. Restaurants .

Posted: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 8:05 PM
Location: Dada, South William Street
Dining companions: The Girls

So…… proudly displaying the wares of my Saturday afternoon spent on Henry street, I headed off to Dada, Moroccan restaurant on South William Street, on a Saturday night with two of my favourite girlies.  Looking forward to a night of gossip and laughter – as well as a few cheekies and some good food.

A girlie night is a little demanding I think, in a different way from, say, a romantic night with the man.  I think a place really needs to have a good buzz about it - so you can chat and cackle without worrying about offending anyone!

With that in mind, first impressions were good.   The restaurant is split between two rooms – one small room at the front and then a much larger one at the back.  On initial entry at the front there didn’t seem to be much about the place and I was a little worried…. but we were soon whisked away to our table at the back and I relaxed immediately.  There were plenty of diners in on this particular evening, spread around in little levels and booths giving the place quite a cosy feel.  We got a booth right at the back – a little under the glare of the kitchen lights for my liking, but I don’t suppose there’s much to be done about that. 

The wine list wasn’t what you might call ‘extensive’, but it seemed well selected and reasonably priced.  The food menu however was mouth-watering.  To make it easier on myself  I shared a starter with one of the girls – we had squid stuffed with vermicelli, paprika and coriander (€7.90) and chicken liver kebab with cumin and herbs (€6.90).  Even at that there was a kofta that I was also itching to try, but I held back.  My other friend (veggie) had the bread and Moroccan breads (€7.50).  I tried everything, and OMG – the liver was by far the winner for me – outstanding.  It was served in a small ramekin, which surprised me, and was covered in sauce.  It was rich and bursting with flavour – the liver cooked perfectly.  I would strongly recommend this to anyone.  I loved the squid as well – again full of flavour and relatively tender, although it was a little bold for my friend and she wasn’t too keen.  The breads and dips we had were great – hummus, tzatziki, aubergine and one other that I can’t remember – doh!

On to the main event – there were about 6 different tagines to pick from plus an additional few non-tagine dishes.  I was up for lamb – couldn’t decide between the lamb tagine with apricots and almonds and the one with harissa, preserved lemons and green beans (€18.50).  Having spent 20 minutes changing my mind – when push came to shove I went with the apricots and luckily my friend went for the other one - result!  Veggie friend chose the pumpkin salad, one of the two salads on offer.

The tagines come served with bread but I also ordered some of the cous cous for some extra carbs.  Both tagines were fabulous – the sauces lovely and thick (why is it never like that when I make it?) with a huge piece of lamb (maybe two) served with it that just fell apart.  The pumpkin salad was nothing to write home about though – maybe they should stick to what they do best.

Overall I have to say I loved my trip to Dada – somewhat down to the company I have to say, but definitely down to the fab food as well! Portions were generous, flavour bursting out of everything and the icing on the cake was that it felt like great value for money.  The d├ęcor might be a little tired, but with the dim lighting etc  I for one didn’t care.  We had a starter, main and shared a bottle of wine and paid not much over €30 each – not bad for a Saturday night out! 

Now, I wasn’t sure whether to add in this final piece, but hey why not.  Who cares if it makes me looks old and boring – there might be other old and boring people out there too!  After we left Dada we headed to the Bar with No Name (above L’Gueleton) on Fade Street which was packed.  Great bar, but after twenty minutes of getting elbowed in the back and shouting to be heard we pretty much ran out of there.  Now here comes the confession – rather than stand in a cool bar and strut our stuff, we ran to Oleysa’s Wine Bar on Excequer Street. It’s basically a late restaurant and wine bar, open till 2am – we sat at a small table, ordered a bottle of red wine and a cheese board – and resumed our relaxed and lovely evening.  Thumbs up to Oleysa’s!