Dublin's best known steakhouse has Michelin pricing, but not Michelin quality

Restaurant review: I’ll happily dine in this relaxed, friendly room. As long as I’m not paying

The prawns, all six of them, taste of nothing, and I later discover they’re from India. Not a good idea when there are sweet-tasting Dublin Bay prawns just a few food miles away. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The prawns, all six of them, taste of nothing, and I later discover they’re from India. Not a good idea when there are sweet-tasting Dublin Bay prawns just a few food miles away. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

I have to say, I’m taken totally by surprise at how quickly I relax into the room. Yes, it’s all gilt mirrors, chandeliers, deep patterned carpets and plush velvet chairs; the sort of place where, if you have to ask (the price), you can’t afford it. But there’s something gloriously refreshing about a restaurant that is so comfortable in its own un-Botoxed skin. Where the gold leaf is on the stucco, not the steaks.

I had expected garrulous bellowing, “send him down” toasts, and the muted sizzle of heated tongs opening last century Bordeaux, but instead, it’s a hum of chatter, with tables just far enough apart to allow snatches of overheard conversations, without the full Julian Assange. And Frank Sinatra, crooning “it’s my kind of town”.

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