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Review: Keshk Cafe

Keshk: the reviews are in (the window)

Keshk: the reviews are in (the window)

This new-fangled internet thingy has been abuzz with talk of Keshk, a Middle Eastern restaurant for the cash-conscious on the wild plains of Upper Leeson Street. People like it, because you can bring your own wine and they don’t charge corkage.

I went there for my birthday last week. I was an insignificant age so an inexpensive dinner was a good  match. We brought along a bottle of red I got for Christmas and picked up a second in Louis Albrouze, the wine shop next door.

First thing you notice about Keshk is how small it is. They’ve done a good job of making it intimate without being claustrophic, although our table for two seemed like the tightest squeeze in the place.

It didn’t spoil our enjoyment. I had the very good hummus (€4.95): perfectly consistent and not dominated by one flavour. It came with plenty of bread to mop it up. SnackBox went for the chicken wings (€6.95). This is a dish that’s hard to get right and we both felt Keshk didn’t quite succeed here; they were okay, but the coating tasted as though it had been created by an Irish mammy imagining what a “Middle Eastern” marinade would taste like.

Chilli Meshwe at Keshk

Chilli Meshwe at Keshk

The Chilli Meshwe, a charcoal grilled lamb fillet with mixed vegetables and topped with a mild chilli sauce (€15.95), was really good: lots of tender lamb, lots of sauce, and a sweet, mild, spicy sauce. My falafel plate (€12.95) was substantial and delicious, strong and spicy and delicate as falafel should be, although a wee bit more sauce wouldn’t have gone astray. Each main comes with a side, so we shared rice and potatoes.

For under €50 and with subtle, friendly, and competent service, Keshk is a gem. The place was packed but despite arriving at 7.15pm we never felt rushed. We left stuffed without feeling sick.  Next time, I’ll skip the huge starter and have a great meal for two for under €30. Definitely one of the best cheap eats around.

  • Keshk, 129 Upper Leeson Street (the Donnybrook end). Tel: 01 6689793

4 Comments

  1. Can’t speak for Keshk (though have heard other good reports) but Louis Albrouze is definitely one of the best wine shops in the city.

  2. I’ve been to Keshk a few times now and I just love it. It is teeny tiny which can be a bit funny sometimes as my OH is a big man but I love the food and I love the service and I always leave Keshk feeling on top of the world. If anyone hasn’t tried it yet then I suggest they do asap!

  3. I think Keshk is absolutely brilliant, next time you go have the Moussaka, it’s out of this world. The BYO with no corkage charge is fantastic and I hope more places take a leaf out of their book. About the sauce with your falafel plate, I know what you mean, it seems to happen a lot, but if you ask for more they always bring you a generous extra helping and there’s no charge for it.

  4. Articles like these put the consumer in the driver seat-very imrpaotnt.