What: Rustic-style restaurant, popular with tourists, serving Irish food in Temple Bar.
Prices: As with nearly all restaurants in Temple Bar, it’s overpriced for what you get. The vegetarian mains are pretty much the same price as meat mains. Consider that the veggie boxty is €15.95 and the chicken boxty is €16.95.
Vegetarian menu: Vegetarian chilli boxty €15.95, boxy potato dumplings €15.95, Irish soda bread €3.50, colcannon €3.50, champ €3.50, hand cut chips €3.50, boxty platter as a starter €7.95. Soup of the day with Guinness brown bread is advertised as being vegetarian, but if the bread does contain Guinness, as the name implies, it is not vegetarian.
Drinks: Full bar.
Service: The waiters try hard to be friendly and helpful and the kitchen was flexible with the menu.
Comfortable? The issue with this restaurant is that it is not possible to make a reservation (we called and were told it was not possible) and you will likely be seated at the same table as other guests (there is usually a queue out the door). The place is pretty cramped which means that the waiters and other guests will bump into your table a few times during the meal. That said, the tables and chairs are comfortable, though the long church pew under the window is a miserable place to sit. The waiters do try to distribute people around the restaurant rather than seating people next to each other, when possible.
Was the food good? Yes. I asked to have the veg and sauce from the dumpling meal wrapped in a potato pancake instead and it was very tasty. The veg chilli boxty was also very nice. The hand cut chips were nicely done. Somehow the salad garnish on both our meals left the kitchen without being dressed. We asked for dressing and it was provided. However, the dressing was disappointing compared to the last time we ate here.
Toilets: Generally clean, but the bins were overflowing and I noted that it had been several hours since a cleaner had signed the cleaning sheet on the bathroom door. The gents’ bathroom had a mop left out in it.
My advice to the chef: Salads shouldn’t be leaving the kitchen without being dressed. Otherwise, keep up the good work.
My advice to the manager: Guinness is not vegetarian so you need to rethink this part of the menu. Make sure that the toilets are cleaned regularly.
Overall: This place is usually packed in the evenings, best try it in the afternoon. I’d eat here more often it were possible to make a reservation and not share a table. However, you’ll eat well here if you don’t mind sharing a table with strangers and paying more than the food is worth.
Note: Management were asked to respond to this review.
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