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Another new restaurant in Ranelagh: Cinnamon, Ranelagh

| 16 Comments

A note from Peter and Jean: We’re delighted to have Rebecca on board as a regular contributor to the site. Rebecca is a full-time massage therapist and a part-time food lover. She’s been a regular commenter here since we kicked off over three years ago, and she’s contributed a number of guest posts to the site. We love her style and her very keen eye for a great food photo. She loves to cook but, more importantly, she loves to eat and has dedicated much of her spare time over the years to all things culinary. Rebecca lives in Dublin with her soon-to-be husband, Jim. Okay, enough. Over to you Rebecca…

Ranelagh has become a bit of a foodie haven in the past decade. I grew up there and have seen plenty of change since the 80s and 90s, when it was all chippers, grim cafes and the utterly depressing Pronto Grill. Now a new spot seems to open almost every other month, with The Butcher Block, Bodega, and Milano amongst the newer additions. We’re spoilt for choice – or are we?

For all the restaurants and eateries in Ranelagh, only a handful stand out as being good. For me, Dillingers is king, and where I end up most often. TriBeCa is long-standing for a reason: they are consistent, tasty and reasonably priced. Eatery 120, Kinara Kitchen and The Wild Goose are all lovely, but expensive, and really only for special occasions. I’ve eaten everywhere else and have been either disappointed or, at least, underwhelmed. So when I heard about a new food hall called Cinnamon I was hopeful. Something along the lines of Avoca or Fallon & Byrne for Ranelagh is a fantastic idea.

The first time I went in, they’d only been open for a couple of days. It was two o’clock and we were seated at a lovely table towards the back, then informed that the kitchen was closed and they weren’t serving lunch, only drinks and pastries etc. The very young waiter was defensive when I raised questions about it. They’d obviously been having a tough week, but we were starving and coffee and a scone wouldn’t do, so we left. I understand all restaurants suffer teething problems, but we should have been informed of this before we sat down.

Not one to be deterred, I headed back a few weeks later with Peter for a quick dinner and another nose around. On this visit I noticed how badly laid out the room is. It looks great and their fit out is top notch but the shelves are scattered throughout the restaurant area, which feels a bit like you’re eating in a supermarket aisle – I know I would be uncomfortable browsing the produce if there were diners right at my backside! They should move the retail items to the front of the store and keep the large area to the back exclusively for dining.

Onto the food, it was… well, okay. The menu consists of casual plates of food, ranging from antipasto plates to hearty dinners, and plenty of wine choice. We ordered a small carafe of Rioja, €11.95, and a bowl of olives, €3.50. Our olives came along at the same time as our dinner, which rendered them rather pointless. Peter, sensibly, wanted to send them back but I was too much of a wuss and said I’d still eat them. In fairness, they were nice olives!

I had Moroccan Lamb Meatballs, €15, served with couscous, I can’t rave about them but they were fine. Peter had Beef Goulash, €16, served with mash, he seemed happy enough but not particularly blown away. For dessert we shared Mississippi Mud Pie, €4.95, which was good but could have done with some cream or ice-cream, and two very mediocre coffees, €2.60 each. Our bill came to a total of €43.70.

The service was odd. Our waiter, again, was very young and he was chewing gum in a most unpleasant fashion. This is a bugbear of mine: waiting staff should just not be allowed to chew gum. He seemed slightly dazzled the entire evening and there were lots of other confused looking staff wandering around. We left relatively happy and full, although – given the prices and location – I think that Cinnamon has a long way to go.

16 Comments

  1. I was also underwhelmed by Cinnamon – it was a reminder of all that F and Byrne and even Avoca do well.

    Re. other Ranelagh places, Bodega has good food and you can eat inexpensively. Sadly, Ochos is no longer with us.

  2. Thanks for the review Rebecca. Will maybe give it another while before I try it.. Sounds _slightly_ expensive for what they are offering. Ranelagh could definitely do with a few more cheap eats offerings (more in the price range of Green 19, Cafe Bliss, etc.).
    I must give La Bodega a go. I seem to always end up in Dillingers as well!

  3. I just had tea and a scone there today; not impressed, the texture was all wrong for a scone. I would love a place in Ranelagh like Mayfield in Terenure. However, Cinnamon was packed today at 11.30!

  4. If you have no problem with the serving of food and the transaction itself, why does it matter if the waiter was chewing gum? It’s not like it emits bad smells that interact with the food eating thing you’re doing or anything like that. This is what I will never understand about these types of food reviews, the extremely bourgeoisie and conservative ideas about how the restaurant should work. A young waiter, chewing gum, dear lord! What next, slightly off white tablecloths?

    Isn’t this site called CheapEats.ie, not WhereToSatisfyMySmugness.com?

  5. J, when you deal with customers, you are not supposed to chew gum. Be it a sales assistant, or someone behind a desk, or even on the phone. It is just a matter of respect for your customers. And it’s nothing to do with social class, the chipper and the 4 stars restaurant will be on the same foot here: it’s just gross and impolite. Eating cheaply doesn’t mean accepting bad manners.

  6. Have to agree that Cinnamon is a serious disappointment. I have given it a fair chance i.e. i have been 4/5 times at different times of the day nd the service has ranged from the mediocre to the appalling. The food itself is unremarkable i.e. does the job but nothing special but the service means i won’t be going back. Always seems to be packed with yummy mummies though which means there are hopefully less of them in the other Ranelagh eateries. Woohoo! Also, Dillinger’s, to me, is very Emperor’s new clothes – Butcher’s Grill is far superior though pricey.

  7. Welp, I don’t get insulted by anyone chewing gum….maybe because it doesn’t convey an insulting message nor is there any rational reason why I should be insulted by an arbitrary action like that.

  8. I don’t feel too strongly either way about gum chewing in restaurants, but it is a fact that some people have terrible gum chewing technique, all open mouth and slurping and smacking. That can be off-putting when you’re about to eat – I don’t think it’s one of those old-fashioned meaningless etiquette points, as it can be both visually and aurally unpleasant.

  9. I have to agree with the review, the layout doesn’t work as shop, shelves are to close to the tables. Both times I’ve been there the staff, while keen, were not well trained and service was very slow – although none were chewing gum.

  10. Like your reviewer I too have found Cinnamon to be a huge disappointment. I was excited to think that we were going to have a food hall in Ranelagh and as soon as it opened its doors I went to get something to bring to a dinner party I was going to that evening. The first thing that struck me was the decor……everyting was brown really and depressing but I digress this is food website. Food hall…..what a joke. It is just some hard- to -reach- without- disturbing- the- diners- shelves stocked with uninteresting pastas oils and jars of this and that, I left empy handed. I have eaten there twice since, have never seen so many badly trained staff gathered in one room in my life. One third of properly trained staff could do the job. However it was amusing to watch and went some way to taking my mind off the food which was uninspiring to say the least. I had the worst cup of coffee in my life followed by the second worst when I sent it back. I for one will not be returning unless I see a big sign in the window that says UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT and oh yes please can it be Avoca ? ….their new place in Glasthule is how it should be done.
    By the way I would not want a waiter chewing gum while serving my food no more than I would want him/her displaying any other nervous bad habits like biting their nails or picking their noses !!!!

  11. I liked the food in Cinnamon, but like most of the other posters, I didn’t like the table layout. Plus, while the serving staff were well intentioned, they were clearly also all over the shop. Possibly young Celtic Tiger cubs on their first job?

  12. Hate this place. Each time I’ve been it’s been really bad. The waiters/waitresses are all young and the girls plastered in makeup. Food was bad, waited for 23 minutes for food and they’d run out of most food. Awful.

  13. it could be a great place, but sadly it isnt, and its all due to really bad service.
    Went there for coffe/cake. technically nothing wrong with them, nothing amazing either. But the service.. it was 4 pm when we went, there were probably 8-10 staff all walking around, not really knowing what do do.

    We asked what cakes they had? no idea, they had to check. Really? had to go by the window and then tell us what they had.

    I asked the aitress for a glass of water with our order. It never arrived.

    Its like a bunch of kids working in there waiting for their shift to finish, just not caring in the slightest.

  14. Am thinking of going there tonight, but all these negative reviews are putting me off. Is it really THAT bad?

  15. Cormac, I’m in a minority here obviously but I’ve been twice for lunch / brunch in the past couple of months and really enjoyed it, additionally the place has been full on both occasions so it is obviously popular (especially with women it seems.. Or is this the same with any lunch time trade in suburban Dublin these days?).

    Food and service were good if not exceptional. Liked our table ( big round one near the door, great for people watching’!).

    Toilets etc were top notch as well. Prices not cheap, but reasonable for the quality and quantity.

    I’m there for lunch tomorrow again.. I’ll bear in mind the criticisms listed here to try and ascertain if I’m too easily pleased or just happened to be very lucky ..twice!

  16. I had to laugh today at Cinnamon when the waiter was asked for a regular white coffee and he quite literally didn’t know WTF – once we mentioned an Americano we were away!

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