This is Dublin’s one-and-only true Dutch-Indonesian Rijst Tafel restaurant. What’s that? we hear you enquire. Well, it translates as ‘rice table’ and consists of a bed of rice served with small, often spicy, side dishes. With the many awards on the wall outside, it’s surprising this restaurant isn’t name-checked more often. The nicely spicy Indonesian food awakens the taste buds without the dive for the jug of water. An a la carte menu is available, but the Rijst Tafel menu is why you’re here. Upstairs the cushioned low level seating is a novelty and certainly makes you sit back, relax and enjoy your meal. Share a romantic evening with your paramour or hook up with friends and book the private Opium Room.
Located in The Mansion House, the official residence of Dublin’s Lord Mayor since 1715, this spacious, high-ceilinged dining space mixes contemporary Celtic Spires and vibrant lighting with beautifully restored original features. Woodfired ovens produce delicious Jumbo Tiger Prawns (a signature dish) and tasty flatbreads. Lunch and pre-theatre menus are excellent value while the a la carte offers a wide variety of tasty and interesting dishes. If you like dining al fresco grab a table on the heated terrace overlooking Dawson Street and a little garden. Romantic, vibrant and trendy – Fire is, you’ll pardon us for saying, hot stuff.
It’s rare that diners will catch a glimpse of their favourite celeb chef working up a sweat at the helm of a Dublin restaurant. So it’s reassuring to note that head chef Stephen McAlister, (RTÉ’s The Restaurant and The Afternoon Show) is a permanent fixture at this classy Nassau Street eaterie. McAlister’s dishes are best described as a modern take on traditional Irish cuisine. And since it’s been awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand, all you hungry tourists will be guaranteed top notch Irish ingredients. For lunch-time munchers check out the cafe menu with light bite treats. Evening diners can enjoy a whole host of traditional platters such as bacon and cabbage, shepherds pie and (as the name suggests) deep fried crispy pig’s ears – a delicacy we’re assured. Look for the bright pink door, then ascend the staircase to the two spacious and contemporary rooms overlooking the leafy grounds of Trinity College.
Les Frères Jacques
Escape the bustle of Dame Street at this charming – and award-winning – restaurant Français. French cuisine, wines and waiters combine to create a warm and intimate vibe that’s perfect for a romantic meal or especially good value lunch. Seafood, steaks and delicious desserts are served in an unpretentious setting of muted tones, wooden tables and chairs and crisp white linens. Wine buffs will especially enjoy the 50% discount on full bottles every Monday and Tuesday. Early bird menus run 18:00 – 19:00, perfect timing if you’re heading out or to a show later. And right next door to the Olympia Theatre you couldn’t be more spoiled if you tried.