The food scene in Dublin at the moment is just crazy! There are new restaurants opening all the time, with different concepts and ideas keeping everything fresh and exciting. My list of places to visit has practically turned into a notebook full of them and the wallet and waistline can’t hack it! I’ve only started getting into Brunch and then along comes the latest idea of “Drunch”. A mix of lunch, dinner and drinks…. possibly just an excuse to get drunk before dinner time but it sounds good to me!
The first place I’ve seen this in is The Marker Hotel at Grand Canal Square. I paid the hotel a quick visit a few weeks back for a drink and was pretty impressed. If you go on a nice day it’s the perfect sport for a cocktail and some people watching at Grand Canal.
It’s ultra modern from the moment you walk into the lobby with shiny marble tiled floors, up to date furnishings and a futuristic ceiling. I haven’t had the luxury of staying over so can’t comment on the rooms but the rest of the hotel areas that I saw were clean, fresh and modern in appearance.
When walking to the Brasserie we spotted their Gingerbread Hotel in the lobby – pretty cool!
We were seated in the Brasserie area and I could see there was a good crowd in for a Sunday afternoon. A good mix of couples and bigger groups. We started by ordering drinks… the menu offers a few alco and non alco options. Poor E was designated driver again so went for the Passionfruit and Mango Smoothie €5 and I had a glass of wine @ €9.00…. pretty average price for a glass of wine in Dublin these days and while not cheap, not a total rip off like some other 5 star hotels in Dublin (Ahem, Shelbourne!!)
They brought us out some bread and butter which was presented in a lovely little bag… just something slightly different that I liked. The bread was good too!
Onto the serious matter – food! There are heaps of options on the menu, too many to mention so have a look at the menu here: http://www.themarkerhoteldublin.com/cmsFiles/le-drunch-menu.pdf
To be honest I wanted to try quite a few of them! I managed to restrain myself though and I whittled it down to the Black Pudding Croquettes and the Pulled Saddle Back Pork. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing I decided on the Pulled Pork, with Celeriac Remoulade & Tomato on a Brioche Bun with Caesar Dressed Baby Gem at €16. I was hungry so also went for a side of onion rings, €3. E went for the Fish & Chips, Beer Battered Cod, Minted Crushed Peas, Chips and Tartare Sauce, also €16.
I was pretty excited about my pulled pork… the last time I ate it was in Bison Bar & BBQ and it was immense. I knew I wasn’t going to get a huge platter of meat given the type of place we were in but I have to say I was disappointed with the portion size when it came out.
Fair enough, the bun was an average size but there was nowhere near enough meat on it to warrant the €16 price tag. I thought it was really overpriced and was glad I’d ordered the side to go along with it! E’s fish and chips on the other had was a really decent portion, a good chunk of cod with lovely light batter and plenty of chips…. which was good as I robbed a fair few of them and threw a few onion rings his way 🙂 Both the tartar sauce and the chilli mayo that came with the onion rings were really good.
We decided to get dessert and were torn between the brownies and the crème brulee, €8. I’ve only had crème brulee once before and it wasn’t quite browned off enough on the top so I wanted to give it another try. I’m glad I did as it was lovely! Served with a few raspberries and some strawberry ice cream and a lovely fresh piece of shortbread – it was polished off pretty quickly by us both – although apparently E hates custard! 🙂
So total bill was €57 which we paid and then went upstairs to the famous Rooftop Lounge for a little look. I remember when this opened around summertime it was pretty hard to wrangle your way up there but considering it was almost blowing a gale that evening we were shown straight up. The views over the city are pretty spectacular and both the outdoor and indoor seating areas are lovely. I’d happily spend a few hours there having a few drinks looking out over Dublin city on another day when it’s not bloody freezing!
I’m still kinda amazed when I think back on that pulled pork that it was €16 without even a side of chips or a decent salad. The likes of the fish and chips was far better value. But all in all, I really enjoyed the food and drinks here and it’s a lovely place to spend a few hours.
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