Sonas, Dublin


date of visit: Thursday 25 October 2012

Sonas is now closed.

Er, yes, I’m still catching up on all the eating we did abroad, even though we’ve been back almost a month. Still, it’s a good thing we did visit quite a few places because we’re yet to get back into the swing of dining out in Adelaide again!

Our last morning in Dublin and I had made the mistake of munching on some cereal so while Jenn and Andy were starving, all I was interested in was a coffee. As we’d been staying on Lower Liffey Street, we’d walked past Sonas several times and its bright, cheery exterior had caught our attention.

This little café is bright and cheery on the inside too, with friendly staff and an interesting array of sweet and savoury snacks to choose from. Quesadillas and crêpes might sound like an odd combination, but it’s the type of menu from which everyone will be able to find something they like. The cooking is done on hot plates at the counter, so it’s perfect entertainment for nosy toddlers.

Andy chose the Sevillana quesadilla and Jenn the apple and cinnamon pancake. As you can see, this was no measly portion and it was beautifully presented. At the time, I thought it was a bit excessive for breakfast, but in hindsight, I think it shows a lovely concern for detail. There’s no reason why breakfast food should not be beautiful.

The quesadilla came with corn chips and a dip, and between the two plates of food, I felt most left out nursing my long black. From all reports, the food was good.

If you’re looking for a breakfast/brunch/afternoon tea and you happen to be in that area of Dublin, I suggest ducking in and checking out the food. Sonas definitely has the feel of somewhere that’s catering just as much for locals as it is for tourists. Tasty, friendly and won’t break the bank!

Sonas on Urbanspoon

Leo Burdock, Dublin


date of visit: Tuesday 23 October 2012

Our little apartment in Dublin overlooked Liffey Street – very central and packed with small restaurants and bars. From our balcony we could see the excitingly named (and sadly unvisited) Gin Palace, the grandly named (and very much not living up to its name) Epicurean Food Court and Leo Burdock‘s fish and chips – since 1913.

In theory, part of the appeal of an apartment was that we could cook our own meals but that never quite happened. However, with plenty to eat nearby, takeaway was a very practical option. Someone could stop in with the sleeping toddler and two (we were travelling with a friend) could pop out and source food.

Fish and chips isn’t a choice that requires too much menu inspection so I stayed in and waited for my dinner to turn up.

When it did I arrive I was shocked by the price. Overall, we didn’t find Dublin particularly expensive, but €10 for a portion of fish and chips? It had better be the world’s best fish and chips …

Which it wasn’t. The chips rated highly – they were a good size and nicely cooked. The fish itself was quite well cooked but the batter was a bit too thick, stodgy and doughy for me.

Apparently the shop itself contains a list of famous clientele. I don’t know how you’d verify this but Andy noted that both LLCoolJ and Justin Bieber’s family had visited. I suspect not on the same occasion.

I didn’t see see any other chip shops in our wanderings, and Burdock’s is a chain – perhaps it’s the Irish Harry Ramsden – so I suspect they have the tourist market, at least, all sewn up.

Leo Burdock on Urbanspoon

Mongolian Barbeque, Dublin, Ireland


date of visit: Monday 22 October 2012

Getting to Dublin had meant a very early start: up at 0330 to be ready to wake and feed the baby before jumping in a cab at 0430 for an early bargain basement flight.

This meant it was a long day and, by the time the toddler’s dinner time rolled around, we were all hungry, tired and ready to sit on the sofa in our apartment. Rock and roll.

And so we happened on Dublin’s Mongolian Barbeque, in the depths of Temple Bar. We were there so early we qualified for the early bird discount – all you can eat BBQ for €12 per person, rather than €16.

You may have realised, by now, that I normally eschew anything ‘all you can eat’, ‘buffet’ and such. However, I have done Mongolian BBQ once before (a long time ago) and enjoyed it and I knew that this was going to be the perfect way to feed a hungry toddler.


The premise of Mongolian BBQ is that the diner makes a selection of foods which is then cooked by a chef on a large grill plate. It’s quite an interactive way of dining as you are up out of your chair, picking your food and watching it being cooked. It’s great for picky eaters as they have ultimate control over what goes in their bowl.

At Dublin’s Mongolian BBQ we were greeted warmly, and pram and high chair were sorted out swiftly. Wine and bowls of rice arrived and we were ready to hit the food.

There were suggested combinations although we found that making up our own was both more fun and tastier!

The tandoori chicken was a big hit with all of us, but there was also pork, beef and plain chicken. In addition, there was tofu, meaning that vegetarians are well catered for. There were plenty of fresh vegetables and a huge pile of egg noodles. After making your selection you add sauces and sauces before handing over to the chef.


While it’s not an Irish night out by any stretch of the imagination, the Mongolian BBQ is a fun, flexible and cheap dinner. It is probably better suited to smaller groups – in a large group you could well find yourself doing a bit of waiting.

Early in the evening the restaurant was quiet but it was getting busier as we left, so consider an earlier start. The BBQ does also offer an extremely cheap lunch deal. However, I’d recommend the Mongolian BBQ for a fun meal even if you aren’t short of cash!

Mongolian Barbeque on Urbanspoon