A Hidden Gem In Plain Sight - Kitchen South Anne Street
I always advise against eating in restaurants on a Monday. There a bunch of reasons but the main one is that you often get served the dregs from the weekend. Chefs will prep up on a Thursday and Friday for a busy weekend and get their fridges stuffed for the impending rush. Fish especially should be avoided. With no deliveries on a Sunday there is a good chance the fish you are eating on Monday could have been delivered on a Thursday (meaning it was caught the previous Tuesday), sat in the fridge all weekend and then cooked up for you on a Monday. As well as the food not being fresh, the bigger problem being the chefs not being fresh; like the majority of us, chefs love a drink and they'll usually have a big blow out on a Sunday night after the madness of the weekend. You could say that a Monday is like a Saturday, it's a day off for a chef with juniors often drafted in to man the quieter day, and clean up the mess that are the fridges after the weekend. So there are a number of reasons why you should avoid all restaurants on a Monday..
I choose to ignore my own advice and meet a couple of mates for a quick Monday lunch. They'd been over for the rugby for a bit of a drinking weekend. One was still in high spirits "topping up" once again with a Bloody Mar,y while the other had the shakes - made frequent dashes to the toilet and shuffled his food around the plate, completely in the horrors. We met in Kitchen which is one of those restaurants that I've walked passed ten thousand times without ever darkening their door. I'd say you probably have too. I think of it as a "shopping" restaurant, somewhere where you'd pop in after lunch arms laden with bags. I wouldn't personally book a restaurant in that area for dinner preferring to find somewhere a little further out and work my way into town. Kitchen looks small but there is way more room than you would think with a big spacious upstairs. I'd say it seats 60 at a push and the terrace is a cracking spot for people watching now that we are heading into Spring.
I had a chicken burger which was big juicy and savage tasting. They'd nailed it in terms of creating something that fits in your mouth, still feels huge and that is succulent and juicy. No need for knifes and forks to deconstruct the burger but a proper big lunch dish at the same time. The chips were thin and crispy, the relish spot on and the overall experience and service couldn't have been quicker or better. My mate had the jambalaya which could have been anything really (it was delicious) sitting on top of about 45 pints of Guinness from the weekend. The other lad in a worse state had one mouthful of his burger before admitting defeat, pushing the Bloody Mary to one side and going for water, admitting the battle was over and mumbling something about "never again".
The food in here is top notch. Good precise and simple cooking with good flavours and attentive service. They get you in and out quickly at lunch time with the menu designed for the busy office worker. The food all tasted super fresh and a glance in at the chefs revealed lads looking in good shape, not in bits after a big weekend. They were probably stuck behind the stove all weekend cooking for pissed up rugby fans. I'll be back to Kitchen having discovered a handy little spot for good food on a street that is otherwise filled with burrito and kebab joints. Super little find.