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Product reviews: Aldi opens in Sandyford

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At last! Tomorrow, Aldi are opening up in Sandyford, south county Dublin. If, like me, you refused to drive past several branches of Lidl to get to Aldi in Nutgrove, this will be very good news indeed.

Aldi don’t stock the very amazing Fruchtsaft or cheap organic potatoes – until they do, I won’t be abandoning Lidl altogether. Aldi, while still dirt cheap, is also that little bit more expensive than Lidl, but with good reason: Aldi own brand products are – M&S aside – the best you’ll find in any Irish supermarket.

A Steak Digression

Last week, I taste tested their fillet steaks (€13.99 for two) on my friend Sarah. She said they may have been the best steak she has ever eaten. I agree. They’ve become the barometer against which I measure all other steaks – “yes, these steaks are very good, but you can get two fantastic aged Irish steaks in Aldi for half the price…”

I take some credit here: a good steak needs a good marinade and, of course, a good bearnaise. For the marinade: three tablespoons olive oil, two tablespoons soy sauce, one tablespoon balsamic vinegar, one teaspoon of honey, and one finely sliced small clove of garlic. Marinade the steaks for at least half an hour, or all day if possible.

For two people: serve with chunky oven chips. You really, really, don’t need to buy oven chips. Put a few tablespoons of olive oil in an oven dish and place in a pre-heated oven for five minutes. Just wash four-six large potatoes (depends on your appetite, though the steaks are huge), cut them into wedges,  rinse, and place in a pot of cold water. Bring water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about a minute or two: the potatoes should have softened slightly but still offer resistance to a fork. Drain well, toss in the olive oil with some salt and pepper, and cook in the oven on a high heat for about 40-50 minutes, or until the skin is turning crisp and brown.

Green beans and sautéed onions go well with the steak, chips, and bearnaise. M&S do a nice pre-packed bearnaise.

Also at Aldi…

How I laughed at Aldi’s “Okey Dokeys” crinkle cut crisps (€1.99, 12 packets x 25g), a brazen imitation of Hunky Dory’s. Still, they taste exactly the same, they’re much cheaper, and you don’t need to support a ridiculous, idiotic, attention-grabbing ad campaign that looks like it was dragged right out of the 1970′s.

Aldi also sent me some of their Blas na hÉireann National Irish Food Gold Medal award winning fresh green pesto (€1.99 for 140g). I’ve no idea how it won the gold medal: it’s far too oily and has too much garlic. The gold medal whiskey (€19.99, 70cl) also took a gold medal, and while it’s not a patch on Jameson, it’s fine for mixing and – whisper it, because I don’t want Jameson to hear - quite nice neat.

Honey, my desert island food, is very good at Aldi too, so check out the bronze medal winning Clover honey (€2.29, 340g) and the gold medal winning Orange Blossom honey (€2.29, 340g). Their own brand non-concentrated orange juice is also lovely.

Also, don’t forget you can get a delicious free-range chicken at Aldi for €5.

Cheese!

Finally, a word on Aldi’s multiple award winning Specially Selected cheese. Lidl’s cheese tastes cheap. Aldi’s cheese is just as good, if not better, than Superquinn’s – but it’s much cheaper. Check out the brie, taleggio, and Roquefort.

8 Comments

  1. Important note: foe that that amount of chips I meant to write it serves TWO. Can’t edit it right now but will change later!

  2. Even easier oven chips – don’t bother to par-boil first. Use REALLY GOOD spuds, e.g. Kerr Pinks. Pre-heat the lightly-olied roasting dish to about 190, dry the chips/wedges well in a towel, the toss them in a little oil in a bowl BEFORE you put them in the oven. After about three minutes in the oven, shake them so they don’t stick. Extra niceties when you are doing the pre-tossing are fresh ground pepper (rainbow is nice), lemon rind, thyme leaves, paprikeacurry powder, etc.

  3. Yessss we’re 10 minutes from there and it’s a perfect location. Bye bye Nutgrove… we can cycle to Aldi now!

  4. I find par boiling speeds it up and improves the texture of the chips but will try it with Kerr’s pinks.

  5. I prefer the Aldi RibEye and just toss it, with while seasoning with salt and pepper, in a hot hot pan for four one minute turns. Very good food.

  6. The Okey Dokeys crisps taste the same as the ones with the offensive advertising campaigns because they’re made by the same people. Bit annoying, cos after pulling the same stunt twice I’m very reluctant to give them a single cent, even indirectly.

  7. I love Aldi – Jave Ground coffee is great, breads, fruit and veg, everything really but not their paper products, ie t-rolls, kitchen towels…lidl much better there.

    If you prefer not to fork out 13.99 for your two steaks in Aldi, they also do beef medallions which are about 8e I think for two very large ‘steaks’. I’m not a big meat eater but they taste pretty good too…I’ve taste-tested their ‘Tayto’ Cheese and Onion – Spudz, not bad but not as good as Tayto or King – agree Okely dokely’s are nice! Cottage cheese is excellent and all their Irish yogurts/cheeses are too…

  8. The beef sausages are the best i have eaten in a few years not to much fat in them but have a great taste the only thing is i think a smaller gut should be used them i will be buying 2 packets this week.

    My brother made beef sausages for a local butcher for over 25 years and they were good the shop is closed now

    3 cheers for your beef sausages

    would like address off who makes them cant read packet

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