Sunday, November 20, 2011

Review of SkinFlint, Temple Bar, Dublin



For some reason I am always getting the name of this place wrong and calling it SkintFlint…(I even tagged the chair SkintFlint… Epic FAIL I hear you say!)

Having been an avid Twitter follower of Crackbird and their ingenious #tweetseats campaign, I really wanted to be a part of the SkinFlint Twitterverse and experience it first-hand. I was fortunate enough to enter the lottery to win a Free Dinner For 2 for last Tuesday by tweeting #ShutUpThatsAwesome @SkinFlint

I took along my friend Jack for the meal which turned out to be a selection of grilled pizzas all named after the mothers of the staff inside. Neat-o.

This might sound a bit dodge- but I ordered Suzie and Jack ordered Angela… and they were very good.. we were left satisfied. Go on the Moms!

Vital statistics:

Susie’s: “tomato, house chorizo, mozz, pecorino”
Angela: , “grana mozz, pecorino, thyme, sauté onion”

Regular Price: €12.50

IMHO the service was a bit slow, BUT they had been open less than 24 hours and some of the staff were new so I’ll cut them some slack.

The Grilled Pizzas-  Think the bottom half of a George Foreman  grill and you’re not too far off!
They were HOT and well seasoned. It is very easy to get good pizza in most places, but this was handmade, very tasty and rectangular- which is always a bonus!

What I like about this place- it’s hip and fun with a communal/hostel feel about it. It is like Wagama’s in that there are large benches where you sit at your spot, eat, chat and move on. (Probably an ingenious device that saves fitting out the place while decreasing meal time.. WIN WIN ). Also the staff are very friendly, enthusiastic and welcoming.

One staff member encouraged us to try the FIRE Honey, which was basically a bottle of honey infused with what seemed like chilli; hot and sweet. Drizzled it on a slice (as seen below!) and got that great hot, melted cheese, sweet, chorizo-y taste that makes you go…mmmmm, like you’re just happy out.
We had a tumbler of wine and a can of Heineken- how very student-y of us!



Overall: If you go there, you will enjoy it.

The Good: Fun concept, v.good pizza, friendly staff and a genuine buzz about the place- also the Fire Honey was deadly. Great social media campaign that creates instant chatter more so than any other restaurant I can think of.

The “areas for improvement”: To quote my mom “Cool is effortless, it just is.” I thought that this place was trying a little too hard to be cool. It was like urban outfitters with food. All it lacked was the waitress to have roller skates. Probably what typified this the most was the large roll of bounty covered in a brown paper bag on the table..

As always please feel free to drop us a comment, follow the blog for updates on new posts and stuff or if you would like us to pop in and review somewhere.

we are also on all that good Social Media Stuff too.. Facebook and MADFORTHEGRUB- Twitter Account.

Also took a pic of the SkinFlint Menu!









Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review of Trocadero Restaurant, Dublin 2





I (Ev) graduated from Trinity College Dublin in early November, so to celebrate the occasion my parents, sister, Matt and myself headed to Trocadero on St Andrew Street for a lovely relaxed evening of food, wine and chat.

The Trocadero has a long established reputation as the ‘theatre restaurant’ of Dublin: famous faces from stage and screen - many of them Irish - gaze down from the walls, and there are many production posters around the eatery.  Made up of five dining areas in what were originally two Georgian houses, the layout is unusual and endearing.  The décor could not exactly be called modern, but it is comfortable and classy, and adds character to the Troc.



Starter(s):

Matt, Cora and I ordered the Chicken Liver Pate to start, which was served with redcurrant jelly and thin slices of toast.  The portions were generous and there was plenty of toast accompanying the pate, which made me happy!  The sweet redcurrant jelly was a nice contrast to the rich pate, though Matt found the sauce slightly runny and added... it could altogether more viscous!... (well said Matt...)

Willie had the Sweet Leaf Salad with Mango and Roasted Chilli Hazelnuts, served with red onion, Parmesan shavings and a honey balsamic dressing.  He really enjoyed it, and found it a ‘zesty’ refreshing start to the meal.

Mains:

Matt went for the Baked Sea Bass Fillets.  There was loads of fish on the plate – two fillets of sea bass!  It was dressed with a red pepper and rocket salsa, which was fresh, light and complemented the fish beautifully. 

Willie ordered the Chargrilled Sirloin Steak, which was tender and delivered with an extremely flavorsome and rich peppercorn sauce. It was also perfectly cooked at medium.

Cora and I both had the Breast of Chicken with Tarragon Sauce. It was very well prepared and there was plenty of sauce to accompany the chicken.  We all shared lots of champ potato (Posh Mash Peeps!) and carrot and parsnip puree, which was delicious, rich, creamy and full of flavour.
Sarah ordered chicken goujons and chips and was very happy with them.  The portion was massive – as big as an adult’s!

Dessert:

We were super stuffed by this stage of the meal, so a whole dessert was out of the question!  Still, Matt and I ploughed on and shared the Pistachio Ice Cream, served in a tuile basket with cream and chocolate sauce.  It was delicious, and the pistachio flavour ice cream was a revelation to me!
Willie and Sarah shared an apple and blackberry crumble which was  very good and traditional.. a safe option some might say.

Overall Impression:

Trocadero presents itself as one of the most intimate and cosy venues in Dublin. The red velvet look and feel about the place, so steeped in history adds to the anticipation of any dining experience and we at MADFORTHEGRUB would encourage any and all of you to try it out! They do a great early bird and they’re not too pushy on what time you leave!

Restaurant in a word: Timeless

P.S. For anyone who might be interested we have a Facebook and a Twitter account for all the news!

If you like what you read, drop us a comment, and if it's mean... leave it anonymously!! ;)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Review of Swapna Indian Restaurant, Naas, Co. Kildare









I have had the pleasure of eating in Swapna 3 times in the last 6 weeks- taking full advantage of their 3 Courses for €12.50!! This includes; Starters, Mains with rice or Naan and then tea or coffee.

Another great benefit of this deal is that it is across the entire menu!

One thing that has to be said about this restaurant is that the staff are fantastic.  They are so attentive and make sure you feel looked after for the duration of your meal. One thing myself an Ev are big fans of is Poppadums and Swapna does not disappoint! You get a lovely large bowl of them with 3 dips and a plate of diced red onion.

Starters:

I have ordered the Tandoori Chicken on two occasions and also shared the meat platter (Tandoori Chicken, Minced Lamb, Chicken Tikka and some lovely onions) The food is delivered promptly and is piping hot or sizzling-depending on the dish.

The Tandoori chicken was a large leg of chicken which was perfectly marinated/spiced and served on a bed of sizzling onions. Throw on a bit of the sweet mango chutney-esque dip and you’re laughing!

Result: great size starter!- leaves room for the mains but means you can enjoy the wait!

Main Courses:

I have for my sins ordered the same main course on all 3 occasions; Butter Chicken with Pilau rice and a side of Peshawari Naan bread. YUM.

The manager will check on you during your meal and makes sure that you are welcomed and satisfied with the food. I have now been informed that I must try something different for my Mains for the next visit!!- Tough Justice!

The butter chicken is very mild and creamy with lots of what seems to be “ripped chicken” and topped off with ground almonds. It is served in a large circular dish steaming hot from the kitchen.

Dipping hot sweet Naan bread into sauce (Korma, Tikka Masala, Biryani.. it’s all good! ) is definitely a highlight of the meal and in all honesty.. we ordered A SECOND NAAN!

Ev ordered (predictably) the Chicken Tikka Masala- Both Ev and I apologise for our routines.. We are trying to get away from the “we know what we like and we like what we know” mentality and broaden the taste buds.

The Masala is lovely and sweet with large diced chunks of chicken breast. Ev never manages to eat all of the chicken and gives it to me..which may be a contributing factor in us going back!

Overall

For €12.50 you cannot go wrong.

Where else will you have a comfy warm restaurant (free parking outside too), friendly staff and the entire menu to choose from on the early bird? One good thing about the recession is that eating out is not as expensive as it used to be. #winning






Monday, August 22, 2011


Review of Country Kitchen, Killarney, Co. Kerry


We dined here on the 21st August 2011

Ev and myself took a romantic trip to the Kingdom of Ireland (County Kerry for all our American viewers - never thought I would have the pleasure of writing that!! Thanks for visiting guys!)

We were staying in the superb Dunloe Castle hotel just outside Killarney on a SuperValue Getaway break - amazing deals which I would really recommend!

Anyway… we had settled into the hotel, seen the Gap of Dunloe and decided to drive into Killarney for some grub.

After consulting with Tripadvisor we found Chapter Forty was ranked no.1 in Killarney, which unfortunately turned out to be closed… L On our walk back to the Main Street we stumbled upon what appeared to be a bakery/deli.  There was a mountain of fresh sausage rolls and scones on the counter and a notice advertising 3 courses for €20 from the FULL Menu as opposed to the traditionally limited early bird menu.

Upon entering the premises we (unlike other patrons!) adhered to the “Please wait to be seated” sign and were greeted by the young and enthusiastic Shane, who we later discovered was the proprietor of this relatively new establishment. He asked had we brought wine, and suggested that we take advantage of the BYOB perk of the restaurant. Sheahans Off Licence 2 doors down was recommended and we availed of a 10% discount card- #WINNING!

We got ourselves a “good-value” Australian Chardonnay for €10 (€9 with the discount J) and brought it back to the restaurant to be refrigerated. BYOB is a great idea and with only €2 corkage makes eating and boozing out more affordable. Also on a “Go Team Ireland” note, it was great to see local businesses working together.

The Grub:

Starters:
Having seen another table’s starters be delivered, we both instantly agreed upon the Chicken and Bacon Caesar Salad to start.


We thought the portion was generous, the dressing was anchovy-ee and there was plenty of chicken. There could have been more Parmesan but on the whole it was a delicious starter.

Mains:

Matt ordered the Cockle..lol and Muscle Tagliatelle with Tiger Prawns which was served in a creamy, garlicy, lemony sauce. It also came with fresh parsley and a slice of lemon for the citrus whores among us.
It was fresh and tasty and came loaded with 6 Large Tiger Prawns. The garlic and muscles worked really well together and the pasta was on the nicer side of al dente.



Ev ordered the Roast Chicken which was described on the menu as being “Lemon and lime glazed… and served with thyme stuffing baked potatoes and seasonal vegetables”

What actually arrived was something akin to something your granny would make you. In the words of Roy Keane, all credit to granny’s dinners, but it wasn’t really what Ev was expecting. There was a teaspoon of stuffing on the plate and the seasonal veg consisted of 5 carrot discs and a bit of broccoli and cauliflower.




The baked potatoes were replaced with bland mash which needed a good bit of butter and the chicken which was juicy lacked the citrus zesting it claimed. Oh, and there was gravy as well.. obv! Ev enjoyed her dinner as she always does in her granny’s but was a little let down when compared to Matt’s dinner and what was described on the menu.

Dessert:

Unlike many of our previous posts and restaurant experiences, the dessert was a genuine high point which isn’t surprising given the fact that Country Kitchen is a bakery by day.

We ordered a homemade Apple Crumble, heated with Ice Cream and a Chocolate Cake also served with ice cream. (we asked Shane to heat this as well and he obliged, even though he had never been asked to do this before) They were both delicious, the apple crumble was crunchy and lightly coated with sugar which was almost caramelised. It was sweet and warm and homely.



The chocolate cake wasn't too heavy as many chocolate desserts can be. Instead it was fresh and spongy complimented perfectly by vanilla ice cream.

Overall Impression:

There were 2 main courses and one starter that were unavailable on the Sunday night we visited. Ev thought that it would have been a nice touch to have one or two alternatives on offer, but having said this there were still plenty of choice on the menu so it didn’t bother us.

It is clearly a popular place, 10 tables were occupied in the 90 minutes we were there, a great feat to achieve as there were only 12 tables total in the restaurant.

The service was excellent during our meal, but it would have been interesting to see how they coped with a full house given how few staff were present.

Shane is an excellent host, full of wit and character who made us feel at home and among friends with our fellow diners, many of whom engaged in conversation with neighbouring tables throughout the meal.

To conclude, this was a great value dinner served in a cosy venue with a friendly atmosphere and a great host. The bill totalled €48.50 which included 2 tea’s and a portion of bread and the aforementioned corkage.

A couple of minor improvements and this place is winning awards.

**Guys if you have any suggestions of places to go or ways we can improve our blog please leave a comment below!! Thanks J**

We are also on Facebook and you can like us here.. if you want :)




Monday, August 15, 2011

Review of Las Rada Tapas Bar, Naas, Co. Kildare



Having consulted with Tripadvisor, to which I believe we are all indebted, we noticed that the number one restaurant in Naas was Las Rada the Tapas Bar on the Newbridge road. Matt, having recently returned from Puerto Banus and also from a Tapas Course at Dublin Cookery School, was eager to celebrate his birthday Spanish style. Matt and Ev were kindly treated to a birthday dinner courtesy of Matt’s parents (cheers folks!!):

First Impressions:

When you walk through the doors, you are met with a heavy velvet curtain, which when drawn leads to an intimate and atmospheric dining experience with Spanish music and décor. We listened to Rodrigo Y Gabriella while we contemplated the Tapas Menu which was tiered in 3 price levels of €5, €6 and €6.50. A cocktail menu and wine list was also supplied.


Drinks:

We ordered 3 Cosmopolitans and 1 Mojito. They were a bit heavy on the ice and light on booze, but were tasty all the same for €6.

The Meal:

We started off by ordering 2 Tapas each… so 10 plates!! After that we ordered another 8 which filled us up nicely!

The food was served as it was cooked and was promptly delivered by friendly staff. The portions were pretty decent (3 Samosas, 2 Fishcakes etc) and most were accompanied with an individual dipping sauce. Apologies about the lack of photos on this post guys, the iPhone was on the fritz and we were starving!!

We ordered:
  • ·        Bruschetta
  • ·        Chicken Satay
  • ·        Fish Cakes
  • ·        Samosa
  • ·        Figs and Goats Cheese
  • ·        Monkfish
  • ·        Patatas Bravas
  • ·        Calamari
  • ·        King Prawn Tempura
  • ·        Nachos with Beef & Cheese
  • ·        Cod Gratin

The food was simple and hearty, cooked with fresh ingredients and delivered faster than a take away!

Our Favourites:

Matt thought the Fishcakes were excellent, with their crunchy exterior and a spicy coriander fish filling. This combined with its dipping sauce made this generously apportioned dish a winner.

Ev’s favourites were the Bruschetta and Samosas.  The Bruschetta was filling.  The tomatoes were ripe, and not at all bitter, with a simple basil and balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  Yum.  It also came cut in half already to make sharing easier (this can be good and bad). J The spiced chicken Samosas were each a generous size, served with a Moroccan dip.  The pastry was crisp and light, and the filling flavoursome.  A winner all round!

The Satay was another noteworthy plate, enjoyed by all... perhaps why we bought 3 of them!


Overall:


This is a great find for Naas. The Tapas was very good and reasonably priced. We had a great time and enjoyed the music and atmosphere. The only issue we had was the watery cocktails.

Review of Roly's Bistro, Ballsbridge,


Having been to Roly’s for the first time last September to celebrate Matt’s graduation with his family, we finally returned for a second visit last weekend.  We had been meaning to eat there for ages, and when Matt found out he had gotten a job (#winning), I thought I should treat him to a lovely luncheon in the intimate surroundings of Roly’s Bistro in Ballsbridge. 

They offer a set lunch menu at a price of €23 for 3 courses – bargain – so we booked in on Saturday afternoon for this.  I was very impressed that they ran this special offer on Saturdays.  The restaurant was very busy when we arrived, as it always seems to be, which we took as a good sign!  We wanted to test the adage that ‘you’ll never get a bad meal in Roly’s.’

Starters

To start, Matt ordered the Thai Fishcakes.  The portion was generous, including two large fishcakes, a side salad and a dressing of smooth sweet chilli sauce.  The fishcakes were, in the words of Matthew, “fantastic:” the breadcrumb coating was light and crisp, the fish was “hearty” and the sauce complemented it very well.



I had the Chicken Spring Roll to start, which was served with noodles.  The portion was fine, but looking at Matt’s two fishcakes, I would have liked if there was another spring roll!  It was very tasty, however, and the chicken and veg filling was crunchy.  The noodle accompaniment was simple but it worked!


Main Courses

Matt, for the first time EVER, ordered…wait for it…THE VEGETARIAN OPTION.  This committed meat-lover (lol) ordered the pappardelle pasta with shitake mushrooms, rocket and parmesan in a cream sauce. At first he found it rich and flavoursome, with the mushrooms adding a subtle crunch; however, this was later overpowered by the rocket, and perhaps, in his humble opinion, the pasta was too al dente.  …I liked it though! J



I ordered the chicken wrapped in parma ham, served on a bed of creamy mash with peas and gravy, but not gravy as we know it.  I’m not a pea-lover but this dish was delicious. 


Side dishes of pureed carrot, boiled potatoes with bacon and chives, and cabbage with white onion sauce were served with our main courses.  All the veg was tasty, but personally, I found the potatoes too hard.



Desserts

Matt ordered the strawberry ice-cream on a homemade shortbread cookie.  Again, the portion was generous; The ice-cream was light and refreshing, almost like a sorbet, and the cookie rich and crumbly…if that makes sense!



I ordered the crème brulee, served with Vanilla ice-cream and garnished with mint. I really enjoyed this dessert and the ice cream was very good. Matt did wonder though whether it should have been served hot as in when the sugar was browned under the torch? I thought that it being served cool was perfect for me but who knows?



Overall:

As you can see we have taken a crazy amount of pictures for this review. We do think that it is important for people to be able to see the food they eat especially if they are paying good money for it!



We had a fantastic lunch in Roly's and it was very good value. 3 Superb courses for €23 each. We both look forward to the day when Matt can take Ev to Roly's for her celebratory lunch. Roly's is 5***** and possibly the best lunch in Dublin.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review of Summer Tapas Course, Dublin Cookery School

Summer Tapas Course June 20th 2011

Well, this was my first cookery course and I have to say I didn’t know what to expect before I went in. I wondered was it going to be a gang of Tom Doorley’s all commenting on the food and ways to improve it. 

Thankfully they were all normal people who love food- FOODIES!

I chose to do the Summer Tapas course partly because its summer time, partly because I love Spanish food. When I arrived at the purpose built cookery school in Blackrock, I was presented with a glass of homemade lemonade (Mint, Mi Wadi Lime Cordial, Sparkling Water, Lemon and Limes= WOW) and a folder detailing what we would be learning on the night.






John our demonstration chef outlined what we were going to be cooking on the night.

The Menu:
  • Black Pudding Cigars
  • Tiger Prawns Piri Piri
  • Croquetas De Bacalao (Salted Cod Fishcakes)
  • Champignones Con Jerez Y Perejil (Mushrooms & Sherry and Parsley)
  • Patatas Bravas
  • Mini Potato Tortillas with Chorizo
  • Aoili (Homemade Garlic Mayo)
  • Escabece De Pimiento Y Caballa (Red & Yellow Pepper Escabeche with Mackerel)
  • Calamares Con Aoili De Chorizo (Calamari with Chorizo Mayo)


Where do I start…..

Okay first up was Salted Cod Fish Cakes, which were really good and exceptionally well seasoned.

Tips I learned-
  1. Salt the cod for 24 hours in advance- makes it firmer and improves taste.
  2. Use more fish that potatoes- it’s called a fish cake for a reason!
  3. When heating cod in pot with milk, only bring to the boil then turn off heat
  4. How to wrap the mixture in Clingfilm, then let it set then chop to length

Aioli (Garlic Mayo)
Very good when served with the fishcakes above

Tips I learned-

  1. Add in flavorless oil (veg, sunflower) slowly to the food mixer
  2. Keep garlic crushed in oil, lets flavour out, can be stored in fridge
  3. You can make lots of different mayo’s using different flavour oils
  4. Roast the garlic first if you want a sweeter, nuttier mayo

Tortillas with Chorizo
These were exceptional, with a delicious Smokey chorizo. Quite a substantial dish that stays with you. YUM.

Tips I learned-
  1. Use cooked new potatoes- saves time
  2. Quick meal that tastes fantastic
  3. Let it set!

Deep Fried Calamari
Cooked perfectly, breadcrumbs were light and crispy, squid had just right amount of crunch!

Tips I learned-

  1. Ask fish monger for baby squid- tastes better
  2. Slice thinly
  3. Minimise excess egg, flour and breadcrumbs
  4. Use Japanese flaky breadcrumbs if possible.
  5. Squid should either be cooked on high heat for a short time or lower hear for a long time.- tough to break it down.

Patatas Bravas
Tips I learned-

  1. The passata sauce is basically the tomato sauce used for pizzas
  2. Use smoked paprika, adds depth to the sauce

Mackerel with sweet and sour peppers

This was an incredible dish with sharp fresh flavours that really cut through the richness of the fried mackerel.

Tips I learned-
  1. Cook Mackerel skin down for about 90% of total cook time c.3 mins
  2. Score the skin side of the mackerel, helps cook faster
  3. Ask fish monger for butterfly filleted mackerel
  4. Cut a V in the fillet (think lumberjack) to remove the bones- save time!
  5. Peel the peppers first with potato peeler
  6. Don’t cook the peppers all that much, need the crunch
  7. Garnish with extra virgin olive oil- now can be preserved in fridge


Black Pudding Cigars
Hadn’t seen this before, imagine- Clonakilty black pudding a few herbs wrapped in spring roll pastry and deep fried.

Tips I learned-
  1. Use other regional pudding- Clonakilty has changed a lot
  2. Heat pudding in oven first to make it more supple/workable.
  3. Don’t allow any air pockets in the pastry-tight packet= good packet
  4. Deep fry for 1 min

The great thing about the courses are that you get to taste all of the Tapas as they cook it! This and a regularly refreshed wine glass made it an incredibly enjoyable night!

I would also note that we were given folders (to keep) of all the receipes/ingredients of all the Tapas to cook!- Great Touch

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review of Gourmet Burger Kitchen, South William Street


Price: **
Service: ***

Ev’s Take:

I’m a creature of habit in GBK and always order the same thing - the Chilli Burger with chicken instead of beef.  I really like the way you can substitute any of the beef burgers for chicken.  It makes the choice so much wider!  I had asked for my burger to be served with no tomato but when it came it had tomato on it.  Matt’s however, did not, so they had obviously just gotten a bit mixed up – not a very big deal as Matt now had lots of tomato J.  The portion was generous, the bread crumbed chicken was delicious and the bun was fresh and tasty.  The chilli sauce on the burger was plentiful and prevented the burger from being too dry.  These burgers really fill you: great on their own for lunch (2 for 1 Trinity student deal makes one €4.50 – bargain lunch!) or with a few chippies or a salad at dinner time.  This place is good value even without the Trinity Discount Card, as they do deals such as the €9.99 meal which includes chips and a drink, and the Monday Madness deal where all burgers are €4.99.




Matt’s view of the world:

I ordered the Garlic Mayo burger, again with Chicken. Don’t know why I chose chicken, it just seemed more suited to the burger. Anyway the burger was delicious, the chicken was moist and the bread crumbs were crispy! We also got a portion of chips to share and a side of chilli mayonnaise- which is just deadly! It had a real nice kick to it!


















As you can see the chips are "real" and earthy. Love when there is a bit of skin on them! 


Overall:

Thought that this place was very good, quality of the food and the ingredients was excellent. Service was attentive and casual, the waiters were very approachable and happy to help. As mentioned earlier, the place is also very good value. we would advise people to get their hands on a Trinity Discount Card and use it for GBK and Mongolian BBQ. Eating out in recession, doom and gloom Ireland does not have to be expensive. We will probably do a post soon on the best meals for under €20 in the city. Thanks for reading! Matt & Ev

Friday, April 22, 2011

Review of Mongolian BBQ, Temple Bar


Price: **
Service ****

Mongolian Barbeque is an innovative little eatery that I was introduced to by my friend Helen a couple of months ago.  Since then I have spread the joy of their €5 buffet lunch deal to other friends and enjoy a cheap and satisfying lunch there once every couple of weeks.  A group of us enjoyed their culinary delights once evening and discovered the All You Can Eat 2 for 1 Dinner Deal, which comprises, as the name suggests, as much food as you want, for €8!!  Yes, you read right: €8.  It’s usually €15.99 but for all us poor students it’s half price as long as you have a friend to bring and eat with you.

I decided Matt had to experience Mongolian Barbeque for himself instead of just hearing about it from me.  So on a sunny Sunday evening in April we ventured into town for our dinner.  Here’s what we discovered…

First Impressions:
The outside of the restaurant is nothing to write home about, but once we went inside we were greeted by a friendly waitress who showed us to a window seat.  There are other dinner options which include starters and/or desserts which cost more but we just went for the standard all you can eat buffet deal. 

How It Works:
So, here’s how this place operates: there’s a buffet (shown below!) of vegetables (such as peppers, mushrooms, chinese lettuce, water chestnuts, carrots, onions etc) and meats (chicken, beef, pork, prawns) to choose from, as well as a slection of sauces (black bean, thai seet chilli, sweet and sour, honey and soy, tikka masla etc) and herbs and spices.  


There are recipes you can follow if you wish, or you can be a rebel and go with the flow.  Fill your bowl as much as you can and pass it to the chef who will cook it for you in record time in front of your eyes! (Check Out the Slick Video!- First one of the blog!) It’s amazing.  Seriously.  It’s hard to describe but if you’ve seen it you will understand what I mean.  Everyone’s first reactions to this place are the same – “it’s amazing!  It’s fantastic” etc – you get the picture.  When it’s cooked, head back to your table and find a lovely bowl of freshly steamed rice waiting for you to accompany your food.  Nice one. We found this video online, which describes it all!





The Food:
On my first visit to the buffet I piled my dish high with veggies, chicken, a bit of cajun seasoning and black bean sauce.  This combo was delicious.  Some people could find it a bit dry once it’s cooked but you can just throw in some more sauce afterwards to counteract this.  Problem solved!  This dish was delicious with steamed rice and lashings of soy sauce.  Nom nom nom.

On my second visit (yes, I’m a pig, ok?) I had chicken, veggies, garlic, parsley and sweet and sour sauce.  I followed a recipe this time.  Again this was delicious

Now over to Matt for his thoughts on the food…

Having been fortunate enough to have a few nibbles during the day I wasn’t overly hungry when we arrived at Mongolian BBQ. Having said that, I was intrigued by the business model and whenever you hear the phrase “all you can eat”, men generally step up to the plate (lol…) With this in mind I got my first bowl and put in some; red onion, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, peppers, chicken, garlic, chilli powder and then added some black bean sauce with a dash of honey-soy. This may have been a tad too much in terms of flavours, but I think it worked well.

Overall:
We were both very happy with the food and service! It is a fun and alternative dining experience that you have to try :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Review of The Orchard, Stillorgan



After getting fed up of the chicken fillet roll existence, a group of us decided to go to The Orchard in Stillorgan for a nice tasty lunch. Had heard a bit about this place from a few of the guys in work, but would usually have drank in Boland's, which I think is now McGowan's and the Mill House if I was around Stillorgan.

First Impressions:

Arriving at around ten past one, the car park was jammed, very lucky to get a space- typically a good sign for food!

We were presented with what could easily be the largest selection of lunch options I have ever seen. There was easily 20 different options ranging from soup, open sandwiches, to steak and cottage pies.

The Food:


Eimear decided to order the Goats Cheese Salad:






"The goats  cheese salad is an old favourite of mine at the Orchard. I have had it countless times and have enjoyed it each and every time. The combination of the crispy filo pastry and the soft cheese on a bed of mixed salad is always a winner. Perfect size and always served promptly. Sometimes I wonder if the chef is psychic as everything is served at lightning speed!"


Meghan got the Chicken Tenders with Fries:




"happy enough with the food, can't generally go too wrong with Tenders and chips though! good atmosphere inside and the service was grand"


Rosie ordered the Cottage Pie (which differs from Shepherds Pie as it is made with Beef- who knew eh?):




"In one word- Meh!! Sloppy, a tad tasteless and unsatisfied would be my cottage pie in a nutshell!! Having to use a lot of salt is a poor sign in my opinion, and I used a heck of a lot!!!


Matt (Me) Ordered the Rio Chicken Baguette




I ordered the Rio Chicken Baguette which was basically, marinated chicken pieces in a baguette with Marie rose sauce, lettuce and onion (..I think there was onion) it was also served with a few chippy-wippy's!" it tasted nice if a bit dry.. I later found out from observing another gentleman that it was usually served with a small ramekin of sauce.... woe is me...

Overall:

It is a nice place for lunch when you fancy a treat for yourself that's not as bad as Eddie Rockets, it is not too expensive, I think the average price was around €10 for the lunch which is not too bad. The service was quite prompt and attentive and we were served our meal with enough time to enjoy it and return to the office.