There were a few false starts in getting to dinner at Whitefriar Grill, illness and work kept getting in the way. We eventually made it on the 4th attempt and on a slightly drizzly Wednesday evening we trooped into Aungier street to enjoy some steaks, it is a ‘grill’ afterall. A bright red awning and red plant pots provide a warm welcome into Whitefriar Grill.
Whitefriar Grill is quite like a bistro in style, rustic and simple, with wooden tables, exposed brickwork, a touch of red here and there throughout the space. I like the ambiance here but find the tables quite small and reasonably close together with not very comfortable wooden chairs. Having been a couple of times now, it just all feels a little cramped.
Even though there was an early bird menu available, nothing really jumped out to us from that so we went from the a la carte instead, starting with chicken wings (€8) which we shared. The wings were good, spicy and not too saucy and an ok size portion at the price. We enjoyed them and the accompanying blue cheese dip with celery.
For mains, we were both having steak and there’s a few choices here… I selected the ‘surf and turf’ option of a 10 oz dry aged new york striploin with garlicky gambas & thick cut chips (€26) and his choice was the chargrilled 16 oz rib eye on the bone, bourgignon sauce, fine beans, thick cut chips (€34.50). We enjoyed a couple of glasses of red wine with our meal too, a Barossa Valley Shiraz, 2012 from Rolf Binder Hales (€10) and an Italian from Piedmont, 2010 Bera Barbera D’Asti (€9.50).
Presentation was nice, on wooden boards, chips in a little pail for me; his rib eye served atop green beans. His board though was somewhat warped so it wasn’t flat and therefore hard to cut the rib eye on without it moving around a lot.
My prawns looked great but there wasn’t a hint of any garlic on these supposedly garlicky gambas, I ate one but they were quite tasteless so wasn’t too bothered with the rest. Unfortunately neither of us really enjoyed the steaks, there just didn’t seem to be any great flavours going on, it was all a bit bland which you don’t expect from chargrilled meat. Especially the rib eye with the bone, that should have been so tasty and it just wasn’t…
The chips on the other hand were gorgeous! I don’t know what sort of delicious fat they fry these in but they were excellent and went a little way to make up for the steaks. Big wedges of skin on chips; with a a little salt they tasted so good.
We’ve been to Whitefriar Grill a few times over the last couple of years and we never seem to have the great experiences that others have had. It’s regularly packed, often booked out and has won awards, so there are plenty of people that think differently to me. This is just my experience, including this most recent one which just wasn’t the best (except for the chips!).
Whitefriar Grill | 16 Aungier Street, Dublin 2 | +353 (0)1 475 9003 | www.whitefriargrill.ie/