Gertrude has been written about by everyone and their cousin at this stage and the feedback has been really positive. We decided to go for a birthday brunch there last weekend to experience it for ourselves and the words “Don’t Believe The Hype” definitely sprang to mind.
What was wrong?
To be honest, it was a lot if different things. We had booked a table and were seated promptly by the window. All nice and ready to get stuck in. There was already some bottled water on the table so we helped ourselves while we waiting for a menu. And waited, and waited. Eventually we got menus and ordered the duck buns, chicken and pancakes and two coffees.
If you’ve read Where Is My Teaspoon before, you’ll know one of my pet peeves is coffee arriving way before the food. At Gertrude, it wasn’t even that it came early but that it came early and cold.
The barista at the counter was super nice though and made us two new ones and by the time we had gotten these, the food had arrived. The coffee was nice though.
I think the next thing that swayed us towards not loving Gertrude was the presentation of the food. The chicken and pancakes looked good, drizzled in a sweet sauce and topped with chopped chilli. In contrast, the duck buns looked kinda awful (though I hate to be so negative). This could be personal preference but the plate didn’t look at all inviting to me- too much white, no colour. The pickled beetroot did nothing to help it either, placed in a little white bowl instead of decorating the actual plate. The buns looked big and clumsy. In fairness, both dishes tasted good but no better than we’ve had elsewhere.
Would we go back?
Definitely not I’m afraid. It didn’t wow us in any way and for €31, we left disappointed. With so many choices for good food in Dublin, I think a brunch menu has to really stand out to cut through the noise and this didn’t do that for us. Also, I feel any time your food arrives to the table and doesn’t light up your eyes is a great shame. We force quick porridge into our bellies all week long, at the weekend we want something that looks and tastes amazing.
Where should you try instead?
I would much rather go back to Bibi’s or Meet Me In The Morning. If you want to try great steamed buns though, try and find How Bao Now – I found it in Sandyford Market last Summer and it was amazing. I haven’t seen it since though so if you find it, let me know!