It is notoriously difficult to find great quality food, at affordable prices around the Grafton Street area. This is mainly because the well known shopping district has developed into a tourist trap, littered with chain restaurants and fast food joints. However, I am delighted to announce that I recently stumbled across a diamond in the rough. Let me introduce Catch 22.
Catch 22 is located opposite Kehoe’s on South Anne Street and they pride themselves on their simple, yet delicious seafood menu. The décor which consists of tiled flooring and bleached timber panel walls screams ‘sailor’ and, I am delighted to report that there’s nothing pretentious about the atmosphere of the restaurant. Alas, a word of warning: this place is tiny and they operate on a “first come, first served” basis so you can only reserve tables for parties of 5+. But, if you are lucky enough to snatch up a table on arrival – you are in for the most delightful treat.
I have been to Catch 22 on two occasions now and I’m happy to report that they have my full seal of approval. On my first visit to the restaurant, I ordered a portion of calamari with hand-cut chips. More often than not, Irish eateries get it wrong when it comes to squid – we’ve all had the over-cooked, rubbery type. However, the deep-friend calamari in Catch 22 was soft and succulent, and I have to admit, surprisingly fresh. The calamari was served with chilli mayo which was tangy, rather than spicy – delicious.
The menu at Catch 22 provides for the addition of two specials, sourced and cooked fresh everyday. So, on my second visit to the restaurant I opted for one of these specials; prawns tossed in Marie Rose sauce, layered over home-made brown bread. The prawns themselves were moist and bursting with flavour and freshness. I expect that they were sourced directly from Dublin bay – no phoney frozen fish here! The sauce was simple, yet tasty and complimented the fresh seafood perfectly. And as an added extra, the hand-cut chips were cooked to perfection – fluffy on the inside with perfectly crispy skin.
And there you have it – unpretentious, wholesome comfort food at surprisingly affordable prices!
What do you think? Worth a visit? Let us know in the comments!
If this blog isn’t making you gain weight, you’re not reading it properly. Today, we’re taking a trip to The Gotham Cafe on South Anne Street, Dublin. A hidden gem, located just off Grafton Street, this place is definitely worth the visit. You will be greeted with quirky, retro decor and a big welcome from the really friendly staff. The Gotham Cafe is bustling with shoppers, natives and tourists alike so it’s the perfect place for a break from reality.
Myself and my fabulous friend Tanya had the good fortune to visit The Gotham Cafe on a gloriously sunny day. Therefore, we sat outdoors to enjoy the buzzing ambience of the city. Opting for the lunch menu which is great value, I selected the “Chargrilled Herbed Chicken Ciabatta Sandwich” while Tanya had the “Chargrilled Steak Ciabatta Sandwich”. Both were equally flavoursome and delicious!
First up, we have the chicken sandwich. This treat was layered on ciabatta, smothered in sweet chilli & basil crème fraîche and served with homemade fries and mixed salad. A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips but worth every second. The chicken was succulent, the dressing was tangy and full of flavour while the bread was fresh and crispy.
So, what about the steak sandwich? Personally, I’m not a huge fan of steak sandwiches – I always find that the steak is cut too thinly and usually overcooked. However, I had a little taste of Tanya’s dish at The Gotham Cafe and can vouch for the fact that it was nothing short of delicious! The sandwich was accompanied with garlic mayonnaise, rocket, tomato, relish and homemade fries. Thinly cut, yet cooked to perfection – the steak was of the ‘melt in mouth variety’ and like my own, the fries were crispy on the outside and perfectly fluffy on the inside.
All this food came in at under €20, so you won’t feel too guilty about treating yourself.
Let me know if you try it – I love hearing your feedback!
Last night we ventured to the Whitefriar Grill on Aungier Street for some birthday celebrations. This steakhouse comes highly recommended, with food critics all around the city praising the cuisine and the atmosphere. We opted for the early-bird menu on this occasion which is great value at €19.50 for two courses or €24.50 for three.
Providing a fun, ‘cool as cucumber’ atmosphere for diners, the Whitefriar Grill is the perfect place to relax with friends after a long week at work. We really enjoyed the cosy interior and buzzing ambience. So, what about the food?
To begin with, I had the curried crab and lychee salad with asparagus and it was simply divine. Crab meat is an all time favourite of mine, and a great alternative for prawn lovers who would like to shake up their dining habits. The meat in this dish was succulent and flavoursome while the salad and asparagus was perfectly fresh.
Next up, I had the rump steak with fries, tobacco onions and pepper sauce. This dish left me with serious sympathy for vegetarians all over the world. It was quite simply ‘melt-in-mouth’ quality. The steak was tender and juicy, cooked exactly to my liking. The onions were crispy and full of flavour while the chips were chunky with a fluffy texture.
And finally, it’s all about the dessert. Chewy meringue with strawberries and cream – basic but brilliant. This dish was nice and light after a filling main course. It rivalled my mother’s receipe for meringue and that’s a serious compliment.
A huge thanks to Sarah, our fabulous waitress, who made the night really enjoyable with 5 star service. I’ll be back again soon – that brunch menu needs sampling!