Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Green Hen, Dublin

Where to lunch? Believe it or not, this is a question that occupies a lot of my time. Even when I'm at work, and the choice is Costa Coffee, Subway (guilty pleasure) or the canteen, I will still give this very important question a lot of consideration.

So it was on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of Dublin. Where to lunch? We wanted something somewhat substantial, given our post-inebriated state, but not too much. We wanted tasty but in a quiet and comfortable atmosphere. And it had to be close by (we were too lazy to consider anything further than Grafton Street). And so it was that I recalled previous brunch visits to the Green Hen.

The cute little Green Hen logo
Located on Exchequer Street, the Green Hen is ideally located to capture a lot of lunch trade, and yet it never seems to be too busy. It's a French bistro which serves a brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays from 12. Also available is a selection of brunch cocktails, including champagne mojitos and raspberry bellinis, priced at an attractive €7.50. The cocktail option really finalised the deal for us. Hair of the dog was going to be the order of the day.

I really like the interior decor of the Green Hen, and especially like the fact that they always have a large bunch of fresh floors on the counter top. The sight and smell of fresh flowers always does something to cheer me up. On Saturdays and Sundays, the Green Hen serves a Brunch menu from 12 pm onwards. On previous visits I had enjoyed a crispy squid Caesar salad, but disappointingly it was no longer offered on their menu. Himself chose the grilled beef burger, served with bacon and blue cheese, pommes frites and mixed salad (€12) while I chose the more expensive ribeye steak with bruschetta, confit shallots and fried hen's egg (€14).

Ribeye steak with mixed green salad
The burger came piled high with bacon and cheese, and was juicy and tasty. They were accompanied by a large side bowl of thin pommes frites, which definitely helped with the hair of the dog therapy. In comparison, I was diappointed with the ribeye steak. It had been shaped into a small round to match the piece of bread on which it rested and was covered with a layer of the confit shallots and a fried egg. The layer of shallots was too thick and sweet and didn't really work with the egg. Also, I hadn't been given a steak knife after ordering, and therefore I found it hard work to get through the steak with the regular knife. The final disappointment came when I realised there was no accompanying side dish. To be fair, I should have realised this when reading the menu, but that didn't really console me as I watched himself enjoying his bowl of pommes frites. It was clear that the burger, at €2 cheaper, represented a far better meal.

Overall, the meal at the Green Hen came to somewhere in the region of €50, once some coffees and other drinks were added. The burger shone as a great value meal while the more expensive ribeye steak left a disappointed feeling. Overall, the Green Hen offers some good food in nice surroundings, but choose carefully.

The Green Hen, 33 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2. 
Tel: +353 (0)1 670 7238
Green Hen on Urbanspoon

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