Friday, August 27, 2010

Food, Glorious Food

Been eating far too much lately.

We had Amy over for the weekend 2 weeks ago, and we took her out to the China Sichuan for an early bird dinner on Saturday night. At this point, I can't remember the specifics of what we ate - my main course was a lovely white fish, but it was all very nice. They had their front sliding windows open, and it felt lovely and airy. (it was a gorgeous evening after a beautiful hot day).Excellent meal. Plenty of other diners were there, enjoying good food at reasonable prices.

Then last Sunday, we decided to use the G-Club card I won at a competition at Taste of Dublin (by giving very honest answers to a Bord Failte questionnaire - basically telling them how awful and overpriced I felt food was when travelling around Ireland. It's true - dinner in hotels is generally quite good, if somewhat pricey, but finding a decent lunch when touring around the country is almost impossible - "homemade" soup out of a pack, burnt bread, flavourless chowder, etc.). With the G Club card, you can get special offers at a number of restaurants - generally 2 for the price of 1 mid-week. It's valid a year, and costs €75, so I'm delighted I got it for free.

We booked a Sunday evening meal at Montys of Rathgar, a Nepalese restaurant we had never tried before. I had a simple starter of vegetables deep-fried in batter with spices - tasty and mild. Brendan had a potato starter which turned out very hot and quite filling. I ordered a hot, sweet and sour dish with prawns - full of flavour and spice. Halfway through, I swapped with Brendan's milder lamb dish, as mine was getting a bit too spicy for me. The lamb was excellent. Brendan had ordered it hot, but if you avoided the deadly green chillies, it was fine. The meat was excellent, not always guaranteed with lamb, but it was perfectly cooked, and not one gristly bit in sight. Then, though I was already full, I decided to try one of the desserts - made with grated carrots, milk and cinnamon and other spices - the perfect comfort food. Really enjoyed it . Service was good, and the place was packed when we left around 8. Good value with the G-club card, but we could probably have eaten for the same overall cost if we had ordered from the value meal menu, which you can't get with the card.

Then, on Wednesday evening, we went to Indian Summer, one of our favourite Indian restaurants. One of Brendan's cousins, Paul, was visiting Ireland with his wife Meg, and we took them for a drive around the Dublin Mountains, with a walk in Powerscourt gardens. It was 6:30 by the time we got back towards Stillorgan, and a good Indian meal was the perfect way to end the day. Again, we ate from the value menu, available all week days, and the food was excellent. And it was packed like we had never seen it before.

Clearly the special value/early bird menus are drawing diners back out to all good restaurants.

But that's it. No more meals out for me for another few weeks. My digestive system can't take it any more.

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