Friday, 24 April 2015

Ugly Duckling

Epicurean Food Hall, 1 Liffey Street Lower, Dublin 1


Cuisine - Barbeque

In an ever changing world were everyone is concerned with smaller portions and the 'less is more' approach is more prevalent in most restaurants a breath of fresh air can be found in the generous portion sizes of the food found in Ugly Duckling

A standout performer in the Epicurean food hall, the lads over there have only gone and expanded to the south side of the city into George's street arcade to spread the love.

I recently went to their Epicurean food hall kitchen to try one of their sandwiches and see what the buzz was about. I ordered the brisket sandwich, which had slow roasted beef brisket in a delicious gravy, crispy onions on top and lettuce and tomato all combined on a beautiful soft roll.

The brisket was 'melt in your mouth' tender and the gravy accompanied the meat perfectly. The onions on top also added a lovely element to the sandwich and gave the sandwich the bite it needed. Everything was fresh and tasty and i can't recommend this sandwich any more.

I also cannot begin to describe the size of these sandwiches. The portion sizes are beyond generous and one of these sandwiches could easily feed a small family... or a very hungry me!

Furthermore, the other unique menu choices like the 'Po' boy' and the 'Ugly Reuben' make this a very different establishment to the standard sandwich places in Dublin. Most definitely a sandwich shop looking forward, and understanding what their customers want and need.

Rating - 4/5

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Good World Restaurant

18 South Great George's Street, Dublin, Ireland 2

Cuisine - Chinese

Often enough when i pass through the red brick area of George's Street Arcade i see this restaurant just as i exit and i often pondered taking a visit inside to try it out. That's exactly what i did recently but my curiosity was definitely killed as soon as i sat down.

I'm usually a very patient person when it comes to waiting to be served but the service i got here was really not great whatsoever. I went in for an early dinner and the place was very sparsely populated. It took the waiting staff a good 20 minutes to come over and ask me if i wanted to order, but when they did i asked them my usual question of "what would you recommend" and the waitress highly recommended the chicken with cashew nuts to me, which is definitely one of my favorite dishes anyway.

Now don't get me wrong, I as well as others love the bastardized and Westernized versions of Chinese food found in Ireland, from 3in1s to prawn crackers, but this meal was an utter disappointment. I opted to go for the barbecue spare ribs for my starter and they were anything but barbecued, they were charred to an absolute crisp and left a horrible burnt taste in my mouth. I sucked it up anyway and moved on to my main course.

For mains I had the chicken and satay sauce, an absolute staple in any Chinese restaurant in Ireland and even some of the worst Chinese restaurants I've been to do a reasonable job. I paid almost double for what a customer would normally pay for this dish in other locations and it arrived very swiftly. The chicken had the consistency of rubber and the sauce was completely overpowering which was disappointing.

Overall, it was really not a great meal at all and i actually left the restaurant hungrier than when i had first entered. I have had better meals from packets out of my local supermarket. I wouldn't recommend this place at all.

Rating - 1/5


Thursday, 31 October 2013


19 Crane Lane (beside The Olympia Theatre), Dublin, Ireland D2

Cuisine - Pizza

Unfortunately it's been a while since my last couple of reviews but I am back with a bang. Firstly, the buzz around Skinflint has been enormous the last while and I've had suggestion to review from all sorts of angles. Between friends telling me their pizza is divine and making a small appearance on Anthony Bourdain's 'The Layover' it's easy to see why the name is out there at the forefront.

I eventually dined here recently with my girlfriend and we were very excited about the place as soon as we entered the establishment. The pungent aroma of fresh dough and cheese hit us immediately and we simply couldn't wait to order. The menu is very simple but diverse with every pizza having a girl's name and the starters looking very modern and appealing.

The atmosphere was very unique too. Old 80s songs played over the radio and the waiting staff seem very down to earth and casual, far from some of the stuck up formal waiters you might find elsewhere. The restaurant also feels like a breath of fresh air in a somewhat cliche market we have in pizza places at present. We were helped every step of the way by the waiting staff and couldn't have felt more at home.

The waiter suggested the mozzarella sticks for starters and we duly obliged and went with his suggestion. They were made to an absolute crisp perfection and every bit of the gooey mozzarella inside was definitely fresh. They also came with the nicest little chic pot of chili jam which was also gorgeous. A definite must if you are coming here for the first time.

Secondly, for our main we shared a pizza named "Susie", which was by far one of the nicest pizzas I have ever tested. It had succulent hearty piece of chorizo, tomato, pecorino and mozzarella cheese and lots of pink peppercorns. It was the perfect balance of savory, sweet and spicy and when combined with the table-side 'Firebee honey' it was a match made in heaven.

Overall, the bill came to under 20 euros for the two of us, which is great value consider the size and the quality of the pizza we got and combined with the beautiful starter. Skinflint is a definite must-eat in location in Dublin and is paving the way for a new modern restaurant environment

Rating - 5/5

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Falafel and Kebab

Cuisine - Mediterranean

Kebab houses are very commonplace around Dublin city center and my search for the most impressive kebab started here. Now we have all had those plastic kebabs from chippers and chains like Abrakebabra which sometimes fill a void when hungry but I for one am searching for the freshest, tastiest and most unique kebab and I got off to a great start at Falafel and Kebab.

Nestled away behind the tourist haven of Temple Bar is this beautiful establishment. Myself and my friend got lost finding the restaurant but eventually we made it there in one piece. From the outside the decor seemed very homely and vibrant while still giving the impression of a great restaurant. Upon entering we were overwhelmed with the delicious scent of exotic spices and cooking chicken, enough to make us order as fast as possible.

We decided to mix it up and i decided to go for the falafel kebab, because after all it is their restaurant's name. My friend went with a spicy chicken wrap to mix it up and taste this wonderful smelling chicken. We both ordered a side order of hummus too which we both really looked forward too.

The staff were very friendly and we both got our meals and received instant satisfaction. Firstly, the kebab I got was huge, and as I bit in i realized how fresh the ingredients were and how the quality time put into the kebab was worth it. The falafels were hand-made and you could tell the person who made them was experienced in the art of making them. They were just spicy enough and not too overpowering while the house sauce and salad was absolutely to die for.

My friend's chicken wrap came on fresh pitta bread which we watched them prepare and roll in front of us. The chicken was high quality chicken and combined perfectly with the bread, the salad and the sauce. We were both in food heaven at this point.

The hummus was the freshest and nicest hummus I have ever tasted and we both polished off our large portions with pleasure and felt deeply rooted satisfaction.

Overall, for the price of under €15 we were very impressed with the premium quality of produce
put into these meals. I would highly recommend this establishment to anybody seeking one of the greatest kebabs in Dublin. 

Rating - 4.5/5

Thursday, 11 April 2013

South Street

South Great Georges Street, Dublin 2

Cuisine - Italian

As everyone knows, the vast quantity of Italian restaurants in Dublin alone (never mind Ireland) is colossal and finding that one reliable and delicious restaurant is a must for any real Dubliner. A close friend recommended 'South Street' to me and I can honestly say i had never heard of it before then, but as eager as I am I gave in and tried it.

I opted for an amazing lunch deal which i thought was too good to be true. 'Any Starter and any Pizza/Pasta for €7.95'. I thought to myself what could possibly go wrong for this price? And the answer to my surprise was absolutely nothing

I decided almost instantly to opt for the bruschetta after seeing how delicious it looked on a fellow patron's table opposite me. It was a beautiful blend of sweet and savory with incredibly rustic fresh tomatoes on a fresh piece of crunchy baguette with a divine balsamic vinaigrette.  It came also with a little side salad which was done absolutely perfectly and presented eloquently. The starter balanced out really well and I could tell already I was in for a nice meal from then on.

For my main course i opted for the 'Pollo' pizza (which for you non-Spanish speaking folks means chicken!). It was a large pizza and could easily have been shared between 2 people and was presented to me with garlic and herb and chili oil on the side, which was a lovely little touch. The chicken was fresh and not straight out of a package and the pizza itself was fabulous. The crust was a little thin unfortunately because I love my pizza nice and thick, but the quality of the ingredients more than compensated for this.

Overall, I had a very nice lunch and for the price of €7.95 it's an amazing deal. The waiting staff were also very helpful and were nothing but smiles which was also a very big plus.
It's located on the beautiful South Great George's Street too which is a lovely old-school and picturesque part of Dublin that i enjoy. I would definitely dine here again.

Rating - 4/5

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Pablo Picante

Cuisine - Mexican

Ok fine... I admit it, I am indeed a self-professed Mexican food junkie and i'm perfectly ok with that. In Dublin alone we are blessed to have such a fine array of Mexican establishments and I set out to try this well renowned one 'Pablo Picante'

I headed to the Baggot street location as i'm a massive fan of the surrounding area and the atmosphere around there. Tucked away in a quaint corner towards the end of Baggot street is Pablo Picante, where my 'tortas' adventure would begin. I have heard great things about this place and i was hoping it would live up to the hype.

I opted to go for the relatively new 'El Texano' torta which is a mouth-watering mix of pulled pork, spicy barbecue sauce, jalapeno alioli and rocket and spinach salad. The pulled pork fell apart in my mouth to the tune of instant satisfaction. I knew it was going to be good. I am a man who is very picky about my barbecue sauce but honestly this sauce was perfect and really complimented the quality fresh ingredients. The jalapeno alioli also gave a nice kick to this already hot monster of a torta.

The total cost for this great Mexican experience was €5.95 (and a burned mouth!) and I felt like i was being robbed for this low price. I will definitely be returning again as the hype was absolutely spot on. I would highly reccommend Pablo Picante's to anyone and everyone who is a lover of authentic and great Mexican food.

Rating - 4.5/5

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Little Ass Burrito Bar

32a Dawson Street, Dublin 2, Ireland

Cuisine - Mexican

Where do I even start with this place?

It is possibly one of the most fantastic places to eat in the entire city of Dublin. I have always been a massive fan of Mexican food and this place does it justice. The restaurant is located on Dawson Street in the city's south side and is just a walking distance away from Stephen's Green park. A beautiful and fitting location.

The day I went I ordered the 'Cha Cha' burrito. The burrito is a heavenly dose of the finest Irish Gubeen chorizo and large helpings of feta cheese, rice, black beans, rice, sour cream and coriander. The flavors combine absolutely perfectly and combine the best Irish produce in an authentic Mexican way. My girlfriend on the other hand went for the 'Pukka Poya' which is a mixture of marinated chicken, pinto beans, jack cheese, rice, sour cream and coriander. She enjoyed her burrito too and couldn't even finish it because of its size!

Overall, the burrito was one of the best I have ever had in my lifetime and i will definitely be going back for another again soon and with great meal deals available you should too!

Rating - 4.5/5