Sheries 1 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin Tel: 01 8747237 HH II
There was a time when Sheries was a tradition, a place where deals were done, affairs were had and hearts were broken, all in the safe secrecy of the leather booths and the dark corners. Sheries had a true sense of devilment. But that was then before everyone became stupidly obsessed with refurbishment and brightness. Now Sheries resembles an airport lounge in a corridor.
The Cost: €14 for the Sheries burger with cheese and bacon.
The Look: The personality has been stripped away and replaced by anonymous tables and chairs, bright lights, without a sneaky recess to be had.
The Goods: The menu boasts its heritage, proclaiming the café has been here since 1947, but it is quite modern, broad and also anonymous. It opens with leek and potato soup and chicken wings, then moves on to 'bowls' of various salads, then main dishes and sandwiches.
The Bad: The burger is vastly overpriced for something that is fine but certainly not gourmet – big chunky raw onion slices belong in a pot. But the décor is now so bland as to make it just another café rather than somewhere special.
The Result: My friend's cajun prawns are nicely presented and pronounced 'delicious, with a little kick', the service is fine, everything is fine. But, but, but. This place had earned a fond place in many a heart for its quirky ways and potential for boldness rather than its high cuisine. Now it is just another café on the main street.