it was but it was also delicious. The bread was fresh and warm and the chicken was really, really good. I need to figure out how they do the tarragon mayo, that was excellent.

    From the starters, we went with

    Delica Pumpkin Risotto & Chargrilled Porcupine Bank Langoustine.

    The risotto was just delightful - I could have eaten it all - it was just perfect comfort food done to a really a really high level of skill and quality. The langoustine was the only slightly low point. It just didn't hit the highs of what came before or after it, it was a little bland

    For our main, we went with the chargrilled pork chop, chimichurri and dandelion. I love a good pork chop and this was a good one. The dandelion was also very tasty and not something I'd ever eaten before. Very minor complaint but I would have like some more chimichurri but I'm into nit picking territory here.

    For dessert, we went with both options of the Sheep's Milk & Blood Orange and Paris Brest, Stout, Yuzo and Sspresso. Now, in hindsight, we should have just got one dessert and shared it as the portions were quite generous but that said, they were both lovely in their own way. The Paris Brest was rich and the crispy pastry went perfectly with the smooth silky filling while the milk and blood orange was really refreshing and almost a palate cleanser. Nothing was left on either plate.

    We washed the meal down with a bottle of 2016 Remelluri Reserva Rioja which was lovely. It turns out that Mrs Lao Lao went to school with the front of house so as we got to the end of the bottle, we told us she had another bottle open (even though it wasn't available by the glass) if we wanted another glass each rather than a 2nd bottle. This was just the perfect amount of wine to finish the meal so we happily accepted. She also gave us two fairly large complimentary Bailey's as a night cap.

    I'm not exactly sure of the final bill. I think it was around 285 which included a service charge and we opted to leave another 20 cash as we felt it was warranted. The food was really good and based on recent eating out experiences, I'd put it in the same category as Mamo and Mae, although it would be be just pipped into 3rd place by the other two by a very small margin.

    We exited the restaurant, ever so slightly tipsy at 5:45, to see people still out and about doing their usual Saturday shopping which seemed strange when in fact having dinner at 3:30 was the real strange thing. From there we headed up to Note on Fenian St where Mrs Lao Lao had booked a table from 6-8. We'd been here a while ago and on entering, one of the hosts welcomed us back. At first, I thought this just a bit of a gimmick but in fairness to her, she not only remembered us but also exactly what wine we drank, which was impressive. They've changed their wine offering slightly from the last time we were there and it has improved (it was already quite good before) and the place was absolutely buzzing so it was great to sit there for the guts of two hours and polish off another nice bottle of vino.

    With the restrictions in place, we were home by 8:05pm which is weird and bizarre for a Saturday but we were well fed watered so were happy out to drink gin and dance around the sitting room. I mean, is it really a birthday without a bit of dancing?

    Must give it a go, sounds good, and quite a juxtaposition from the prior post on allta

    Leave a comment:


  • Goodluck2me
    replied
    Originally posted by Gimmeabreak View Post
    By chance I was in town today and I got a call from a friend to meet him for lunch, we agreed a chicken wrap from Avoca in Ballsbridge but on the fly I figured Id chance to see if there was a table in Mae for lunch. There was. It was the full dinner menu served at lunch. It was epic.

    However good Mae has been thus far, she has changed some dishes and completely changed gears in 2022. Gone up a level if not more. Proper Michelin Starred dishes today. Get along for another try if you've been already or get along for the first time if you've been tempted.
    I’m booked in for 3 weeks time, I set my alarm for when bookings went live. Hoping for anything remotely close to the standards of last time.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gimmeabreak
    replied
    By chance I was in town today and I got a call from a friend to meet him for lunch, we agreed a chicken wrap from Avoca in Ballsbridge but on the fly I figured Id chance to see if there was a table in Mae for lunch. There was. It was the full dinner menu served at lunch. It was epic.

    However good Mae has been thus far, she has changed some dishes and completely changed gears in 2022. Gone up a level if not more. Proper Michelin Starred dishes today. Get along for another try if you've been already or get along for the first time if you've been tempted.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lao Lao
    replied
    Restaurant: Spitalfields Pub & Restaurant

    Address : 25 The Coombe, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8

    Price : €€€

    Two reviews back to back but I'm writing this up now as it's fresh in my head. I'd seen a bit mentioned about Spitalfields on social media with a few food bloggers mentioning it so when Mrs Lao Lao told me she had booked a table for 5:15 yesterday, I was happy to try it to see what it was all about. With Mehole's announcement on Friday night, we checked to see if we could push the booking back to 8pm which they were happy to do so everything was looking good.

    Spitalfields, as the name suggests, is in an old pub in The Coombe and inside it's decked out nicely. Upon arrival, we were shown to our seats and decided to have a glass each of Kir Royale as we went through the menu. Similar to Library St, the menu was split into snacks, starters, mains, sides and desserts but that's probably where the comparison ends.

    We decided to go with a few snacks and then the Cote De Boeuf for two.

    The snacks were

    Sourdough & Whipped Butter & Leek Ash
    Devilled Eggs
    Cais na Tire Fondue, Aged Balsamic & Truffle Toast

    The bread didn't seem very fresh - It felt like it had been made that morning and left sitting out. It was edible but just underwhelming. The devilled eggs were grand, noting wrong with them but also nothing to get you excited and the Cias Na Tire was very tasty with a very good balance with the balsamic and truffle.

    Onto the mains, the Cote De Boeuf was cooked well and as ordered but it was over salted, as were the chips that came with it. The side offering of onions and pickled walnuts that also accompanied the beef, while tasting very nice were tiny. We got half an onion and two medium sized walnuts, between us. We also ordered some charred bay gem and again, it was OK.

    From there, we went onto dessert and decided to share a chocolate filled choux pastry which was quite nice.

    The wine list was a bit bizarre - The cheapest wine was €25.95 - an Italian Montepulciano/Sangiovese blend but it also contained a Lynch Bages at €400, a Mouton Rothschild at €1700 and a Lafite-Rothschild at €2200. I'm not sure exactly what clientele they are expecting to have this kind of budget but maybe it sells? We opted for a bottle of Tronquoy de Sainte Anne 2012 at 80 quid which was a very, very good wine and were very happy with it.

    The final bill came to €254 which included a 12.5% service charge and I couldn't help but feel that we didn't get value for our money, not even close. I don't want to be overly harsh. There was a couple of issues with the food and I know prices are going up plus restaurants are struggling with staff, etc as we come out of a pandemic but I genuinely feel that I could have cooked everything we ate to a similar standard at home. Nothing had us salivating, most things were just OK, which is not what you want when you spend €254. For that price point, we could have dined on much, much better fare in the three previous named restaurants, Mamo, Mae & Library St.

    Despite being free to hit up the pubs after dinner, Mrs Lao Lao had a very early start this morning so we headed home like a bunch of aul ones and had a quick night cap on the couch before heading to bed.


    Leave a comment:


  • Lao Lao
    replied

    Restaurant: Library St

    Address : 101 Setanta Pl, Dublin 2

    Price : €€€

    It was my birthday two weeks ago so Mrs Lao Lao had arranged dinner for us on the Saturday night. Now, being super organised as she is, she had a table booked well in advance, so far in advance, the new 8pm closing restrictions hadn't come into play when she booked so our planned 8:30 booking had to be rescheduled, to 3:30. Not ones to be put off by this, we ploughed on and thought of it as a late lunch rather than a dinner and were just happy to get out.

    Library St is in the building that used to be Allta and is owned/run by former Allta chef, Kevin Burke. Their concept is all about sharing plates and we had both being looking forward to trying it out.

    Upon arrival, we did what everybody should do on their birthday at 3:30 in the afternoon, we ordered a couple glass of champagne to sip on as we ran through the menu, which is split into snacks, starters, mains, sides and desserts. We had originally thought about getting a snack or two, a starter and a main each but the waiter told us that the best way to order was 3 or 4 snacks, 2 starters and one main and share everything. His preferred option was working out cheaper so we took this at face value and went with his suggestion and was not disappointed.

    From the snacks, we went with

    Choux, Horseradish & Cantabrian Anchovy
    Marinated Peppers, Salsa Verde & Kohlrabi
    Tartine Sourdough Baguette, Abernethy Butter
    Crispy Chicken Wing, Chanterelle and Tarragon Mayo

    I'm a big horseradish fan but the key is to get the balance right and they did this perfectly. The marinated peppers sounds so simple and it was but it was also delicious. The bread was fresh and warm and the chicken was really, really good. I need to figure out how they do the tarragon mayo, that was excellent.

    From the starters, we went with

    Delica Pumpkin Risotto & Chargrilled Porcupine Bank Langoustine.

    The risotto was just delightful - I could have eaten it all - it was just perfect comfort food done to a really a really high level of skill and quality. The langoustine was the only slightly low point. It just didn't hit the highs of what came before or after it, it was a little bland

    For our main, we went with the chargrilled pork chop, chimichurri and dandelion. I love a good pork chop and this was a good one. The dandelion was also very tasty and not something I'd ever eaten before. Very minor complaint but I would have like some more chimichurri but I'm into nit picking territory here.

    For dessert, we went with both options of the Sheep's Milk & Blood Orange and Paris Brest, Stout, Yuzo and Sspresso. Now, in hindsight, we should have just got one dessert and shared it as the portions were quite generous but that said, they were both lovely in their own way. The Paris Brest was rich and the crispy pastry went perfectly with the smooth silky filling while the milk and blood orange was really refreshing and almost a palate cleanser. Nothing was left on either plate.

    We washed the meal down with a bottle of 2016 Remelluri Reserva Rioja which was lovely. It turns out that Mrs Lao Lao went to school with the front of house so as we got to the end of the bottle, we told us she had another bottle open (even though it wasn't available by the glass) if we wanted another glass each rather than a 2nd bottle. This was just the perfect amount of wine to finish the meal so we happily accepted. She also gave us two fairly large complimentary Bailey's as a night cap.

    I'm not exactly sure of the final bill. I think it was around 285 which included a service charge and we opted to leave another 20 cash as we felt it was warranted. The food was really good and based on recent eating out experiences, I'd put it in the same category as Mamo and Mae, although it would be be just pipped into 3rd place by the other two by a very small margin.

    We exited the restaurant, ever so slightly tipsy at 5:45, to see people still out and about doing their usual Saturday shopping which seemed strange when in fact having dinner at 3:30 was the real strange thing. From there we headed up to Note on Fenian St where Mrs Lao Lao had booked a table from 6-8. We'd been here a while ago and on entering, one of the hosts welcomed us back. At first, I thought this just a bit of a gimmick but in fairness to her, she not only remembered us but also exactly what wine we drank, which was impressive. They've changed their wine offering slightly from the last time we were there and it has improved (it was already quite good before) and the place was absolutely buzzing so it was great to sit there for the guts of two hours and polish off another nice bottle of vino.

    With the restrictions in place, we were home by 8:05pm which is weird and bizarre for a Saturday but we were well fed watered so were happy out to drink gin and dance around the sitting room. I mean, is it really a birthday without a bit of dancing?


    Leave a comment:


  • Goodluck2me
    replied
    Recently Ate in Allta in the Trinity Car Park 4th floor

    it’s a surreal experience as I had known they did excellent cook at home boxes during lockdown but for one reason or another I wasn’t able to experience it , so expectation levels were certainly high.

    ​​​​​​
    The entrance is bizarre in that you literally get into the heavily spray painted and piss-smelling lift, and pop out in the 4th floor to a greeter entry.

    Service was friendly and the walk to the table flows through a new “theatre space” which is essentially MDF with Minimalist art on the walls and various low level seating with throws and rugs strewn across them with ambient lighting setting the scene. You can still see the road markings and car park space underfoot so you never really drift too far from the reality, which was both jarring and exciting.

    The tables are set up like a picnic style, and each has its own rugs and soft furnishings, as well as a lateral heater overhead which keeps the temperature comfortable, overhead is a large tent to keep the draft mostly out.

    the first course was essentially a little cup of broth, didn’t pack much of a punch but not a bad winter warmer. Followed by an unusual crab amuse bushe served in a cracker.

    mains were a full piece of trout (between 4) which was excellent and accompanied by an artichoke side which was also very moreish… the second main was pork belly in a pumpkin veloute (nay soup!) which was unremarkable at best.

    finished with an apple ice cream, apple granita which was meh, topped off with a creme brûlée

    Leave a comment:


  • Silver-Tiger
    replied
    Ate in Mae last night. Great great meal. Will agree with everyone saying it's tops.

    Provided the menu is the same and you're on the fence about the mains. I'd highly recommended the Hake over the Venison. With the company i had I essentially had both. Venison dish was very nice but nothing that separated itself from any other nice Venison dish I had previously.

    The fish on the other hand. Perfect Hake. Really exquisite Pomme Puree, Trout caviar which was literally busting with flavour in my mouth and an exceptional Seaweed Beurre Blanc. Really memorable.

    The snacks, cheese at the end, goats cheese starter and Tart Tatin were top class too.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gimmeabreak
    replied
    Originally posted by Gimmeabreak View Post



    Table for 6 confirmed Wednesday 15th December @ 8pm. Covid Certs, etc. required. Can I get confirms/expressions of interest.

    Lao Lao Strewelpeter coillcam Raoul Duke III Goodluck2me The Istanbul
    It seems like we have 6 confirmed on the first come first served basis.

    1. Lao Lao
    ​​​​​​​2. Strewelpeter
    3. Raoul Duke III
    ​​​​​​​4. Goodluck2me
    5. The Istanbul
    6. Herr GAB

    We also have one on the list, Nathy (non IPB member but known to many who enjoy their food).

    Just checking that everyone is ok for Wednesday next, I am pretty sure I've everybodys phone number except Goodluck2me so you might drop me a message with your number and we can co-ordinate there.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lao Lao
    replied
    Originally posted by shrapnel View Post

    Why would you want to, to be honest!
    Northside is THE side to be on!

    Leave a comment:


  • shrapnel
    replied
    Originally posted by Lao Lao View Post
    Northside riffraff temporarily* residing on the southside, thank you very much.


    *I may never convince Mrs Lao Lao to move north of the Liffey
    Why would you want to, to be honest!

    Leave a comment:


  • Lao Lao
    replied
    Originally posted by Raoul Duke III View Post
    'tis a god spot indeed; I had swerved reviewing it so as to keep out southside riffraff like yourself but clearly to no avail.
    Northside riffraff temporarily* residing on the southside, thank you very much.


    *I may never convince Mrs Lao Lao to move north of the Liffey

    Leave a comment:


  • Raoul Duke III
    replied
    'tis a god spot indeed; I had swerved reviewing it so as to keep out southside riffraff like yourself but clearly to no avail.
    Last edited by Raoul Duke III; 02-12-21, 15:29.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lao Lao
    replied
    Restaurant: Mamo

    Address : Harbour House, Harbour Road, Howth

    Price : €€€

    Mamo has been getting a lot of good press of late so it was on my list to get to. They are open since late 2019 but with the pandemic, I think they have actually only been open for indoor dining for about 6-7 months in the last 2 years,

    We got a table for last Friday and decided to do a dual public transport effort to get there of Luas/Dart. For some reason, I thought the restaurant was down the pier and proceeded to walk Mrs Lao Lao up and down it looking for it, something that she wasn't overly impressed by as it was Baltic cold. When it was proven beyond all doubt that it wasn't on the pier, I eventually looked at Google maps to discover it's location and we headed up to it.

    Upon arrival in the restaurant, we got a lovely warm welcome both from the host and the lovely toasty temperature which was excellent. We were shown to our seats and handed menu's to peruse.

    Mrs Lao Lao, unusually, was in the mood for champagne so we order a couple of glasses while we went through the menu. The menu is divided into five sections - Grazing, Small Plates, Mains, Sides and Desserts. The recommendation was to have a mains each and then whatever else you wanted so that's what we did.

    From the graving section, we had Cod Chips and Tuna, Chili Tempura and Ponzu - There was only three cod chips, each perfectly formed rectangles topped with three little dollops of cod Taramasalata. They were absolutely delish as was the tuna which again was 3 two-bite sized (if you are being respectable) morsels - A great start!

    From the small plates section, we opted for the fresh strozzapreti, oxtail ragu, courgettes and pecorino which was a lovely rich, meaty pasta dish which we both devoured and then asked for a bit of bread to make sure we mopped up all the sauce.

    From there we went onto mains and I opted for the venison and Mrs Lao Lao had the seabream. The venison came with little roast spuds, gnocchi, venison bon bons and a lovely sauce. I made roasted venison loin for 6 people the previous Saturday night - everybody raved about it and even if I do say so myself, it was very good. The venison in Mamo made it very clear that I am an amateur cook and the real pro's were behind the counter in the kitchen just behind me - It really was excellent. Mrs Lao Lao's seabream was equally as good and came with crab claws and a lobster risotto on the side, really couldn't fault anything on the mains or on the side of chargrilled broccoli, smoked yoghurt & spiced almonds that we got with the mains.

    For desert, we shared a dark chocolate tart and hazelnut ice-cream which again couldn't be faulted.

    We washed the entire meal down with a nice Bordeaux which came in at €62 which seemed good value to me.

    Throughout the entire meal, the service was excellent, just the right amount of interaction/banter and at the end of the night we had a really good chat with the co-owner about how they were getting on and plans for the future. She is formerly front of house for Etto and her husband, the chef, is ex Thornton's and Chapter One. They've just got planning permission to convert the upstairs offices and the plan will be to move the seating for the restaurant upstairs and have the downstairs area as a bar for pre & post dinner drinks. They have also taken over the food space in the RHA Gallery, Margadh, and have plans to expand the food offering there too.

    Just as we were finishing chatting, the taxi driver rang Mrs Lao Lao (one Luas/Dart adventure a night was enough) as he couldn't find restaurant so I had some slight comfort of not being alone on that front and as she was talking to him, the owner came back over to me and asked me did I want some fresh sourdough for the next morning. Mrs Lao Lao didn't hear this part of the conversation so was somewhat surprised to see me being handed a big wedge of sourdough. The next morning, toasted, with poached eggs, fried chorizo, cherry tomatoes and avocado, it was delish.

    As we got into the taxi, the driver asked if we worked in Mamo or if we just had dinner there. Our response was met with 'You came all the way from Ranelagh just for dinner?!?!?' Howth is a little bit out of the way, off the beaten track and if not driving, it can potentially be a pricey taxi trip or a bit of a journey on the train but make no mistake about it, it's worth it for Mamo alone.

    Total for 2 glasses of champagne, two grazing plates, one small plate, two mains, a side, a dessert, bottle of vino and a coffee came to €203 and I rounded it up to €235. and felt like I'd got great value.


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  • coillcam
    replied
    Originally posted by coillcam View Post

    Provisionally in for now but should be fine. Will confirm by end of week.
    Gimmeabreak - Sorry for the delay in replying. Unfortunately I'm going to pull the pin on this one. Hopefully plenty of time for someone to step in. I have a big work week coming up and would be unrealistic to try to squeeze this in. Will surely catch the next one in the new year.

    Leave a comment:


  • Goodluck2me
    replied
    Originally posted by Raoul Duke III View Post
    I don't know if you can get through the paywall (I read it in paper version like an auld lad) but there is a positively gushing review of Chapter One in yesterday's Sunday Times.
    SPOILER
    Every so often someone will pop up to announce the death of fine dining. This time the critic Adam Platt of New Yorkmagazine queried its continued relevance in a piece headed “Who wants caviar at a time like this?”, to which his counterpart at the Post, Steve Cuozo, replied: “I do and so does most of the civilised world.”

    Of course, there’s more to this debate than a penchant for spendy fish eggs. The whole dialogue is given added poignancy by the ravages of the pandemic, Brexit and the sheer decadence of stuffing our faces under the circumstances. Meanwhile those recherché establishments blessed by awards-givers continue to ply their trade oblivious to any imminent demise.

    I like and admire Platt, but I fear the reason that restaurant pundits continue to come over all Cassandra is because, on our own time, we don’t tend to gravitate towards the loftiest temples of gastronomy. It’s not the expense but a certain ennui — I’m being brutally honest — a been-there-done-that, a preference for ravishing simplicity and informality, an aversion to spending decades over dinner, when every attempt at conversation is interrupted by a soliloquy on the time it took to ferment the fiddleheads.

    So, news that Mickael Viljanen had taken over the reins at the longstanding Dublin swankpot Chapter One (with the previous incumbent, Ross Lewis, as a kind of éminence grise) didn’t exactly rock my world — although I’d loved his cooking at the Greenhouse. But rock my world it did, right on to its presumptuous axis.

    As ever with a tasting menu, listing each component would be overkill. But every single course is dazzling. There’s a scallop dish that, no hyperbole, leaves me breathless. The fattest, most impeccable specimen, pearlescent at its core, barbecued till crusted, in a sparkling bouillon spiked with the restaurant’s own oxtail vinegar. Yes, oxtail vinegar. It’s the gently sour umami slap of this, improbably delicious with the scallop, that drops jaws. (There’s no hand-diving for scallops in Ireland, weirdly, so the perfectionist Viljanen gets his from the man who supplies Noma.) If this weren’t enough it comes with Guinness bread, like a darkly savoury kouign amann, layer upon crisp layer of buttery laminated dough. As they say here, savage.

    I’ve only ever eaten the fiendishly time-consuming hare royale once before (at Joe Beef in Montreal); a semi-mythical dish that takes days to make. This one is given the full treatment: barrels of scarlet saddle and hummock of slow-cooked, vinous “royale”, a sauce enriched with its blood, the butchness tempered by a necklace of tiny, jewel-like accessories — emulsions, tartares, sprigs of herb blossom. Again with the bread, this time “hare bun”, a mini, glossy Japanese milk loaf that splits to reveal a kind of hare ragu, resonant with offal. I’m counting the days till I can eat this dish again.

    Yes, it’s expensive. Blowout expensive. For this level of artistry so it should be; it’s still a fraction of the price of that funny wee man and his silly, clickbaity, gold-plated steaks, still less than its equivalent in Paris. Were Chapter One in St Germain rather than Parnell Square, I’m pretty sure the tyremen would be falling over themselves to award the full trio of twinklers and the stars-chasers would hand over €1,000 without drawing breath. Also, lunch costs €65 (£55). So there’s that.

    Is it decadent? Yes. Tablecloths are ironed and padded; the art is dramatic; the atmosphere deeply cosseting. Is it a celebration of good food, of warm hospitality, of the joys of owning a functioning palate — and liver? Also yes. There’s every acknowledgement of today’s Nordic cheffy obsessions (Viljanen is Finnish). But there’s also an Irish generosity: as many canapés, desserts and petit fours as any Bunter could desire. And an almost retro adherence to classic technique and fondness for dairy: the sheer cashmere luxury of fantastic butter, cheese, even cream. There’s a steamed soufflé of aged Mossfield gouda, delicate and wobbly as panna cotta, in a vin jaune sauce topped with shavings of intense white truffle and the creamy crunch of macadamia nuts — were you to find me drowned in the thing, you’d know I died happy. When I tell a staff member how glorious it is, he beams, “Yes! It’s borderline showing off.”


    The whole performance is carried out with that lightness of touch — the jolliest fine dining restaurant. Nobody’s looking at their phones or fannying around taking photographs of their tea. (Um, apart from me.) Even the usually tedious upscale signifiers are done with humour: as formally suited staff trundle round with the armagnac trolley, one is trilling something that turns out to be “Duty free!” There’s another trolley for making Irish coffee that is, frankly, comedy. Of course we have one. It nearly finishes me.

    Chapter One has reignited my love for the whole intricate, maddening haute cuisine shebang, for the bonkers creativity that exists only at these levels. (One of the hare’s accompaniments is a perfect pearl onion topped with celeriac emulsion, in its centre a single pistachio. With a bouillabaisse of red pepper-lacquered wild sea bass and the sweetest langoustines arrives a plate of tiny, gossamer-thin crisps in the shape of maple leaves, each with a blob of rouille in its centre scented with Breton kari gosse spice mix. But each flourish adds something glorious, something more than just a flexing of the ol’ skillz.)

    So pass the truffles. The finest wines in Christendom. And the fiddle for playing while the world burns and the rivers run with effluent. Let us wallow in the sheer life-affirming joy of the finest produce and a chef at the peak of his powers — while we still can. And yes, there’s caviar. Lots.




    salivating

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  • coillcam
    replied
    Originally posted by Gimmeabreak View Post



    Table for 6 confirmed Wednesday 15th December @ 8pm. Covid Certs, etc. required. Can I get confirms/expressions of interest.
    Provisionally in for now but should be fine. Will confirm by end of week.

    Leave a comment:


  • Goodluck2me
    replied
    Originally posted by Gimmeabreak View Post



    Table for 6 confirmed Wednesday 15th December @ 8pm. Covid Certs, etc. required. Can I get confirms/expressions of interest.

    Lao Lao Strewelpeter coillcam Raoul Duke III Goodluck2me The Istanbul
    In!

    Leave a comment:


  • Raoul Duke III
    replied
    I don't know if you can get through the paywall (I read it in paper version like an auld lad) but there is a positively gushing review of Chapter One in yesterday's Sunday Times.

    Leave a comment:


  • MysteryGuest
    replied
    How quick does chapter one sell out when bookings go live - is it a case of just a limited # of seats for plebs that sell out in a minute?

    Leave a comment:


  • Mellor
    replied
    I’ll need to dig through this for Dining options.

    Just read GAB’s One Pico. Was already high on the list. But may be stand out now.
    Chapter One and Mae in close pursuit.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Istanbul
    replied
    Im in please

    Leave a comment:


  • Strewelpeter
    replied
    In.

    If there is a spare seat I'm sure Nathy would come along

    Leave a comment:


  • Raoul Duke III
    replied
    Si senor. Inski.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lao Lao
    replied
    Originally posted by Gimmeabreak View Post



    Table for 6 confirmed Wednesday 15th December @ 8pm. Covid Certs, etc. required. Can I get confirms/expressions of interest.

    Lao Lao Strewelpeter coillcam Raoul Duke III Goodluck2me The Istanbul

    I'm in - Date is in the calendar!

    Leave a comment:


  • Gimmeabreak
    replied
    Originally posted by Gimmeabreak View Post
    Also ate in Mae last week, it's class. Can highly recommend it. I was going to suggest it as a IPB pre Christmas dinner if there was interest. I'd be confident of swinging a prime slot.
    Originally posted by Gimmeabreak View Post
    could we find an agreeable date to aim for? Wednesday Dec 15th might seem like a respectable time to shoot for. I suspect 6 is the max we could get at a table.
    Table for 6 confirmed Wednesday 15th December @ 8pm. Covid Certs, etc. required. Can I get confirms/expressions of interest.

    Lao Lao Strewelpeter coillcam Raoul Duke III Goodluck2me The Istanbul

    Leave a comment:


  • Gimmeabreak
    replied
    lovely, I ate in BigFan on Saturday and had set myself the task of contributing a review. Now no longer required.

    Leave a comment:


  • Goodluck2me
    replied
    Great to see this thread resurrected. I should add one shortly

    Leave a comment:


  • Lao Lao
    replied
    Restaurant: Big Fan Bao

    Address : 16 Aungier St, Dublin 2.

    Price : €€

    Mrs Lao Lao tried to book here a few weeks ago at fairly short notice but it was booked out so we opted for Lucky Tortoise instead with a 9:30 booking. On the day of our reservation, she text me to say, 'I've been able to get a table at 8:00pm, will I take it?' I agreed but what I didn't know was what she meant was 'I've managed to get a table at Big Fan Bao for 8, will I take it' Apparently, I should just know this kind of stuff.

    As we wandered down Aungier St, Mrs Lao Lao wasn't 100% sure exactly where Big Fan Bao was which I thought was weird as we'd been to Lucky Tortoise before. In the confusion, we ended up walking past Big Fan Boa and Mrs Lao Lao thought I was mad when I tried to enter Lucky Tortoise. When it was explained to me that we were going to Big Fan Bao, we made our way a few doors down the road and stood outside Bao Bun which Mrs Lao Lao thought was Big Fan Bao. Now, no disrespect to Bao Bun, but despite the three benches inside, it's more of a takeaway than a restaurant. Panic set in as Mrs Lao Lao for a second thought that she had somehow managed to book a takeaway but a quick check confirmed that she had indeed booked Big Fan Bao a few doors up in the other direction.

    Crystal clear, right?

    We settled into our table at Big Fan Bao and got straight down to ordering. The wine list is very small and not very ambitious but that was OK, we were both quite happy to sink a few beers. We ordered the following over two rounds

    BIG FAN BAO - Ardarl Fram - Happy Pork - Dong Po Style, Peanut Crumble, Pickled Mustard Greens, Coriander.

    THE BLACK DRAGON BOA - Squid Ink Bun, Fresh Irish Lobster Tail, Wagyu Beef, Baby Gem, Kupie.

    SHAN JI BOA - Crunchy Chicken Thigh Marinated Big Fan Style, Kimchi, Hot Sichuan Mayo.

    PORK SNOWFLAKE JIAOZI - Happy Pork, Garlic Chive, Ginger, Mixed Leaves.

    WAGYU CHEESEBURGER JIAOZI - House Minced Wagyu Patty, Gherkin, Cheese, Crispy Onion, Kupie Burger Sauce.

    XIAO LONG BAO (SOUP DUMPLING) - Minced Andarl Pork, Pork & Chicken Stock.

    SHE'S SWEET - Taiwanese Style Chicken, Honey Soy Garlic Butter

    DUCK SPRING ROLLS - Duck, Ginger Infused Rhubarb, Sweet Plum Sauce

    EDAMAME

    The only thing that wasn't great was the lobster - You couldn't taste the lobster, it was completely lost in the dish. Also, while the Wagyu Cheeseburger Jiaozi was very tasty, I wouldn't have known it was Wagyu only for I was told it was but maybe that's more of a reflection on me. Overall, the food was very good - I do love a good dumpling and a bao bun and would definitely recommend it if you like that type of food.

    Somehow, during dinner, our conversation turned to Garth Brooks and his imminent return to Ireland. I'm not sure how this happened as neither of us have any interest in him but I remarked, 'can't believe that was 7 years ago' Mrs Lao Lao reckoned it couldn't have been 2014 when the whole 5 gigs debacle took place but I was confident. Wrongly sensing weakness, she thought she could turn this to her advantage and offered a bet, loser for the right year pays the bill. I was so confident, I went one further 'You can have all the years, except 2014'

    Now, I should digress here for a minute. Mrs Lao Lao is not a gambler. In fact, she is the furthest thing that you could find from a gambler. On the few occasions where I have managed to goad (and I mean goad) her into a bet knowing I was right, she has generally welched on it so she was trying to work this one out. I only got one year, 2014, and she got every other year. She was onto a winner, except she wasn't. The bet made, she took out her phone to google the result.

    'You absolute, fucking dickhead - How did you know it was 2014?'

    'You should know by now, I know everything'

    'Fuck off, You read it earlier in the paper'

    'I did not'

    'You read it on-line'

    'I did not'

    'You heard it on the radio'

    'I did not'

    All my answers were true. For some reason, Mrs Lao Lao failed to ask/suggest that I saw it on the RTE six-one news on RTE +1 while waiting for her to get ready so I decided not to offer up this information and we left it that I did indeed know everything or at least that's how I remember it

    The bill came to €108 and Mrs Lao Lao topped it up to €120 which sounds a lot but we did have 5 beers, a cocktail and 9 dishes. You obviously don't have to eat/drink that much but we entered very hungry and left very full.

    With the bill paid, I insisted on paying for the taxi back to The Hill where I also insisted on getting in the nightcaps, like the true gentleman that I am.
    Last edited by Lao Lao; 19-10-21, 09:38.

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  • Raoul Duke III
    replied
    Restaurant: Shanahans

    Address : Stephens Green, Dublin 2.

    Price : €€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€

    Although the recent US presidential election was largely a financial pleasure for yours truly, there was one fly in the ointment in the form of a bet I had struck with Denny Crane - would Trump make it to the end of his term? I bet on the side of the negative and the bet was made in the form of a dinner at Shanahans, which strikes me as one of the better wagers I have lost. The Orange One managed to survive covid and not one, but two, impeachment trials and so I owed Denny a dinner. For quite some time we were frustrated in our mission to get a table as first one lockdown, then another, scuppered our best laid plans but eventually we made it last Saturday night.

    Covid seemed to be out of sight, out of mind amongst the throngs of revellers in the city centre as I strolled up towards the Green and the atmosphere at 7pm was verging on 'Rio Carnevale' as I entered the portals of Shanahans. I was efficiently and smilingly relieved of my outerwear, and then escorted to a comfortable table near the front of house. Clearly they recognised that dapper gents such as ourselves would enhance the window dressing extensively. I furtively surveyed my fellow diners as I awaited the arrival of Denny; they generally looked a well-upholstered lot which is not surprising given the prices. Denny arrived shortly thereafter and, after the fist-bumping, I congratulated him on not going fat or bald over the pandemic which seemed to take him aback somewhat but I was determined not to let the fucker rest on his laurels. Our waiter arrived with menus in record time and enquired as to whether we would like a pre-dinner libation. We sent him off to fetch two G&Ts as we settled down to the serious task of menu perusal, which doesn't take all that long as it's very much a tried and tested formula that I don't think had changed since my previous visit there more than a decade ago. The wine menu requires more study and I selected a glass of Sequoia Grove Chardonnay to accompany my seafood starter, while Denny, being more carnivorous than I was persuaded that a bottle of Meerlust represented the way forward for his drinking needs.

    A small loaf of extremely good freshly-baked bread (possibly onion, was very savoury anyway) was brought to the table with our wine and I, despite knowing full well the volume of food that was incoming, made the cardinal mistake of taking two slices. Rookie error. Just as we reached the bottom of our gins, the starters were deposited and we reached for our weapons. Denny selected the 'Arndal Farm Pork Belly' which looked like a fine example of the style, daubed with some saucy bobs and bits. It didn't last long in front of him in any case and he seemed satisfied with the offering. He was also swilling the Meerlust appreciatively, this having been decanted for us already by our smoothly efficient waiter - the service in this joint tends towards the impeccable, which is all the more impressive when so many restaurants are really struggling for staff post-covid. I selected the Sautéed Garlic Shrimp which came bathed in a pool of wonderful garlic creaminess, my only complaint being that there weren't enough shrimps (just the six, which I thought was maybe on the parsimonious side). The sauce was so good that I hoovered it up with some more of the bread. What was I thinking?

    Our waiter cleared away the detritus as we enjoyably talked shite on many different topics and awaited the main event - THE MEAT. Let's face it, all the other stuff is pretty damn good but people come to Shanhans for one thing only and that is the steaks which are New York steakhouse style. Now, I've been lucky enough to eat in some of the best steakhouses in New York like Pete Lugers and of course many equally great joints in South Africa, but I can say that Shanahans is the equal of them all, both in terms of the quality of the meat and the skill of the cookery. So safe to say we weren't going to order some 8oz baby steak. Oh no, we both went for the 24oz rib-eye on the bone; medium-rare for me and medium for Denny. The waiter impressed with the strength it took to carry these behemoths to the table and laid them reverently in front of us (see picture below). A quick finger test confirmed the accuracy of the cooking and we, suitably fortified by the Meerlust, attacked the steaks with abandon. Mine was perfect - mouth-wateringly juicy with an exquisite Mailllard Effect on the exterior. They make a big fuss about the provenance of their Angus beef but it really shows in the quality of the steak. Denny likewise seemed highly enraptured with his steak and we duly savaged them down to the bone, although I was starting to feel the effects of my injudicious approach to the bread earlier. We ordered three sides to go with the steaks - the much-vaunted creamed spinach, some fries and a portion of onion strings. Of the three, the spinach was our least favourite, it seems slightly watery and lacking in true depth of flavour. Probably the only mildly sub-par element of the entire evening. The onion strings and fries were superb though.

    20211016_201335.jpg

    At this stage, we were accosted by another diner who came up to the table and addressed me in tones of familiarity. I literally had no idea who this individual was but he clearly knew me. This was puzzling but something that does happen to me occasionally as I do have a pretty bad facial memory. There should be a term for this phenomenon. I was pretty much done after the mains and may even have left a couple of ounces on the bone but I felt Denny deserved to get full whack for his political prognostications so we ordered some port and a cheeseboard to share. At first I though the cheeseboard was a miserly effort but then realised they had secreted a large quantity of cheese underneath the crackers. We did our best with the perfectly conditioned cheeses and washed it down with some very fine port. I had an espresso to stop me falling over with a food coma and it was probably the best one I've had all year - something that most restaurants seem to put little stock in. We also got a few completely superfluous petits fours with this and forced them down, Mr Creosote style. I called for the waiter to drop the hatchet and he presented a bill for €350 which I gladly rounded up to an even €400. A very memorable meal.

    Our evening didn't finish there however as we repaired downstairs to the Oval Office bar, which is redolent of a gentlemans club with extremely comfortable leather armchairs and decorated with all sorts of US presidential memorabilia. Much to my disgust, we were placed under two very minor presidents - Andrew Johnson and McKinley. I felt very jealous of those perched underneath Truman. At least Trump wasn't on the wall. We poured a couple more G&Ts down our necks and then headed for the hills. Some quick research confirmed the Sporting Aquarium was closed and nowhere would give us a drink after 11.30 so we bid farewell and headed in our respective directions. A fine evening and a good bet to lose. Shanahans is admittedly very expensive but is also a place that has been at the top of its game for a very long time - well worth the occasional trip.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lao Lao
    replied
    Restaurant: Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud

    Address : 21 Merrion St Upper, Dublin 2.

    Price : €€€€€


    It was a significant birthday for Mrs Lao Lao so I wanted to mark the occasion. My attempt to book an overnight stay and dinner in Aimsir was thwarted when they sold out in seconds of being released so instead, we had to settle for another 2 Star Michelin restaurant in the form of Patrick Guilbaud's.

    Before dinner, we hit up Toners for a few G&T's to start the evening off. The location of dinner wasn't disclosed so Mrs Lao Lao deiced to give her top 3 guesses in the form of Etto, Guilbaud's and taxi to Chapter 1. The location of the pre dinner drinks really narrowed down the choices but I still walked her up to the door of Etto, let her go to walk in and then walked away. 'You're such a dickhead' was all I heard of her mini rant at me but once we walked back towards Merrion St, it was obvious where we were going.

    Mrs Lao Lao had told me before that when she was a kid (primary school age) she lived on the same road as the Guilbaud's and she had been friends with their daughter and knew the family but in the almost 8 years of knowing her, we never met them or had any dealings with them so I took it that it was a slightly exaggerated story, akin to my ability to play tennis but I was wrong. We were only in the restaurant, when the manager, Patrick's son, came straight over to say hello and how it was great to see her again after so long. There was a good 15 minutes of catching up and upon learning we were there for her birthday, there was immediately champagne on the house for us both which was a very nice touch.

    Menu's are on QR codes and before you get to the table, you order your starter and main with dessert being ordered later on. There was no tasting menu on offer as due to the time it takes v's the time they need to clear the restaurant by, they aren't able to pull it off so it was straight to the A La Carte menu.

    We started off with a selection of bread and Bordier butter followed by an amuse bouche of cauliflower soup which was very tasty.

    Mrs Lao Lao went for the Ravioli of Blue Lobster, Lobster Coconut Cream, Toasted Almond & Split Curry Dressing for starter and I opted for Marinated Raw Diver Scallops, Kohlrabi, Lovage, Green Apple & Horseradish. I thought the Kohlrabi was a little bit hard but it was in perfect contrast to the raw scallop so I'm going to trust a two start Michelin chef on this one and go with it. It was very good but Mrs Lao Lao was the clear winner. The lobster was fantastic, the pasta was super thin and the cream was rich and divine. We washed down the starter with a glass each of 2015 Chardonnay - Rully, Rabouce, Domaine Marc Morey.


    For mains, herself went with the Anjou Squab Pigeon, Pointed Cabbage, Pea and Coriander & Black Bean Rayu while I went with the Loin of Wicklow Lamb, Spice & Chartreuse, Olive and Artichole. The pigeon was very good, or at least, what little bit of it I got to taste was but the lamb was the outstanding dish. It was melt in your mouth soft and was easily the best main course I've ever eaten. There was a side of mashed spuds served with the mains and I wouldn't be surprised if the make up was 45% spuds, 5% spring onions, 25% butter and 25% cream - It was the smoothest, silkiest mash I've had and there was almost a domestic to make sure it was split exactly 50/50. For mains, we had ordered a bottle of 2001 Chateau Gruaud Larose which was (and I know this will sound redonk) very good value at €280 and was showing perfectly once decanted.

    Dessert was Pear & Coffee Gavotte, Caramel Cognac Ice Cream for Mrs Lao Lao and Grand Cru Coeur De Guanaja Chocolate Tart, Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream for myself. I think I won this round as well but Mrs Lao Lao was very happy with her choice. We washed the dessert down with a glass each of 2017 Riesling - Saar, Stirn - Peter Lauer.

    After that it was Petits Fours before we headed for home. There wasn't time for a night cap in a bar as we didn't leave the restaurant until after 11:30 so we had to settle for a drink at home.

    The bill came to €659 (over half that was booze) plus I left a €120 tip so €779 in total. It's clearly not something that you'd do every weekend but it really was sublime. It's without doubt the best meal I've eaten and the service was 2nd to none,everything was meticulous without being fussy or stuffy. I hope to get back again as soon as possible, just need to start the savings plan!

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  • The Istanbul
    replied
    In if midweek ideally

    Leave a comment:


  • Goodluck2me
    replied
    I’d join for sure

    Leave a comment:


  • Raoul Duke III
    replied
    IN if room

    Leave a comment:


  • Gimmeabreak
    replied
    could we find an agreeable date to aim for? Wednesday Dec 15th might seem like a respectable time to shoot for. I suspect 6 is the max we could get at a table.

    Leave a comment:


  • coillcam
    replied
    Also in if the date lines up.

    Leave a comment:


  • Strewelpeter
    replied
    Originally posted by Gimmeabreak View Post
    Also ate in Mae last week, it's class. Can highly recommend it. I was going to suggest it as a IPB pre Christmas dinner if there was interest. I'd be confident of swinging a prime slot.
    In

    Leave a comment:


  • Lao Lao
    replied
    Originally posted by Gimmeabreak View Post
    Also ate in Mae last week, it's class. Can highly recommend it. I was going to suggest it as a IPB pre Christmas dinner if there was interest. I'd be confident of swinging a prime slot.


    In for this if it goes ahead.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lao Lao
    replied
    Originally posted by Raoul Duke III View Post

    My Brother in Law took this to a new level in Donegal recently. Two families out for dinner and I went up to the register while people were finishing up, asked for the bill.

    "oh no, that's already been paid"

    Turns out he had given them his credit card as soon as he arrived and told them he was paying. So if you do want to get into competitive bill-paying, that's probably the way to go.


    I had to do something similar a few years back in Croatia at the brother in laws wedding. We were there for six nights, me and ALL the in-laws. The wedding took up two nights and the father in law and two sister in laws paid for dinner a night each so by the last night, we'd hardly put our hand in our pocket. I said that we would be getting dinner the last night and both the of the sister in laws tried to protest and said they would get it.

    Once into the restaurant, I collared the waiter, told him he was not to accept payment from anybody else that the the two women over there give no tip at all so the bill needed to come to me.

    Sure enough, both sister in laws tried to sneak up and pay the bill and each were told, 'I can't take payment from you, I heard you tip very badly'

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  • Gimmeabreak
    replied
    Also ate in Mae last week, it's class. Can highly recommend it. I was going to suggest it as a IPB pre Christmas dinner if there was interest. I'd be confident of swinging a prime slot.

    Leave a comment:


  • coillcam
    replied
    Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
    Related to this. I find the idea of bringing the bill to the table very disturbing. Really dislike the idea of it. The continental thing of going up to pay the bill is far better.
    Yeah I get a good laugh if someone complains that they can't leave because the bill wasn't brought the table. Get up off of your hole ffs!

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  • Hitchhiker's Guide To...
    replied
    Related to this. I find the idea of bringing the bill to the table very disturbing. Really dislike the idea of it. The continental thing of going up to pay the bill is far better.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dice75
    replied
    Any of ye bill payers up for an all day lunch, dinner and wine session in Shanahans when it re-opens

    Leave a comment:


  • Raoul Duke III
    replied
    Originally posted by coillcam View Post
    The whole sneaking off and paying bill gig seems to have reappeared so. Only 2 of the meals I've had in the last few months were split. Different people ran off to pay the bill as soon as dessert/coffee arrived across multiple outings.

    I'd only seen this a handful of times in the past but it seems the novelty of dining out has made it popular again.I thought it was only happening to me. The good thing though is that most people seem to have revolut and if their number is saved as a contact on your phone, it's easy to send them a few quid.
    My Brother in Law took this to a new level in Donegal recently. Two families out for dinner and I went up to the register while people were finishing up, asked for the bill.

    "oh no, that's already been paid"

    Turns out he had given them his credit card as soon as he arrived and told them he was paying. So if you do want to get into competitive bill-paying, that's probably the way to go.

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  • coillcam
    replied
    The whole sneaking off and paying bill gig seems to have reappeared so. Only 2 of the meals I've had in the last few months were split. Different people ran off to pay the bill as soon as dessert/coffee arrived across multiple outings.

    I'd only seen this a handful of times in the past but it seems the novelty of dining out has made it popular again.I thought it was only happening to me. The good thing though is that most people seem to have revolut and if their number is saved as a contact on your phone, it's easy to send them a few quid.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hitchhiker's Guide To...
    replied
    I wonder if the €60 for a bottle of €20 wine thing, outside of restaurants, will seem far too odd for a while as everyone is acutely aware that it's almost as easy to have a pre bottle at home as to go out for one.

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  • Lao Lao
    replied
    Restaurant: Mae

    Address : 53 Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge

    Price : €€

    Mae, named after her grandmother, is the new restaurant from Grainne O'Keefe, formerly of Clanbrassil House. Opened in mid August, they sold out for three months solid in a few hours. As such, I was very happy to nab a table of four for last Thursday night.

    Our guests, were one of Mrs Lao Lao's mates and her fella, a couple who are into their food and wine and always up for a bit of craic so it promised to be a good night and it didn't disappoint. We met up in The Bridge for a few pre dinner G&T's and as an aside, I was somewhat surprised at the price they were charging for their wine. €60 for a bottle of bog standard Sav Blanc that you could get at retail for under twenty quid. I say somewhat surprised but when based on the area and the clientele, I'm not really surprised at all, just more surprised that people actually pay it.

    Anyway, onto the restaurant. Mae is located in the old French Paradox. That restaurant is gone but the wine shop of the same name is downstairs and they apparently have helped out in the curating of the wine list. Structurally, the restaurant is the same as before but it's being given a face lift and is a lot more fresh and light. The kitchen is completely open and our table was situated right beside it, so a perfect view of what was going on if you wanted.

    They offer a set menu for €60 and for me, it was excellent value.

    After some bread and butter, our first course arrived, a trio of small bites;

    A basque ham and gruyere bon bon which was delish - Literally couldn't have eaten loads of these and been happy

    Brioche, Chicken Liver and fig - Exactly what it says, was lovely

    Beetroot, goats cheese, pickled walnut - Served in a wafer thin edible basket - 3 for 3 so far

    Next course was Cais na tire agnolotti, artichoke, leek - A beautiful, creamy, cheesy, pasta dish. I was tempted to pick up the plate and lick it clean.

    For main you had an option, either

    Beef Rib, braised beef cheek, morels, celeriac, tarragon suace

    Or

    Cod, black Garlic, beurre blanc, seaweed

    3 of us went with the beef and Mrs Lao Lao went with the Cod - The beef cheek was absolutely melt in your mouth, really, really good. The Cod was apparently also very good, I wasn't so much as offered a bite which says it all.

    Dessert was apple tart tatin, calvados, creme fraiche - This was just devine. My only tiny complaint was that the portion was too small but that was probably more to me being a complete glutton than anything else.

    There was an additional option course for an extra €5 of young buck, pear chutney which we happily opted for to round out the meal.

    Mae have two options for matching wines (at two different price points) to go with the set menu and both looked to be very good value but we opted to stick to the one wine (and plenty of it) as we worked our way through four bottles of Chateau Martinet.

    By the end of the night, we were the last to leave and Grainne came over and chatted to us about how it was going so far and if we enjoyed the meal. She chatted to us for a good 10 minutes and it was great to talk through some of the dishes with her. She mentioned that the Michelin inspectors had been in already. I'm open to correction on this, but I think her price point is too high for a bid so wonder if there is any chance of a star. As good as it was, and it was really, really, really good, I would have thought it's not there, not yet at least, but what do I know.

    The final price, is well, kinda unknown. One of the other couple somehow managed to discretely pay for the entire meal with the other three of us not even noticing. I'm pretty sure that the wine was €55 a bottle so for food, wine, water and tip, I reckon the bill came just shy of 600 quid. The wine, like the food, was very good value, I'm pretty sure, it retails for close to €30. The Bridge could learn a thing or two from Mae.

    I think I could be on to a winning idea here - Book a nice restaurant, invite people to come with you and then they pay at the end*

    *just joking, we shipped half of what we thought the bill was to the other couple as that is too much for people to be paying.

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  • Lao Lao
    replied
    While I'm in this thread, what are peoples opinion on the annual HHE dinner in January?

    A) Too far away to decide
    B) Sure it'll be grand by then
    C) I've no intention of hanging out with a bunch of degenerates during a pandemic
    D) Atari Jaguar

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  • Lao Lao
    replied
    Lockdown has had a fairly dramatic impact on this thread but lockdown or not, Mrs Lao Lao's birthday still comes around once a year so I booked us into Volpe Nera for a 9pm sitting on Saturday night last week.

    Owned by Barry Sun, former head chef at Etto, I was really looking forward to it only for the Government to announce the night before that all indoor dining was off the table effective from midnight. I tried to call them to confirm the reservation was gone on Friday night but the phone rang out so I presumed it was definitely gone but my pessimism was unfounded as I got a call early Saturday morning to let me know that they had some outdoor tables and if we were willing to bring the booking forward by an hour, they could accommodate us - We didn't need to be asked twice!

    The only thing different this year was no that we couldn't go for a pre dinner drink. I know, I know, the horror of it all, but when going out to dinner, I like to make a bit of an event out of it. Pre dinner drinks, dinner and then a nightcap somewhere. With the Vid in full flow and level 3 restrictions in place, we had to settle for a home poured G&T while getting ready and then it was masks on for the short taxi trip out to Blackrock.

    When we arrived, there was only three table outside and all were full which seemed odd but we were quickly led two doors down the road to the Wishing Well Pub where they had the exact same set up as outside Volpe Nera & another 4 tables. It was a really nice space. There was an awning over us, outdoor heaters, and a glass partition with hedging to separate us from the path, we could have been on holiday somewhere hot! We asked the waiter how they had secured this space and it turns out that their restaurant building is owned by the Wishing Well so it made sense to all parties involved to keep the restaurant open as much as possible.

    Onto the food - We started off with some bites of Homemade Bread with Cep Mushroom Butter & Salted Hake & Preserved Lemon Croquette. The bread was fresh, warm and lovely and the croquettes were delightful bite sized morsels of goodness. There was only one each, which was a shame as I could easily have eaten half a dozen of them. We washed the bites down with a glasses of Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley each.

    Starters consisted of Mushroom Dumpling, Pickled Fennel, Lovage, Aged Soya for herself and Halibut Crudo, Fermented Radish, Black Sesame, Corriander for myself. Now, I absolutely love dumplings, albeit I would normally eat the Asian version of them so when I saw them on the menu, I was intrigued and was going to opt for them but Mrs Lao Lao had similar thoughts and being the ultimate gentleman, I pretended not to be too pushed about them. It turns out, my chivalry was rewarded as I most definitely got the better of the starters. I had one of the dumplings and they were nice but just a little something missing from them, bland is far to harsh a word but they just weren't something you'd rave about. My starter, however, was light, fresh, vibrant and really was delish. We opted to have another glass of Sav Blanc each with starters.

    For main, we both opted for Suckling Pig, Morcilla, Braised Endive, Romesco (my chivalry has limits) and we shared a side portion of Beef dripping hash potato. I very much enjoyed the main, especially the morcilla which is a Spanish blood sausage (their version of black pudding ) - There was only a small piece of it but it was lovely. The main was washed down with a bottle of a 2016 Torbreck (Shiraz, Grenache & Mouvedre) which was fantastic, even if it was a little pricey at €84. I had bought some Torbreck many years ago but sadly drank my last bottle about a year ago so was very happy to see it on the menu.

    For dessert, we deiced to share a sweet option of Warm Chocolate Mousse, Fig Leaf Ice-Cream which was lovely followed by a cheese board which we again shared as we polished off the last bit of the Torbreck.

    Overall, it was a very pleasant evening in a very nice, albeit, last minute set up. Kudos to the staff of Volpe Nero for puling it all off, they were very friendly and attentive throughout but in a relaxed manner. Barry, himself, stopped by our table during the meal to make sure everything was OK which it most certainly was. Total bill was €241 and with tip, it was rounded up to €276.

    From there, there was nothing else to do other than to head for home, break out the good gin, lash on a load of vinyl and dance our little cotton socks off into the early hours of the morning. I mean, what's a birthday without dancing?


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  • Lao Lao
    replied
    Restaurant: Liath (Formerly Heron & Grey)

    Address : Blackrock Market

    Price : €€

    It's weird how fast time flies, but it's been just over two years since I've eaten in Heron & Grey.

    It doesn't feel that long but in that time, the partnership has split up, the restaurant has closed and reopened, it's been renamed Liath, they've had a major renovation and have had their Michelin Star automatically reinstated.

    I haven't got to see the renovations in person and it could be a while before that happens due to the current circumstances but tonight I got to eat their food in an unorthodox method.

    Liath has started to do Liathtogo, a service where you can collect a three course meal that with a little bit of assembling and cooking at home (full instructions given) you can have three of their courses from some of their tasting menus. The price comes in at 33 quid a head which overall is a fairly reasonable price.

    The starter was Smoked Eel, Baby Gem, Aged Parmesan and was all just assembly. You had to marinate the shallots, quenelle the smoked eel paste and lash all the ingredients together. You then use baby gem lettuce, lightly salted, as your taco to put it all together before shoving it in your gob. It was really rich and the baby gem taco idea is pure genius.

    This is how it looked before we put it into the baby gem lettuce.

    SPOILER



    The main was Beef Ragu Ravioli, Pancetta, Black Truffle.

    There was slightly more work to this course whereby you had to fry off the pancetta, add in a sauce to it, heat up some cep paste, boil the ravioli and then plate it up.

    I thought that I had made a mess of it and split the sauce but upon sticking it up on Instagram (The best looking plate wins a free meal for two), Liath responded to say, that's actually exactly how it's meant to look (I read instructions good). It tasted deeeelsih.

    SPOILER


    For desert, it was Rose Panacotta, Rhubarb, Amaretti Crumble

    This was the simpliest of all courses and again was just assembly although getting the panacotta out of the tub was a slightly delicate process.

    It looked and tasted great.

    SPOILER


    We washed the whole meal down with a decent bottle of plonk from Bordeaux.

    I'm not going to lie to you, I've had worse Thursdays nights.

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  • Lao Lao
    replied
    Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
    I'm too long in France to be reading this and thinking: wow, he was able to eat before 7:30pm and on a Sunday! Kebab shops and McDonalds are the only thing ever opened here before 7:30, and on Sundays even the kebab shops will take the day off.
    Yeah, I remember years ago in Paris visiting a mate for a long weekend and on the Sunday I got up early and went out to get stuff for breakfast, thought it would be nice for everyone else in the gaff to wake up to it as they had put me up for the weekend.

    Everywhere was fucking closed, must have walked around for almost an hour before I managed to find one or two really small places open where I was able to cobble together all the required items for breakfast, fuck me it was painful.

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  • ghostface
    replied
    Going to Guilbauds this weekend, first time dining at this sort of place and very excite! Stupid question, if popping in for pre-drink arrive 30 mins early or arrive at allotted time and time included for that??

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  • Hitchhiker's Guide To...
    replied
    ...

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  • Lao Lao
    replied
    Two quick mentions as am tight for time

    Weekend before last, I was in Mr Fox on Parnell Square for the 2nd leg of a Hag party. Yes, we are well and truly back and Stag (or Hag in this case - blokes and girls) parties have 2 legs, home and away!

    Pre pints, 20 of us hit up Mr Fox for a set menu. The price was €45 for three courses and it worked out at an additional €27 a head for booze and tip so overall, it was OK value wise.

    The food was very good but the service was a little off. At one point, we tried to order another bottle of wine and we were told there wasn't time as we had to be out by 8pm, this was at 7:30pm - I explained that there was 6 of us drinking wine at our table so we could easily manage a glass each in 30 minutes but this fell on deaf ears.

    I'd definitely go back but this time in smaller numbers and for the later sitting.

    Was somebody from here involved in Mr Fox or did I completely imagine that?


    ********************


    Last night, myself and Mrs Lao Lao headed to Pichet for an early dinner. Mrs Lao Lao isn't mad on a late dinner of a Sunday, she prefers to be at home and ready for the week ahead by a reasonable time, she's such an 'aul one

    We hit up The Old Stand for a drink and then headed around to Pichet for a 5:15 sitting. The place was very quiet when we arrived but picked up a good bit over the course of dinner.

    I haven't been in Pichet in about 2 years but the food was really good, very tasty and very well presented - Definitely a restaurant to hit up every so often although I did notice a planning permission notice outside saying the owners of the biding are looking to knock it, the Trinity car park and 3 shops on Dame Lane down and rebuild a nine story office block with ground floor restaurant. If that goes ahead, I'm not sure what the future holds for Pichet?

    Total bill came to €145 which was 2 x 3 course early birds for €32 each (plus 5 supplement for my lamb dish) side portion of duck fat roast spuds, a coffee and very nice Haut Medoc that came in at €69 quid.

    From there, it was a quick night cap in Neary's before heading home.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I see the owner of The Greenhouse crying on Twitter about how they're barely getting by and the virus is going to kill them off. Curiously didn't mention that the prices have gone up 50% there in 2 years.

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  • brianmc
    replied
    Ginger’s BBQ, Celbridge

    Just dropped off a bucket of honey to Nathan (ex Cliff at Lyons).

    He’s running a pop up for the month of March in what was Canteen in Celbridge.

    I haven’t been in yet but based on the chunks of meat he handed me to sample, I imagine it’s a bit like going to an Ole barbecue and pigging out.

    Lunchtime was poorly advertised and has plenty of availability. Evenings should be booked. Looks like good value too.

    https://Instagram.com/gingersbbq

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