Friday, August 10, 2012

Review of MAO, Dundrum

Review of Mao (Dundrum)

Matt and Ev using those new socially acceptable deal vouchers for food/cocktails!

One of my favourite things about being with the network O2 is Priority Moments, their offers and deals for customers.  On seeing there was a Mao 2 for 1 voucher available from O2 Matt and I wasted no time in heading for the branch in Dundrum to redeem it and bag ourselves some cheap and cheerful grub.

Our outing took place on one of the few sunny evenings Dublin experienced in July, so we decided to take a table outdoors to enjoy the fine weather.  The sun also influenced us to order two €5 cocktails (Cosmo for me, Long Island Iced Tea for Matt) which hit the spot nicely!

As it was a budget evening, we just ordered main courses.  It should be noted that these were delivered remarkably quickly, within five minutes I would say, but still managed to look well-presented and freshly cooked upon arrival at our table.  Matt ordered Nasi Goreng, a fried rice dish served with skewers of marinated chicken and super spicy chilli jam.  Oh, and a fried egg on top!  Matt devoured it all except the chilli jam, which he used very sparingly to add to his meal.  He said it didn’t need the extra flavour though.  It was a tasty, wholesome meal, but could have done with a bit more chicken, perhaps.

I ordered Thai Chicken with Cashews.  The dish came laden with chicken and a whole medly of stir fry veg including chilli, spring onion, red and green peppers.  The sauce was Thai and sweet soya (according to the menu) and was the perfect mix of sweet, spicy and salty.  The accompanying rice was cooked to perfection, and the meal was really filling.  Delish!

Our trip to Mao was great; the service was prompt and friendly, the food was tasty and the price was right.  Even without our vouchers both dishes would have been under €15 so this place doesn’t break the bank.  With the vouchers it was a steal and the total came to less than €30, including a generous tip!

Apologies for the lack of food photos- we were starving!

As always, comments, recommendations are always welcome!

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Review of Kinara Kitchen

Kinara Kitchen was a restaurant we had heard about and were eager to try, so when we were offered a Complimentary Lunch Voucher for their Ranelagh eatery, we jumped at the chance to try out some of their Eastern and Pakistani cuisine.

When we arrived around 3pm on a sunny Saturday afternoon we were greeted warmly by the team of staff and offered both the lunch menu and the a la carte to choose from.  We stuck to the lunch menu, which, although not extensive, had some interesting dishes such as nan wraps and traditional Thali lunch.
The décor was fresh and modern; one particular touch we liked were the belts and buckles on the seat backs – it’s original touches like that which make one restaurant stand out and be remembered by customers.

After ordering, we were served delicious poppadums and a selection of garnishes – mango chutney, tamarind sauce, and diced onions – which perfectly complimented the poppadums and left us wanting more! Also noteworthy is the mint-infused water, which was highly refreshing; again, it’s the little things which make a meal POP.


Wanting to be authentic, I ordered the traditional Thali lunch, which consisted of a main dish, side dish, pilau rice and mini nan.  The main dish I chose was Makanwala Murghi: A breast of barbecued chicken, mellowed in a creamy sundried tomato sauce.  This was delicious: I could really taste the smokiness of the barbecued chicken, while the sauce reminded me of an old favourite, tikka masala! There was lots of meat, and it was very good quality. 

The side dish was potato cubes in a chunky sauce, which was almost sweet at times.  This was very tasty, the perfect complement to the smooth creamy tomato based sauce on the chicken.  Rice and nan were both delish; my only complaint is that there could have been slightly more of both, but that’s just me being greedy because they were sooooooooo good! What really surprised and interested me about the meal was its presentation: the main dish, side dish, and carbs were all laid out separately to each other in little compartments on the same plate – really cool!-photo above :)

Matt ordered the Keema Mathi (signature dish) Nan wrap which are "freshly made nan wraps from our tandoor over) he had it served with skinny fries and they were really skinny! like little knives, little tasty knives... the wrap itself was amazing, imagine a really Herby/tasty kebab from Zaytoon but with much more taste sensations and wrapped with love as opposed to fired onto the plate. He was tasting; "coriander, lamb, parsley, spice, and about 5 other unknowns all of which were yum".


We thought, ah sure, why not!? I ordered the Mississippi Mud Pie, a divine chocolate pudding served with cream, ice-cream and crème anglais (because one cream based accompaniment just isn’t enough.).  Oh Sweet Jesus, it was sublime.  Just the right size, the chocolate was perfectly gooey and melty and spongy…I could go on and on.  Nothing short of sweet heaven.

All in all the place is lovely, the staff are great and the food is fantastic. Go.