Camden St. Dublin 2
It all started the day before. A trip to the UK with Marc O’Reilly and his wonderful band was showing it’s usual signs of bad luck. Fast ferry – cancelled, the slow one treated us well but put the pressure on to get to London in time, pressure not helped by the handbrake falling apart in a petrol station. On we go. Great gig, lovely drive back to Al’s house (3hrs) getting pretty merry on a vast amount of cans. Bed sharing with a hairy Corkonian with a liking for a cuddle but waking up to poached eggs on toast made it all worthwhile. Back to the ferry, fast one cancelled, slow one rocking back and forth for 4 hours, stomach tender. Into Dublin at 6.15, doors open for the gig in Whelan’s at 8! Go to my car with Pete (Byrne, drummer) while the lads head for the venue. I’ve a punctured tyre, take it off in the rain, try to put on the spare but realise that the bo**ox that sold me the car gave me the wrong sized spare. Eventually arrive to Whelan’s at 8.15, sound checked by 8.30 and hitting up Neon by 8.45
Mikey (the hairy Corkonian bass player) recommended Neon to us, he had eaten before, good food and quick service – sold. Al (Jones, guitarist), Pete and myself strolled over. It was packed, everybody chatting and enjoying their food. We were seated at a small table by the door, perfect. The menu is small and concise, my mouth was watering just reading it. Neon is halfway between a sit down restaurant and a takeaway, you get up and order your food at the till and they drop it down to you. I took the safe option, Thai Red Prawn Curry with rice.Within 5 minutes the curry had arrived in a cardboard takeaway container with the rice packed similarly. Luckily there are bowls on the table but the cutlery is plastic and a little flimsy. The portions are generous and although I was a little put off by the cardboard and plastic (I get it now, “street food” really should have given it away) it was bloody good. I liked the chunky vegetables and succulent prawns while the addition of vast amounts of basil really brought out the freshness. The free, self service ice-cream cone is also a nice addition, the perfect end.
I found the staff in Neon to be friendly and helpful with none of the attitude sometimes experienced in similar places. The restaurant itself was great, encouraging communality with a large wooden table in the middle with plenty of two seaters around the outside while the atmosphere was wonderful. I would also consider Neon to be excellent value. €11.50 for a prawn curry with rice and a free ice-cream is very affordable and puts them right in the price-bracket of a takeaway (which they do, along with delivery). I can say with certainty that the food beats any takeaway I have ever had.
Overall: 8.5/10 Highly Recommended
17 Camden Street
01 405 2222