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The Lucindas 2015

The Lucindas 2015

Wednesday 30 December 2015


The Wok Star Award

There were plenty of Asian influences, but no signs of the Vikings, in Soder + Ko, the new Scandi Asian gastroclub on South Great George’s Street. That said, Donegal chef Kwanghi Chan’s fabulous South East Asian dim sum made me forget all about the Nordic no-show.

The High Society Award

Princess Grace would have felt right at home dining at the ‘swellegant elegant’ Brabazon Restaurant at Trish and Bryan Conroy’s fabulous Tankardstown House in Co. Meath, where head chef, Rob Krawczyk, has been hitting all the right culinary notes. “Who wants the botherof a country estate?” I do!

The Top Trump Award

‘The Donald’ reportedly bought the former Lodge at Doonbeg
in Co. Clare for a cool €15m to complete his so called Trump Triangle. His Ocean View restaurant there was absolute bliss, with a colourful culinary performance from start to finish. They have helicopter pads on standby, but will there be enough room for Air Force One! 

The Bing & Bob Award

It was tough to choose from the extensive, authentic, menu of tagines at the new bijou
Kenz restaurant and takeaway in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. I was delighted by the food and atmosphere throughout my visit and I’ll surely be back on the ‘Road to Morocco’soon.

The Galloping Gourmets Award   

The latest addition to Lorraine Byrne and Lorraine Heskin’s fantastic Gourmet Food Parlour chain has just opened its doors in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin, and their tasty tapas evenings are not to be missed. Their newest venue is the jewel in an already glittering crown, whose gems include branches at Malahide, Swords, House on Leeson Street, and 37 Dawson Street.

The YUCCIE Award

With its deceptively simple urban chic decorandatmosphere,anditsfairlypriced new wave fine dining, Barry Fitzgerald’s new Bastible restaurant, on Dublin’s South Circular Road is a sure fire hit which has the young urban contemporaries out in force to experience his unique brand of cool.

The Anocht Agus La Award

Every year, thousands of tourists head for the delightful Medieval city of Kilkenny, where Kathleen Moran of the Kilkenny Design centre deserves a gold medal for the wonderful welcoming food emporium she has created in the stables of Kilkenny Castle, serving food daily and swinging into evening mode with Anocht fine dining towards the end of the week.


Fusion Confusion Award

Jean Jacques Caillabet’s former French restaurant, Les Freres Jacques, on Dame Street, is now home to his son, Jules’, new wine bar, which he has christened, ‘very Jules’. However, with a clash of Italy, Greece and India, involved in our soggy, jumbo prawn dish, plus a stuffing laden duck pie, it wasn’t ‘very Lucinda’.

The Bark But No Bite Award

I’d reviewed Cinnamon in Ranelagh a couple of years ago. The food was ok but the service was farcical. In their latest venue in Monkstown, the service was ok but the food left us wondering had the chef abandoned the kitchen.

Battered To Death Award

The East Coast cool, seafood-shack décor of Catch 22 on Dublin’s South Anne Street, couldn’t excuse the scarcity of the promised clams, prawns and crab claws in
a mussel - laden ‘shellfish pot’, nor the big doughy batter overcoats on my scampi.

The Due Diligence Award

Platform 61 on South William Street, who, following my review, tweeted recommending more ‘diligence’ on my part, have apparently had the good sense to remove the awful stewed pork belly dish and prawns to which we were subjected. It seemed ‘Tim Dooley’ didn’t like it either.

Through The Ringer Award

We wheeled up breathless and breakfastless for brunch at The Washerwoman on Glasnevin Hill, on a lashing wet Saturday, to be told it wasn’t kicking off until the following week. Waiting for lunch service, we became unwitting flies on the wall to ‘kitchen confidential’ as the chef loudly dressed down the meeter greeter for letting us in. This was followed by underwhelming, overpriced food.

The Last Hurdle Award

With gaucho chefs, smiling passadores, and a master class in carving, I was enjoying an ‘eat all you wish’ Brazilian churrascaria with friends at Rio Rodizio in Ranelagh until my camp came under siege by a nosey, smart arsed, Irish waiter.

The Dis-Congeniality Award

Curious to try the long-established tourist hotspot, Durty Nelly’s, in Bunratty, Co. Clare, I was disappointed to find the food mundane and the hospitality somewhat lacking in cead mile failte.

The Adios Award

It wasn’t as if I was looking for lamb’s brains or bull’s testicles at the short lived Salt Yard Spanish restaurant in Kilkenny, but I would have liked a little more cojones in their cooking repertoire. Sadly, it’s too late now.