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dublin

Conrad Hotel Breakfast

I was staying at the Conrad Hotel and the buffet breakfast was included. It beats having to think about where and what I’m going to eat. Scones and pastries and spreads and such. Whence in europe, the obligatory Nutella.
I mostly stuffed my gourd with the fresh fruit, especially the kiwi. A big bowl of already peeled and cut up kiwi? It’s like a dream! Some cheeses and some funny little irish yogurts. I wasn’t too crazy about the yogurt. I tried one that came in a jar, and it just tasted a bit odd.
A bunch of breads, including irish soda bread. They also had hot items that are the normal bits and pieces of a traditional irish breakfast (bacon, eggs, tomato, baked beans, etc). And they had a really great variety of different juices (orange, mango, apple, tomato, etc). The coffee wasn’t hot though. And they had a lovely selection of teas.

Thai Noodles In Dublin

I was staying in a fairly central part of Dublin centre, but I decided to roam around a bit to explore my surroundings. I ended up walking into a fairly residential and cute part of town, Ranelagh Village. It had a little strip of shops and restaurants and in general, life! I had read about Diep Le Shaker and saw that it had sister restaurants Diep Noodle Bar and Diep At Home so I decided to stop into the noodle version after all that walking. It’s a thai place. They bill themselves as Thai and Vietnamese, but I’m sorry, there’s nothing Vietnamese about this place. It’s straight up thai.
I started with some spring rolls. These were nice and hot, but they were pretty boring. The dipping sauce was straight out of a bottle, and you didn’t quite get enough of it. And for how little the rolls were, even though you got so many, these are expensive. But that’s Dublin for ya, and that’s the Euro.
For my entree I got the bangkok noodles, which was basically thai basil chicken with rice noodles. There was nothing extraordinary about this dish, but it was perfectly fine. It was certainly on par with other ok thai food I’ve had in the past. I haven’t actually eaten that much thai food in my life, so I can’t call myself any kind of connoisseur, but this was just ok. All the ingredients were fresh though, which is really fine by me. Again, this was expensive, if you think about it in dollars. You certainly couldn’t charge $22 for something like this back home.
The service was good and the place itself is very nice. Attractively decorated, just the right amount of mood, and they play amazing music. Again, no problem with the credit card here as well.

Wagamama

The first and last time I went to Wagamama was when I was in London. This was forever and a half ago. I have no idea what I got that last time, but coincidentally enough, this place looked exactly like the last one. It’s in the basement (do they only build restaurants in basements?) and has cafeteria type seating. I actually don’t mind seating like this. I think whatever I ate that time years ago, I was underwhelmed. But I was willing to try it again.
They sell asian-esque food here. The options aren’t that many. But it comes out pretty fast. I went with the spicy chicken ramen bowl. I also got one of their special fruit juices, which was freshly squeezed with various fruits, including apple, orange, and a few other delicious things I can’t remember. I had to keep stirring it so that the apple pulp wouldn’t just be floating at the top.To my shock (because I had extremely low expectations, and remembering my past Dublin meals to be so meh in the past, I was simply being realistic) my bowl of ramen was great. There wasn’t anything fancy or complicated in here, but the broth was fantastic. Super zesty and full of flavor with a hint of spice. The chicken was well cooked and good quality, and the fixins were fresh. It was simple, yet delicious. And I was thankful it was so. I happened to pick something good that I liked, but that doesn’t mean their other dishes are going to be as good. I’m pretty sure I got one of their noodle dishes last time, and it was probably pretty bland.The service is ok. Various people help you. One person takes your order and writes it down on your placemat. Another person might bring out your food. And then someone else may give you your check. But it’s a pretty efficient system.

* A note about credit card usage. In preparation, I found a bunch of articles related to the credit card technology in europe being different than in the US, and that many businesses in europe would no longer take US credit cards since they do not have chip and pin technology. I have not had any issues so far. Everywhere that takes cards, that I’ve tried, has been fine in giving me a receipt to sign. So as of now, I would say no worries. They’ll happily take your money.

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