I had a ‘bargain’ lunch at Salamanca, the one on the corner of Dame Street and Parliment Street, recently. For ten Euro you could have a starter or a glass of wine or a beer or a dessert and a main course and coffee. The menu options looked fairly good. My host had dined here before and had really enjoyed her meal.
We arrived at about one o’clock and there were a few customers. We took a table by the window. There were quite a lot of tables in the room and I was surprised by the lack of customers. Initially I put it down to the recession but after experiencing the lunch I think it is because lunchtime diners are quite discerning about where they spend their money.
I decided to have a salmon, cream cheese and red onion pincho to start and a Caribbean style chicken burger with hand cut chips for mains. My host had sausages and mash with gravy and onions and creme brulee for dessert. The pincho was tasty but it came with far too much rocket. The main courses were a bit disappointing. My friend had enjoyed her sausages and mash so much on her previous visit that she ordered them again. But she said that the accompanying fried onions were so dry and crispy that she didn’t recognise them as having ever been onions. I didn’t fare much better. The chips were overcooked and sodden, the very thin slice of chicken was scorched and dry. The burger bun was nice though – it was a flat bread and alovely change from the usual type of bun. But a novel burger bun cannot make up for the attempts of the arsonist in the kitchen.
The Creme brulee arrived and looked like any creme brulee I’ve seen before. Sadly, when my host cracked it open the custard hadn’t set and it was extremely runny. It tasted fine but the texture and consistency wasn’t right. This was the same dessert she had here on her previous visit so she was expecting a proper brulee.
We finished with two americanos which were faultless but I won’t be returning to Salamanca – not even for decent coffee.