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!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tenors Grill Room, Donnybrook, Dublin 4

Tenors Grill Room in Donnybrook occupies the former site of the Courtyard Cafe and has entered the market with a definite plan. All starters are priced at E5, while all mains are E10 with desserts available for E5. A carafe of house white or red wine is on offer for E12.95 - given all this, Tenors appears to offer excellent value.

The two of us dined there today, drawn in by this offer of good food at good prices. You enter the restaurant via a courtyard just off Belmont Avenue (behind Madigan's Pub in Donnybrook). The courtyard was empty on this overcast day but should be filled with sunshine on bright days. Inside, the large diningroom is cleanly decorated in shades of white, red and blue with plenty of natual light flooding in through the glass section of the roof.

The menu is simple offering typical cafe food. We chose mussels in white wine and herbs, along with chicken wings for starters. The mussels were plump and very fresh but let down badly by the accompanying sauce which was more like a soup in consistency and tasted of very little. The chicken wings were coated in a semi-spicy sweet'n'sour type sauce and were just fine.

I went for the cajun marinated chicken breast burger served with fried onions, crisp lettuce and vine tomato along with chunky chips while he chose the Malaysian style Chicken Curry served with Tenors special fried and poppadom. The burger was singularly flat and bland when it arrived. The crisp lettuce turned out to be a single limp leaf while the vine tomato was a regular thick slice of tomato. There was a weird rose-coloured sauce in the bottom of the burger (possibly from a prawn cocktail?) while I couldn't taste any hint of cajun spices. TBH I really could have gotten a better chicken burger from any chipper at 2am in the morning. (BTW, Eddie Rockets just down the road does a far superior chicken burger for just E6.95).

He fared a little better with the Malaysian curry but both the curry and the rice had the feeling of prepreparedness about them.

We declined the offer of dessert and coffee as at this stage we were of the opinion that we didn't really want to leave any more money in Tenors than was necessary. Total bill for the two starters, two mains, a diet coke and a sparkling water came to E36. On the surface that seems like good value, but to be honest I'd rather spend a little more and get food that actually tastes of something.

Offering good value is crucial these days, but restaurants should still be mindful of the need to balance quality and value.

Tenors Grill Room, 1 Belmont Avenue, Donnybrook, Dublin 4. 01 - 283 0407

1 comment

Maroonred said...

On a recent visit to Tenors I found the food fresh, well presented and the staff very nice. The manager was mingling with the customers which is brilliant customer service.After a bad experience in another restaurant I was refused the manager's name to put my complaint in writing let alone that he would actually come out and meet his customers. I look forward to returning to Tenors.

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