We've seen mixed reviews of the celebrity chef's latest venture since it opened last month - we popped along for a look and here's our verdict.
Why make a reservation?
Chequer Lane is an ideal spot for graduation dinner or a family birthday, with classic crowd-pleaser dishes and interiors that'll look great on the gram - a bit like your Granny's living room, if your Granny's living room was given a modern, open-plan makeover by Dermot Bannon.
Set the scene
Located right in the middle of town with great pubs around for an after-dinner tipple (The Long Hall, Grogans, Hogans - the list goes on) with the aforementioned pleasing interiors, there's also plenty of space inside making it ideal if you have family members who take issue with being bundled in around a small table in a busy restaurant.
The brainchild of Jamie Oliver and Irish restaurateur Gerry Fitzpatrick, Chequer Lane was created with a goal to 'celebrate the best of seasonal Irish produce through hearty, nostalgic dishes'.
There's a clear focus on Irish produce from the bread basket (Bread 41's finest) right through to dessert (ice cream from Coolhull farm, Wexford), all of which can be traced using the map on the menu, which shows all the Irish suppliers Chequer Lane works with.
The seafood platter, scallop crudo and crab toast showcase the best of the best from Irish waters with the crab in particular tasting notably fresh, while crowd-pleaser dishes such as steak frites, fish and chips and chicken kyiv further establish that warming, visit-to-granny's feeling you first experience when walking in the door.
We recommend ordering
The seafood platter is highly Instagrammable and definitely worth a go for shellfish lovers, and the scotch egg with black pudding from Jane Russell's Kildare farm was definitely a highlight. If you've got a sweet tooth, it's a difficult toss-up between the sticky toffee pudding and the hot chocolate (a gooey baked mousse with salted caramel ice cream) - if you're with a group, I'd order both and share.
There's a great wine selection with carefully selected tipples all perfect for pairing with the food, and carafes available if you don't fancy a full bottle. The cocktail menu does a great job at showcasing Irish whiskeys with 8 whiskey-based drinks on offer, but it could benefit from some gin and vodka-based options to balance things out - especially since there are plenty of great Irish gins and vodkas to go round too.
The staff are super friendly, attentive and well up for a natter about the food, wine pairings and life in general, and would definitely be gracious enough to laugh at your dad's jokes if you head there for a family occasion.
We didn't see a kids menu and there isn't one available on the website so this could be worth enquiring about before booking in with little ones, but as we've said above Chequer Lane is ideal for visiting with adult family members.
There's an accessible bathroom on the ground floor and as the restaurant is so spacious, it'd be a good spot for wheelchair users.
The focus on Irish produce will definitely go a long way in reducing the aul carbon footprint.
- Some dishes are a bit on the pricey side; at €23 the chicken kyiv could benefit from including a portion of mash or fries. We've seen the braised lettuce getting a bit of a rough time in some reviews and do agree that charred leaves could possibly be a bit more appetising.
- The menu could also do with a veggie option that isn't a salad - the salad was tasty and all, but if you're heading out for a special dinner as a vegetarian, a grain salad is a bit lunchtime-y. An aul plant-based pasta, risotto or veggie burger wouldn't go amiss.
- If you like your meat on the rare side of medium, you might want to specify this when ordering the mixed grill. It was a tiny bit well done for my personal liking, but an easy fix by just letting them know how you'd like it cooked.
Where is it?
On Exchequer Street in Dublin 2.
How to keep up with them?
Via their Instagram is probably best.
Main courses are between €17 and €80 (for a t-bone steak to be shared between two).