You can’t beat Dublin city in the sunshine – I love it! We’ve had a great run of good weather recently and last weekend I made the most of it and spent lots of time outdoors out and about the city.
On Sunday I went to Dun Laoire and went on a boat trip across to Howth. It’s run by Dublin Bay Cruises ( http://www.dublinbaycruises.com/ ) and costs €20 per person for the trip which lasts about 90 minutes. It was a fabulous day with the sun beating down and just perfect for a little sailing trip like this. We were dropped off in Howth and then spent the day there. We had a lovely dinner in Casa Pasta (was too relaxed and lazy to do pics and a review!) then spent the evening outdoors having a few drinks while the sun went down… one too many Prosecco’s and we ended up missing the last bus home but much fun was had :-)
Monday was another amazing day weather-wise so off we toddled into town to be tourists for the day and see the city on the open top bus. I’ve never done it before and really enjoyed it – €18 will get you a 2 day pass for the hop on/off bus tour that brings you in a large loop around all the biggest tourist attractions including Trinity College, the Guinness Storehouse, Phoenix Park, O’ Connell Street & Stephen’s Green.
A day out just isn’t complete without a nice lunch somewhere – oh sorry, is that just me!? 🙂
**Update – Damson Diner is now closed and at 26/11/2014 we have been informed the South William bar will be re opening in a few weeks 🙂
I love South William Street with all it’s little bars and restaurants so we took a stroll down there. I’d heard good reports on Damson Diner, the premises where The South William used to be. I’ve mainly heard of their cocktails but I’ve also seen some great food deals popping up on their Facebook page, so we decided we’d give it a shot.
It was about 2.30pm when we got there and with the lunchtime rush over the place was quiet enough. There was a really nice terrace outside but with a few people already there and the tables and chairs pretty close together we opted to sit inside…. It was slightly cooler in there too!
The restaurant / bar has a nice relaxed feel to it, it’s quite a long narrow place and you can either sit at the bar or at a table.
The staff were chilled, helpful and friendly. We took a seat and had a look over the lunchtime menu.
The menu has a real mix from Thai Chicken Skewers or Fishcakes to Philly Cheese Steak or Cheeseburger Delux. The special deal for the day was 2 for 1 on the stuffed cheeseburgers and chips which I thought was a great deal. Unfortunately E doesn’t eat cheese (I know, WHO doesn’t eat cheese right?! Lol) so that was ruled out for him. I was torn between the cheeseburger or else the special lunch deal which they run Monday – Thursday. There’s a choice of the Fennel Bhaji wrap or Pork Bahn Mi followed by either the sorbet or baked cheesecake all for €10. I was STARVING so opted for the lunch deal and chose the Pork Bahn Mi (Slow roasted pork belly in a soft roll with pickled daikon & carrot, cucumber, fresh mint, citrus mayo and chilli). E chose the fishcakes with a side of rice and side of chips …. Ok, I admit he was only going to get one of those sides but he got bullied into getting both so I could tuck in too 🙂
While waiting we ordered a few drinks, a nice cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc for me and a non-alco cocktail (designated driver!). The wine was just what I needed on such a hot day but that Straight Edge mocktail was so good too! Apple juice, lemon, with a taste of cucumber and cardamom sugar (slightly OTT on the ice though!) – throw a vodka in there and I’d be all over it 🙂
Food arrived and I knew I made the right choice. A big soft roll topped with a crazy amount of food, gorgeous soft pork and loads of the slaw…. Mmmmmmmm! It was slightly difficult to eat as it was way too big to pick up and stuff in my mouth and cutting it up in the plastic basket was tough, but I got through it and the lot was polished off.
The rice was tasty, soft and slightly sticky, with bits of chilli, egg and edamame beans that jazzed it up a bit. The chips were also good, nice and fresh and still with bits of potato skin on them – yum.
The only part of the meal that wasn’t amazing was the fishcakes. There was just too much lemongrass flavour from them we thought… it kinda overpowered the taste of the fish slightly.
After absolutely EVERYTHING was eaten we ordered another drink each and took a little breather before the dessert part of my lunch deal arrived. This was the piece de resistance – a baked NY cheesecake. I’ve never had baked cheesecake before now, it’s always just been the straight up fridge ones so I wasn’t sure how much I’d like it. Well – I LOVED IT!!
It was fabulous. The base was almost black so must’ve been made from Oreos or something similar and had a good crunch to it. And the topping – just amazing. I thought I was stuffed after my mains but that cake got polished off pretty damn quick!
All in, the bill came to just over €50 – for the amount of food we had plus the 2 glasses of wine it was very reasonable. The lunchtime deal for €10 was the best value lunch that I’ve had in a long long time – the Pork Bahn Mi and cheesecake all for that price was such a bargain.
Verdict for Damson Diner – 9/10… I will definitely be back!
52 South William Street
Ph: 01 6777 007
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