Wednesday 18 July, 2012 by rebecca
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Oh wow, I thought I was the only one disappointed with this place.
It’s quite overpriced at €15 for a piece of fried fish, 2 leaves of lettuce and a very small jar of pickles. The prices have also gone up a lot since they opened, while also eliminating the fries that originally came with your order. Here’s the menu from when it opened a few months ago that shows the hike http://twitter.com/BITEdublin/status/192618488802721792/photo/1
Having said that the truffle fries were outstanding and the fish itself was grand.
Thanks God I’m not the only one who thinks this!
Way too much hype for what it is!
That’s interesting Jon, thanks for the link – that really is quite a hefty hike in prices in only a few months!
I haven’t been there but I do like that they opened with lower prices. Alot of the time in new restaurants there are teething problems and paying a reduced price softens the blow.
was very disappointed with this place! overhyped, overpriced
Hmmm…it’s possible that they opened with reduced prices in order to compensate for being new, or it’s also possible that they did it so that all the newspaper reviewers would praise them for being such good value.
When the Irish Times went in May, for example, they spent €85 on 2 starters, 2 sides, 2 mains, 1 dessert, a bottle of wine, 2 cocktails and tea – which is considerably better value than Rebecca’s bill above: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/magazine/2012/0512/1224315838933.html
To be honest, to me the opening prices seem more in line with what you *should* be paying for fish and chips rather than a fantastic bargain. €15 for a piece of haddock without any sides seems a bit cheeky.
And here’s the proprietor in the Irish Times back in April saying “It will be €12 per person and nothing like the old days”
The cheapest main course on the menu is €14.95, and that doesn’t include chips.
Their lunch menu has done similar where they’ve now also charging the fries as an extra which has put me off going there. Also very little evidence on where the fish is sourced from – you could probably justify certain prices if it had been caught that day etc.
Me thinks they have leveraged off having two promoters on board to create something that is style over substance. More focus seems to be on the backing soundtrack in the restaurant rather than what’s on the plate or wehther customers are getting value for money.
I blame Joe Macken for all this!
I can’t believe the owner said that about €12 per person and didn’t stick to it. Sneaky sneaky. Good detective work Jean! Have to agree with you as well, the opening prices are much more in line with what we were served. It was the mad prices that got to me the most, and to not have chips included with your fried fish is seriously cheap on the restaurant’s behalf, not to mention bizarre! What a shame that others have had bad experiences too, they really ought to work on their pricing.
Went on the first day it opened and wouldn’t go back. The sheer yuppie-ness of the owner was enough to put me off, too pricey as well.
going for lunch on friday so i will report back! altho as i will be celebrating my holidays il prob be more interested in the cocktail menu 😉
Went there in May and was super disappointed with the food. The menu read really well, but when the food actually arrived it was really underwhelming.
Wow, that really is a shame. Opening on the back of a lie is not good.
And I’ve had a good think about it and the thought of a lobster burger makes me feel a little ill. It seems a waste of a luxury to be honest.
I agree with you Claire. When I hear the word lobster I get a bit excited but, thinking about it, I have visions of myself picking out the lobster meat and forgoing the bun etc.
Spidey – haha, poor Joe Macken! I don’t think he deserves the blame – yes, he has blazed a trail for hipster restaurants, but his establishments serve nice food, are good value (you can get lunch in Crackbird for €5.50 these days) and at least he’s consistent! He’s still running that tweetseats freebie thing, where many others would have just done it as a gimmick and stopped once they got popular.
I reviewed it way back in May when it first opened. We had a lovely meal there though in saying that it was the vegetarian cous cous dish and the sides that really stood out for me in particular the wedges. It was also good value at 8.95 for that dish alone and the lemon sole was just under 12 so when it opened it was good value and great for a girly night out as we just moved out to the terrace area for the rest of the evening. It does seem the prices have gone up when looking at their website just now.
Just had an interesting conversation with someone from Bite about this on Twitter – I’ll summarise their arguments shortly but you can see it if you look at our profile: https://twitter.com/CheapEatsDotIE
I’ve eaten there twice since opening (with a review on my blog). The initial offering where skinny fries were something like €1 extra was quite good. But prices do seem to have increased since then.
Ok, we had a chat with Bite on Twitter and they had the following reasons for their price hikes:
1. Fish: They’ve started offering different fish, also the price of fish changes all the time
2. Cocktails: They’ve added some more expensive cocktails based on customer demand
3. Chips: they originally included chips as part of the main course but some customers complained about not having a choice. Now chips are offered as a side, costing from €2-€4.
4. Main dishes: they added more expensive items such as the lobster burger based on customer demand.
5. Finally, they say they originally conceived it slightly differently but now it’s become very popular and a place where people linger
Some interesting stuff here. Here’s my take on it:
1. Fair enough. Plenty of fish restaurants put ‘market value’ on their menus. I still think €15 for haddock is very steep.
2. Also fair enough. Their cocktails range in price from €7 to €10 so you can still get a reasonably cheap one.
3. I can believe that people asked for choice as to which accompaniment they got. But shouldn’t this practice of charging separately for chips have knocked a few quid off the main course price rather than driving it up?
4. Fair enough.
5. Hmmm. Personally, I feel the low prices at the outset and the many positive reviews which centred on said low prices have a good deal to do with the place’s current popularity.
When Bite first opened in April, you could get haddock, chips and mushy peas for €14. Now that same dish will cost you €21. It may well be worth it – the reports I’m hearing are very mixed. But if you’re trying it out, you should definitely keep in mind that the low prices that Paolo Tullio, Catherine Cleary etc commented on in their reviews are no longer available.
For comparison once more, the opening and current menus:
Big thanks to Bite, by the way, for answering our questions about this.
What do you think?
The “lingering” point is worthwhile I think. I reiterate that I have not been there but I am under the impression that the floor space is quite small. If a customer arrives at 7.30 pm stays for two hours and only spends €30 they have taken up a table that can not be turned over for more customers and the restaurant has made next to nothing on the food.
I agree Claire, but if people are lingering aren’t they usually drinking? And the markup on alcohol in restaurants is very high.
Not necessarily drinking alcohol Jean but on seeing their website I notice that they do three sittings. Are they strict on this? If so then the point is moot. If not, then they are victims of their own success!
I had a look at their Facebook page earlier and looking at people’s post and their responses about bookings, yes, they do seem strict about the 3 sittings, they seem to send people out to the terrace area when their sitting is finished, which I actually think is a lovely idea, I can’t abide being rushed out of a restaurant, but they can’t say that people are lingering over the tables. I still think our meal was waaaay too expensive for what we had, regardless of Bite’s reasons and excuses, it really spoiled the evening for us. I also still think their pricing changes are sneaky and poor business practice despite Bite’s many, many, *many* defenses.
There’s a bit of bait-and-switch in Bite’s replies. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with adding more expensive items to the menu, but it doesn’t justify taking the cheaper ones off (or removing free sides etc).
Dublin generally suffers from a severe shortage of places where you can get a good plate of sitdown food for around €14. It seemed that Bite would be one of them.
Not any more.
Bite tweeted me again to point out that when they took chips off the mains, they added pickles, rocket and sauce to replace them. I’m not quite sure it’s the same meself – fish and chips is a full meal; fish, a small portion of pickles and a few leaves of salad (as Jon describes above) is not – but what do you think?
Oh my, what did I start?
I think that’s BS to be honest Jean. They know *well* that people are more than likely going to want chips with their fish, and they’re getting away with charging extra for them. If my fish came with chips I’d never order a side, of salad for example, but because the fish came without chips, I did order a side. ‘Tis an absolute swizz. How many gazillion times have they tweeted you now?? I wonder have they seen all the comments here? Plenty of disappointed people by the sounds of things.
A group of friends and I go for dinner every month. I had suggested Bite based on the reviews I had read in the Irish Times and the Irish Independent but after looking at their menus online we thought it was far too expensive. We instead went to Rotana where we had a lovely meal with our corkage free bottle of wine for 30 euros.
There is one point in their answer to you, Jean, that I find very sneaky: ‘4. Main dishes: they added more expensive items such as the lobster burger based on customer demand’: it doesn’t explain why the basic ones that they had been offering at great value prices have also gone up. A restaurant doesn’t charge you more for your burger because your neighbour is having filet steak
went for lunch today with my friend. she opted for the vodka and beer battered fish which was a huge portion served in a dinky box, generous portion of salad leaves and the pickle, a side of sweet potato wedges and the carrot mash!i had parmesan and truffle fries, mixed leaf salad, chargrilled brocoli and roasted beets, we also had lime pickle yogurt and chermoula! i have to say i thought it was excellent value and the food was really tasty…all the portions were generous too!!! bill was €60 which included 5 glasses of wine, tea and a dessert! the wine was at least €30 so €15 each wasnt bad at all we were both stuffed after it! nice touch also is the popcorn appetiser although im a sucker for any kind of novelty things!
Nice report, nicola. Maybe worth a try …
Didn’t go yet but I want to. I have to know if they make gluten free stuff because it doesn’t seem according to the website. Thanks for the review!
thanks otto! i was pleasently surprised as bein veggie i wasnt sure what i was facing! you could prob have less and still be stuffed we were in piggy mode 😉