The littlest of brothers arrived back from his French travels this week. I, wanting to hear all about life on the continent, insisted on dinner and, being the budget conscious individual that I am, decided to use some vouchers I had picked up for Luigi Malones.
Temple Bar central, it’s a popular tourist spot, and the menu seems to have a dish to suit almost everyone, ranging from pizza to jambalaya to fajitas and peri peri chicken – a head spinning trip around the world in a few short pages.
We plonked ourselves down, the seat next to the door, and chose chicken caesar salad with a pint of Fischer’s each. Currently one of my favourite beers, Luigi Malones is one of the only places in Dublin where it’s on tap, and to top it all off, it’s on the Happy “Hour” menu (applicable between 5 and 7) for only €3.90. This happy coincidence, unfortunately, is one of only two highlights of the meal.
The salads arrived, and I tucked in with ravenous glee; this joy quickly stymied by the realisation the lettuce was at best, two days old, and wilted. The chicken was unusual – I pondered the similarities as I chewed, and discussed these with my sibling – we settled on packing foam. It was an insipid white, with a rubbery, boiled-sponge texture. The salad was almost saved by the generous amounts of parmesan, the crunchy garlic croutons and the, very few, crispy bacon bits scattered throughout, but all in all, it was a failure.
To be fair, my last outing to Luigi Malones was quite pleasant, the “Awesome Hamburger” not quite living up to its name but a solid, extremely tasty and enjoyable effort nonetheless, let down by the accompaniment of a bland, soggy attempt at chips.
After such a disappointing main, we had to treat ourselves to the “Famous Toblerone Cheesecake,” a particular favourite of mine. We were first introduced about eight years ago; a friend informed me I was to arrange a day trip to Dublin immediately when she heard I’d never tried it.
Fresh faced, dressed in my Sunday best, I set off for the big city.
It was love at first taste, and has endured through the years. Despite the overly sweet, fake cream squirted onto the side of the plate, this cheesecake is delicious – creamy, chocolatey with a hint of butterscotch. Over the years, it has changed shape but not flavour, and for this I am grateful – A beacon of light on the otherwise grey, uninspired landscape of the Luigi’s menu.
Too long, didn’t read?
Overpriced, barely average food, served with a smile, I was left with the usual underwhelmed, unsatisfied feeling I associate with Luigi Malones. Certain parts of some dishes are great, but let down utterly by the other components. The quality is sometimes there, but menu and food just scream “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
Welcome home little brother.
2 mains, 1 dessert, 2 beers €40