Saturday, 2 March 2013

Woeful dining experiences

After the simply perfect meals which we had experienced in Italy, we were brought back down to Earth quite abruptly with a few bad meals in Dublin. What made it worse to stomach for me was that my bro and Jools had come to visit us from halfway across the world. I had wanted to pick some nice places to eat when they were in town but unfortunately, they ranged from not quite hitting the mark, a real disappointment a decade later and so bad I will NEVER return again!

Meal no. 1 
I decided to choose somewhere quite casual which also served good food, hence the Winding Stair. JD and I had visited the resto at the beginning of the year and really enjoyed our meal (see here for blog entry) so I thought why not? The resto was bustling on the Saturday night we ate but the service remained pretty good, polite and efficient. The food, whilst solid did not live up to the standards of our first visit - a real shame :(

Meal no. 2
I had scoured the net for good brunch places in Dublin and more than 10 years since I last lived here, the general consensus was that Odessa was still one of the best in town. I remember the first time I did go for brunch there, it was pretty good but was then disappointed by subsequent visits. Despite this, I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and booked us in for brunch anyway - I was secretly hoping that in the 10 years we have been away that things may have improved :)

Sadly, I was wrong. Yes, Odessa is still as popular as ever for Sunday brunch. Why? I have absolutely no idea??!!! Smoothies and juices were cold, weak and sour. Breakfasts took an age to prepare and were only lukewarm on arrival (worrying that the kitchen is already in the weeds at an early sitting!) Again, I felt bad for taking my bro and Jools here especially since when they are used to the embarassingly good and bountiful spreads that are served for weekend brunch in HK without fail every week :(

Meal no. 3
Ma and Ba Chan had popped up to join us for my bro and Jools last meal in Dublin before driving them home for a few days RnR. Since it was a week day and taking into consideration Ba Chan's fondness of curry and flatbreads, I chose to take them to Khan's Balti House in Donnybrook (also close to where JD works). We arrived early evening on a Monday - there was already a large-ish party (party of 10) seated in the main dining room yet the waiter decided that he would seat us (party of 8) right next to them (despite the other side of the dining room being completely empty. After ordering, we then had to endure an eternal wait for our food; despite ordering first among 4-5 other tables, we were served last. Finally, to make matters worse, the party of 10 seated next to us not only increased in size but became increasingly drunk and rowdy. This not only ruined our meal but also culminated in a near serious accident when one pissed out of her mind woman fell backwards and directly landed on Ba Chan. Needless to say, I was beyond pissed off and fuming at myself for bringing my family to the resto and pissed off at the way the staff had treated us. Normally, I do not complain much at restos but when they came to clear our plates, I made it known that I wasn't happy with our meal (Ba Chan started by asking why they would seat us next to the large party of lager louts). To add insult to injury, instead of listening and offering an apology, the waiter decided to throw it back in our face and said it was our fault for being too large a party and therefore, we were served last (no mention about his idiotic decision to seat us next to the other party). By the end of our conversation, Ba Chan, my bro, Jools, JD and I had all weighed in with complaints before the waiter eventually offered a less-than-genuine half-arsed apology. I was disgusted by the whole experience and our treatment that I will never step foot in Khan's again nor do I believe that anyone else should subjected to this.

A guide on how NOT to choose restos to bring your nearest and dearest!!! :(