Category Archives: 200 Word Reviews

200 Word Review: ETTO on Merrion Row

Etto. A restaurant that I had heard many whispers about, but never had the chance to visit.

Sitting at the bar, myself and my partner glanced over the menu and gave each other a knowing glance – this looked very promising.

It was the first time that both of us weren’t seated at a table, but that didn’t matter, we still felt right at home.

Continue reading 200 Word Review: ETTO on Merrion Row

200 Words: Bunsen on Wexford Street

I’ve been putting off Bunsen for years. Perhaps it was the hype that put me off – could they really produce the best burgers in Dublin?

With a menu with no frills (actually the size of a business card), I was salivating at the thought of chomping down on some decent grub.

Continue reading 200 Words: Bunsen on Wexford Street

200 Words: Ha Noi Ha Noi on Capel Street

The rain poured down so hard that I almost slipped off the footpath – I needed something hot, and fast.

Hanoi Hanoi on Dublin’s Capel Street is one of the latest Vietnamese restaurants to crop up in the city and being one who’s obsessed with noodle soup, I had to give it a lash.

Unassuming on the outside, the establishment boasts a rather large interior with plenty of space to accommodate diners (though it may take you a few seconds to recover from its choice of décor).

First up was the nem rán (or spring rolls), and there’s not a single thing that I could find wrong with them.

With a crispiness that crumbled, and flavoursome filling that meshed so beautifully with the dipping sauce, it was the perfect start to my meal.


Onto the phở gà: Though the soup had the base for a perfect broth, I was left disappointed with the slightly overcooked chicken and fatty bits that I found. There were other places that definitely did it better.

That being said, the curiously extensive menu, excellent pricing (I spent just €11) and the polite, attentive service makes me want to give this place another bash.

I’ll be back.

Come again? Bring your friends! There’s plenty of room.
Rating: 3.5/5
Website: https://www.zomato.com/dublin/ha-noi-ha-noi-city-centre-north

200 Words: East Side Tavern on Leeson Street

East Side Tavern on Leeson Street, though decorated with dark tones, manages to pull off a homely feel.

The downstairs bar has a magnificent display of liquors stacked high on its shelves and the upstairs hosts a restaurant with a modern twist.

Spaghetti marinara made its way to my table and despite my request to remove one vital ingredient (I’m not a chili person!), it still tasted wonderful.

  
Now my partner is very particular about his steaks, in fact, it’s rare that he ever gets a good one and so I made a note of looking at his expression as he tackled the 10oz rib-eye.

  
The meat was beautifully chargrilled and I was lucky enough to get a bite. He was in love to say the least!

Feeling in the mood for something unusual, my eyes wandered to the rather curious “carrot sorbet”.

Dipping the liquorice wand into the coconut yoghurt and twirling it around the sorbet and ground nuts; I was astonished.

It was satisfaction on a plate, and I was finally delighted to taste a dessert that excited me with texture.

Service was swift and top-notch and I got the impression that they really cared for the customer.

Come again? That carrot sorbet needs to be tried again.
Rating: 4/5
Website: http://www.eastsidetavern.ie/menus/

200 Words: Musashi Noodles and Sushi Bar on Capel Street

A complete sucker for sashimi, this week I had a Japanese food craving that needed to be tackled.

Musashi, with its grey exterior and simple design, is tucked away on Capel Street and easy to pass by in favour of the more popular competition.

I hadn’t been back in three years, but I’m glad I finally did.

After much debating, but with the certainty that I’d definitely be getting sashimi, I settled on a big bowl of ramen with a selection of meat.

In the past, I’ve found Musashi to have very slow service, but much to my delight we were served swiftly with a waiter that could have gotten the award for the “most polite man of the year”.

Though the ramen’s broth could have been on the clearer side and the tofu was slightly overdone, the noodles and overall combination of food had a hearty feel. It was a filling meal.

But my winner was the raw salmon. My sashimi along with its soy and wasabi, was like a juicy kiss with the freshness of the fish heightening its flavour.

A hidden gem amongst some overpriced and not-so-nice sushi hubs in Dublin, Musashi is well worth a visit.

Come again? I need that sashimi again!
Rating: 3.5/5
Website: http://musashidublin.com/

  

200 Words: Brasserie at The Marker

High-sculpted ceilings with cool colours dashed around its interior, The Marker’s Brasserie felt more like Tate Modern than restaurant.

Feeling quite posh though very much aware of what I was wearing, I sat along the large windows that were covered in long white curtains.

It was a night for splashing out.

For such a glamourous place that seemed to take pride in attention to detail, I was surprised to find that the water served to us wasn’t chilled nor were the side breads particularly tasty.

(John Ston 9oz rib eye steak, pressed beef belly, kale, saffron potato purée, elderberry jus)


(Thornhill duck, asparagus, pickled spring onion, fennel purée, pommes dauphine and morel jus)

(Brandy Bay oysters with Bloody Mary and Vietnamese dressing)

My partner’s steak and sundried tomato mash was super (though definitely very rare and not medium rare as requested), and my duck was wonderfully juicy, though it wasn’t very warm. However, I actually was overall impressed.

My oysters were glorious with their accompanying sauces and the cheeseboard had perfectly ripe cheeses and snappy oatcakes. The service was also spot on.

It’s one of those places that’s bound to be a treat rather than a normal night out, because it is ultimately, very pricey and you do feel like you have to really dress up for the occasion.

That being said, I would come back because I really did enjoy the food despite its minor faults.

Come again? When I can afford to!
Rating: 4/5
Website: http://www.themarkerhoteldublin.com/

(Lead image via The Marker Facebook page)

200 Words: Rathmines’ Jo’Burger

As I stared at my unopened Children’s Britannia housing my dinner menu, I wondered what kind-of food would eventually appear before me.

Greeted by pleasant staff, Jo Burger has many-a-time topped some of the “Best Burger” lists in Dublin.

After battling with the higgildy-piggildy font on the menu, I eventually settled on a lamb burger with Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese, cream cheese and relish, hoping that the food would live up to its description. Oh dear.

I couldn’t help but let my eyes roll when I saw the height of the burger. A Jenga-esque tower with a ridiculous amount of lettuce folded on top, I knew straightaway that I wasn’t going to fit into my mouth. My partner and I were immediately frustrated.

“Are they doing this to just differentiate between takeaway and gourmet?” my partner quizzed. That’s certainly what it felt like.

While I thought the overall taste of the lamb itself along with its trimmings was perfectly fine (not great) a burger shouldn’t be eaten with a knife and a fork, nor should it have to be dissected and eaten in bits. I left most of bun and lettuce uneaten.

Two hands, one mouth, that’s all you need.

Come again? Afraid not
Rating: 2.5/5
Website: http://www.joburger.ie/