What should we know about Krewe?
The "New Orleans-inspired" restaurant opened on Capel Street at the end of 2019, with their bright colours, amped-up music and "fast food but make it fancy" menu drawing a crowd of predominantly younger diners. They're always busy, and whenever we check their availability for ATF Insiders in need of food they're usually fully booked - and it's not a small space.
We had planned to do a full once over of Krewe, but honestly the food wasn't good enough to bring us back for a planned second visit. We still wanted to tell you what to expect though.
What did you have?
It's a big menu (which makes us anxious), with starters, "Nola friend chicken", mains, "dirty fries", sides and desserts. There are 45 dishes in total.
We'd seen a review saying the buffalo cauli bites were "the best ever", but more fool us because they were not. They're unbattered and came nicely al dente, but were swimming in a mouth-shrivelling sauce of what tasted like Frank's Hot Sauce and vinegar - finesse this was not. The vegan ranch on the side was pleasant, but our mouths felt like they'd been attacked and we left half behind.
Nicely battered and cooked softshell crab came sitting on a creamy corn bisque with red pepper jam in the middle, and all was going well until we got to its body, which was so unpleasant we spat it out again. The only thing we can guess is that maybe they didn't remove the gills (Deadman's fingers), because we can't imagine what else would cause such a grainy taste offensive.
A buttermilk hot fire chicken burger (none of their chicken is free-range) had meat that should have been juicier in a nicely crunchy batter, with hot sauce, house pickles and Krewe slaw on a brioche bun. The flavours were good, but the bun disintegrated fast, and within minutes was a soggy mess.
Bang Bang shrimp tacos with lime slaw, chow chow relish, corm, avocado crema, chipotle, coriander and sesame was pretty tasty (the shrimp in particular) but had a lot going on, and once again the tacos got soggy pretty fast. Eat quick and it won't be an issue.
Beignets for dessert were passable but heavier than we were expecting, and the accompanying chocolate sauce tasted cheap - caramel was better.
What about drinks?
There's a full bar with a big focus on cocktails, mostly draught commercial beers (with a few craft cans), and a wine list that won't get anyone excited, but most bottles are under €40 - so maybe that will get you excited.
Why should I go?
Clearly not everyone holds restaurants to the same elevated standards as the ATF team because Krewe is swarming, and the food isn't bad, but could be better. Some reasons you might want to go:
a) The prices. We paid €50 a head for two courses and two drinks each, a shared side and dessert. As good as it gets in Dublin right now.
b) Staff were lovely and food came out fast.
c) There's loads of space and it's ideal for groups. There's plenty of choice and the varying price options mean it should satisfy everyone.
d) It's very child-friendly, noisy enough to drown out tantrums, and what child wouldn't get excited by posh chicken tenders and chips.
51-52 Capel St, North City, Dublin 1