I was visiting the Fair City last Saturday for 24 hours for the occasion of the hen night of my sister-in-law to be! As an avid lover of Dublin, any excuse and I'm there like a shot. So this was not only an important occasion, it was one I looked forward to immensely. And knowing that I was going to be dining with a difference made the trip intriguing.
On arrival to the Fair City on Saturday afternoon I was met by a dear friend and a coffee date was had. Having then sipped a glass of vino whilst getting ready to hit the town, it was off to Chai Yo on Lower Baggot Street, we did go!
I was immediately drawn to the stone washed walls on the interior as we entered the restaurant. They added such character to what was clearly a very warm and inviting environment. This complimented with the dark furniture created a real ambience of serenity within. The staff immediately saw us to our table and the large group of ladies that awaited. I was initially unsure how this evening was going to pan out...the chef was preparing to cook in front of us, just two feet away. When he poured wine on the hot plate and set it alight, I was startled and then laughed alongside everyone else.
And then when the cooking got underway and food games ensued, a night with a difference was clearly on the cards! Had someone told me about all this, I would have imagined it to be childish, but this was elegance and class at an entirely different level. It was fun, it was entertaining and it was indeed fine dining.
As each course got underway, one didn't notice just how much we were eating. The food kept on coming and the fun kept on going. The chef never wavered from entertaining as he continued to cook. After approximately 3 hours we were finished our dining.
And it was only then that I thought about the amount of food consumed! Had everything been put on one plate, we could never have imagined embarking on the eating of such. But as it was served in stages and yet we seemed to be eating at all times, there was never an overload of food.
By the end of the night we had certainly more than enough to eat but one didn't feel bloated or as having over indulged. But I know I certainly ate more that night than I've ever eaten on a night out before.
The chefs here were simply fantastic. Clean, fast and entertaining, they never forgot that we the guests were there. After eating, a cast of three musicians came along and entertained for a short while. They sang popular songs but with their own authentic twist to the music. It all complimented the food and dining experience.
Chai Yo was not overly expensive. When all considered it was in fact exceptionally reasonable. It's a dining experience with a difference and one that I look forward to experiencing again. Not only is this a feast for the palate, but also a feast for the eye!