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Mister S review: Is this the best value lunch in town? Spectacular steak frites for €19

This is an absolute steal, and if you prefer fish, they have chargrilled prawns for just a euro more

Mister S
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Address: 32 Camden Street Lower, Saint Kevin's, Dublin 2, D02 P029
Telephone: 01 683 5555
Cuisine: Modern International
Cost: €€€

People often ask me what I like to eat, and the answer is, just about everything, as long as it doesn’t come with truffle oil (which is quite different from real truffles). Or eucalyptus, which is a story for another day.

But often it is the simpler dishes that win out. Top quality produce that tastes of itself, cooked judiciously with no extraneous bits. Which, of course, is not always that simple to do. And then there is the issue of price, which is not just a hospitality industry affliction; we’re all feeling the pinch.

The folks at Mister S have come up with the rather novel idea of stepping into the diners’ shoes for a minute, and wondering what might entice those piggy toes in their direction. I’d like to think that coloured Post-its and Venn diagrams were involved before the price lever was pulled; anyway, ta-da, there it was – €19 steak frites for lunch every Friday.

I mistakenly thought that it was walk-in only for this lunch offer, later discovering I am extremely lucky to land two high stools by the window as the clock strikes 12.


There is a full menu available, accessed via a QR code, but as much as I’d like to buy into all of those sustainable credentials, trying to get the full sense of a menu on a small screen is extremely frustrating and not how I like to start my meal. I don’t think I’m alone on this. But there’s no avoiding it as the wine list is on it too, with eight options by the glass (if you count Prosecco), so it’s a simple order of a glass of Les Oliviers, Côtes Du Rhône (€8.50) and Hacienda Lopez De Haro, Rioja Crianza (€9.50).

At Mister S, where a custom-made grill is visible in the semi-open kitchen at the end of the room, not only is it about the ferocity of live fire, when it comes to deep-frying, beef fat is called upon to add a bit of magic. You see it in their burnt end rendang spring rolls (€10), which are filled with the crusty bits from the slow cooked short-rib and mixed through with blasts of lemon grass, coconut and coriander, before being frazzled in the hot fat until they’re gold and crackling. Dipping these into gochujang mayo is therapeutically good as we wait for our main courses to arrive.

The picanha steak is the much prized Brazilian cut that is taken from the top of the rump, so it’s quite appropriate that the chef here, Lucas Matile, is Brazilian. Sauce options include chimichurri, garlic butter or smoked Béarnaise, the latter being as delicious with the rare pieces of charred steak as it is with the chips that have been steamed, and then cooked twice in beef dripping before being dusted with salt. Top level stuff.

The other lunch special, which changes from time to time, is grilled prawns with frites (€20). They are absolute monsters, ringing with the sultry smoke from the grill, charred antennae hanging over the edge of the plate, heads begging to have the juices sucked from them. They have had just the right amount of time on the grill. The meat in the tail is tender, and quite heavenly dipped in the aioli. They are Argentinian prawns, not Irish, as we get nothing this size on our shores, and although I always advocate for local crustaceans, these are a treat.

After all of that fishy bounty, a fresh dessert is called for and the orange creme caramel (€8) is just the thing. Light and creamy, it is bathed in caramel with a hint of saffron, and orange zest on top brings an aromatic note.

At Mister S, rather than whinging about the cost of living and the VAT rate, they’ve posed the pertinent question: “What can I put on the menu that will have people bursting through the door?” They took a look at what they have – a superb grill, skill and great produce – and came up with steak and chips for €19, available until 4.30pm. Unsurprisingly, they are full to the gills for Friday lunch. Other restaurants should take note.

In case you’re wondering if this deal will be available on St Patrick’s day, the answer is yes; although the second option, which changes regularly, may not be the prawns. Just be sure to book, as there’s no guarantee that you’ll land one of those stools by the window.

Lunch and two glasses of wine was €75.

THE VERDICT: This is the Friday treat you deserve

Music: A great playlist at a blast-it-out level

Food provenance: McConnell’s Butchers, McLoughlin’s Butchers, Andarl Farm pork, Glenmar Seafood

Vegetarian options: Not their strong point, one starter of charred leeks with Romesco, and one main of grilled aubergine with labneh

Wheelchair access: Accessible room, with no accessible toilet

Corinna Hardgrave

Corinna Hardgrave

Corinna Hardgrave, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes a weekly restaurant column