Sunday, September 9, 2012

Review : Eden Bar & Grill

I've been to the original Eden in Temple Bar a few times and while the food is lovely, the service has been haphazard at times.  So I was hoping that things would be better at the newest branch, Eden Bar & Grill on South William Street in Dublin 2.  I was having lunch with three friends, the Bon Viveur, the Country Girl and the City Chick and it was their first lunch service so we expected great things. It turned out to be a bit of a curate's egg experience - good in parts, but a bit of a letdown in others.

Menus are presented on large clipboards which are rather unwieldy, with sheets for lunch, dinner, dessert and wine all stacked behind each other.  It's a bit designery but not terribly practical in reality as four clipboards were clattering around the table.  The lunch menu itself was what we would have considered on the pricey side, with the cheapest option being soup at €6.

The chef sent us an amuse bouche of trout on slate with beetroot cubes and some white powder sprinkled over the top.  We asked the waiter what it was, but he had no idea.  It turned out to be olive oil sand which tasted of nothing and added very little to the dish.  The trout still had the skin on, which you had to remove to eat, so it was a touch messy and annoying.

We had planned to have a large lunch and forego dinner and ordered accordingly - I had the sprouting broccoli with crispy duck egg, parmesan and black olive oil - it was very pretty on the plate but went cold far too fast. The Country Girl had the chicken liver parfait which came on a wooden board with toasted brioche and was an enormous portion for a starter.  The Bon Viveur chose the Cauliflower Soup which I thought was very silky and creamy but the others found it to be too cold.

For mains, myself and the Bon Viveur chose the minute steak with chips, garlic butter, tomato and watercress which was well cooked - the chips were delicious. The City Chick had the chicken liver parfait with a side order of the chips and the Country Girl ordered the risotto with crab, prawns, chili and bisque.  This was a disaster.  Served on a shallow plate with black olive oil drizzled over the dish, it resembled a plate of very unattractive gruel.  And it got worse.  A stolen forkful of risotto contained diced up prawns and a healthy helping of crab shell.  The Country Girl explained to the waitress that there was a problem with the dish and was offered a replacement.  She declined and asked for the minute steak instead which appeared mere minutes later.

We declined dessert as neither the price nor the selection appealed to us.  When the bill arrived, it was a nasty surprise for the Country Girl to be charged for the replacement steak which cost more than her original risotto dish.  Sharp practice here.  It was disappointing to see both the owner and the front of house manager in the restaurant but neither of them came over to enquire how our meal was or to apologise for the faulty risotto.  The restaurant had very few covers so they weren't rushed off their feet dealing with other diners.

My share of the bill for lunch was €30 which is relatively expensive for two courses, coffee and service when you could have a set lunch in more prestigious restaurants in the city centre for less.  Hopefully our experience was a teething problem and they've upped their game since.

Eden Bar & Grill is at 7 South William Street, Dublin 2 Tel :  01 6706887
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