Hidden down a small laneway a few minutes from Merrion Square, you could be forgiven for not being familiar with Dobbins. I has heard of it, but never had the pleasure of visiting. All I knew was that the food was considered above par… and that back in the day it was the place to eat for politicians and rich bankers!
I had been lucky enough to spot a deal on Menupages for €75 which offered 4 course dinner for two and included a bottle of wine… super value. So on a chilly Thursday evening myself and my Mam went off to treat ourselves 🙂
The first thing to mention is the staff… from the second we walked through the door they were the perfect balance of friendly, helpful and attentive without being overbearing – they really couldn’t be faulted which makes for such a nice dining experience.
The large dining area is semi separated with an arch which leads through to a really nice exposed brick section at the back.. however, we were seated in a nice booth at the front section. You will have to excuse that a few of the photos are slightly pink due to the red lights! 🙂
Bring on a deal, you usually expect to be on a slightly limiting set menu. While we did have a set menu, there was so much choice available… 8 different starters and 7 mains including the veggie option with plenty of meat and fish choices.
We munched on our basket of fresh bread and sipped on the Montepulciano wine we chose while we made our choices!
Both of us went veggie for starters, Mam choosing the Goats Cheese with Candied Walnuts… that big bright tomato was stuffed full of creamy goats cheese!
I went for the tomato and basil soup which was absolutely delicious and exactly what was needed on a chilly evening.
While the vegetarian options weren’t on the menu, our waitress did offer me a few different choices.. but the second I heard Arancini my decision was made! And I made the right choice… crispy breadcrumbs holding inside perfectly cooked rice balls and melting cheese, they were the stuff of dreams!
As ever, Mother dearest chose the chicken… with girolle mushrooms in sauce on the side. With tasty crispy skin and soft tender meat, it went down a treat. Not pictured here are the sides of veg and potatoes that we tried valiantly to work our way through!
A serious break was needed before dessert. I’m more used to a 2 course dinner at this stage so 3 courses plus the delicious bread was leaving me struggling for room! But I’m never one to shy away from the sweet things so we went for the sticky toffee pudding and just some ice cream to finish the meal off. The pudding with sweet butterscotch sauce was divine… but I have to admit I couldnt finish it all off along with my cappuccino – a rarity for me 🙂
I was more than impressed by my visit to Dobbins… we got really unbelievable value for money with the deal but even paying at full price I would have been please. The food, staff and setting were spot on…I would definitely return!