I sent this email to Brendan Howlin TD, and I hope he writes back.
Dear Deputy Howlin
I wonder if you could describe the meal you had in Shanahan‘s Restaurant with Deputy John O Donoghue, Ceann Comhairle?
I know it cost €237, but I’d be interested to know what each of you had for starter, main course and dessert, and whether you would recommend the restaurant. Was there any aspect of the meal that you enjoyed more than all the rest?
I will pass the information to an old-age pensioner of my acquaintance who lives for a week on approximately the amount your meal cost. Unfortunately, he also has to pay for shelter and heating out of the money, as well as food for the entire week, and therefore will probably not be able to sample Shanahans’ fine cuisine, but I know he’ll enjoy your description of the food and surroundings.
Did you have a bottle of wine with the meal? If so, could you perhaps let me know what it was and how much it cost?
For starters, I think I’ll have the crab salad for only €25.75.
I’ll follow that with pea and ham soup for a piffling €10.50.
That T-bone steak sounds delicious at only €52. I think I’ll have it with the whipped potatoes for only €9.25, and some vegetables on the side for another €8.25. Oh, and a few mushrooms for €9.50 and some chips for another €9.25. A steal.
I’ll finish that off with a cheese board for €12.50
Yum Yum. Only €137 all in.
What are you having?
I also wrote to Éamon Gilmore, leader of the labour party, asking him for a comment, and if he replies I’ll bring his comments to you. Éamon is a fairly straight dealer, and I doubt if he’ll be too impressed.
On the positive side Shanahans do offer an affordable fixed menu (though not suitable for pensioners, obviously)
Trio of Irish Salmon: Oak Smoked, House Cured and Pastrami with a Giant Blini, Creme Fraiche and Caviar
Sizzling Black West Coast Mussels with Shallots, Garlic, Herbs, Fresh Lemon and Butter
John Shanahan’s Split Pea & Ham Soup
Caesar Salad with Reggiano Parmesan and Garlic Crouton
Petit Filet (6oz / 170g)
A smaller cut from the most tender of all strips
New York Strip Sirloin (8oz / 227g)
A little firmer, yet tender with a rich flavour
Crisp Pork Shank and Cracklings
with Melted Cabbage and a Spiced Apple Sauce
Roast Cod wrapped in Pancetta
on a Spicy White Bean Stew
Hot Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
* Omelette Soufflé Rothschild on a (sic) Apricot Pureé Coulis and (sic) Caramalised Gingered Rhubarb
Shanahan’s Bread and Butter Pudding with Whiskey Butterscotch Sauce
Shanahan’s Select Blend of Coffee & Tea
All for €55.00
Isn’t that fantastic value?
I’m going to print this out and stick it on the notice boards of dole offices around the country.
Now. What about breakfast?
Well, the Shanahans breakfast is hard to beat for value.
For only €55, you get this:
Brown Bread & Blueberry Muffins
Fillet Steak with Scrambled Eggs
Hash Browns, Grilled Tomato, Sausage, Mushrooms and Black & White Pudding
Tea or Coffee
So there you have it. For only €55, you can have orange juice, a bun, some sausages, an apple and a cup of tea.
All for only €55!
Where would you get it?
And they say Gobshite Ireland is dead?
Bock Pretentious Gobshite Award of 2009 hereby awarded to Shanahans without further ado.
Coulis? Isn’t that jam?
It’s far from coulis John O Donoghue and Brendan Howlin were reared.