As you know I review restaurants here on the blog but today I've gone for a shop. I hadn't planned to but when I walked out of Donnybrook fair with ingredients for a meal for 3 and a bill for 56 Euros I thought it was about time the place was judged with the same harshness of a restaurant review. 56 Euros is after all a fuck load of money for one bag of food especially when you have to cook it yourself. See I have a strange relationship with Donnybrook fair because I fall in love with the place every time as I wander around picking up beautifully packaged vegetables, lovely hand cut fresh meat and dainty little fresh juices. The I walk out with half a paper bag full of food, my wallet missing a 50 and the feeling of having my trousers around my ankles and having just been ridden. I always end up going back though for the pure convenience so I wanted to review the place and maybe more than anything give myself more clarity on it's value.
So the picture above is everything I got for 56 lids (excluding a magazine which cost a couple of Euro). Not much eh? I had 2 guests coming over and wanted to make them something tasty, healthy and quick so I went for some squash, orzo and spinach salad, fresh tuna and sprouting broccoli. I bought some poncy water, a bit of soy sauce and a huge big hunk of ginger. I did go way over the fucking top with the size of the tuna steaks which were nearly 2 inches thick and they were the freshest piece of fish you could ever wish for. All I did was drizzle them with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and then lashed them on to the BBQ for 2 minutes on each side. See the thing about everything you buy in DF is that the quality is just so fucking good that you don't need to do anything with it. If you bought tuna in Tesco or Dunnes you would have to marinate it to within an inch of it's life and dress it up in a fancy sauce to stop it tasting like soggy cardboard. When chefs say they rely on the ingredients they work with there has never been a truer word spoken.
Quick sauce to go with the Tuna that has never failed me... Grate loads of ginger, 2 lemons, good soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Stir it up and Boom you are done. Use it on all sorts of fish. Healthy, tasty, quick as fuck and idiot proof. Thats the only recipe you will ever get here but it's never let me down. A cracker. Now a small word on the cooking of the tuna. If I was reviewing this for a restaurant I'd have called the chef a gobshite, technically inept and lazy for overcooking such a beautiful piece of fish by 30 critical seconds. As I cooked it myself and can say what I want I think you'll agree it looks like the perfect blend of crispy exterior mixed with succulent juicy flesh. Thats the beauty of being your own critic!
So after the Tuna was on the BBQ for 2 mins, the sauce took about 3 minutes to make and the salads took 10 seconds to tip on to the plates I was ready to serve. Barely any mess and all served up in the comfort of my own gaf. No annoying waiting staff, no slow service, no waiting around for menus and only a small amount of cleaning up to do. I'm obviously a trained chef but the thing is anybody who buys ingredients in Donnybrook fair can produce food like this unless they are a complete and utter moronic dickhead. All the hard work is done. You pretty much pay for what you get in this world and I've had 100s of meals for 100 quid that were much worse. 3 people eating out like this with all the trimmings would have been well over 100 lids and although DF isn't cheap at all it lets you enjoy restaurant standard food in the comfort of your own home. It's also incredibly easy to eat healthily when you shop there. They make veggies, fish and other health foods look attractive in a way that other shops can't manage.
Listen it isn't fucking cheap. You'd need to take out a 2nd mortgage or live in one of the nearby D4 mansions to be shopping in here every day of the week. It is remarkably handy though, the ingredients are always fresh and healthy and the focus is on quality. It is so good that my only focus is on how to save money by staying away. I find I have to take alternative routes so as not to drive past this wonderful foodie heaven. Next time you are trying to think of a restaurant to go and eat it and are bored with all the same places try grabbing some stuff and cooking at home. Only a gobshite could fuck up the great produce they will put in your hands.
The View From Others
I normally share other reviews from restaurants to give a good balanced opinion. Donnybrook fair is a shop so there are not many reviews of the shop itself but there are a bunch of other things reviewed...