Welcome to the Dublin Castle. New Westminster's new home of fun, food and true friendliness. Located in a stately manor, formally the B.C. penitentiary guard house building this is your neighbourhood Castle.
Two friends and I arrived at 1:00 pm on a lovely sunny holiday Monday and sat out on the patio. First sign of trouble was when we asked the waitress what draught beer and lager they had. Silence. Don't think she knew what draught meant. We were given the dinner menu. I ordered the crab cakes, but was told they were out of them. I opted for the queen cod burger. One friend ordered the fish & chips, the other friend ordered the chicken pot pie, but they were out of that, Okay then, how about the Guinness pie, sorry, out of that too. He opted for the fish & chips. The food came after a reasonable wait. The cod burger was dry and greasy, the fries were delicious. My friends said the fish & chips were okay. Coffee was plentiful and the wait staff attentive without being intrusive. Going home we all agreed the setting and ambience were great, but 3 menu items not being available at 1:00 in the afternoon was ridiculous. Found out after we left that they have a brunch menu and they also have daily specials. Why were we not told about them when we sat down. We won't be back.
nice patio that was about 1/3 full the night we ate here and not a soul inside. It's quiet and would probably look really nice at night when all of the lights are turned on. We were greeted promptly and the service was pleasant. We had our drinks pretty quickly, but the food took forever to arrive. The server told us that the kitchen was backed up and having problems. What would they do if it were busier? We ordered the spring salad that arrived without the listed watermelon. Presentation was lovely, but no watermelon and instead had tomato and green peppers which I didn't see listed on the menu. When I mentioned to the server about the lack of watermelon, she offered to bring me a side of it, but by then our salad was almost done.
Our entrees were brought to the next table so I flagged them over to us.
I had the steak sandwich and luckily my partner likes mushrooms as they were on the steak even though I had asked for no mushrooms. It was supposed to come with a side but I was already having salad and it mentioned on the menu 'onion straws', so I didn't want any onion rings. Steak was very rare for my liking without much flavour but by this time I was very hungry so ate it. ( Mashed potatoes are absolutely delicious. This is an Irish pub so you would assume that they can do potatoes correctly though.) The so called onion straws were practically raw slices of onion. What kind of straws are these? It made me wish I had ordered the rings.
My partner had salmon and wasn't very happy with the so called salsa as it was just finely chopped fruit and veg (but not as a fresh cut salsa should be) . The table next to us was having the same problem with late food and mixed up orders. We won't be back.
I've been to Dublin Castle a couple of times. It's pretty good generally. Great atmosphere with friendly service. The meals look good, well plated. I found the fish and chips to be too greasy, but still good. The Steak & Guinness pie left more to be desired. It was below par, the seasoning was way off, totally bland. I've never had it before so i don't know what it should taste like. But i know i won't order it again. I think some seasoning would have made the difference. The wings were 39 cents each, and they were pretty good, but they were really tiny. They looked more like pidgeon wings. The waitress didn't come around to ask us how the meal was. The burgers are awesome. They actually encourage you to make comments on this site, so i hope they improve themselves after reading this. I kinda like the place, i'd like to see it stick around. I would probably go more often if the prices were a little more friendly. Cheers :)
This restaurant changed hands and now has an Irish Pub theme. So we wanted to try it out. They have done it up in an Irish theme and it is now a cozy sports bar. Ambiance is very comfortable.
We ordered the Shepherds pie and the Steak and Guinness pie. Both were good but nothing remarkable. They came as just plain pie on the plate, not a token piece of vegetable or salad. To me it seemed an unfinished dish. The Shepherds pie was also covered with a strong Bovril mix gravy which actually detracted from the dish.
We started with soup and both the corn chowder and the clam chowder were very good.
They need to do a little staff training. Our waitress although pleasant was clueless about the menu. I asked her whether the clam chowder was New England or Manhattan style, white or tomato. She replied she didn't know -- and wasn't going to go find out until I asked her to do so. Then when she brought the entres she announced Shepherds pie and gave that person the steak pie, steak pie and gave me the shepherds pie.
I'd go again but probably just to have a beer and watch the Canucks.
Went here on a Friday night and the place was packed watching hockey. Some kind strangers shifted seats at the bar to allow us 2 seats together as that was all that was available. Beer was fine once we finally got one of the bartenders attention (like I said is was packed) and eventually ordered some food. Shepherd's pie was pretty bland and the burger, which was supposed to come with goat's cheese and roasted red peppers (difficult ingredients to screw up you would think) came out with sauteed red peppers and feta. It was okay and just not worth sending back though I did mention it to one of the bartenders but I doubt it got back to the kitchen. Would go back for a beer but would be very hesitant about ordering another meal here.
I haven't had an experience in a place like this for a long time! We came in through word of mouth...friends that live in the Neighbourhood who love it. We were quite surprised by the amazing patio, great view and at nigh they have gorgeous lights glowing all above the patio, plus it's actually a Castle!! The service was friendly and prompt from the beginning, we also had a manager and the owner stop by through the visit to check on us, nice touch! My husband had the Yorkie dinner that was increadible...don't know how they get those Yorkie so big, and I had the Wings and Caesar salad which were both way above the usual "pub food" I'm used to. Over all a fabulous experience will definately be back and recommending it to friends and family. Keep up the good work!!
I ordered Fish & Chips and my husband ordered the Club House Sandwich. I have never had Fish & Chips that were as greasy as these were. I asked my husband how his sandwich was (how can you go wrong with a club house sandwich?) It too was greasy! We sat on the patio for dinner and a group of four young men sat two tables away from us and all lite up cigarettes. It did not say that this was a SMOKING SECTION. I thought smoking was not permitted in restaurants? We will not go back, Prefer River's Reach!
I have been here several times now and have been thoroughly impressed each time.
My first visit I met a few friends there who were there to watch a Canuck's game. The place was PACKED and the vibe was fantastic (maybe because the Canuck's were wining!). They had "Canuck's Shots" for $2.99 during the game and it was "Wing Night" so my friends and I loaded up on both. The food had already been ordered when I got there but because we were seated right next to where they keep the menus I had a peek at what else they had to offer. Our waitress noticed me looking over the menu and asked if I wanted to order anything else (I DID want to since their menu is pretty extensive although not entirely "Irish") but because I had already eaten I let her know I was just reviewing it for possible future visits.
She was super-sweet and proceeded to tell me about their dinner special the next night which was Sirloin Steak and Prawns for $11.99! And that they did a brunch menu on the weekends. My parents were coming into the city the next day so I asked if I could make reservations for the 3 of us for dinner but oddly enough they don't take reservations for groups less than 8 people! Kind of understandable since they do have limited space.
I did go back the next night with my parents (we ended up with the same waitress!). She recognized me and seemed genuinly happy to see me return (so refreshing to be treated so kindly by another female! (who by the way was VERY pretty as were all the other girls working there!)). The place was packed (again) even though there was no hockey game. The steak and prawns were perfectly cooked and came with ceaser salad and garlic bread. My parents loved the place and were also impressed by how attentive our waitress was. I assured them we would come back for the weekend brunch before they went back home the following week.
We did return for brunch the following Sunday and although we did have to wait 10 minutes for a table and the previous waitress was nowhere to be seen the service was still amazing and the food was great yet again especially for the rediculously inexpensive price.
I took a friend from work there last Tuesday for lunch and had the Greek Burger at the suggestion of our waitress, my friend had the California Burger with sweet potato fries (had to mention that since they were the best sweet potato fries I've ever sampled! My ceaser salad was great too but next time I'll go with the sweet potato fries!!). The place was bustling again but the waitress (all 3 of them!) greeted us and made us feel at home, the service was quick, the food came out very quickly and tasted delicious!!
I'll definately go back a.s.a.p.!!
The only thing Irish about the Dublin Castle is the green paint on the wall, and some novelty pieces posted on them.
The full name is Dublin Castle Neighbourhood Grill. They portray themselves as an Irish restaurant, but operate like a neighbourhood sports pub. Where a restaurant, in most cases, would seat you, Dublin's has you looking for a spot like a pub.
Service was abrupt like a pub, not a restaurant. Where pub service staff is often abrupt and swift as they look to move as much booze as possible, restaurant service should be relaxed and designed to make your visit a pleasant experience.
Castle? The building used to be the main entrance building of the old British Columbia Penitentiary (The Pen). This not a bad thing at all. But when you market yourself as an Irish castle pub, and pay homage in some part to the old Pen in some of the memorabilia that is presented, what are we to absorb from this experience.
So let's talk about food. They promote Irish, but tell us they provide our pub favourites. Therefore, considering delivering on Irish dishes is more challenging than most pub favourites, let's take a couple of items my wife and I ordered to guage the capabilities of Dublin.
My wife order the beef dip. The beef was tough, and the fries that accompanied it could have been cooked a bit longer. When cut thin, tender beef should have absorbed the dip with a consistency similar to the bread. Some side salad should have been a part of the dish. This is an easy entre to consistently deliver.
I had the fish and chips. The fries were perfect, better than those my wife had. And that was the positive part. The fish had a wedge shape which suggested it was not fresh, likely frozen pieces that were maybe battered at the restaurant. The batter easily fell away from the fish, which only further bolstered the argument the fish was not fresh. The fish also tasted fishy. Freshly cooked fish does not taste fishy!
It is so easy to deliver fresh fish and chips, or beef dip for that matter, and only a lazy owner or kitchen chef would be guilty on failing on simple dishes. God knows what they would do with any iconic Irish favourites.
I have been in Ireland many times and spent many happy evenings in Irish pubs. They are relaxed, warm, welcoming establishments where you can sit and chat to friends, enjoy a drink, and have a laugh in a stress free environment. This place is more boiler room than Irish pub. Before we (party of four) could even get our coats off, we were accosted by a team of smiley faced liquor sales over-achievers. We ordered our drinks (once we got settled in) and they were promptly delivered. We had only just had our first toast and sip when they were back again asking if we needed more drinks! Obviously the pressure is on the wait staff to sell suds.
We ordered dinner which the waitress got wrong (3 out of 4). She was friendly and efficient, but appeared to have something much more important to attend to (a young man sitting at another table who she seemed to be very familiar with). Once we got the food orders straightened out (which she insisted was the kitchen's fault, but we know from one glaring mistake that it was her's) the food was actually very good. The liquor ladies made sure our glasses never got below 75% full before inquiring about a reorder. They circle relentlessly around the restaurant like 747's over Toronto airport being chased by the owner. It all got a little too much and my colleague's wife told her that we would call if we needed more. She later brought the bill and thanked us for coming, standard stuff. We sat and chatted for a while and then she returned with the bill.........again! We pointed out that we already had one bill and she apologized with a laugh. Honest mistake perhaps, but a new tactic that I have never seen before designed to get you to leave. Just push a button on the computer and reprint the check.
In all a reasonably pleasant evening, but very high pressure which is obvious and uncomfortable. The owner or manager is all over the restaurant shepherding the staff left and right and barking orders loud enough for all to hear. My wife used to come to this location with her friends often in the past when it was a family restaurant as we live just up the street. She mentioned that she recognized a familiar face in the kitchen when we were leaving, which might explain the quality of the food.
If you drink with both hands at the same time and are not put off by high pressure, this might be your kind of place. If you are looking for a more relaxed place, not so much. As far as this being similar to an Irish pub, any resemblance is probably down to how many drinks they have sold you. They are as different as an accordion and a bicycle.
My wife and I discovered Dublin Castle a few years ago. It instantly became our favourite restaurant in town and has continued as such ever since. The food is excellent and the presentation rivals restaurants that come with significantly higher prices.
The soups are great. Our favourite has been the ministrone that we enjoyed last night. The main course selections provide good variety. We have tried many of them and all have been very good. There is a really unique flair to the food for the New West area.
The relaxed and friendly Irish atmosphere makes for a great way to spend a couple of hours for dinner. The value for the money is great. The waitress is very cute and flaunts some. We will certainly continue to make this a regular dining spot.
My friend and I went to Dublin Castle for dinner.
We got there and the place was packed! However the manager/owner was super nice to us and offered us to get a drink at the bar to put on our tab.
We were seated as soon as there was a table open and throughout the night we had great service, everyone there was so friendly!
The food. It arrived in a timely manner and it was really good. I had the Fiesta chicken sandwich and my friend had the Seafood salad. Both recommended.
The ambiance. It's quite small in there and it was full, so it was pretty crowded. It's Irish theme everything. I was hoping that they would keep some of the history of the place regarding the old penitentary (if you've ever been to the Winking Judge on Burrard, kinda like that). Oh well.
There was a big mix of age groups there and everyone seemed to be really enjoying themselves. But I'll warn you if you're running a bit younger in age and looking for a place to party, this pub really doesn't seem like the place for you.
All in all a great experience and we will be back!