Say cheers the Irish way
Phoenix's latest entrant, Irish House, is high on vibe but low on food options
The newly opened Irish pub, Irish House, came with connotations of being old and wooden. With heavy, bearded beer guzzlers and a thick Irish stew on a black-board menu, it didn’t impress.
This pub is in a mall. But, it does have dark wooden seating, an L-shaped bar with tall bar stools and an al-fresco seating arena. Within the first week of it’s opening, the Irish House was full of gregarious Friday night party-goers. Their beer menu is vast including beers from Belgian, Portugal and an Irish variety as well.
Though we noticed that most tables had youngsters guzzling down Indian brands. Obviously, the R300 difference in price was the factor to be taken into consideration. The cocktail menu is varied with enough choice to satisfy most quirky drinkers. But, this is another story, for another day; we had to skip the alcohol test drive as we don’t drink on duty.
This brings us to the food menu. This one is simple with bar snacks as rulers. It offers everything from fries and crostini to barbeque chicken wings. We go simple with an Irish Fish and Chips (R350) that is listed as a main. It comes with two lovely, beer-battered basa fillets, white and soft on the inside and a crisp, rosemary-spiked exterior coat.
The small portion of the mix of fries and wedges, again herb-sprinkled, make for a good side dish. But, it’s the green pea chutney that is the surprise, with its clean, flavourful taste. Our lone grudge — it’s too small a portion for an Irish pub.
The mains are a rambling mix of burgers, sandwiches, pasta and a few meat and veggie dishes. We opt for a Smokies Lamb Pie (R450). It’s a disaster. While the side of roasted veggies and the base of mashed potatoes are just fine, the three T-bones are just that — bones, with a tiny scarp of meat hanging on to them, seated in a minuscule brown gravy.
We need a burger to sort us out. So, we go for the exotical sounding Black Label Burger (R425). This one promises us an Angus Beef Patty and while we aren’t quite sure of its origin, at least, it’s quite a delicious option. The beef patty is juicy, loaded with cheddar cheese and topped with caramelised onions.
Overall, it’s a good burger. The same side of fries and coleslaw helping it along. Irish House has a really fun vibe and perhaps the drinks are good. But, they are definitely not value for money. For the tab, it’s way too expensive for a meal, considering the portion size, taste and options on offer.
At Food court level, Phoenix Market City, Viman Nagar.
Ambience: old inn-like