All week looking forward to a meal…. only to be very disappointed – there’s nothing worse!
On Saturday myself and E were having our usual little day out in town for a few drinks and bite to eat. I was pretty excited to try out the latest new food spot in town, Brookwood on Baggot Street. I’d seen a few tweets about it and the reports on their steak were excellent. So off we went into town, had a few drinks along the way before our 6.30pm booking at the restaurant… both of us absolutely famished and anticipating a great meal.
Brookwood is run by the same person who owns the very successful Mulberry Garden in Donnybrook. I haven’t made it out there yet, but have read numerous blogs stating how fantastic the food is. Brookwood is a different style of cuisine, steak and seafood being the speciality they boast on the board outside, with a list of sides that had me drooling.
We were seated downstairs, close to the open kitchen.
I would imagine a few quid was spent on kitting the place out, with brown leather booths and some bar seating too…. It took us a few minutes to figure out what it reminded us of and we both agreed the booths were akin to a train carriage.
I wasn’t crazy for the interior at all – but there’s also an upstairs are which I’ve heard is impressive. At 6.30, there weren’t many diners yet and the place lacked atmosphere somewhat… I guess that’s the problem with early meals in general, restaurants are a little less “buzzy” at that hour.
We ordered a bottle of Cava @ €35 and had a look over the menu.
There’s a mix of different jars on offer, some varieties being aubergine & tomato, chicken liver parfait and crab and egg mayo, priced at €6.50. Then there’s a few more standard options of soup or smoked salmon and soda bread. None of them jumped out at me so I decided to skip the starter and with E choosing the Tomato & Basil soup @ €6, I ordered some batch bread and butter to have a dip into his, which cost €2. The soup tasted great, a really rich thick tomato soup. Not exciting, but excitement is not what you order soup for!
The choice for mains is steak or seafood, the steaks ranging from €18 for a 10oz flat iron, €32 for an 8oz fillet and €55 for a 28oz porterhouse. I personally think €32 for an 8oz fillet with no sides is overpriced. The other meat option was a Brookwood burger, €12. Fish options of half lobster in the shell at €22, skillet of prawns €18, fish in a bag at €20 and black sole on the bone at €34…. All without sides.
The potatoes section makes for a mouth watering read, 4 types of mash… creamy, truffle, smoked or onion, priced at €4. A variety of fries, plain, rosemary and parmesan or paprika, at €4 each. A selection of sides offered a few veggie options, onion rings, mac and cheese… priced at €4.50. Then comes the best bit, the sauces… €1.50 for ketchup or mayo, €2 for peppercorn or hollandaise. Yep you read that right… €1.50 for ketchup or mayo!
E went for the burger, and added on 2 sides… onion rings and paprika fries and the all important ketchup for dipping chips, even though it was €1.50. I opted for the fish in a bag which was Stonebass, with a side of parmesan and rosemary fries. Prompted by the waitress to choose a butter to add flavour to the fish in a bag, I chose the dill and caper… at €1.50.
I’ll start with the good news – the burger arrived and was pretty damn substantial! E had asked for no cheese but there was a slice of cheese on it, not the end of the world but annoying all the same. Other than that though it was great….Juicy and not overcooked and dry.
Here is the ketchup, all 1.50’s worth of it!
His side of paprika fries were tasty, the onion rings however had very little onion, mainly batter – and at €4.50 there wasn’t all that much of them.
My meal wasn’t quite so good. The fish arrived in the bag and was opened by the waitress at the table and poured into the dish. For 20 quid I expected a little more fish than the portion I got.
After a couple of minutes the smell of butter was slightly overwhelming wafting in my face and it just looked pretty unappealing to be honest so I transferred my fish onto a plate… leaving it dry and bland. My own fault as I took it from the sauce but none of the flavour remained within the fish. My fries barely even had a hint of parmesan. E hates cheese but tried one and could barely taste it either. Not. Impressed.
By now the place was filling up a bit so the atmosphere was slightly better.
There was a pretty steady flow of people coming through the door, but most of them were moved upstairs to the other dining area. A couple beside us seemed to be enjoying their meal until the waiting staff knocked a glass of wine over the lady…. and never offered to replace it!
I was annoyed now to be honest, the sides weren’t cheap and the charge for ketchup really IRKED me. But being a desert fiend, I said sure we’ll get one to share and hopefully it’ll be better than the main. It was a toss up between the orange cheesecake and the sticky toffee pudding, and we went for toffee pudding. Mistake. The sauce was nice but the pudding was in a word, awful. Thick, dense, stodgy and heavy – not good.
Suffice to say there was no second bottle of wine and no after dinner cocktails – I wanted to leave … with our pockets a hundred quid lighter and a very unsatisfactory meal.
I know I had a bit of a rant after my rubbish brunch in Odessa but I’m not that hard to please food wise, and I really haven’t had that many meals I think were a rip off – but the prices we paid in Brookwood were just not justified. The food wasn’t anywhere near the calibre that I’d expect for the price (with the exception of the burger) and to actually charge for ketchup and mayonnaise is a joke. I guess the Recession is well and truly over on Baggot Street if this is anything to go by!
Brookwood,141 Baggot Street Lower, Dublin
Ph: 00353 1661 9366