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Fire Restaurant – Dublin

On my last evening, my colleague R and I got to talking about food. She recommended Fire as a place with excellent cocktails and steaks. Since I wasn’t sure where to go, I decided to head over there. It’s next to the Mansion House, which is some sort of event place, and the restaurant itself is kinda huge. It’s in one giant room with extremely high ceilings. It’s rather daunting, bordering on gawdy. It’s another place that probably considers itself fine dining. It sure has fine dining prices, that’s for damn sure. Did I get cocktails? No. Did I get steaks? No. So here’s what I did get.
Some complimentary bread. It was only ok. They have their own brand of water. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.
I got the soup, which was sweet corn and fresh tomato. Only thing though, I don’t recall any tomatoes being in this at all. It was more of a creamy corn soup. I quite liked it, but the name and description was a bit of a misnomer.
For my entree I got the pan fried fillet of monkfish, served with a basil and lemon hollandaise sauce with asparagus and scallion mashed potatoes. This dish was quite good, but man, so just not worth the high price tag. It was three fairly teeny bits of monkfish, a small heap of mashed potatoes, and three asparagus. This is all you get for nearly 30 euros? It’s slightly offensive. I said it was good, but it was way overpriced. The soup was a bit expensive too, but it was a lot of soup, so that price point didn’t offend me as much. I was pretty stuffed though, so I didn’t have room for dessert. The food was good, but it wasn’t great. It wasn’t good enough to have the price tags that it did. The high prices seem to be because of the ambiance, but for me, the ambiance wasn’t that rich either. It was a bit showy and cheesy. So maybe I would have done better if I had gotten steak and cocktails as per the recommendations, but I have a feeling I would have found them not worth their price either. For me, I say skip this one. You can get much better food elsewhere in Dublin. Service was only ok. Again, for these prices, I expected much more.

Burlington Hotel Buffet Breakfast

My last hotel on my european journey was the Burlington Hotel in Dublin. This was my least favorite out of the three breakfast buffets. None of the fruit was fresh, except for whole oranges and apples. These berries were frozen, these apricots and grapefruits were canned, and there wasn’t a kiwi in sight. The yogurt wasn’t bad. The pastries were ok, but nothing compared to the ones from Basel. Croissants… didn’t try them though. Cheese and cold cuts, it’s everywhere in Europe. The cereal selection was pretty good. There were these weird cereal blocks here. I think it’s weetabix, whatever that is. And I thought I’d try a bit of the full irish breakfast before I left. Sausage, black pudding, and some beans. The beans were fine, a little on the bland side. The sausage was pretty good, and I’m not usually a sausage link type of person. The black pudding wasn’t bad either, but it wasn’t really my thing. I just wanted to taste it to see what it was like. Not bad, but I’m not necessarily going to order it.

French Fine Dining At Pearl Brasserie

After my fine dining experience the night before, I decided to treat myself for the rest of the trip and continue with the fine dining streak. So for my next adventure, I dined at Pearl Brasserie. It is a French brasserie located in a basement. But don’t worry, it’s a very nice restaurant, despite its underground location. From my first moment in, it was an extraordinary experience. And that’s exactly what it was, an experience. It wasn’t just a regular meal, it was an event. The place is very nice, but not snooty at all. There are light fixtures that look like pearl onions. I assume that’s where the pearl in Pearl Brasserie came from.
Complimentary whole wheat baguette with pesto and butter. This butter was incredibly rich and amazing. And while I’m not normally a pesto person, I enjoyed it on the baguettes.
While waiting for my entree, we were all treated to a complimentary appetizer. It was pork with cumin with a horseradish sauce. Man, was this thing good. With a start like this, I knew my entree was going to kick ass.
And kick ass it did. I got the seared queen scallops and dublin bay prawns. It was served with curried gnocchi, and fresh garden peas, in a prawn bisque. Everything about this dish was amazing. The scallops and prawns were perfectly cooked, the gnocchi was tender, the peas had just enough crunch, and the bisque had an amazing flavor. I could have licked this plate. And if I wasn’t surrounded by so many high class people, I totally would have.
I couldn’t stop eating. Since it was french brasserie portions, I still had room, and a need to keep eating. So I got the creme brulee, and my server said it was a good choice. I love me some creme brulee, and if it’s on a menu, and I’m feeling dessert, there’s a good chance I’m going to pick it. This one was particularly great. It was made with organic free range eggs, and you know what, you really could tell. It had good texture, a lovely strong vanilla flavor, and a nice and crispy burnt crunch on top.

And let me tell you about the service. This place is run like a machine. But not in a cold and robotic way. Just in an incredibly precise and well-oiled machine kind of a way. Everyone worked as a team, and they were immaculate professionals. Everyone was nice, friendly, and great at their jobs. And you could tell they deeply cared about what they were doing. This was one of the most memorable meals I’ve ever had in my life. It was the type of meal where they spoil you a bit, and well, I enjoyed it. I wholeheartedly recommend anyone in Dublin to try this place out. You’ll remember it for the ages!

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