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This Week's Critic Reviews


We've got the full gamut of food in this week's reviews, from Michelin-starred fine dining to noisy, tablecloth-less fried chicken joints, but almost everything gets the seal of approval from the critics, with just one "confused" exception.

In The Irish Independent, Katy McGuinness paid a timely visit to The Greenhouse on Dawson St, just ahead of Michelin day. In case you're not aware, the 2019 Michelin stars are being announced

tomorrow, and there's been a long-standing conversation between food writers from here and abroad, that The Greenhouse deserves a second star. Less than 24 hours and we'll know if Michelin agrees, but Katy certainly does.

She gives the food and value a rare 10/10, despite the bill coming to just over €300 for two, and the

only thing she didn't like was the "verging-on-frumpy" room - chef Mickael Vilijanen should "have a room that's as cool as he is". She floated through the six-course tasting menu, highlights of which included an amuse-bouche of chicken liver mousse sandwiched between crisp potato topped with quince and parmesan, foie gras topped with eel, walnuts and Granny Smith apple, and ceviche of hand-dived scallop with cucumber in an elderflower and jalapeño jus topped with caviar (below).

Grouse was "meatier and more tender than one could dare to imagine", and came with salsify, artichoke, beetroot and blackcurrant - "the very quintessence of Autumn". A frozen liquorice meringue is "just beautiful", and they finished with a chocolate delice (above) which must be one of the prettiest, most instagrammed desserts in the city, with notes of coffee and yuzu, and a sea-salt milk sorbet. If The Greenhouse's one star turns to two tomorrow, that €300 is going to look like even better value. Read her review here.

In The Irish Times, Catherine Cleary makes it a staggering 15 weeks in a row doling out good reviews, this time for the newly reopened Botanic House in Glasnevin. Is the city's cooking getting that good? Not since the evisceration of Five Guys have we seen even the chink of a knife. She calls the menu a "sensible tweed suit of a list", but the 70's prawn cocktail is made with "proper fluffy fresh prawns", and crab claws are "soft and thready" and some of the best she's eaten.

Her main of hot native shellfish (the same one that Tom Doorley took to task a few months ago) had "fine" mussels, "divine" lobster meat, and "more of those wonderful crab claws", but the black bean sauce they were in was just "odd". Hake, steak and a burger ranged from "good" to "excellent", and a vanilla crème brûlée is "executed perfectly". The only disappointment was an apple crumble, whose crumble had been baked separately and placed on top - why? She said that eating classic dishes in a lovely pub with just-caught seafood made them very happy, which is good because it's their local. Read her review here.

Another happy diner in the shape of Tom Doorley in the Irish Daily Mail, who was at free-range, fried-chicken spot Mad Egg. After an initial warning that there are no tablecloths, it's noisy, and you'll have to eat at communal tables, he tells us that it's "good enough to overcome these handicaps". Thank goodness. Both the fried chicken and the soft, Amish bun it came in were "excellent", the chicken moist with a crisp coating. He says it's "simple food but so hard to get right".

The accompaniments for the 'Hot Chick' and 'Wild Thing&