REVIEW: There's Still Sparks Flying At Dawson Street's Swankiest Restaurant
"I don’t think anyone would leave this place without being fully satisfied"
The Mansion House is famously known as being the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin. Built in 1710 by developer Joshua Dawson (after whom Dawson Street is named, fun fact!) it’s now over THREE HUNDRED years old and has been home to every Lord Mayor of Dublin since 1715.
The Lord Mayor of course is a man who needs his supper, and therefore in 1864 an entire new space was created in the Mansion House called 'The Supper Room' where he was to dine and entertain in the evenings.
Fast forward 154 years to 2018, and that room is currently known as the restaurant and lounge, Fire.
Walking into Fire itself is a lovely experience. There's a long path passing the Lord Mayor's garden that leads you through a corridor where you’ll reach the host.
We had arrived early, but rather than waiting in a crowded entryway we were immediately escorted to a seat in lounge, offered the drinks menu, and given a very large bowl of salty, buttery popcorn to snack on while we waited for our table.
The drinks menu is extremely impressive. They have every drink under the sun, including non-alcoholic cocktails and even their own house made draught beer. The lounge itself was nice, perhaps a bit dated in its decor but nothing offensive to the eyes.
Being that we were there on a Tuesday night it was quiet, but our cocktails were lovely and it was definitely not a bad way to start a meal.
After about 30 minutes in the lounge, it was time to begin the real Fire experience. Fire’s website claims it has the most historical and impressive dining room in Dublin, and you can see why upon entry.
It’s absolutely HUGE, with beautiful vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows, lots of interesting art scattered about.
We took our seats and were instantly brought a platter of fresh bread with butter and TWO different types of pesto. As a lover of carbohydrates, this pleased me greatly.
We were then given the Table D’Hotre menu, which runs Sunday - Wednesday and offers three courses for €39.50, and the A La Carte menu which runs every day and ranges from €8 - €15 for starters/desserts and, €20-€40 for mains.
My date went for the Table D’Hotre, I decided to be a rebel and order from the A La Carte.
We started with the Nettle Soup and the Ardsallagh Goats Cheese
The soup was perfect - chock full of garlic, creamy and hearty but the perfect portion to where it wouldn’t ruin your appetite. An excellent way to warm and and season your palette for your main course.
The Goat’s cheese (€10.95) was artful, beautifully presented, rich; almost like eating a savory dessert, but I’d only recommend ordering this if you are 100% certain you like goat's cheese!
Before we knew it, our mains were out.
The chefs are SO fast, which I appreciated, especially since the quality doesn’t seem to falter
My date ordered the 8oz Irish Hereford Prime Aged Sirlion Steak, complete with tobacco onions, Pont Neuf chips, micro cress salad, brandy pepper and cream sauce.
The pepper sauce and onions were lovely and truly amplified the perfectly cooked steak. We both agreed though it wasn’t the best steak we’ve ever had, it was definitely delicious, and we would happily eat it again. The chips were magically crispy AND fluffy, and the salad was...well, salad, but still a nice addition to the look of the plate.
I on the other hand, went for the Wood-Fired Tiger Prawns (€28.50), their signature dish. And let me tell you...it was so, so good. HUGE juicy prawns, drenched in butter and garlic, stuffed with chorizo and crayfish, and served with brown bread for dipping in the buttery goodness. SO indulgent.
They also give you a little salad which I’m pretty sure is there to make yourself feel better about essentially eating 1000 calories worth of butter, but it’s worth it - you’ll never look back!
We finished our meal with the Chocolate Framboise, a cake with chocolate genoise sponge, fresh raspberries, chocolate mousse, clotted cream and a macaron.
To be honest, our macaron was a little smushed which kind of ruined the presentation, but it didn’t ruin the taste of the cake.
Tiny but exquisite, bursting with juicy raspberry bits.
Despite the fact that I was violently full from our meal I honestly could have eaten an entire vat of the chocolate mousse part, so that’s fairly telling.
Throughout the evening as I examined the room, I noticed three types of diners - 1) Older people 2) Families, but with no young children, and 3) People dressed in corporate attire. This group was probably the most prevalent in the room.
My date and I were the only couple in my sightline, which didn’t shock me
The ambiance gives off the feeling that you’re at a big awards dinner rather than a dark cozy restaurant or a bright or a flashy Instagramable haunt.
There’s not much romance associated with the space, so I don’t think I’d recommend it for a date night, but it could work well as a spot to wine & dine your foreign relatives while they’re in town.
Fire has a very historical, elegant atmosphere while maintaining an air of casualness that prevents it from being a stuffy place to take your family!
I will say, their prices are a little disappointingly high, especially since service isn’t included.
However, after having observed the amount of business people in the room, I went online and noticed they offer full packages for business meetings, communions, confirmations, ceremonies, launches, and all types of private dining. They have rooms offering AV capabilities, microphones, WiFi, presentation tools (including a flip chart and a wipe board!) and even offer an on-site events manager!
Ultimately, though I did truly enjoy the food, I think that Fire’s event hosting capabilities are what it is best suited for. I would love to attend an event or a meeting here! It’s a beautiful setting and could be a great alternative to a stale mid-week boardroom meeting.
Despite my opinion that it’s more befitted for business, I would happily go back.
I don’t think anyone would leave this place without being fully satisfied with the quality of the food and the delightful service.