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This Is One Of The Best Early Bird Dinners You Can Get In Dublin

By Sarah

April 6, 2018 at 2:29pm


Early bird dinners often get a bit of a bad rep for being a collection of the cheapest things on the regular menu dumped together or having a very limited number of options.

One meat, one fish or one veg isn't the most exciting thing you can see on a menu (unless each dish is going to be absolutely dreamy perfection) and trying to find a good value early bird on the weekend is next to impossible.

Not so with the ultra-hip Cleaver East, who recently started doing a seven-day early bird of two courses for just €15 from 5.30pm - 6.45pm. 

And it's actually divine.

I'd seen a few mentions of their Early Bird on social media but couldn't remember the last time I was in the restaurant, having gone once a few years ago when it was mainly plates that were quite small (and quite expensive).

So last Saturday, when I needed a last minute place in town for an early dinner with the bf, it popped into my head.

The decor of Cleaver East is a treat in itself, with butchers cleavers hanging from the windows, plush leather seating and a New York-y Bushwick warehouse vibe oozing from every corner.

The menu does lean more on the meatier side, with starters including a Beef Dripping Rosti with soft poached egg, crispy bacon, hazelnut and parmesan crumb and Caesar vinaigrette.

The man went for the Butternut Squash Risotto with feta and sun-blushed tomato pesto and crispy basil, which was a v generous portion for a starter and was perfectly seasoned and creamy.

The plate was scraped several times for the last bite on this one.

I got the Hendrick's Cured Salmon G&T with cucumber jelly, horseradish mayo, dill and quinoa salad, simply because I was nosy about what the heck 'cucumber jelly' was.

And it was a pleasant surprise, with a softer texture than you'd expect.

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Several staff came over to us during the meal to check up on things, something that can often be irritating when you just want to carry on wolfing your food. However, the staff here are so chilled that it was less of an interruption and more of a sign of the quality of this place.

The music playing was v random but in the best possible way. It was quite the pop cocktail bar-style, with tunes ranging from Niall Horan to Sinead O'Connor. 

We loved it #sorrynotsorry.

For the main event, we ordered the Pornburger of the month, which had a blue cheese sauce, a brioche bun and was juicy and meaty. Mmmm. 

The restaurant gets extra bonus points because you could actually hold the burger in your hands to get an extra mouthy bite - 'cos knives and forks have zero place in my life when it comes to a burger.

We also gorged on the Crispy Pig Belly with crushed sweet potato, black pudding, apple purée and wholegrain mustard sauce, which was a superb crispy delight. 

One minor flaw? The wholegrain mustard sauce could have been a teenchier more mustard-y, as there wasn't enough contrast between that and the apple puree. 

For the mains, you should know that they don't include any sides, so we ordered the Creamed Corn and Garlic Roast Potatoes seperately. I could eat that creamy corn ALL DAY LONG. It was an American inspired dish of pure goodness.

To be honest, you wouldn't even need to get the sides - one between two of us would have been plenty - but we just felt like being greedy little pigs.

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Another great surprise was that the this spot has Birra Moretti on tap, which is one of my all time favourite beers.

Cleaver East seems to have somehow slipped under the radar for the past year or so but after eating here, I can't understand why. 

The food is of exceptional quality (the restaurant is owned by Oliver Dunne of Michelin-starred restaurant Bon Appétit), the prices are hard to beat and the place is just perfect for a super relaxed meal with a bit of a buzz.

Our Early Bird dinner with two sides and two pints of beer (we're only human, after all) came to just over €50, which isn't that bad at all considering we went all out.

Next time you're trying to think of where to go for a delish dinner that won't break the bank, check this out - you won't be disappointed.

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Here's some of the other hunreal plates you can feast on:

Drooling yet?

READ NEXT: 9 Of The Very Best Whiskey Cocktails You Can Get In Dublin


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