. Restaurants .

Posted: Tuesday, September 07, 2010 at 8:49 PM
Location: Le Bon Crubeen, Talbot Street
Dining companions: A friend from up North

This is my first attempt at writing a review having taken some notes on the night, so let’s see how we go.  Having an initial review of my notes (scribbled down at the night cap stage of the evening) I can see that I’ve missed a few pieces of information, just yet another part of the learning curve.  Luckily I think I’ve got enough to give it a shot …..

So, the location: Le Bon Crubeen.  I’d heard a lot about the place before I crossed the threshold for dinner, interestingly though, until about 3 weeks previously I had never heard of it.  Following my current Food Girl venture though, I’ve been having had a few foodie chats, and this place seems to be popping up regularly. It seemed about time I got in there, and with one of my old Belfastian work buddies down for a night, it seemed perfect timing.

I googled the restaurant before we went as I wanted to book a table.  The pictures on the website looked fabulous, and the boast of ‘Best casual dining 2010’ helped whet my appetite even further.


We arrived at about 8pm, and thank goodness I had booked!  Two girls in front of us were just being told that they would have a 30 min wait for a table. The interior on first impression was a little disappointing – the pictures on the website had looked fabulous, and the reality seemed slightly shabby.  I could be wrong though as I really only got a glimpse of the dining room proper before we were ushered to our table.  Not the best table in the house that’s for sure.  Table for two, to the left of the front door, cornered off from the restaurant and next to the entry to the bar…….. If the place hadn’t been full I would have been requesting a move.   In saying all of that, we had plenty to catch up and were just fine nattering the night away on our own.


The wine list was fine, functional and met the needs of us casual diners.  Nothing on there was too expensive and there was a broad range of varieties.

I perused my tatty stained A4 printed menu with anticipation.  I can’t say that I was immediately blown away, but at closer inspection it proved to be a well balanced menu with a few interesting items thrown on there too, for example the ‘crab brulee’ which I couldn’t resist.

Sadly the reality of the brulee was not remotely interesting.  It was heavy, there wasn’t enough crab and there was just too much butter/egg/cream. To be avoided.

Luckily my Nordy friend had much more luck with her fishcakes - they were light and fluffy with two tasty sauces on the side.  One happy diner so far.

The mains pulled it back for me – phew!  Delicious moist confit de canard that pulled away from the bone with ease with a well seasoned red wine jus and a very satisfying earthy lentil and salsify lasagne.  The lasagne looked slightly dry and over cooked on arrival, but luckily appearances were deceiving.

My friend had a courgette, feta and pine nut linguine. The feta had melted through to coat the pasta and give it a creamy texture, and the courgette was lovely and fresh. Two out of two on the mains.

Our waiter was a nice guy, polite and helpful.  The service so far had been punctual and everything had arrived in good time, however it did take a bit of a nose dive from here on in.  Ironic as there weren’t that many people left in the restaurant, but it became impossible to get someone’s attention.  We did manage eventually to get some liqueur coffees and a couple of night caps, and at that stage, it was definitely time to call it a night!

We had a lovely evening, and for €82 for two with wine, liqueuer coffes and night caps I thought it reasonably priced.  I can see why Le Bon Crubeen won its award, but I was just remind anyone who’s going that it was a casual dining award, so don’t set your expectations too high because you might end up just a little disappointed.

Next up – loving it up at Mount Juliet, Thomastown for a special treat!