The Green Hen on Exchequer Street is a real city gem. The ambience, great food, incredible value and cordial staff are what make this place a real French fancy – the location is pretty great too! I can never get in without a reservation, which to be honest, never surprises me. It’s definitely worth organising yourself for, especially for a lunch date. And if you feel you can’t squeeze on a 60 minute lunch break; have no fear – if you inform the staff of how long you’ve got, they will make sure you enjoy your break from the office – express style.
Everything sounds great so far, right? I’m glad! Because The Green Hen hasn’t always experienced such joie de vivre. In the past, disappointing dining experiences migrated to TripAdvisor and famously frank (but in my opinion, always fair) Niall Harbison took to Lovin’ Dublin to have his say.
In light of the bad publicity, I’m not sure if management changed hands over the last few years or simply chose to roll with the punches. Either way, I’m glad to see they know they have a good thing going here, and are currently enjoying a lot of 5 star reviews.
My experiences there have been nothing short of fantastic, and the décor really does transport you to an old Parisian-style jazz café. I enjoy swinging my head around taking in all the old posters, black and white film stars and cast iron railings as much as the food. And of course my company! That usually goes without saying, but now I’ve just said it.
From 12pm – 3pm, you can order from a set lunch menu. Three courses for €19. Crazy. Naturally I went and ordered all three, knowing I was being a little excessive for lunchtime dining…but for that price, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try every course. This presents me with the perfect opportunity to use #YOLO.
The restaurant serves more or less the same menu in the evenings for the Early Bird menu (between 5pm – 7.30pm) at just €22 per person from Sunday – Thursday.
We started with smoked salmon on a caper blini with beetroot puree and salsa verde and a hot and cold goat’s cheese salad with glazed figs, beetroot, walnut and white balsamic.
The salad was very impressive. I completely cleared my plate…I felt genuine sadness when it was gone! The balls of goat’s cheese covered in breadcrumbs were light and crispy, with smooth creamy goat’s cheese inside. Everything went so well together, it was flawless. I can’t say much about the Salmon blini – only that it really didn’t hang around too long.
Even Dracula was staring at my salad. He wanted some. I’d say he’d turn veggie for it.
My date (also known as my Mother) and I were order twins; both deciding on the pan-fried hake with spinach puree, tender stem broccoli and wild mushroom spring onion potato cake. The fish was flakey, the sauce was light. The potato, mushroom and spring onion cake was a little dry but I enjoyed it.
We finished with espresso and the baked hazelnut and caramel cheesecake. I was really happy to see it was baked – the best kind of cheesecake. It was smooth, the flavours were subtle and it was all very rich; which ending up sending me about a foot over the line of comfortably full. But it was worth it.
We finished our meal with a dessert style shot; what I would deem as liquid trifle. Raspberry liqueur and Bailey’s, topped with fresh cream and chocolate shavings. I loved it. It looked pretty too. As digestifs go, it was very nice way to end our meal..and a lovely gesture. The shots were given to us by Elisha, a very friendly and equally gorgeous member of staff. She made us feel very welcome and looked after us really well. I would recommend having a chat with her if you stop by, she’s a really great asset to the place.
We went to The Green Hen a couple of weeks ago for a Friday afternoon lunch. It put a spring in my step for the rest of the weekend!
For more information on The Green Hen, click here for their website.
The Green Hen, 33 Exchequer St., Dublin 2
+353 (0)1 6707238
♥ ♥ ♥