What: Cosy Indonesian restaurant in Temple Bar.
Prices: Above average for Dublin. Around €26 for a menu for one (8 smaller dishes, but no dessert included in that).
Vegetarian menu: Extensive. They also cater well for vegans. For example: tempeh in braised coconut milk, chillies, tamarind and lime juice; potato and chickpeas crushed and mixed with carrot, banana, shallots, celery, curry leaves and pandang leaves with pickled aubergine mayonnaise; sweet potato spring roll; sesame fried vegetables; seasonal wok fried greens and much more.
Drinks: Wine, tea, coffee, sparkling water, soft drinks and more.
Service: Very helpful and friendly but needs refining. For example, water should be poured for the lady first and then the gentleman, the cap should be left on a bottle of sparkling water (why can’t restaurants get this right?), waitresses speak too loudly for such a small space (it grew tiresome to hear them explaining time and again to new arrivals how best to order). The menus which we were given were dirty and stained. However, they made it easy to order a wholly vegan meal,which is to be applauded. Though you might be tempted to have one menu between two people this seems not to be the desired practice of the management. The wait staff aptly guide patrons towards not ordering two menus but one and one smaller one from their early bird menu. In any case, sixteen plates wouldn’t fit on the table, with condiments and drinks.
Comfortable? We sat downstairs and it was reasonably comfortable (the first time we tried to dine there we were overwhelmed by the stink of fish and left). My chair was wider than the table so I wasn’t able to move close enough to the table, which was bizarre. The table was just about big enough for two and didn’t wobble. The chairs could be better, but don’t merit complaint. There were chips gone out of the tabletop. If nearby guests order the fish or meat menu the smell of this food can fill the small space, which might be off-putting to non-meat eaters. The music was not intrusive. The napkins were of almost the lowest quality — not good enough at these prices.
Was the food good? Yes. It was very flavoursome, smelled good and looked appetizing. If you order the vegetarian menu you will be presented with several smaller dishes (which are not that small). My quibble would be that within our order, which was vegan, we received three different rice dishes and another three creamy dishes which were basically the same. All of the dishes were nice but it would have been much more interesting to have had entirely different dishes rather than a few variations of the same theme. The salad was notably good. They also make good use of tempeh.
Toilets: Upstairs. There seems to be just one toilet for men and one for women. The ladies was very clean with paper towels for drying hands. The toilet didn’t flush easily, though, and this should be fixed.
My advice to the chef: Please send out a greater variety of dishes to the table instead of variations of the same sauce, etc.
My advice to the manager: The wait staff need training in the finer points of service. A customer should never, ever be given a menu which looks disgusting because it is covered in grime and is torn and tatty.
Overall: A good choice for vegetarians and vegans. However, it’s overpriced given the dirty menus, chairs that don’t fit under the tables and the lack of finesse among the wait staff. That said, this reviewer would return, but would insist on a better variety of dishes than which we were served on this visit.