My first meal in Dublin was lunch at ely gastro pub.
The interior was smart and spacious – the air filled with the energetic buzz of lunch hour. Fresh homemade bread was served and all my fellow diners freaked out about the unique Guinness bread (see photo – dark brown bread). Everything was off to a good start until the menus arrived.
If you’re wheat and lactose intolerant and don’t want to eat steak you’re stuffed. Things like bangers and mash, burgers and spaghetti are rustled up and eaten by millions of people at home on a daily basis so why would anyone order this in a restaurant? A daily soup and two types of sandwiches were equally uninspiring, which left me to choose between the lesser of two evils which were remotely interesting: Feta, Aubergine & Black Olive tart or Peppered Calamari with Potato Salad.
Disgruntledly I waited for the latter to arrive and when it did some of my dissatisfaction melted away. What a pretty plate of food it was. The chefs cooked the calamari better than most and the pea shoots sitting on top of the potato salad gave the plate an elegant twist. The other plates of food looked impressive as well and happy noises were heard around the table. Once we tasted the giant onion rings they disappeared in a jiffy and there was a decent array of steamed vegetables.
Yet the whole experience left me frustrated because having really enjoyed my food; I felt the kitchen had so much more to offer than what stood on a flimsy piece of paper.
7/10: The unimaginative lunch menu is limited but all the dishes exuded quality and flair.
7/10: Decent portion sizes
7/10: All good.
7/10: From the ground floor it’s a bit of a mission to get to.
7/10: Busy and upmarket vibe.
6/10: Try dining here in the evening.
ely gastro pub
Grand Canal Square
P.S. I was a guest of Bord Bia – Irish Food Board.