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Eat Your Way Around Ireland

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  • 14-06-2021 10:34pm
    #1
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Politics Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 12,110 CMod ✭✭✭✭Dizzyblonde


    With restaurants beginning to open up again and a lot more people stying in Ireland for holidays this year it seems like a good time to have a thread for countrywide restaurant recommendations.

    So, let's kick off with Black Sheep's post from the Here's What I Had For Dinner thread :)

    I wasn't quite sure where to put this... I'm surprised there isn't a dedicated restaurant reviews thread (Or was there one, and it fell out of use?)

    I was lucky enough to do a tasting menu at the Cliff House (Waterford) since restrictions allowed it again.

    The Cliff House has had a Michelin star for a number of consecutive years, and when the original head chef, Martijn Kajuiter, was there it was one of the first places that really opened my eyes to how enjoyable fine dining could be.

    This was my first time eating there since Ian Doyle replaced Kajuiter... Not sure if Doyle is actually in the kitchen, he's the executive chief and I think there's possibly a different head chef in there most of the time. Doyle came back to Ireland from Stockholm restaurant Oaxen Krog, which actually has two Michelin stars. I had high expectations.

    They've eliminated any a la carte options, now everyone is on the tasting menu, which remains 8-10 courses depending on how you count. The price has dropped, but perhaps to facilitate that the course sizes have dipped.

    In terms of the food, I felt it was a little disappointing. Like Aimsir they have really opted to put Irish ingredients to the fore, which is wonderful in many ways, but several courses felt a little like it was more a case of showcasing their flexibility and creativity versus putting the absolute best plate of food they could on the table. Although Kajuiter had a reputation for being a bit of a wild man in terms of what came out of the kitchen, I think it was predominantly in a visual sense, his ingredient choices and flavour combinations were quite classical. It was still Michelin starred food, but there were no stand out courses and a general lack of the "wow factor" that you expect with a tasting menu from a Michelin starred chef. Probably the closest I came was the duck course, where we were served a phenomenal sliver of Comeragh mountain duck. Probably the best prepared duck I've ever had.

    To an extent it's a question of my personal preferences, but the wine pairings were also frustrating. In an effort to be a bit different I think they stretched too far. There was a gin-based mixed drink early on in lieu of a wine, then two light red wines in a row, one of them with a fish course, and the dessert courses' pairings were also a bit too maverick for my taste... An aged cider from Stonewell for one, and a Riesling for the other. Maybe I'm becoming a bit staid in my tastes but I guess I'd suggest they went a bit too far out there in their choices.

    I would suggest those who have eaten in JP McMahon's Aniar (Galway), and in Aimsir (Kildare) might get the most out of a meal like this, in terms of which other Michelin starred Irish restaurants it was most akin to.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,411 ✭✭✭Gloomtastic!


    I've been wondering where to post this and I think this place would be perfect.

    Was recently travelling on the M1 towards Dublin and called into the Castlebellingham Service Station for something to eat. Decided to go with ChopStix and had their Sweet & Sour Chicken with Noodles to go.

    The Noodles tasted awful. Just a really unpleasant taste to them so I gave up after a couple of forkfuls. The S&S Chicken pieces, apart from the sauce, didn't taste of anything really.

    Worst thing I've eaten in a long time. Avoid! :mad:




  • Pink's Cantina and Grill in Waterford

    Was there over the weekend and the food was exceptional. Fine sized portions at hospitable prices.

    The place is like something you'd come across on holiday - very, very unique for Ireland.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,952 ✭✭✭furiousox


    Nancy's Barn in Clonmany Donegal is really nice.
    Sherpa in Buncrana is a nice Indian restaurant.
    D'Vine and Simonas in Drogheda both very good.

    CPL 593H



  • Registered Users Posts: 20,908 ✭✭✭✭dxhound2005


    There are 213 pages of Drogheda Restaurant Reviews in the Louth forum (Regional, North East). Only 2 pages of Dundalk Restaurant Reviews, no recent activity.

    I don't know if these reviews are a feature of other County forums?


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Politics Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 12,110 CMod ✭✭✭✭Dizzyblonde


    There are 213 pages of Drogheda Restaurant Reviews in the Louth forum (Regional, North East). Only 2 pages of Dundalk Restaurant Reviews, no recent activity.

    I don't know if these reviews are a feature of other County forums?

    Yes, I think most regions have restaurant reviews but it's good to have a general one here in the Food forum :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 29,089 ✭✭✭✭HeidiHeidi


    If anyone is touring around NW Donegal (and why wouldn't you??!!), I can recommend Teach Coll in Magheraroarty, overlooking the beach and islands - the food is just gorgeous, it's great value. Lovely pints too!



    They've just started doing takeaway, so I don't know what the schedule will be for getting back to full indoor dining - but well worth checking out if you're in the vicinity.


    Also, the Rusty Oven behind Patsy Dan's pub in Dunfanaghy has really gorgeous sourdough pizzas.


    Both are very busy when at full tilt, so booking necessary.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 3,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭Black Sheep


    The Rusty Oven is exceptional... The queues are ferocious if you don’t book ahead. But it’s a great setting, it has quite an unusual boho feel to it. The pizza is light and flaky but has some of the elasticity of Neapolitan style, works great.

    From there I would recommend Batch in nearby Falcarragh for high end coffee, brunch and treats. It’s as if Two Boys Brew (Phibsborough) was up and transplanted to Donegal.

    Incidentally, I think there should be a restaurant review master thread in this forum. The idea of a regional thread in each separate forum is not practical. Easy to follow, post in and enjoy one big thread... But no one is going to go from sub forum to sub forum. Threads like that in multiple forums won’t all get the traffic to survive, either... Whereas a super thread here would live forever ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 668 ✭✭✭Coopaloop


    Sligo....Coach Lane @donaghys in sligo town is a really good place to eat. Also, sherwood lane in celbridge, kildare, only opened during lockdown, so only had the chance to eat takeaway, but it was amazing.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 2,585 Mod ✭✭✭✭Mystery Egg



    Incidentally, I think there should be a restaurant review master thread in this forum. The idea of a regional thread in each separate forum is not practical. Easy to follow, post in and enjoy one big thread... But no one is going to go from sub forum to sub forum. Threads like that in multiple forums won’t all get the traffic to survive, either... Whereas a super thread here would live forever ;)

    That's what this thread is


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 3,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭Black Sheep


    That's what this thread is

    Yes, I could have been clearer- I mean that it’s a positive development!

    Chimac (Angier St, Dublin)...

    Deliveroo order of a double sized “good good” chicken burger, chicken nuggets with toffee Siracha sauce, fries and a cucumber salad. All travelled better than expected.

    I’m a sucker for this cheese sauce and Korean style fried chicken business. It’s a “sometimes food”, though, as the Cookie Monster would say.


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,696 Mod ✭✭✭✭Tree


    We got wanky chips and curry in Spanish Point, Co. Clare. The Armada hotel has some food trucks outside. Chips were decent and the view was great.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Politics Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 12,110 CMod ✭✭✭✭Dizzyblonde


    Tree wrote: »
    We got wanky chips and curry in Spanish Point, Co. Clare. The Armada hotel has some food trucks outside. Chips were decent and the view was great.

    :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,413 ✭✭✭Toulouse


    Yes, I could have been clearer- I mean that it’s a positive development!

    Chimac (Angier St, Dublin)...

    Deliveroo order of a double sized “good good” chicken burger, chicken nuggets with toffee Siracha sauce, fries and a cucumber salad. All travelled better than expected.

    I’m a sucker for this cheese sauce and Korean style fried chicken business. It’s a “sometimes food”, though, as the Cookie Monster would say.

    I was really excited when this place opened up, even more so because they use free-range chicken but was very underwhelmed when I went. My chicken burger was dry because the coating they use had come away from the meat and some of it had come into direct contact with the oil. The burger as a whole was bland. The nuggets had a strange texture and were greasy. Maybe we got them on a bad day considering your review but that visit certainly put paid to any return trips.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,548 ✭✭✭tscul32


    I ate in The Greenery on the coast road in Malahide last night - food was fabulous. Seafood pasta with mussels, prawns, cod and salmon. I'm usually not a massive mussel fan but they were delicious.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 3,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭Black Sheep


    Toulouse wrote: »
    I was really excited when this place opened up, even more so because they use free-range chicken but was very underwhelmed when I went. My chicken burger was dry because the coating they use had come away from the meat and some of it had come into direct contact with the oil. The burger as a whole was bland. The nuggets had a strange texture and were greasy. Maybe we got them on a bad day considering your review but that visit certainly put paid to any return trips.

    It's interesting you say that, I've a friend who has eaten there a few times and felt they are really inconsistent in terms of what they put out. He recommends Happy Endings as a good alternative (I like them too, but I don't find them markedly better than Chimac).

    I've gotten takeaway from Chimac three times and was happy each time. However, now that you say it, on one or two of the nuggets there was the fault you mention - the coating had come off and the chicken was a little rubbery in that area as a result of overcooking.

    For me a large part of why I like this is the cheese sauce, I'm not joking when I say I will go anywhere that is offering this with some kind of spicy chicken option.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 3,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭Black Sheep


    Happy Endings (Aston Quay) did a 'pop up' today, they offered a menu of bahn mi sandwiches and some sides under the name Maggi's.

    I dropped in for a gai yang chicken bahn mi. Chopped marinaded chicken thigh, house mayo, pickled red chillies, cucumber, lemongrass and served on a well-baked baguette, and got a side of lime and chilli slaw.

    The baguette was what I'd hoped for, properly crispy on the outside but fluffy on the inside. For a moment when I was walking in I had a horrible fear that I was going to get a Cuisine de France effort, but ... no.

    I've got no frame of reference for how "authentic" this is, or otherwise, but the fillings amounted to something nicely balanced in terms of having a good herbal, light flavour but still some punch from the chilli content.

    What I would say is that the photo they are using to promote the sandwich is about 50% bigger and more aesthetic than the reality, which was fine but much more modest.

    The slaw was also good but unremarkable.

    Nine euro for the banh mi, can't recall what the slaw was.

    Overall it was pleasant, but if they were to make this a regular part of the menu I wouldn't order again.

    The service and friendliness at Happy Endings is one of the things that stands out about them. The chap at the front is there to sell their food and make stuff happen, he's not just "phoning in" his workday, which I like.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,413 ✭✭✭Toulouse


    It's interesting you say that, I've a friend who has eaten there a few times and felt they are really inconsistent in terms of what they put out. He recommends Happy Endings as a good alternative (I like them too, but I don't find them markedly better than Chimac).

    I've gotten takeaway from Chimac three times and was happy each time. However, now that you say it, on one or two of the nuggets there was the fault you mention - the coating had come off and the chicken was a little rubbery in that area as a result of overcooking.

    For me a large part of why I like this is the cheese sauce, I'm not joking when I say I will go anywhere that is offering this with some kind of spicy chicken option.

    Obviously not glad to hear they have issues with consistency but I am glad that some people might have had some good food. It really is a pity though.

    I looked at Happy Endings but they don’t mention that their chicken is Irish and free range which is a must for me if I’m eating chicken so my next fried chicken experience will be Chicc (when I’ve finished re-visiting all my favourite burger joints :D )


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,411 ✭✭✭Gloomtastic!


    If you fancy a quick trip out to the country….. We went out to the Anglers Rest in Chapelizod today. Eating outside in another world, 20 minutes from the centre of Dublin (on a Sunday).

    https://theanglersrest.ie/

    Food was very good, though the Black Sole with the potato was amazing. Unfortunately, Mrs G! had that. She gave me a forkful. On Father’s Day. :rolleyes:


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 3,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭Black Sheep


    Can't go wrong with black sole, in fairness, it's one of those fish where less is more and if the chef just lets it be itself then it can sing on the plate.

    Had a few bites in Donegal recently.

    Michaengelo's (Narin, Portnoo). This is actually a restaurant located in a golf club, which is a little improbable. The menu, at first glance, appears quite banal... Burgers, steak and so on.... But they can really cook. I've eaten here a number of times and the full menu has some very very good dishes like a crab linguini which is exceptional. They get a lot of small details right, even with the limited outdoor seating menu they are currently running. I had a burger and it was served up nicely moist and 'medium to well' cooked... Not red enough to have an older generation of Irish people sending it back as "red raw" but definitely avoiding the well done rubberiness common in a lot of places doing thick puck-style burgers. To start I had a seafood chowder that is amongst the best I have ever had.

    Also:-

    The Boathouse (Killybegs). Very much a seafood restaurant, as you'd expect from the setting. It looks out onto the harbour. I had another seafood chowder to start, and it fell into the regrettable error of overdoing the cream, to the point that it was ... A bowl of hot cream and fish. For mains I had a good but unexceptional halibut, mashed potato and black pudding dish. My dining partner had black sole on the bone, which I am told was very good, possibly the best black sole she has ever had.

    I traipsed a good way through Donegal this year and last year, and although I would continue to recommend the likes of Batch (Falcarragh) and The Rusty Oven (Dunfanaghy), if people can get over the weirdness of eating in a golf club bar, I think my favourite is actually Michelangelo's.

    Nancy's Bar (Ardara) is also superb in terms of its seafood offerings, and moreso the pokey bar setting, but it's currently closed.

    For a sit-down meal with flashes of country brilliance, Woodhill House (Ardara) is also worth a look. Very warm service from the Yates family who operate it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,174 ✭✭✭✭retalivity


    It's interesting you say that, I've a friend who has eaten there a few times and felt they are really inconsistent in terms of what they put out. He recommends Happy Endings as a good alternative (I like them too, but I don't find them markedly better than Chimac).

    I've gotten takeaway from Chimac three times and was happy each time. However, now that you say it, on one or two of the nuggets there was the fault you mention - the coating had come off and the chicken was a little rubbery in that area as a result of overcooking.

    For me a large part of why I like this is the cheese sauce, I'm not joking when I say I will go anywhere that is offering this with some kind of spicy chicken option.

    Chimac is poor, burgers are just a sloppy mess and portions are tiny.
    I'm a big fan of Korean chicken, and Chimac is not that. Go to Kimchi on Parnell St or Drunken fish in the IFSC for actual Chi-maek.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,657 ✭✭✭notAMember


    For chowder, the best I've ever tasted in Ireland was in Bastion, Kinsale a few years ago. Perfect balance of fish flavour, very light on the cream. They have changed to more of a tasting menu setup since that, and won their michelin star a few of years ago. Well worth a trip.

    They are working on a new menu for their re-opening soon, and it's one of my favourite places in the country. Really looking forward to it!

    Dede in Baltimore, Co. Cork has a star now also, I haven't been yet, but it's on my list.



    Ichigo Ichie in Cork city is another very special spot. The menu and textures can be challenging for european tastes, but always an adventurous evening of food there.


    I'm not sure if it's the spectacular surroundings or the food I prefer here, but the Boathouse in Dromquinna is a beautiful spot. At the moment, they are accepting reservations from residents only, which is a shame. Hopefully next year there will be more availability


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 3,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭Black Sheep


    retalivity wrote: »
    Chimac is poor, burgers are just a sloppy mess and portions are tiny.
    I'm a big fan of Korean chicken, and Chimac is not that. Go to Kimchi on Parnell St or Drunken fish in the IFSC for actual Chi-maek.

    I've eaten in Kimchi a few times and I like it, it's a lot of fun. However, the menu, setting and model in general are totally different to Chimac, they're not competitors. Kimchi = old man pub with pints serving sushi and the korean dishes in fairly traditional asian restaurant style.... Chimac = upmarket chicken fast food place?

    Chimac may borrow elements from Korean cooking but it's also not explicitly attempting to be authentic I don't think, despite the name!

    I wouldn't agree on the portion sizes at all either, to be honest. I ordered a chicken burger the first time there and also some loaded fries, and could barely touch the fries. But I guess it's relative to what your expectations are about portion sizes.

    Speaking of Kimchi though, for bibimap and korean wings Brothers Dosirak on Capel Street used to be decent, although I haven't been there in a while.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,174 ✭✭✭✭retalivity


    I've eaten in Kimchi a few times and I like it, it's a lot of fun. However, the menu, setting and model in general are totally different to Chimac, they're not competitors. Kimchi = old man pub with pints serving sushi and the korean dishes in fairly traditional asian restaurant style.... Chimac = upmarket chicken fast food place?

    Chimac may borrow elements from Korean cooking but it's also not explicitly attempting to be authentic I don't think, despite the name!

    I wouldn't agree on the portion sizes at all either, to be honest. I ordered a chicken burger the first time there and also some loaded fries, and could barely touch the fries. But I guess it's relative to what your expectations are about portion sizes.

    Speaking of Kimchi though, for bibimap and korean wings Brothers Dosirak on Capel Street used to be decent, although I haven't been there in a while.

    Think Brothers Dosirak is gone unfortunately, it was pretty good and the main guy is a gent.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,808 ✭✭✭Patsy167


    Hillbilly's up in Rathmines is a better bet if you're looking for good takeout chicken


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 3,054 Mod ✭✭✭✭Black Sheep


    Had a chance to try Benedict's, in George's Arcade, Georges Street, Dublin.

    The menu is four egg sandwiches. There's a plain one with chives and 'breakfast sauce', one with bacon, one with salmon etc.

    Served in a brioche bun, the eggs are the star of the show... Gently folded, golden and nicely seasoned.

    Had my second dose of vaccine yesterday and I'm a bit out of it, I didn't quite enjoy this as much as I might another day, eggs are funny, they can be either very comforting or play into nauseau.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,355 ✭✭✭Dave_The_Sheep


    I'll be in Kilkenny with a few friends in September, and we've Friday sorted in the Lady Helen, but looking for somewhere in Kilkenny town itself for the Saturday. We've narrowed it down to the Butcher steakhouse, Ristorante Rinuccini and possibly Petronellas. Any reviews from anyone down that way? I've heard good things from a few locals but always happy for more opinions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,411 ✭✭✭Gloomtastic!


    Had a chance to try Benedict's, in George's Arcade, Georges Street, Dublin.

    The menu is four egg sandwiches. There's a plain one with chives and 'breakfast sauce', one with bacon, one with salmon etc.

    Served in a brioche bun, the eggs are the star of the show... Gently folded, golden and nicely seasoned.

    Had my second dose of vaccine yesterday and I'm a bit out of it, I didn't quite enjoy this as much as I might another day, eggs are funny, they can be either very comforting or play into nauseau.

    I love this 'no choice' menu idea for restaurants. Do what you do really well and you'll be grand. Bunsen Burger is another. I was in Brussels a few years ago and went out for lunch. No menu, they just gave you the 3 courses of the day. Place was jammed. :)

    (Don't get me started on Supermacs!) :rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,977 ✭✭✭✭Tom Mann Centuria


    I'll be in Kilkenny with a few friends in September, and we've Friday sorted in the Lady Helen, but looking for somewhere in Kilkenny town itself for the Saturday. We've narrowed it down to the Butcher steakhouse, Ristorante Rinuccini and possibly Petronellas. Any reviews from anyone down that way? I've heard good things from a few locals but always happy for more opinions.

    Petronellas was lovely the last time I was in there, if you have any vegetarians/vegans in your party definitely go there (though if you're thinking of the steakhouse you probably don't!). It's quite quirky/intimate and good value for money. That'd be my pick (though I'm veggie, my family when they visit are all meat eaters and have all liked it there)

    Rinucinni's is nice but not the cheapest, never eaten in the Steakhouse. Another couple of options, La Rivista is nice, and if you fancy a very reasonably priced Michelin star restaurant Campangne is lovely. Or Asian street food type place Aroi. There's plenty of others too, Kilkenny is blessed with a fair few nice eateries.

    Oh well, give me an easy life and a peaceful death.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,355 ✭✭✭Dave_The_Sheep


    and if you fancy a very reasonably priced Michelin star restaurant Campangne is lovely.

    Been there several times alright, always excellent. I did hear that it might have changed ownership, any truth to that, do you know?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,977 ✭✭✭✭Tom Mann Centuria


    Been there several times alright, always excellent. I did hear that it might have changed ownership, any truth to that, do you know?

    Now that I don't know, but a colleague at work is the original owners friend so I'll ask next time I see her.

    Oh well, give me an easy life and a peaceful death.



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