As food bloggers, it’s not surprising that we love to eat so when the email came in from Barker’s of Blackrock to pop in with the kids to review their restaurant the next time we’re passing through Blackrock, we were more than happy to take up the offer.
First impressions of Barker’s of Blackrock is that it’s a modern bistro attracting a mix of customers from families out and about to couples looking to escape the hustle and bustle of a busy Dublin suburb. Although the bistro is slightly hidden away with access from Blackrock shopping centre, when you step inside you feel like you’re in a contemporary bistro with an interior design that is fresh and beautiful along with a bright open-plan layout.
We arrived on a busy Friday lunchtime but found our table to be spacious yet intimate. When we saw the menu we were able to see why this bistro was able to attract such a varied clientele. The menu is a mix of classic Irish dishes with a modern twist, dishes which will appeal to all, young and old.
Opened in November 2015, Barker’s are keen to celebrate Blackrock which is an area rich with history and home to incredible people with amazing stories. From olympic diver Eddie Herron winning gold in the Tailteann Games in the Blackrock Baths to James Joyce living and writing here in the 1890s. These memories are captured in the stunning photographs that decorate the walls of the restaurant.
Back to the menu, it was a tough decision to work out what to have as there were some excellent specials on that day. There is a kids menu which we looked at and our youngest daughter decided to go for the ‘Tasty Steak’ from that menu. Her twin brother liked the look of the ‘Prawn and Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle Pasta’ on the ‘grown-up’s menu’ so he was over the moon when he was told that they would do a child’s portion of that dish for him. Our 12 year old went for the ‘Steak Sandwich’.
I went for the ‘Crab Cakes’ and James went for the ‘Steak & Frites’. The steak was fantastic, perfectly cooked (rare) and had a wonderful flavour. It was probably one of the best steaks we’ve had in Ireland. The crab cakes were good but were a little bland and lacked a kick of flavour I would have expected.
Our waitress, Saoirse, was friendly, attentive (thankfully not overly so), knowledgable of the menu and very helpful with our choices. Her recommendation of ‘corn fries’ was spot on as they were delicious and arguably better than the regular fries.
It was a joy to see that the kids menu steak was cooked properly, medium instead of the usual overly done. In fact, she excitedly said it was the best steak she had ever had. The only observation was that it should have come with a salad or vegetables, just like the adult version.
There was just about enough room for dessert. I ordered the chef’s special of the day, the banoffee pie (another recommendation from the waitress) and two of the children ordered a ‘Vanilla Sundae’ and the ‘Blackrock Eton Mess’ from the kids menu. There weren’t disappointed. All desserts were excellent, if anything the portions were a little large!
Barker’s of Blackrock has a simple ethos: provide a relaxed atmosphere with great honest-to-goodness food at anytime of the day. We certainly enjoyed our lunch at Barker’s and can’t recommend it highly enough for families. We’ll definitely be returning when we’re next in Blackrock, with or without the kids.
Disclaimer – We were invited by Barker’s of Blackrock to review their family-friend bistro. This blog post is honest and 100% our own opinion.