What: Modern looking restaurant which claims that they try to serve as much organic and local food as they can — whatever that means.
Prices: Above average and when the ingredients are taken into account it seems patently overpriced.
Vegetarian menu: Uninspired. €17.95 for risotto, €15.95 for roast stuffed peppers, €15.50 for mixed salad, €16.95 baked vegetarian cake homemade daily using beetroot & a selection of fresh Irish vegetables & herbs & spices, lightly coated in fresh bread crumbs and baked until golden brown served with homemade greek yoghurt, spices & cucumber sauce &salad…. The menu states that sides are served with a main only (so vegetarians/vegans who are used to assembling a number of side dishes to make up a meal should beware).
Drinks: Wines, beers, soft drinks, (€5.95 for 750ml sparkling water) and some more.
Service: The waiter was friendly on this visit, but when we requested that the chef make the beetroot bake vegan (as he/she had done for us only a few nights previous) the waiter came back and informed us that the chef was too busy to cook for us. A chef who is too busy to cook — that’s a new one. Therefore, we asked to pay and were presented with the bill for the water we had ordered (€5.95 for 750ml — compare this to the price of petrol and then buy the petrol and drive to a restaurant where the chef is not too busy to cook — one should be able to reach within a 35 mile radius in a moderately fuel efficient vehicle). This reviewer cannot believe that we were charged for the water after being told that the chef was not prepared to cook for us. The restaurant alleges that it draws upon quality ingredients, yet the chef is evidently unable or unwilling to assemble them to order. One wonders then if they actually cook the food fresh or reheat it?
On past attempted visits, prior to a more recent successful one, the Dublin Vegetarian Reviewer has been perplexed by the fact that this establishment pays someone to stand on the corner of Nassau Street and Dawson Street with a sign pointing passersby to the restaurant, only to find this encouragement countered by waiting staff who indicated that tables were not available without reservations. We conclude that contradictory messages are rife here.
Comfortable? The restaurant is nice and bright. Tables near the door suffer from the cold wind that blows in when the door is opened. The chairs are not comfortable and the tables should be bigger, but at least they didn’t wobble.
Was the food good? Everything here apart from the beetroot bake is very dull. The vegetarian beetroot bake (made vegan the first evening) is tasty and was the reason for the return visit. This reviewer doesn’t understand a business model which offers almost the same thing (risotto, stuffed peppers) as many restaurants in a three block radius but which charges far more for the food than those restaurants. We witnessed the stuffed peppers arriving at a nearby table; the assembly appeared to lack structural integrity, and the dish might have been more aptly called “couscous with pepper”. €17.50 for a dull risotto? I don’t think so.
My advice to the chef: The vegetarian menu is far less than inspired and needs a major overhaul. Telling customers that you will not cook for them is unforgivable.
My advice to the manager: I wouldn’t employ a chef who would be the cause of loss of custom. All good will was lost when we were charged €5.95 for 750ml of water after being told that a dish we had eaten a few days earlier would not be prepared for us that evening.
Overall: A very negative experience. One can easily get risotto elsewhere and pay far less for it. This reviewer will never set foot in this restaurant again, and we can state this without reservations.