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.
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.
When you bite in, the taste of charred meat comes flooding into your mouth. Mixed with a zing of rocket and nutty Parmesan, it was heaven. Finally, a burger I was able to hold in both hands.
TriBeCa has been on my list for a while now.
Full but not at all claustrophobic, mirrors in the dining room reflect the feeling of more space and it was truly wonderful that I didn’t have to shout across to my fellow diners.
I have a thing about burgers – I love them. But when I’m not able to pick one up and bite a chunk out of it, I tend to get irritated.
Settling on a grilled chicken burger with avocado, peppers, rocket and Parmesan, I was expecting to experience yet another burger that was piled high onto a plate (or slate) – but I was pleasantly taken aback.
This was a burger. It was straightforward, hit the high notes with flavours and made me pause for reflection. I hadn’t had something like that in a long time.
Feeling pleasantly full, I mused to my partner that we would undoubtedly be back to try the other curious things on the menu. No doubt.
Come again? Definitely
Note: I’ve decided to change the format of my reviews to give them a snappier feel. Sometimes I feel like people tend to waffle on without getting to the essence of what the food and atmosphere is like. I hope these reviews tackle that!