Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mangetu and Carluccio's

There's one good thing about being at home recovering from surgery. I'm getting to eat out a lot. Probably too much in fact, considering my lack of physical activity. So even though I'm feeling guilty about all those calories, I'm also quite enjoying them.

Yesterday, we were driving home in rush hour, when we encountered a busier than usual street. Sod it, we said, and parked the car and went for an early dinner. I'd been watching Mangetu on Haddington Road while it was being fitted out and I was glad of the chance to finally eat there. It's billed as Asian fusion and Thai, and is one of that new breed of restaurant with a fancy cocktail list and smooth surroundings. The interior is beautifully decorated in shades of cream and white and invites you to relax. We chose to go for the Early Bird menu which offers two courses for approx 19 Euro or three courses for 25 Euro.

Our starters of Larb Ped (minced duck salad served on baby gem leaves) and chicken and coconut soup were excellent. The duck was dressed in lime juice but featured too many slices of lemon grass and large chunks of red onion. The soup was creamy and punchy and full of chicken, tomato and mushroom. The mains of red duck curry and chicken with basil and chili came with portions of glutinous rice. The red curry was creamy, spicy and featured pieces of fruit to break up the spiciness. The chicken was a little bland considering it was advertised on the menu as being spicy, but was still a good dish.

Overall I liked Mangetu. I thought that the food was good, and if I hadn't been driving I would definitely have been tempted by the cocktail menu. Service was little slow, with one hostess hanging around and not performing table clearing duties, instead leaving it to the one waitress. Total cost including two large bottles of sparkling water came to 45 Euro. Definitely one to try again.

Today I went to see my surgeon for a check-up following my surgery, so I decided to visit some bookshops and have lunch in town before hand. After visiting Waterstones and Hogges & Figgis, I went to Carluccio's on Dawson Street for a light lunch.

I've been there before and wasn't overly impressed. I did want to return however for their Bicerin, a chocolate coffee drink where you get three small jugs of espresso, cream and thick drinking chocolate, and a cup for you to mix them in. What a delicious idea. As well as this decadent drink, I also had an Insalata di Mozzarella, which the menu claimed to feature oven roasted tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. When it came, it was delicious, but the tomatoes were fresh, not the afore-mentioned oven-roasted. Pity. The mozzarella was fresh, and the whole thing was seasoned and drizzled in olive oil. I liked the salad, but I didn't like the price. 10 Euro for a tomato and lump of mozzarella is a little much to be asking. Total bill was approx 13.50 Euro which is fine, but the bizarre serving staff in Carluccio's still need some work. Despite the plethora of staff, it's hard to get their attention.

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