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Review: Bunsen Burger, Wexford Street, Dublin 2

21 Jun

Bunsen burger

Bunsen burger


I have a love/hate relationship with burgers. I love good ones and hate the rest. Burgers should be eaten with your hands, not towers of inedible salad and toppings. From the photos I had been seeing on Twitter and Facebook, Bunsen seemed to fit the bill in this regard. I was putting it on the long-finger to visit, but then Donal Skehan tweeted a photo from Bunsen and I decided enough was enough. I dragged my friend Mike along for an early dinner.

We arrived very early so the restaurant was understandably quiet. It’s a pretty bare interior, exposed pipes and chairs that you would see in an assembly hall that click into each other side by side. Having complained about restaurants being far too bright before on these pages- my only quibble about the interior was that it was a  little dark. And this is coming from someone who does better in soft lighting…

Bunsen menu

Bunsen menu


The menu is short- something that always impresses me. I don’t want a million permutations for my burger. That is not a boast for any restaurant, or at least shouldn’t be.  Burger, cheeseburger, single or double is about the extent of the options you have here. You can opt out of the toppings listed. This was a plus, ordering efficiently is not a strong-point of Mike’s.

The food arrived quite quickly and I dove into the (small-ish) portion of skinny fries. They were good, and are really the only type of chip that should be eaten with a burger. The burger was very tasty, cooked as ordered. There was a bang of umami, savoury goodness, quickly contrasted by an astringent pickle. The patty is a little irregular in size and raggedy on the edges showing there are no frozen hockey pucks here. According to their website they are made with Angus beef daily. All of this was contained in a soft bun, which held its structural integrity throughout. Mike was a little perturbed that his milkshake was on the small side and came in a paper cup. He did say it was very tasty. Don’t mind him though. I’m only throwing that in for balance.

We had two waitresses throughout and both were really good. The service was attentive, and they were quick to offer extra condiments/water and were good fun. All of the above left us with a bill just under €27 euro. I liked Bunsen, good food done well. Also they aren’t afraid of having a simple offering, how many other restaurants in Dublin could fit their menu on a business card?




Cocktails, food festivals and coffee. A silver chicken mash-up of the last few weeks.

13 Jun

Busy few weeks here- few places I’ve been into that are worth a visit.

Glenisk have launched a pop up on Dawson Street. They sell their full range of yoghurt products but they are also serving tubs of various savoury and sweet dishes. The aim is to showcase the different ways in which you can use yoghurt. I was invited in to try some of the dishes a few weeks back. Try the figs. Delicious.

After your yoghurt, call into the now not-so-new-at-this-stage Coffee Angel pop-up on St. Anne Street. This has fast become one of my favourite spots for coffee in Dublin. Great coffee, very friendly service and Karl sells coffee ground to order and coffee paraphernalia for the caffeinated people in your life.

Sticking with coffee, I had the chance to toddle along to a Yelp Dublin evening in the Dublin Barista School for a taste of their home barista course. James showed us all  there was to know about aeropress, chemex and gave us some great tips on getting the most out of coffee at home.

Two firsts now.

I had never been up to the Sheridans’ food festival in Virginia. I went this year with two friends and we had a great time eating our way around the place. It was a wonderful way of meeting producers who were so passionate about their produce. Well done to all at Sheridans for organising a great event. It showcased the very best of Irish food.

Bloom! I had never been until this year so the weekend after Sheridans myself and the aforementioned two friends headed along again for a wander. I didn’t see a single garden.  We got distracted by the food and drink. I really enjoyed Bloom, it was completely different to what I expected. I really liked the layout and the festival feel about the place. While it was busy (We went on the Sunday afternoon,) there was still space to move about etc. My only criticism is that the area is a 3G black-spot (on my network at least) and the free wifi didn’t seem up to the pressure. Meant for a tricky time meeting up with people.

Finally- I also tried the Vintage Cocktail Club in Temple Bar recently. I  had heard a lot about this place from friends. It was a great spot for a few cocktails on one of the recent sunny evenings in Dublin.

Brunch at Odessa, Dame Court

7 Jun

Odessa is widely regarded as one of the best spots in Dublin for some brunch of a Saturday morning. So recently myself and my mother headed in to Odessa before we started a slightly mad dash around town.  We arrived shortly after it opened and I’m glad we did- soon it started to fill up.

Odessa is on Dame Court, just off Exchequer Street. It isn’t the easiest to find- it has a pretty nondescript entrance, but persevere and make sure you find it. I had eaten here before at dinner time- where they do plates of differing sizes for €5 and €10 euro respectively as well as other stuff on the menu. There’s value to be had.

Food. On a plate.

Food. On a plate.


On this day in question, I opted for some huevos rancheros and the mother went for a Vietnamese salad. The brunch menu reads very well it has to be said- there are a lot of tempting options.  My eggs were served nice and runny, with corn tortillas, home fries, salsa and guacamole. There was also sour cream lurking on the plate somewhere. All of this was thoroughly enjoyable. Mum enjoyed her salad, I found it lacking a bit of zing- I felt it fell a little flat. I also thought the leaves were a little tough.

Brunch with two fresh orange juices and decent service came to €30. Odessa is definitely worth a visit. Especially for brunch.

Hot and spicy Sriracha prawns

1 Jun

And enjoy.

And enjoy.


Easy little recipe here. Prawns, butter, Sriracha sauce and a pan. Oh and a wooden spoon. And optional lime wedges. Really nice little starter for a barbecue or as some warm nibbles of a summer’s evening. Also a good sauce to coat pre-cooked/frozen prawns.


Ingredients: (Serves 3-4)

400g (ish) of prawns

25g of butter

3 tablespoons of Sriracha sauce.

Lime wedges to garnish.



Heat the pan, add the butter and Sriracha sauce. Fry prawns in this until they are cooked/turn pink . Serve with lime wedges. Simples.


Jo’Burger Town, Castle Market, D2

31 May

There are those evenings where despite your culinary inclinations, you just couldn’t be bothered cooking. My visit recently to Jo’Burger was on such an evening.  The sister was late finishing work, so I agreed to meet her in town for some nosh. I think this is her first appearance on the blog as a dining companion actually. None of the ‘nicknames’ I call her at home are fit for publication, so I’ll just leave it with Debs.

She was in the mood for a burger and some sweet potato fries. Jo’Burger was the best candidate to provide this, so we toddled along and we were seated amongst the hipsters and trendies, as the ‘cool-but-just-alternative-enough-that-you-don’t-know-it’ music wafted over us. What I like about menus in the Jo-empire is whether you are eating in Crackbird, Skinflint, BEAR or Jo’Burger- the menus don’t try to do too much. They do their own individual thing and they stick to it. I wish more places in Dublin would take a page from this rather than trying to please everyone and falling short.

Debs went for the Phiri burger, while I opted for the Bari. Both were cooked as we ordered them. I’m still phobic of a burger that is less than on the well side of medium-well. The peach curry sauce on mine could have had a bit more oomph maybe, but was a nice peach sauce. Topped with Emmenthal it was a good burger. Debs enjoyed her burger with red onion marmalade and rocket. We split a portion of  ruby coleslaw and sweet potato fries. Bother very well executed and generous in quantity. Also the Jo’Burger ketchup/table sauce is delicious. I’m still trying to figure out what’s in it. I have hunches…



My only quibble with the whole experience is that I don’t like towering burgers that look as if the chef once had ambitions to design skyscrapers, but sadly didn’t get the points for engineering. The burgers here fall into that category. Fair play to anyone would could eat them only with their hands and gob. To be fair though, they do offer an option to get it with half/no bun. So I know what to do next time. Also the lettuce on mine took over the plate, such was its size and it wasn’t particularly nice. A more delicate/shredded leaf would be preferable in my book.

I finished with an espresso and Debs had a mango, something, something  herbal tea- which was all sorts of fruity and delicious. With two of their home-made soft drinks (both very good), and some excellent, really friendly service, the bill came to €44.