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Solo Goes Out

Funny business on The Farm?

This month’s Table For One is Grainne Burns who dined out in The Farm – an organic eatery on Dublin’s Dawson Street

I am over the whole organic fad. I can no longer justify forking out €5 for a bag of carrots simply because the organic tag dominates the packaging. And the joy of scouring farmers’ markets has long weaned. It is just me or are those markets looking more like Albert Square and less like an artisan-type area?
So what was it that drew me to The Farm on Dawson Street you may ask the newly converted ‘three bags of carrots for a fiver from Tesco’ shopper? Well firstly because the idea that any restaurant would self-proclaim and categorise itself as an organic eatery is in itself both unique and indeed risky. Clearly, I thought, these proprietors know what they are doing and aren’t afraid to market themselves as a one-dimensional restaurant. Too many eateries of late try to be a catch-all business, doing a bit of European, Thai, Chinese and, of course, modern Irish flare, whatever that is supposed to be.
There is also the small matter that I was nearly the victim of one of The Farm’s promoters – an in the two unfortunate men who have the unenviable task of standing with the placards promoting the premises on the corner of Dawson Street. But advertising aside, I went ahead with my request of a table for one on a slow Wednesday evening after work, with a hint of trepidation and a hunger pain that needed healing.
The Farm has suffered the wrath of a number of unfavourable reviews since it opened its doors sometime last year, however word on the street and on menupages.ie had more mellow reports, and this is an indifferent one.
Let me get my first gripe out of the way – if you are going to promote the premises as an organic restaurant, is it too much to ask to print and promote its suppliers to clarify that all produce are indeed sourced from registered organic producers? And that is enough of moaning, for this week anyway.
The restaurant, which as the name suggests is quite green and open in design and layout, is one of those places where you can walk in at ease and feel comfortable dining alone – something that is fairly rare in Dublin, or indeed outside of The Pale.
And so the menu. It’s a simple one with all the regulars, however one would be forgiven if they thought they had fallen into a gastropub rather than a restaurant on one of Dublin’s most prosperous streets.
I opted for the chicken wings, which were as they should be – small, sticky and enough to whet the appetite and expand the waistline. The mains are split into three sections, including everything from duck to Connemara lamb, followed by the vegetarian and burgers section. All in all it is a fairly comprehensive offering but quite expensive for such simple meals. You can expect to hand over nearly €20 for grilled sea bass or at €14 for a vegetable stir fry
So I continued where I began and chose the ‘Chicks in Town’ burger, which is essentially a breast of obviously ‘organic’ chicken marinated in a mango and chilli sauce and served on homemade foccacia with a mango chutney and salad.
Call it a fancy chicken burger, or a prototype of those new gourmet burgers, which are now as common as the Big Mac, but this was a tasty dish, well presented and ample enough to keep hunger at bay until morning. At €15.95 though it would want to.
The wine and beer list had all the regulars, the former of course being full of organic offerings if you are into that kind of drink. I did sample one glass of the Italian range, however after one sip it was enough to remind me that my taste buds just don’t take too kindly to organic wine.
While the Farm has had its teething problems, it seems a popular place for breakfast and weekend brunches and while for many it’s a hit and miss, it’s worth taking a trip.

The Farm is located on 3 Dawson Street, Dublin 2, tel: +353 (0)1 6718654.

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