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.


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.


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!


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

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