Forde's of Wexford, Top 100? Not even close

We had our week down in Rosslare. I'd call it a holiday but there were 8 kids in the house. My lovely sisters and parents gave us the night off on Wednesday so we had to pick where to eat. Catherine wasn't in the mood for Italian so it was no to Dolce Vita. Heaven's Above sounded good. Dunbrody House was too far. Lobster Pot doesn't take bookings in the summer. A few reviews later and we settled on Forde's. But we left the house with my Ma warning us that they had an awful meal there a while back. Service wasn't unfriendly but not exactly effusive. Focus was obviously on fish but the meat mains were a bit odd with multiple variations of steak. Catherine got prawn spring rolls to start. Rolls themselves were fine but the "salsa" was brutal. Crunchy veg and overwhelming taste of courgette. Salad was mediocre. I had Duck Leg Confit. The duck was fine but again the saucing was pretty cack-handed. All I could really taste was pepper. For main, Catherine had sole fillet. They did them as little roll-mops which unfortunately meant they were over-cooked on the outside and "rare" in the middle. Nasty and pretty tasteless. Came with a basil sauce. Now I adore basil but I'm not sure what it was doing in a sole sauce. I went for brill which was fine if a little bland. The highlight had to be potato in a spring roll casing. What? I was only disapponted that it didn't have chips right in the middle with maybe a rice coating and spaghetti tails. Desserts were parfait for Catherine and semi-fredo for me. What came out were two things of identical frozen texture. My semi was really just fredo. I could bitch about espresso coming in cappucino cups but that would be just mean. So John McKenna thinks this is one of the top 100 restaurants in Ireland? Doesn't surprise me - the Bridgestone guide is good for addresses and telephone numbers only. I have read reviews in there which don't actually mention food at any point. Of course Tom Doorley recently listed it as a must-visit in Wexford in the Sunday Tribune. I used to think Tom was one of those very bright people who feign bumbling cluelessness a bit like Boris Johnson. But the more I watch "The Restaurant", the more I realise that it isn't an act. This is a guy who reviews wine on afternoon TV but who doesn't seem to have correctly identified one grape variety in this entire series. His laughable attempts to guess origin and price are reason enough to watch the programme. So I don't think I'll be taking restaurant advice from him either. So a meal for two with two drinks and a cheap bottle of wine in Wexford. How much? €126! They really are relying on never-come-again tourists aren't they? These guys are charging Tannery level prices for Coopers level food. A fine business head running the show there. Avoid.

Conor O'Neill

Tech guy who likes running slowly

Bandon, Cork, Ireland http://conoroneill.com