I went into Shebeen Chic on Georges St last night with my mate Betty. It's a new self proclaimed Gastro Pub directly opposite the George in a building that seems to change hands from restaurant to restaurant on a far too regular basis. Shebeen Chic is brought to you by the people who brought you the Globe, The Market Bar and the Odessa Club among others so their track record for successful venues is pretty good. The place is an 'eco' venue with all the furniture recycled or mix and matched from auctions and the wine list is made up of Bin Ends, meaning it will change regularly but should be good value for money.
I liked the look of the place, it reminds me a lot of the bars in Oberkampf in Paris about 10 years ago. There's plenty to look at and the place was buzzing.
For me, the menu was a bit of a disaster, It took ages to figure out what I wanted because, well, let's just say I found the menu "difficult" There are about 6 soups, the first of which was "Leek, Onion and Maybe Mud" about 6 Boxtys, (that's mashed potato mixed with stuff) one of which was something like "Beans and Blood", Then there were the the starters which included pigs trotters (but of course) and the mains, a long enough list with "Monkfish Cheeks" and "Eel and Fried Banana" in the mix. I opted for the "Spudballs with Mushrooms and Ould Cheddar" which was basically Gnocci with mushrooms, a sticky grey sauce and some very overcooked broccolli. It was inoffensive enough in it's own way, but nothing to get too get carried away with. €14 for some very cheap ingredients is what it actually was.
The trouble with putting things like Mud and Ould on a menu in a place that is made up of a load of recycled stuff is that you get the impression your food might be leftovers too, especially if it comes out grey with unexpected bits of ancient broccoli.
We went downstairs and ordered some coffee, after waiting ages we called the waiter over to find out what was taking so long and she explained that the coffee machine was broken and she had forgotten to tell us. I guess that's the trouble with getting things second hand, they're not always reliable.
On the way out the door we passed the Harpist, strumming away.
It's a cool venue but first impressions are that the food kinda sucks.