Jewel in the Crown: one of the best Indian restaurants in Dublin

Staff friendliness: 10/10

Indian dishes: 10/10

Interior: 8/10

Value: 10/10

Music: messy eclectic mix

Overall: 9/10

Jewel in the Crown is a hidden treasure. It is actually one of the best places to have lunch in Dublin 2. Yes, lunch. Let me explain.

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South William Street, Dublin 2. It isn’t their only location: they can also be found in Dun Laoghaire

It is completely empty during day time. Nobody seems to realise that it does a very nicely priced lunch and early bird menu. It is frequented by the natives, which is always a good sign. In fact, it is frequented by a diverse bunch. I have on different occasions sat beside groups of tourists, large Italian families, Dennis O’Brien and lads almost entirely covered in tattoos.

Their Indian dishes are great. The presentation of the food isn’t always fantastic: their starters look very amateur. But the Tikka Masala, Korma, Madras, Bhuna, etc… are phenomenal. The Naan is a little buttery, but I still recommend it. The Pilau rice is another fabulous staple.

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The interior is a little grandiose, but you also feel like you are in someone’s house.

It really does have that family feel.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it for a good while, but it is the carpet floors! It really feels very cozy though a bit amateur.

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Pro on the left, amateur on the right…

Jewel in the Crown appears to be family owned. The waiters are very friendly, albeit they keep their distance a little more than you would expect in a typical Irish place. However, once my friend and I were in a rush. I arrived first and wanted to order straight away.  I explained that to the waiter. Incidentally, we always order the same things (Chicken Dopiaza with Pilau Rice, and Chicken Korma with Plain Naan). The waiter didn’t even wait for me to open my mouth. Much to my surprise, the otherwise ceremonial waiter knew exactly what I and the absentee friend of mine always get – and simply recited it as he wrote it on his little pad. Turns out, most of this ordering ritual is just a ritual.

Their music choices are… not great. It ranges from traditional (which is fine, but can be a little loud) to 50 cent. It really makes you appreciate the value of consistency!

Around dinner time it usually gets quite busy and you could be waiting for a long time until you are served, so I wouldn’t recommend it for that reason. However, for lunch it is really outstanding.

I almost forgot to mention the prices. You can get a proper meal for 7 euro. Add another 2 euro – and you can get a starter to go with it.

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