Friday, October 5, 2012

Date Night in Dundrum Town Centre

So it's here at last - my first blog as Dundrum Blogger in Residence! I was asked to look at Food and Leisure in Dundrum Town Centre so I decided to package it as "Date Night" suggestions! I hope you'll all be pleasantly surprised by how much is on offer in Dundrum

You'd be forgiven for thinking Dundrum Town Centre is just a fashion hot-spot, but there's so much more.

Have you ever considered Dundrum as a date venue? Well you should! Whether it's a first date, fourth date or a special occasion, I guarantee there's something for you. With over 40 places to eat, not to mention cinemas and mini golf, it can all seem a bit overwhelming - so I'll break it down for you!

Activity Dates
Break the ice with something different and check out Rainforest Adventure Golf. Boasting the title of Ireland's first indoor South-American themed mini golf venue. You don't have to worry about the weather here, which is always a plus! But it doesn't have to end there - make a real date of it and follow it up with some grub!

Compare putting tips over a milkshake at Eddie Rocket's Shakeshop. Plenty to choose, so everyone is happy and you'll learn a lot about a person by their milkshake choices!

Chicken-lovers and vegetarians alike will love Nandos - still quite new to Ireland, it's a fun experience and with so much choice of toppings, flavours and drinks even picky eaters can put together their perfect meal. Go easy on the spice though, no one likes a runny nose on a date - when in doubt, play it safe!

Keeping it casual, but making it an experience, head for Wagamamas - lively atmosphere and lightning fast-table service will guarantee no awkward silences, and you can't go wrong with a good chicken curry or a steaming bowl of ramen (not just your ordinary noodle soup!) Don't worry if you've never been here before, friendly staff will explain it all to you and before you know it you'll be regulars!

Cinema Dates
The classic date scenario - but best saved for a second or third date as sitting in a dark room for two hours is no way to get to know someone! Be sure not to hog the popcorn - and don't fill up on it either,  remember this is supposed to be a date so I recommend grabbing a bite to eat too - and what's great is that Dundrum Town Centre has you covered with stellar meal deals.

TGI Fridays offer a classic burger and chips with a soft drink and a cinema ticket for €21.50! A a great place for some pre-movie cocktails and comfort food - it's a winner on all levels.

For something a little bit special, head on over to Douglas and Kaldi and fill up on a main course and soft drink before cashing in your cinema vouchers - prices start from a cool €18.95 so you've no reason not to go!

Theatre Dates
If you really want to make the night one to remember, why not take a night at the theatre? It's a great excuse to dress up and try something different. Check out What's On in The Mill Theatre and whisk your special someone off for dinner and a show. Some fine dining venues include:

Ananda - I guarantee you've never had Indian food the way they make it. A chef friend of mine went over a year ago and she's STILL raving about it. Part of the Jaipur restaurant chain, it boasts a self-confessed "impeccable pedigree" of fine dining and ethnic cuisine - it's a real hidden gem and a show stopper when it comes to a night on the town.

L'Officina Dunne and Crescenzi is a perfect  combination of value and quality. The little sister of the well-established D&C chain, it's the perfect combination of laid-back atmosphere and fine dining. Great wine list, classic Italian dishes, sharing platters - I could go on, but I'll leave you to find out for yourself.

Siam Thai inviting you into a whole new world of luxury and a guarantee of a unique and memorable dining experience. An extensive, mouth-watering menu will cater for anyone's tastes and be sure to sample the cocktails while you're there! From exclusive couples private dining to relaxing lounge booths and dinner served until late you can really make a night of it.

Dinner Dates
Dinner dates don't need to break the bank, a good meal is an old faithful when it comes to dates and good food only gets better when you're in good company. Keep it simple with a dinner date - but there's nothing simple about these knock-out eateries.

Jamie's Italian - newly launched, there's quite the buzz surrounding Jamie's. Book Ahead! Book Ahead! Book Ahead! Popular with families during the day, there's plenty of space and such a great atmosphere it's hard not to enjoy your meal. Staff are friendly, there's fresh bread on display and the menu is a refreshing take on Italian with no expense spared when it comes to flavours and presentation. Value-wise it's also a winner and if you can't decide on a starter split a sharing platter - be sure to try the famous polenta chips too! You'll thank me later.

Cortinas - Mexican is slowly becoming more popular in Ireland, and Cortinas proves it's more than just nachos. Cool interior, no gimmicks, and an endless list of tequila - Cortinas is committed to fresh, authentic food and they offer gluten free, dairy free and wheat free menus. If you've never tried Mexican you'll be a convert after an evening in Cortinas, and if you're feeling brave you can take on the "ludicrously hot" Ghost Chill sauce. You have been warned!

Harvey Nichols - Yes, you can eat in Harvey Nichols! Whether it's the First Floor Brasserie or the Ground Floor CafĂ© you're guaranteed fine food and a venue like no other whether you're looking out on the dancing fountain of the Mill Pond or relaxing in the stylish surroundings upstairs. If you're looking to impress a fashionista or your other half is partial to the finer things in life, dinner in Harvey Nichols is a clear winner!

No Fuss Informals
If you want to go back to basics, set aside some time for a catch-up, or the idea of booking tickets and reservations sounds a bit too official - let's keep it casual!

Want to try something a little bit different? Head on over to Yogism, self-service frozen yoghurt - how many of those dates have you been on? It's a new take on going for ice-cream and it still feels like a tasty treat as well as a healthy one . Don't worry about the chill in the air, some warm seasonal toppings like hot berries and apple sauce will be there to greet you as you walk into what feels like Willy Wonka's factory and you have the choice of pulling up a bench or taking your fro-yo for a walk. Keeping it casual has never been so tasty!

Looking for a light bite to eat  - try Yo! Sushi, not quite a dinner date but so much more than your average prepackaged meal. Sit yourselves at the counter and swap sushi knowledge, or lack thereof. Keep an eye out for all-you-can-eat offers (not that an eating contest is an ideal date) and watch out for the wasabi!

So, I hope that has inspired you, I know I'm hungry now after talking about so much amazing food! Whether you and your other-half are looking to spend some time together, or you're trying to pluck up the courage to ask someone out I hope you've found a few ideas for planning the perfect date at Dundrum Town Centre.


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