Posted: 07 June '10 by Kelly
I had been in Dublin visiting Ciara for the weekend and hadn’t seen Niall for a few days so we decided to catch up over a meal and a few drinks. You might remember that we had been to The Barking Dog before and thought that the food was delicious, so decided to go back.
The decor is really cool, a mixture of French chic and rustic farmhouse with its vintage cups and saucers and the huge wooden dresser that holds all of the wine glasses. It’s quite informal too – a chilled atmosphere in which to enjoy a leisurely lunch or evening bite-to-eat.
We were shown to our table by a very pleasant member of staff which, after our last experience, was a welcome change. Looking down the menu we were pretty impressed – a good range of dishes which were added to by 4 or 5 daily specials.
After some deliberation Niall chose the Crab with creme fraiche on sourdough toast to start while I went for the Scallops with black pudding and cauliflower puree. Niall’s starter was OK, but I thought that it was quite bland! My starter was OK too – the scallops were cooked perfectly however the black pudding was wafer thin and the cauliflower puree lacked flavour… although I am quite spoilt because Niall’s version of this dish is the best I have ever tasted. It also has to be said that the portion size was quite measly.
For our main course we decided to have the ‘Cote de Boeuf’ with thick-cut chips, roasted tomatoes and bearnaise sauce (for two people). Now, maybe we have been spoilt by our experience at ‘Robert et Louise’ in Paris, but whenever you order this dish you do have certain expectations!
The first taste is with the eyes, they say, and this did look very promising. Served on a wooden cutting board, the chunky chips were stacked beside a large rib and the sliced beef, together with the juicy roasted vine tomatoes – a rustic feast just waiting for you to dig in. Whenever I think of Cote de Boeuf my mouth waters as I think of a seared, charcoal-flavoured crust and moist, flavoursome steak that melts in your mouth. Sadly there were none of these attributes present as we tucked into our meal.
Although it had been cooked to our request (medium/rare), it had not been seasoned well enough and was actually quite bland. I got very bored of the dish after a few mouthfuls and just didn’t want anymore. The bearnaise sauce was a bit of joke too – there was absolutely no tarragon in the sauce which had a milky, buttery, non-flavour.. it was horrible!! Once again the portion-size just wasn’t generous enough for two hungry diners – while it may have looked impressive, the majority of the serving was the large rib-bone, after which there were only 4 slices of beef. The best parts of this dish were the thick-cut chips and the tomatoes which, for the £42.50 price-tag, is a bit rich.
For dessert I had the sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream and Niall had the chocolate and pear tart. My sticky toffee pudding was OK, but it wasn’t very ‘sticky’ and the only discernible toffee presence was the sauce that had been poured around the pudding on the plate. Niall’s dessert on the other hand was delicious, with the pastry being light and crisp and the chocolate rich and gooey. It worked perfectly.
|Crab and creme fraiche on toasted sourdough||£6.95|
|Seared scallops, black pudding, and cauliflower puree||£8.50|
|Cote de Boeuf (for 2)||£42.50|
|Buttered green beans||£3.00|
|Sticky toffee pudding, toffee sauce and vanilla ice-cream||£4.95|
|Chocolate and pear tart||£4.95|
The letters “O” and “K” on my keyboard have almost been worn away from this one review alone.
The food was very average, the portions were quite small, and the cost was fairly excessive. It’s such a shame because there is a lot to recommend about The Barking Dog and I want to like it.
The waitress was really polite and couldn’t do enough for us without being too over the top.
I do hope the food gets better as it could be an excellent restaurant.
Categories: Restaurant Reviews