It had been a while since myself, the lady and my parents had gone out for dins, so it was high-time. It was the turn of 101 Talbot, which is on 101 Talbot St in Dublin funnily enough. Being Northsiders, my parents where amazed that 101 Talbot has existed on their patch for 18 years without them knowing,
Positioned just across the street from The Front Lounge on Parliament St, The Larder is one of those places I’ve been walking past for years. It’s uber-friendly to the gays so this week, I decided to go through the door.
How long have I been hearing about Saba? It feels like years that people have been regaling me with the juicy details of their culinary conquests at the Thai food hot spot.
By the end of this article you’ll probably think I’m paid by Café Paradiso to write this, as I genuinely haven’t had such a good experience in an eating establishment ever before.
After eating in Soho last a couple of weeks ago, a few people have come to me and said “if you were on George’s St you should’ve gone to Havana,” while looking at me as though I’d never heard of Ellen Degeneres. So, in the interest of my belly, as well as culinary excellence, I dragged my ever-willing other half to the tapas place.
Dublin’s George’s Street is one point of the gay triangle in the capital, with all of the pubs gay-friendly and the best restaurants full of Dorothy’s homies. So, when myself and the missus fancied a cheap and cheerful, we decided to try out So-Ho.
You hear a lot about organic food these days, but I have to stress that if you can afford it, it’s worth every extra cent. As The Farm proves, good ingredients make excellent meals. The whole place is decorated in a chilled-out, hippy cafe way making you feel as cared-for mentally as you you will be gastronomically.
I knew in advance that I was about to enter a Michelin-starred chef’s restaurant, and ask whether his recipes could be modified for my needs. …What was I thinking? I prepared myself for battle..
Order less than you think you’ll eat. The portions are huge; as in obese American huge. With this thought firmly tucked into the brain off I popped to Temple Bar. The menu is vast, with all sorts of Tex-Mex food with some good veggie options. One word of warning, if you don’t like cheese avoid this place. Melted cheese is running over the edges of pretty much everything on the menu.
As you enter Café Novo, you think “gulp, this is a coffee shop”, but, once you get past the front section, it opens up to a large dining area. The decor is very chilled-out chic; leather, deep-filled chairs, dark slate tables and floor lighting all help to give a feeling of cool without cold.
Every cloud has a silver lining and one of the shiny happy things that has come out of the recession is customers being chased; the deals you can get on top class restaurants and hotels around the country are excellent. Three years ago, a meal in Diep Le Shakur would have cost a lot of mullah, not anymore. Myself, my partner and my parents had a delicious meal with two bottles of wine and it came to just €160.
Awaiting the arrival of our friends, I decided to go margarita mad and was pleasantly surprised; this was as good as you’ll get around town and for half the price at just EUR5. I was enjoying it so much that, when our friends arrived, it was cocktails all-round.
My partner and I dropped in on a freezing Friday evening, as we were in no mood to cook after a stressful week. Bel Cibo is right beside the Lighthouse Cinema, so there are always arty types chilling out over red wine and pizza, giving the place a great buzz. Bel Cibo is famous locally for it’s pizzas and offer a take out service so throughout the time we were there, people were dropping in and out to pick up a piping-hot pie box, licking their lips as they handed over the cash.
Rainy evenings in Dublin don’t inspire you to drag yourself off the sofa and head to a restaurant.
Go to Dada and you’ll be delighted that you did. Wet, dark and dreary Dublin disappears as soon as you enter, replaced by warm, balmy Morocco.
Once in a while a genius comes up with any idea and you think, “why didn’t anyone think of that before?”. Here’s one for you; a fine dining restaurant where all of the profits go to charity. What did I tell you – genius! Restaurant 1014 is located in a beautiful spot opposite the old wooden bridge on the seafront between Dollymount and Clontarf. You may feel that it’s a bit out of the way but I guarantee you, it’s worth it.
Ristorante Romano is nestled close to Panti’s breast, just a couple of doors up from Panti Bar so if you’re gay and have ever been to Dublin, you’ll have passed it. On peeping in, you probably thought “oohh blast from the past” and walked on. Next time stop and enter. Yes, Ristorante Romano is a blast from the past but so is a cuddle from your mammy.
What were you as a child? Were you the kind who experienced gloopy Chinese food, like no other gloopy Chinese food? The most un-Chinese of foods? And were you the kind of child who loved it? If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes” then Jimmy Chung’s just might be for you!