Dublin Restaurants

Brasserie Sixty6

Located in the heart of Dublin’s busy centre, Brasserie Sixty6 is easy to walk by, but you probably don’t want to miss the food they have on offer. The dining area is large, but it’s worth booking on a weekend as I suspect they get busy. It’s the sort of place where they call or text you to confirm your reservation. I’ll let the food speak for itself.

66-67 S Great George’s St Dublin 2, Ireland
+353 1 400 5878

The Waterloo Bar and Grill

Short listed for one of the best Gastro pub’s in Dublin, you can tell they are trying hard to get things right with a decent cocktail menu, an interesting looking menu and a special of the day. The food is well executed, the drinks spot on and my only complaint was the low level of lighting (making photos even with my fast lens pretty tough).

36 Baggot Street Upper Dublin 4, Ireland
+353 1 660 0650


Another Ranleigh restaurant that is bringing the touch of New York to the Irish shores. The owners of this place have at least another place around town, and both are considered popular options. Although we came here for dinner, I read about how popular their brunch is on weekends. I opted for the ribs which, though soft, weren’t really the best that I’ve had (tasted a bit more boiled than grilled).

47 Ranelagh Dublin, Co. Dublin City, Ireland
+353 1 497 8010

The Chop House

A bustling Irish steak place that has a great location with a naturally lit dining area akin to sitting inside a greenhouse – perfect for an early dinner to catch the sunset. They had a decent selection of wines (as you would expect from a steakhouse) and they do an amazing set of changing bread (Guinness and a curry + chutney one on the day that I visited). The steak arrived perfectly cooked – it was pink on the inside and well rested so it remained very juicy on the inside. Steaks arrive with a couple of sides (cooked mushrooms, tomatoes) but I’d recommend ordering some salad or green vegetables as it was all very brown.

2 Shelbourne Rd Dublin 4, Ireland
+353 1 660 2390

FX Buckley

Another steak place, this time apparently part owned by one of the Irish national rugby players. Knowing that they would probably like steaks, we were not disappointed. They have several around town, but we visited the one on Pembroke Street, tucked away in a little courtyard.

The restaurant is certainly fitting for a steak restaurant – a wood panelled wall and dark green tiles on the other that reminded us part of being in a butchery. The restaurant doesn’t appear very large, so I would recommend booking. They had a strange 1:45 turn around on tables, instead of the usual 2.

They certainly know how to cook their steak, and is accompanied by a single side. You can order more for an additional €4 surcharge. Good service, topping up water and a nice experience

1 Lower Pembroke Street Dublin, Ireland
+353 1 676 4606

Eating Well in Dublin

Dublin suffered a lot of things with the post dot-com crash of the early 2000s. With lots of investment from the EU, inflation rose rapidly, and just like the San Francisco area, Dublin became a mecca for all sorts of places where people could spend it – all the way from bars, clubs and restaurants. Fortunately prices seem to have stabilised a bit, and with more competition for the same Euros, Dublin offers many good quality places to dine for pretty good value.

I’ve been lucky enough to sample quite a few of Dublin’s offerings and, I have to admit, haven’t really had a very bad meal at all. There are plenty of options to choose from including your ubiquitous burrito joints, to sushi, malaysian and everything in between. Rather than list all the details for each restaurant (which would take much longer than time I have available), I will list some of the highlights over the past couple of weeks.

Restaurant at Donnybrook Fair (European restaurant)
You’ll often see a lot of locals carrying the white, D|F-labelled bags that belong to this up-scale market place. They also happen to have a restaurant upstairs to one of their (flagship?) stores. I read about their BBQ nights where they offer a decent value platter to share between two. Four of us popped in after work and it wasn’t hard to get a table at about 7pm although it filled up quickly after that. The dining room is bright, airy and the meal deal very great value. Appetiser samplers were a great appetite kickstarter with my favourite being the wholesome grilled mushroom and the prosciutto-wrapped fig. The BBQ meat platter soon arrived with grilled chicken, salmon, quail and a steak. I’ll admit the chicken probably had a bit too much time on the grill, but all the other bits were divine. A clever, light strawberry and coconut-lime mousse was served as dessert.

BBQ meal cost €25 for the 3 courses.

+353 1 668 3556, 89 Morehampton Road, Donnybrook, Dublin 4, https://www.donnybrookfair.ie/restaurant/home

Bloom Brasserie (European Restaurant)
Located in the basement, my colleague recommended this nice brasserie serving fresh continental foods that was also pretty decent value. Not many vegetarian options on the set menu. Creamy, beautify mushroom soup to start followed by a perfectly cooked sea bream, carrot and butternut squash puree and lightly wilted baby spinach. A light chocolate mousse, raspberry coulis, topped with chopped hazelnuts for me to follow.

3 course set menu for €25

11 Baggot Street Upper Dublin 4, Co. Dublin, Ireland, http://www.bloombrasserie.ie/

Cornucopia (Vegetarian Cafe/Restaurant)
A popular restaurant located on busy Wicklow Street, this place is slightly more cafe than restaurant (you order at the counter, collect your food and then hunt for a table because it’s so popular). A fresh water dispenser is located by the door and you have options that all looked pretty tempting. I was tempted by the Cashew baked aubergine with smoked paprika mash and pea sauce but then succumbed to the sounds of a daily special of smoked tofu parcels with two side salads that was really great value at €12.95.

19-20 Wicklow St Dublin 2, Ireland, http://www.cornucopia.ie/

The Exchequer (Gastropub)
Voted one of Ireland’s best gastropubs I have to agree that the food here was so good, I came back on one of the weekends to sample a few of the other dishes. They do an amazing selection of cocktails as well (all recorded in the “Ledger of Liquor”) and I can highly recommend the Smoky Old Fashioned. Beautifully prepared, balanced and accompanied by an ice-cube ball that is guaranteed to outlast your drink. All of the food is fabulously presented, tasty and the only down-side I have to admit is the side of potato skins/fries that failed to be as crisp as they could be. Desserts (at least the gingerbread tea cake) is totally worth trying and massive enough to share between two. Definitely come here if you want some good food and drink. I’ll be back again if I can make it.

2 courses for €19.95 or 3 for €23.95 (choose any starter, main or dessert) only Sunday-Wednesday

3-5 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2, http://www.theexchequer.ie/

The Green Hen (French)

A popular French brasserie that fills up quickly, I was able to nab a seat at the bar as I was early enough and dining alone. Had I arrived only half an hour later, it would have been impossible and I saw them turn away quite a few people. Cocktails are expertly made, with lots of care and perfected and they have an early bird menu at 3 courses for €22 from 5:30-7pm Sunday to Thursday.

33 Exchequer St Dublin 2, Co. Dublin, Ireland, http://www.greenhen.ie

Michie Sushi (Japanese)
Located a bit in the ‘burbs, this tiny little sushi place is apparently more popular with take-away. Partly because there are only something like six or seven tables for two or four and located in a tiny little alleyway, hardly any parking. Unagi nigiri (my favourite type) was a generous portion of fish, lightly slathered in the traditional BBQ sauce and perfectly delicious. A couple of good rolls and you could roll me out of there. Good decent sushi that I haven’t had for a long time although not sure if I would make a trip out of the city specifically for that (if I was visiting Dublin). I think they do delivery and I’d probably opt for that if I lived in Dublin.

11 Chelmsford Lane, Ranelagh, Dublin 6, http://www.michiesushi.com/

Dinner at The Garrison

Before heading over to the Tower of London for the Ceremony of the Keys, we headed over to The Garrison in Bermondsey to enjoy a meal. I’d never been to this area and was surprised at how many up and coming restaurants and interesting bars and pubs littered the area.

It definitely pays to reserve a table in advance at this particular gastropub. A number of times we saw a party of two being turned away when arriving, only being told that the entire restaurant was booked out for the night. The tiny space is made the most of, although thankfully the tables are arranged in such a way you’re still sitting closer to your dining companions than those at the table next to you.

I started with the scrambled eggs and mushrooms although it wasn’t as tasty as I thought it would be. The soft egg was really well done but the “toasted” sourdough really should have more crispy to offset the soft flavours.

On a vegetarian day, I went for the mushroom stroganoff that was piled on a huge amount of mash. The “stroganoff” could have done with a bit more mushroom and more sauce but it was still very flavoursome.

It didn’t come with any sides, so went for the pear, rocket and hazelnut salad to have some greens.

I finished off the meal with a very nice lime cheesecake that was perfectly offset with the swirls of raspberries floating around.

Not a cheap meal, but overall a great atmosphere and pretty good food.

Name: The Garrison
Found at: 99 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XB
Website: http://www.thegarrison.co.uk/

Fox and Anchor

Firstly, I can’t believe that I haven’t written about this place before. It’s one of my favourite gastropubs and it gets many rave reviews from other bloggers. I love the fact that it’s slightly hidden away, although enough people seem to know about it that it’s continually busy throughout the week. They have awesome ales, offer fresh British oysters (what pub often serves that!), and a hearty menu for all.

For this latest occasion (yes, I have been many times), I was meeting a good friend, Stace (pictured above) who I’ve known for many years but who lives in far north Scotland these days. This means that I don’t get to see her, and her husband, Wes that often. Sometimes she comes down to London for work, and it so happened I also was in London for the three days that overlapped with her last week in London (she’s expecting a baby soon). How serendipitous!

Anyway, back to the food. Stace ordered the mutton shanks (a strange, but just as delicious choice) that came with a good assortment of freshly shucked peas and beans.

Debating about the wonderful burger and the tempting hickory smoked ribs, I asked what our waitress recommended and it turned out to be the latter. What arrived was a generous serving of gorgeously smoked and tender ribs where the meat pulled away from the bone with minimal fuss. It came with some fresh sweet corn, coleslaw and some fat fries that weren’t as good as I’ve had there before. Knowing my dish was going to come without any greens, I ordered a fresh side salad that proved the perfect accompaniment.

We considered some dessert, but both of the main meals defeated us. My choice would have been the eton mess.

Describing the Fox and Anchor as having plenty of character would be an understatement. On a good day, you can find some proper metallic tankards to drink some local British ale, and find little enclaves in the back such as the Foxes Lare.

Although I chose to share this with the world, this place is really too good to spread the word too loudly.

Name: The Fox and Anchor
Found at: 115 Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M 6AA
Website: http://www.foxandanchor.com/

Duke of Wellington

With Frankie visiting in town, and Luca returning from out of town, I suggested we try somewhere different other than our usual Marylebone haunt, The Providores. I searched my list and suggested we try the gastro pub, The Duke of Wellington.

Things looked good with a very busy pub downstairs and a small dining room upstairs. Interesting memorabilia, almost slightly tacky, line the walls catching my eye as we head towards our table, beers in hand. It’s not a very large dining room and like most London institutes, fairly tightly cramped together. Here’s the menu, full of interesting things divided into the usual three sections.

The dining room definitely brings a more formal environment to your typical gastropub. White table clothed dining, oh my!

Here was someone’s starter, the Goats Cheese Salad. It disappeared rapidly and not because it was for a lack of cheese I’m betting.

Unable to make the effort at home, I’m tempted by the crab bisque, strong flavours distilled into the soup. Perfect to balance out the chilly winds outside.

Frankie and Toni got drawn in by the burger with pulled pork. It’s an impressive assemblage, although like the GBK chain, almost entirely impossible to eat without a knife and a fork. The lack of any chips leftover also meant they were pretty good.

Luca was a little bit less impressed by his steak sandwich although it looked pretty impressive to me.

Going for a richer, smaller option, I go for the unusual truffled artichoke layered lasagne served with some red cabbage on the side. Though the portion size looks small, the big flavours and rich creamy bechamel easily make up for it.

Unable to resist pudding, a couple of us went for the sticky toffee pudding served with banana ice cream. It was huge and definitely a showstopper for the evening.

Just a cool doorhandle on the way out.

And the gang, Frankie, Toni and Luca outside responding to my paparazzi camera flashes.

With wine, the total evening came to about £45 a head.

Name: The Duke of Wellington
Found at: 94a Crawford Street, Marylebone, W1H 2HQ, London
Website: http://www.thedukew1.co.uk/

Hand and Flowers

What’s better after a five hour country walk than to sit down for a nice long pub lunch? That’s what we thought too and after the long Henley to Marlow walk, what better pub lunch than the Michelin-starred Hand and Flowers that I remember being so good (and popular) when I worked in Marlow.

Making a reservation is definitely recommended for any weekend visit and I counted ourselves lucky for getting a table outside. The dark and storm weather threatened to cause further trouble to our dining experience although nothing multiple golf-sized umbrellas and our waterproof jackets couldn’t handle. Our walking gear prepared us better than the outdoor table of four nearby, whose shrieks indicated ineffective umbrella coverage.

After ordering, the waitresses brought out warm bread from the oven and some of the largest white bait fish I’ve ever seen. My favourite was the warm soda bread with its super crisp crunch and delicious crumb the perfect start to our meal.

The umbrellas above helped keep us dry (when we expanded them of course).

The special dish for the day was prepared for the Great British Menu and represented a take on the classic Scotch Egg though made with much finer ingredients including a quails egg and then surrounded by crayfish meat instead of standard sausage meat.

We definitely needed rehydrating after our long walk, and there’s nothing that Pimms can’t fix on a “summer” day like this.

Here’s the beautifully presented Crayfish Scotch Egg on a bed of, what I think was, watercress made to look like a golf ball lost on a golf course. They served the egg with a tiny bucket filled with mayonnaise.

Above is the picture of the interior to the scotch egg.

I ordered the fish as my main, and served with a brown butter sauce was delicious, if not a little bit heavily seasoned.

Fortunately the amazingly green pea soup helped add some warmth and vibrancy to the entire meal.

Name: Hand and Flowers
Found at: 126 West Street, Marlow, SL7 2BP
Website: http://www.thehandandflowers.co.uk/

The James Monro

I’d read about the The Monro being a very popular gastro pub although I saw that they also ran the James Monro located on the other side of town. I ended up in this part of town after deciding to walk back from the Liverpool Football Club tour, a pleasant but uneventful walk back into town.

At first glance, it certainly looked like a gastropub but I was concerned it wasn’t the gastro pub I’d read about. The interior looked really appealing and even though it had just opened, I could imagine it getting busier as the afternoon rolled on. After looking at the menu, it was definitely going to be fine with me.

Strangely didn’t serve any local beers (Cains being the local Liverpool brewery) instead offered a Hobgoblin beer made by a brewery in Oxfordshire (nowhere near Liverpool). Still the waiter offered me a taste for free and it was a reasonable ale.

I started with a rabbit and bacon risotto, definitely needing a bit of warming up after the cold and windy walk back into town. As you can see from the picture above, the serving was a very decent size and the flavour rich and delicious. There was plenty of rabbit throughout and the small side salad was a nice complement to texture and flavour.

Next up was the 8 oz steak served with huge chunky chips and a small side salad. Topped with a peppercorn sauce, the steak was perfectly cooked and the chips perfect. The steak was surprisingly filling as well and I just didn’t have space for dessert.

It wasn’t until now, writing this up, did I find out this place is also a member of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society otherwise I would have picked a scotch for dessert. I’m a little disappointed a gastro pub like this couldn’t celebrate more local brews, but the food was definitely worth visiting this place. I’d also be interested to see how it differs from their other place.

Name: The James Monro
Found at: 69 Tithebarn Street, Liverpool, L2 2EN
Website: http://www.thejamesmonro.com/