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“The Worst Dining Experience I Have EVER. HAD.” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rhubarb

Ranked #117 of 1,040 Restaurants in Belfast
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$8 - US$26
Cuisines: British, Irish, European, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Child-friendly, Cheap Eats, Romantic
Dining options: After-hours, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Breakfast, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Dublin, Ireland
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“The Worst Dining Experience I Have EVER. HAD.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 June 2014

I have never even considered writing a TripAdvisor review before, but after my dinner at Rhubarb on Friday night I felt an overwhelming urge to articulate just how horrendous the whole experience was. I've had bad service and underwhelming dinners before, but my experience at Rhubarb was all-encompassing to say the least.

I went with my mom, little sister and her boyfriend to celebrate my sister's graduation. She'd been before on a mid-week evening and really liked the place, so it was her choice. My mom rang in advance to let them know I'm vegan, and they said they would buy in some foods that I liked and make something up for me, which we thought was super thoughtful and accommodating.

We arrived at around 9PM. There was a large party in the corner of what is an incredibly tiny restaurant. They were all incredibly drunk, which resulted in extremely rowdy behaviour- cackling, screaming, off-key renditions of Frank Sinatra's 'My Way'- this persisted for the entire two hours we were in the restaurant and was so loud that we were leaning across the table straining to hear each other.

After a fifteen minute wait to have our order taken (the other three ordered steaks) the waitress came back after another five minutes to let them know they had ran out of steaks. No problem, it happens; my mom ordered the chicken instead and the other two had a beef dish. My sister asked to substitute the gravy for a peppercorn sauce. When the meals arrived, they had forgotten to do this and she was told she'd have to wait another ten minutes.

The chef had prepared a vegan starter for me which consisted of one medium sized salad tomato roasted and quartered on top of no more than a tbsp of quinoa and a bit of cress. My main course was a small handful of tempura (I couldn't discern another vegetable other than green beans) and an incredibly tasteless sauce. Everyone else's portion sizes were equally small.

One of the benefits of the restaurant is presumably their BYO policy but when we asked for an ice bucket for the bottle of prosecco we'd brought to toast my sister's graduation, we were told they didn't have one.

Beyond the lack of ice bucket, pitifully small portions (the vegan one having been entirely miscommunicated) and a neighbouring table who were rendering our attempts at conversation inaudible, the service was slow and nobody bothered to ask the really rowdy customers to be mindful of the other tables in the rstaurant. When my mom tried to pay, she was told that they didn't have a card machine, so she was forced to get up and go out to find a nearby ATM. At no point during booking the table, or entering the restaurant was this communicated to us.

The dinner was supposed to be a very special occasion, but it was really ruined by the atmosphere of the restaurant, the slow service and what was really disappointing food.

My mom was upset because she felt like my sister's special night had been marred, and my sister was upset because she felt like she'd let us down by suggesting Rhubarb in the first place. It wasn't cosy, it wasn't relaxing, and it wasn't delicious. Maybe we visited on an off-night but regardless, everything accumulated to a horrible dinner and none of us will be going back.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
5 Thank Pee S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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300 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
225 reviews
148 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Handy and Quick - good choice”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2014 via mobile

We ate here on Saturday - a pre theatre meal. Service was quick and efficient with a reasonable range of food. Very small restaurant and it is BYO with a corkage charge of 2.50. My starter of chicken wings was very tasty and I followed with hake. - also very good. Even with taking dessert, we were out in plenty of time for the short walk to the grand opera house. A good choice

Visited June 2014
Thank Bernie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Good with cash”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2014 via mobile

This is a great wee restaurant that we stumbled across while looking for a pre theatre menu. It's bring your own and very well priced for the quality of food. It's 3 courses for £18 or 2 for £15. I had a seafood linguine starter... It was amazing. Cannot fault it. We both had burgers which were also very very good. They came with a truffle aioli which was devine.

My only criticism of the place is its cash only.... The extra few minutes running to the bank machine helped work off some of the sticky toffee pudding but it's not really ideal.

Thank Patrick M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
37 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Great food, great service. Hidden gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2014 via mobile

Went here last week for a friends birthday. Had been recommended it and as it had a good pre theatre menu and it was byo I thought we would give it a try. So glad I did.
No corkage charge, like most byo places. Service was excellent, and the food was beautiful.
I had 3 courses and apart from basil or mint or something in my Eton mess, everything was perfect. The boneless ribs were really good, My friends also had no complaints and enjoyed their meals.
The restaurant was quiet on the night we went, but no staff standing about chatting like in others when quiet. Staff were keeping themselves busy and were attentive and efficient.
I will definitely be back.

Visited June 2014
2 Thank Yellow1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
119 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Pre Theatre Meal”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2014

As we were going to see Mme Butterfly in the GOH it seemed like a good idea to eat in Belfast before the show.Trolled through net and decided on Rhubarb for its Early Evening menu and convenience to GOH.
WE arrived early and were soon seated by a charming young lady who then uncorked our wine (yes it's BYO) and brought us a jug of water while we ordered.
I had Pea and Asparagus Risotto while Joan had ribs to start.Both very good.For mains we had Garlic Chicken legs on crushed herb potatoes for me and a Cheese burger for Joan,
The meal was very good as was the service.We'll go there again.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
Thank TubalCain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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