First of all, I can take absolute zero credit for this idea, it was all Darren! We have regular date nights and a couple of months ago he told me this idea and I was like yessss!
Basically, every second week we take turns in picking a venue for date night but there are rules…
Restaurant Roulette Rules
The rules for Restaurant Roulette are:
- It is a surprise! Honestly, it’s so exciting! We both look so forward to it.
- It can’t be a place we have already been together. I love researching cool, new places!
- There has to be food involved. This is my favourite rule haha
I brought my Instagram followers along and it makes me so happy that others have started to do this too!
Since I showed them on my Instagram Stories (check out My Highlights!), I get questions regularly about the venues we have been to, so I thought this would be a great way to save the details in one place as well as rate the restaurants :p
The Blind Pig
I definitely set the bar really high on Week 1 when I picked this absolute gem, The Blind Pig. Why is it so special I hear you ask? Well, it’s a SPEAKEASY!
Speakeasies became a thing in the 1920s during the Prohibition in the US. Because alcohol was prohibited, a lot of places sold it illegally and so they were hidden in the most random places! Oh I should say at this stage, The Blind Pig is strictly over 23s.
This one, is down the stairs of a really popular Italian restaurant in town, and then it’s behind the book case!
Now, since Rule #1 of Restaurant Roulette is, it’s a surprise, Darren had no idea! He didn’t even know such a place existed in Ireland and when I pulled down the pig’s head and the bookcase slid across to reveal the restaurant, his face was PRICELESS!
They’re known for their unbelievable cocktails so you could just do drinks if you didn’t want food! When we were there (9pm) a guy came to play jazz and sing. It set the perfect atmosphere!
Who picked it? Carly
Where is it? If I told you I’d have to kill you… but you might find more info here
Food: Mainly Italian, menu here. 7/10
Did you know that my favourite type of cuisine is Chinese? Darren obviously does and so for his first spin of the wheel, he chose Hang Dai, a Chinese Restaurant on Camden Street.
Oh my god… if you like Chinese food, you NEED to try this place. They make the food in the open so you can see everything they’re doing (I love that!) and it’s honestly delicious!
It’s the closest I’ve had to authentic Chinese since our adventures there (read about our travels here). Trust me, we spent 3 weeks in China, eating nothing but Chinese food for breakfast, lunch and dinner… I know what I’m talking about :p Oh and we actually did a Chinese cooking class in the countryside, which was gassss!
Hang Dai has a real laid back vibe and the seating is set up like a subway! The lightening and decor kind of reminded me of Stranger Things. It was deadly and if you like cocktails, the lads there (look like) they know what they’re doing!
After your food, you can go upstairs to their absolutely stunning Gold Bar, and make a night of it! Try to reserve a balcony beforehand.
Who picked it? Darren
Where is it? Camden Street
Food: Chinese. You have to get the duck (that’s what they’re famous for!). Menu here. 10/10
Vintage Cocktail Club
Clearly I have a thing for hidden restaurants! Vintage Cocktail Club or VCC is based in Temple Bar. First thing to note is that it’s hard to get a booking so try to book in advance and secondly, it is strictly over 23s.
It’s a black building which is so unassuming! You literally wouldn’t see it unless you were really looking for it. There’s no branding or signs besides a small “VCC” on the door. Darren thought I was messing when I said “It’s in here”.
Again, it has 1920s decor (sticking with the Prohibition theme!) which is very beautiful. It’s a small restaurant (which is probably why it’s so hard to get a booking!) but that makes it cosy as well as the real fires (which will only be lit in the Winter obviously) 😀
As you can probably guess from the name, it’s really well known for its cocktails and actually, this is how I suggest you experience the setting because we didn’t think the food was great. I mean it was lovely, but not amazing! Although, I love the venue and 100% recommend it for a few drinks or a cocktail making class with your pals!
Who picked it? Carly
Where is it? Temple Bar
Food: The usual steak, pork belly, chicken… a bit of everything! Menu here. 6/10
Las Tapas De Lola
Las Tapas De Lola was the first non speakeasy type restaurant on the list for me; well it was bound to happen sooner or later, there are only so many of these in Dublin ;p
Recommended to me by some of my awesome followers, Las Tapas De Lola is an Spanish restaurant that serves authentic Spanish Tapas, wines and desserts. Based on Wexford Street, this cute little restaurant is often booked up, so best to book in advance.
The venue was lovely and cosy with a real relaxed, authentic Spanish feel (even the music & waiting staff were Spanish!).
The food was the star of the show for sure. Even the olives they gave us, while we were waiting for our food, were delicious. We ordered pollo al ajillo (fried chicken thighs in garlic), patatas bravas (spuds with a garlic and tomato sauce), gambas al ajillo (prawns in a garlic and chilli oil) and chistorra a la plancha (deep-fried Spanish sausage).
The good thing about Tapas is that you can always order more food, which is what we did. Last, but not least, we ordered the bomba de la Barceloneta (a spicy Spanish sausage wrapped in mashed potato and topped with a garlic and tomato sauce). The Spanish love their garlic, and we do too ;).
To top the meal off, we shared a crema catalana, which was essentially a crème brûlée, but it was the best crème brûlée I’ve ever had.
Who picked it? Carly
Where is it? Wexford Street
Food: My first time trying authentic Spanish Tapas and it was delicious! Menu here. 9/10
So basically, we are having a ball playing Restaurant Roulette (“,) and I hope you enjoy following it! I’ll keep this updated with all the details but you can get a better look on Instagram.
Thanks for reading as always <3