Finally it was Friday, the best day of the week. Ok, maybe not the best day since you still had to get up in the morning, but definitely the best evening of the week. All weekend ahead of you and you can sleep in the next day. So last Friday I was meeting Karin, a friend I haven’t seen for ages but one who is always up for new places (remember Figar). This time I took her to a tried and tested/tasted Irish pub which just happened to have a new chef.
Charlie P’s is like your regular Irish pub in every way except that is has a great kitchen for its restaurant Dining Room. I have been there already a couple of times and was never disappointed (quite a feat). But a new chef changes the rules and one has to go and try again.
We had a reservation for 7:30 and had planned to meet at the bar around 7pm to wait for the table. As it turned out this was not necessary because we got ours right away (that it was the least comfortable one in the Dining Room was nobody’s fault).
Instead of starting with a Guinness (didn’t I learn in Dublin that Guinness just tastes better on the Emerald Isle?) we ordered a cocktail.
Something or other with Gin and it had a lovely spring aroma. I was also into the bucket-like look (just the right amount for a Friday evening). Looks of course can deceive, there was a lot of ice in it. Still it was the perfect start to nice meal.
When we finally ordered the waitress looked happy. I think she had to come over a couple of times and we were still not ready. When you haven’t seen the other person in a long time there is a lot of catching up to do. We took our time updating the other on our life again and then celebrated big changes to come. It is annoying though that one gets so rushed to order.
I understand that the place can make a lot more business if people eat faster and then leave their tables (a lot of people were sent away due to full-booking). But I don’t want to get pushed to order the moment I sit down, especially when the food is so hyped. I want to leisurely enjoy myself and take in the whole experience. After all this was not at the golden arch (and anyway there it’s self-service).
In the end I ordered the hake and my friend the soup of the day. The hake was accompanied by sour potatoes, goat cheese and dill. So far for the menu. Turns out it was exactly like described but different than imagined (here we go again with the expectations).
Hello? Anyone looking for the potatoes? They were the pea-sized yellow balls on the plate above. It was really good, don’t get me wrong. But what’s the point on saving on the side dish? I mean it’s not like as if I ordered something outrageous; and aren’t potatoes a staple of Irish food? (It was a great diet dish though, had a pound less the next day despite the beer I had with my meal!).
The tomato and pepper soup meanwhile was tasty but cold. Karin didn’t send it back but told the waitress later about it. Of course by then there was nothing she could do except tell my friend she should have said so right away. Karin replied that she rather dislikes sending back food since she prefers it without spit in it. The waitress then told her not to worry they would only do that until someone sends his food back to the kitchen more than three times. Good to know, I will never complain! That’s for sure!
While we had our dinner the guests next to us appeared to eat their way through the menu. Everything they ordered looked delicious and generously portioned. So when as their last course they shared a steak with a large serving of chips between them I must have looked like a starving kitten (as I like to imagine myself. In truth is was probably more like a ferocious wolf). For whatever reason they took pity on me and offered me a large potato wedge including dip sauce. And to my embarrassment I took it. Carbohydrates never tasted so good!