|address||1 St. Andrews Street, Dublin 2|
|phone||01 677 4779|
This Spanish-style restaurant offers a vast selection of tapas, and is conveniently located in the heart of the city centre on St. Andrews Street. The décor is bright and inviting, with warm terracotta and lemon walls, and charming chandeliers. The staff are a mixed bunch, but, on the whole, adequate. There is a bustling vibe in the restaurant on weekend evenings, and if you arrive early they do tend to serve you quite quickly, however, not to the extent that you feel rushed.
It is a handy spot to go and get a nice bite to eat before a night out, or to go for a meal with friends – get a jug of sangria to add to the Spanish flavour. The menu really is quite extensive, and it can take some time to choose what you want. The best recommendation is to order a combination, and share them around.
A word of warning to the hungry, though: do not order the patatas croquetas, as you only get about four. On the other hand, do try the patatas con chorizo. The baby potatoes go down a treat with the chorizo, and a glass of white wine. The pollo al ajillo is charming with a great texture to the ajillo sauce, and just the right amount for the chicken fillet. The empanada de pollo is a delightful mixture of crisp puff pastry and the creaminess of the chicken in a Bravas sauce. For the vegetarians there is plenty of choice, and the berenjena gratinada is highly recommended for the flavoursome combination of aubergine, goats’ cheese, and breadcrumbs. The pan Catalan is also nice to use for “saucing,” it is a kind of fried tomato bread that is rather tasty.
The dessert section is limited, but of a good standard. The Crema Catalana, was not fantastic, but the consistency of the crema was perfect. Sadly, the brulee was indeed burnt, overly so. Such a shame considering a little more brown sugar on top and it really would have been great.
The presentation of food is not Michelin star, but the food is full of flavour, and the atmosphere within the restaurant is lively. Most importantly, eating here won’t break the bank. Meat dishes vary in price from €8.95 to €39.95 (paella de casa for four people); the fish dishes range from €5.95 to €14.95 (lemon sole or scallops); and the vegetarian options start at €4.95 (bear in mind, that’s for mixed olives – hardly for the hungry) and go up to €11.95 (cheese platter). €30 per person will get you a bottle of wine, food and dessert – if you’re lucky, you might even get a digestif in. Salamanca, then, is an affordable and pleasant restaurant, that is within the means of students.