Martinos - Easily The Worst Meal I've Ever Had In Dublin

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We've all eaten a lot of bad meals in our lives. Nothing pisses me off more. If you'd paid 50 or 100 quid for a pair of shoes or some clothes and they fell to bits 5 minutes after your purchase you'd return them outraged and demand a refund. Restaurants on the other hand are never held accountable for serving up sub standard food and the vast majority of us just turn a blind eye and shrug it off. I tend to vote with my feet and never go back to a place that has let me down badly. 50 Euros is a lot of fucking money these days and if a barman served you up 10 rotten pints that had gone off you'd laugh at him and demand new ones so why don't we have higher standards when it comes to food? Given the title and the opening few lines you can probably guess where this review is going after I had the misfortune to eat in a new Italian (I use that word very loosely) called Martinos in Ranelagh. Screen Shot 2013-08-18 at 17.57.02

I was absolutely delighted to see a proper Italian opening on my doorstep and when I saw the flicker of a wood fired oven I danced a little jig of joy at the thought of an endless supply of gorgeous pizzas. When I walked in the assault on my eyes that was the interior decor didn't really bother me too much. Puke purple matched with electric yellow could only have been thrown together by somebody coming down off a hard weekend on pills but some of the best Italian restaurants around the world look disgraceful though so it didn't bother me too much. I ordered arancini (deep fried risotto balls basically) but they didn't have any. I went for the melon, parma ham and figs instead.

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Pretty hard dish to fuck up in fairness given that all the ingredients are raw and there is no cooking involved. I could have sent the 2 year old toddler at the table next to me in to the kitchen to make this and the results would have been better. The ham was thick and chunky. There were no figs and they'd substituted them with a pear out of a can and the that was before I even got to the rocket. Not only was it bruised and battered but it hadn't been washed properly and was full of grit. I crunched my way through one leaf and then gave up.

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Moving on from that disaster at least the pizza would be the highlight. I saw it flying in to the oven and I was literally licking my lips. I'd ordered a calzone which is a delicious ham, mushroom and mozzarella pizza folded in half and usually enough to feed an army.

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I groaned when I saw more of the dreaded rocket on top of the pizza. No biggie though as I just fucked that to the side of the plate. I'd only just finished cleaning the dirt out of my mouth from the starter.

Screen Shot 2013-08-18 at 17.57.53The pizza was an absolute disgrace. More or less inedible. The dough was just not right but it was the filling that was the real disaster. Horrible chunks of what tasted like tinned ham, soggy wet mushrooms and the "sauce" tasted like it was literally just tinned tomatoes or passata. The picture below is how I left it. I was absolutely starving and that is all I could physically eat.

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It gives me absolutely zero pleasure to write a review like this. I wanted an amazing Italian restaurant on my doorstep but this just isn't. I'd love to say my experience was because the place is relatively new but the mistakes were so elementary that you'd have to worry. The service was very good but when the food is this poor you just don't have a chance. I start every restaurant I walk into with 100 marks and take them away as the experience goes on. This place would have been lucky to have 10 marks left and even though I should just have asked for my money back I just walked out after paying saying to myself I'll never be back.

Written By

Niall Harbison

Niall founded Lovin' Dublin with a few fairly simple aims: discover new places to eat in Dublin and share simple recipes cooked up in his kitchen.

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