Restaurants

Moany Mon On A Monday

My Saturday – Sunday – Monday…

dinner

To…

us

To…

drunk

To…

bed

To…

monday

Finish…

scone

Moral of this story? Never say “I’m actually not drinking much tonight” to an Irish friend.

http://www.labodega.ie/

https://twitter.com/TaphouseDublin

Categories: Humour, Loves, Life & Thoughts, Restaurants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘No’ Thai

So as mentioned last week, my friend Suzy and I went out on a LivingSocial deal last Saturday. I had previously blogged about how we all love these restaurant deals but how we never seem to return to the establishment that provided us with these cheap eats. And sadly after last Saturday, ‘Yo Thai’ is another meal deal restaurant to bite the, never-return-to-pay-the-full-whack, dust.

I’ve only just returned to normal. We hit it hard. After a meal with no atmosphere and little in the way of entertainment (not what I am accustomed to when experiencing teppan’yaki) we decided to make our own fun and drink and dance the night away. Which we did; my love for wine and cocktails left me in a zombie state for 4 days only allowing me to return to my blog now. The ‘fear’ has only just left me.

Now, Saturday! As stated, we were off to ‘Yo Thai’ on a meal deal. For €29, which we already paid in advance, we received Two Miso Soups, Two Teppan’yaki Mains and Two Teas/Coffees. After a few glasses of bubbly in my place, we got a taxi to the restaurant in Mount Merrion, Co. Dublin. Immediately when we opened the door, it was like a time that life forgot. It was a Saturday night at 7.30pm and there was nobody around. I swear I saw a tumble weed.

We were seated at the teppan’yaki bar and were greeted with two waiters strapping bib like aprons around our waist and neck. No ‘excuse me Miss’ or ‘would you mind madam’, just an immediate strap on of that apron. Not a big fan of this touchy-feely greeting as I’m not really one for being mauled by people I don’t know (at least buy me dinner first)! But I also felt it was an ignorant assumption I eat like a 1 year old and hold chopsticks like one too. Even the picture of the happy lobster on the front of the bib, didn’t appease my mood. Later, Suzy astutely stated that she thought the bib was more so we don’t get sprayed by the oil from the teppan’yaki bar. She may have been right, even though I had never experienced this before at any previous teppan’yaki place and that the grill was over a meter away with barely any cooking oil being utilised, so a simple explanation to this demeaning ‘must have’ would have been nice to have received pre-mauling.

Me with Suzy and our bibs. (Toilets were nice though)!

I was given a bib to eat with once before. I was on holiday with my boyfriend at Lake Maggiore and was unceremoniously strapped with a bib after ordering a clam tagliatelle. I took it off immediately. Being surrounded by classy Italians wearing Versace and dripping in gold made me blush in my bib with an ecstatic looking clam on the front. It made me all too aware I was the ‘T’ word (“oh my, look at the tourist over there”) and I took it off quickly before my boyfriend could take a picture. And FYI ecstatic clam; you have nothing to be happy about. You’re about to be in my tummy.

Here, however, I felt even more out of place than the up-market restaurant on the Italian lake. But looking at Suzy and laughing our asses off at the sight of each other made us forget our ridiculous attire. I think the 4 shots of hot sake each helped out too.

Our hot sake in its storage pot with boiling water.

After trying to explain the LivingSocial voucher to them (they seemed to be clueless as to what we were entitled to and we had to convince them they might want to take the coupon for their records at the end of their night), we began to eat. The food was gorgeous. I will give it that. We started with the miso soup and it was so good. I love this soup. It is so satisfying and I always add some soy sauce just to liven it up a little more.

For mains, I had scallop where Suzy had beef teppan’yaki . We both came to the conclusion that lady Suzy won the ‘Yo Thai’ food experience. Her steak was to die for and when I finished my shellfish, I moved onto her mains. She eats like a sparrow. I eat like a man.  

   

    Steak

Yes the food was amazing, but the experience of the chef entertaining us with his cooking antics never transpired for us. The chef did get some fire under his butt for the larger party that were seated beside us and I managed to scramble for my camera for a few action photos involving an egg, but that’s it. I didn’t come here to just watch an egg being tossed.

So after our coffee’s we decided to play ‘guess the bill’. Anyone who knows me and my family, knows this game. We play it every time we go out for a meal and the only rule is you’re allowed to know the cost of the wine if other people are aware of it so there is an equal chance. The person furthest from the correct amount of the bill has to pay for the entire meal. (Now, only once has this rule been enforced and this was in Toronto. Never play it with 4 tipsy, Canadian ice-hockey players. They actually follow this rule through and I had to pay $475 on a steak dinner. Serves me right for running my mouth off… ‘Oh I never lose’. And then I did).

Anyway, the bill! So the food was free however there was an €8 supplement for both our steak and scallops. We ordered 1 bottle of wine and a ¼ bottle of hot Sake. We assumed the bill would be €50 but to our surprise it came to €25. They forgot the supplement and there were no hidden extras… Sweet.

So yes the food was really good, but the bib incident, no understanding of the meal deal and the lack of atmosphere and entertainment had us leaving the restaurant knowing we’ll never return.

It’s a ‘No’ Thai. Onto the next meal deal.

www.yothai.ie

Categories: Restaurants | Tags: | 1 Comment

Deal or No Deal

Everyone I know loves a good deal, including me. I have signed up to every bargain deal website this Emerald Isle has to offer and currently have 5 active sign-ups which I check on a daily basis. From livingsocial.com to dealrush.ie, I love to sample what our fine country has to suggest in the way of activities, products, hotel breaks and of course, restaurants!

I have purchased over 27 deals and counting. Romantic hotel breaks, holiday breaks, Swarovski earrings, high-end make-up, dry cleaning deals, hair treatments, walking tours, massage and aromatherapy beauty treatments, wine and champagne deals… nothing is safe from the wrath of my credit card and my hunt for a new product or experience. But my all time favourite discounted offers are those directed at restaurants. What better way to sample a restaurant without having to spend about €90 per person just on a curiosity of the establishment? Two glasses of wine, two starters, two mains and two teas/coffees for only €35 all in you say??? Sign me up!

Indian, French, Italian, European, Turkish, Spanish, Cuban; I have sampled you all on this wonderful inexpensive arrangement. But I always leave the restaurant asking the same question; would I actually return and pay the full price? The answer, out of all the many meal haunts I have frequented on this low-cost offer is ‘No. I wouldn’t’.

Why is that? I love food. I love going out for a meal with friends. I love being waited on and not worry about the clean up. I love the whole dine-out experience package. So why would I not return to the establishment that allowed me have a fun time and a nice meal at, what is primarily, their expense?

We all know companies, hotels and restaurants put themselves on these deal sites in order to promote their enterprise and entice prospective new clients to sample what they have to offer. They want to ‘wow’ these potential repeat customers in the hope they return and spread positive word of mouth, increasing the traffic to their place of business and in turn, boosting profits. But does this actually work when you are essentially monetarily devaluing your product in the hope that your prospective customer will return and want to throw more money at a creation that had a decreased worth in the first place?

Is this why I and so many other diners have not returned to the restaurants that provided us with this low-cost experience? I am still not sure on the answer, but I do think the discount decreased the restaurant’s worth and so, I don’t want to return and put twice the amount of money on a product that I feel no longer holds a value of significance. Is that bad?

I also think it is because I never wholly enjoy the experience. I always have this impression that when you receive a good deal from an establishment, be it free drinks at a bar or a grossly discounted meal at a restaurant, you feel the proprietors will stiff you in some way to reduce their loss; lower quality of meat and dishes not fully prepared and presented in their original, full valued state. Or the free ‘champagne’ you receive is actually some €4 bargain basement sparkling wine that tastes like concentrated Ribena. And so the ‘wow’ factor the restaurant was hoping to attain with our first encounter ended up being just a ‘meh’ experience with alright food and drink that was only worth the exact reduced rate we paid in the first place. No way am I returning to pay double even if I am under the impression that I will receive the good meat, good service and good presentation that is reserved for the full paying customers. You snooze, you lose restaurant. You should have wowed me when you had your one chance to do it.

So me and my lady pal Suzy, will be utilising another LivingSocial deal on Saturday, this time at an Asian/Japanese restaurant called Yo Thai in Mount Merrion, Co. Dublin www.yothai.ie . I love Japanese food and I especially adore experiencing teppan’yaki. It’s so much fun watching the talented chefs be the entertainers and comedians for our evening!!

For €29 we receive Two Miso Soups, Two Teppan’yaki Mains and Two Teas/Coffees. A bottle or two of wine on top of this and we are sorted. (We don’t mind dusting the cobwebs off our wallets for this liquid gold).  http://www.livingsocial.com/cities/1739/deals/407234-teppanyaki-with-miso-soup-and-hot-drinks-for-two

Will we be wowed enough to return and pay the full whack? It has the teppan’yaki element on its side, however the location is rather in suburbia and it’s a slight distance from any social activities post meal. So we’ll have to see!

Irish Deal Sites:

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