Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Review of Tribeca, Ranelagh

TRIBECA, Ranelagh – Like Honestly?

Fetch the Mont Blanc, I feel a letter to the Times coming on!

Readers of Ross O’Carroll Kelly will hopefully appreciate the reference and hence the urgent need to inform the public of the sham that is Tribeca.

Tribeca is an institution in SoCoDu, nestled in lovely Ranelagh, easily accessible via the nice LUAS and has 24hr pay & display on street parking available.

We walked in (without a reservation- as it’s Wednesday night) to a fully-booked ground floor dining room. The waitress/Maitre'd with clipboard in hand escorted us upstairs to the bar/dining area B where there were several tables neatly arranged with nice lighting and comfortable seats.

The problem with Tribeca is simple, the food is bad and cheap. Cheap in terms of quality-where the ingredients are sub-prime. This is the type of place that will give you re-constituted chicken and pasta and charge you €16 for the privilege.


The wings are good, firstly because you get a large portion and secondly because they’re wings and everyone loves wings. At €12.95 you are entitled to a good sized portion and we split it between 2! The hot sauce was nice and the blue cheese dip was good- neither were overpowering. The wings were on the small side, there was lots of them but they are not very meaty and you spend most of your time nibbling the bits of the end of the bones.

After we finished the wings we bathed our fingers in the lemon-water cleanser and then dried our hands in the napkins provided. Point of note, the napkins came apart when you dry your hands which compounds the belief that the place is cheap. You can get a large 650g box of wings in Tesco for €2.50, so don’t tell me they’re not.

Matt ordered the Rigatoni with Slow Braised Lamb, Tomato and Wild Mushroom Ragu & Parmesan Cheese. On the face of it I was excited. Not too often have I had lamb with pasta and combined with the ragu and pine nuts spelled winner in my book.

Thoughts: Lamb looked like Tuna Flakes (that is the cheap tuna, below tuna chunks). It was really bitty and stringy and could have come from anything. I expected pieces of Lamb not a minced-paste of the dregs.

Ev ordered from the “Specials Menu” which detailed her dish as “smoked chicken with cherry tomatoes, chilli, extra virgin olive-and-garlic-oil, baby spinach and mushrooms with a Parmesan crust.

Thoughts: Not enough Pasta, Chicken came from a packet (as in the sambo-ready M&S pack) tomatoes were not ripe, Parmesan crust was only breadcrumbs and the balance of ingredients/quantity did not justify the €16 price tag.

We finished quickly, got the bill (below) and left, slightly shell-shocked at what was Tribeca. As we walked back to the car we past a host of other eateries such as the Butchers Grill, Cinnamon and Eatery 120. The latter having a 2-courses for €22 menu- which in hindsight would have been a better choice.

Other Recommendations

Main courses at MAO in Dundrum are of a similar price and better quality.
Mario’s in Ranelagh does good grub too!
JD’s Steakhouse in Terenure- A true Dublin gem.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Review of Busaba Eathai Thai Restaurant (London)

Busaba Eathai

busaba, thai, london,

Continuing on with the London theme as I'm sure some of our readers have now emigrated! Apparently Busaba is a chain of Thai restaurants that I suppose us plebs would typically compare to MAO or Wagamama

Myself and Ev were walking down Oxford Street doing a bit of shopping when the expected pangs of hunger started.. Having experience of Wardour street where we had eaten previously at Wahaca, we thought it would be a good place to start! A few mins walking and eyeing up the competition, we settled on an unknown symbol which was busy and had cool communal seating.

We were greeted by some uber cool guy with slick back long hair who signalled for one of the lesser waiters to bring us to our table. We were sat around a corner of one of the tables so Ev was to my right.

As we were famished (as normal) we ordered quickly. I went for Chicken Satay in peanut sauce £4.95 to start followed by the  Pad Kweito (sen yai noodle, smoked chicken, prawn and holy basil) for £8.30. Ev ordered the Spring rolls, because it’s Ev and she always orders spring rolls… (unless there is only veg ones) and the Fried Chicken (classy bird) with Lemongrass, chilli sauce, shallot and daikon- now you know!for £7.70 accompanied with Jasmine Rice (£2.20). 

We also took the initiative to order 4 glasses of fresh Thames tap water as we were informed the food was very spicy. Bring it on I say! After about 15 minutes we were delivered all of our food at the same time which was good because we didn't scoff down the starters straight away.

Busaba, Thai, eat thai, wardour, london,

The Chicken Satay was very good, the chicken was real and plentiful. Low point I thought that the peanut sauce wasn't very runny or viscous (if you prefer) so you had to mash the chicken into the bowl to get it out #firstworldproblems

The pad Kweito was very good, the noodles were sweet. Areas for improvement would be around number of large prawns and chicken. There was a lot of veg.

The spring rolls were nice, crisp batter to which was also dunked in my peanut sauce! And the fried chicken was really flavorsome  When you really bit into the batter you tasted the chili and lemongrass and they gave you LOADS of rice (Ev is happy)

All in all a very good experience and would recommend the place to people. The service around water top-ups could have been better and I don’t like when places charge separately for rice. A few more prawns and we would have been smitten!

Not too bad value either, we tipped in cash! :) 

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Review of Wahaca (London)


Wahaca is a very hip and trendy spot in Canary Wharf and Wardour Street (Just off Oxford St) that serves good Mexican food. There is also a cool tequila bar downstairs that serves your ‘ Mexican’ beers like Corona with the mandatory wedge of lime (that doesn't quite fit in the bottle or falls in...for me anyway)

Myself, Ev, Michael and Sarah went to Wahaca on 80 Wardour Street in mid September. We had no booking so were told it would be 35-45 min wait, but that we could wait at the bar. As we had no other plans, a drink in the bar seemed like a great idea! After 4 bottles of Corona and 2 glasses of wine are little electric buzzer started flashing- meaning they were ready for us!

We were seated in the back of the restaurant near the chefs and presented with the menu.
Myself and Ev who were both rather ravenous at this point ordered the Wahaca Selection which is for 2 people to share for £19.95 and contains the following:
  • ·        3 pork pibil tacos
  • ·         1 large broad bean quesadilla
  • ·         3 chicken tinga tacos
  • ·         2 black bean tostadas
  • ·         2 new potato taquitos
  • ·         Wahaca slaw

The food was served as it was made which was great although you kind of get caught up in the plates after plates that sometimes you lose track of what you’re eating.. maybe we newbies are just too not with-it?!

Regardless the food was delicious, good and spicy and fresh! Sarah (V) ordered the Sonora Salad which is served is a crisp tortilla bowl and just looks deadly!... sorry we don’t have a pic.. too hungry!

Mike ordered some stuff which I think included the black bean tostadas and a few other bits.

All in all a great night, place was hopping! Service was good and it’s not overly expensive- Myself and Ev (good feeders) were very satisfied for £20! Think we had a bottle of wine and a few more beers too, definitely recommend it.

P.S. throughout the bar there are huge glass bowls, filled with what I thought to be match boxes- instead they are chilli seeds! I thought that this was cool...

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