A good few years ago now, Cafe Bar Deli was everyones new best friend. I overdid it, got burned out and abandoned it in favour of the Dundrum Town Centre restaurants, easy to get to, parking, and just as nice. Fathers Day denoted a dinner out, but with the funds short, there was no fancy dining to be done. And with my week spent running around Dundrum preparing for our holidays, the last place I wanted to go for the evening was there.
So it was off to Ranelagh and Cafe Bar Deli.We arrived to a full restaurant and a couple of people being seated so the manager was busy, and then he committed the cardinal sin, he acted like a tutting parent when we answered in the negative to his "have you reserved?"... Oh COME ON! Its one of my top pet hates this snooty "oh you walked in off the street and expect us to feed you" attitude.
Yes that is what I expect to happen in a EATERIE. Especially one with the word Cafe in the title. Especially one described in a guidebook as "the starbucks of pizza and pasta"!! Then when we were being seated, I pointed to a booth and asked if we could have it, instead of the table so close to the chef I could have played chinese whispers with him. "Sorry madame" I got back, " That table is reserved", I couldn't have been bothered arguing, no restaurant I know takes reservations for particular tables as habit...
Anyhoo the food was alright, nothing surprised or impressed me. Not that I expected it to. I did notice though that the portions have gotten smaller, the family bowl (slightly burned pasta with aubergine) we got gave us four a small plate each and no seconds, and the pizza was enough for a child not a man.
They never have, and never will I would say, give you enough bread with their starter of dips and should you ask for more you will be charged for it.
The wine (Pinot Grigio Rose) was alright. The desserts were below par.
Even after all that I do like Cafe Bar Deli, it holds good memories for me, but I have to say I don't know if I'll rush back, the food is alright, nothing you couldn't rustle up in five minutes yourself and the standard seems to be declining which doesn't help. Cafe Bar Deli is what it is, a grand spot to get fed, or slightly underfed if going for a family bowl! But the bill was €94 and when you think what you can get in the "oh my god I'm licking my plate" L'Officina in Dundrum for that...?
I'm due a dinner out sans enfants soon, so I'll let you know...!