Words by Emily Mullen and design by Paul Murphy
With the shackles of the 5k restriction removed and replaced with a slightly roomier fetter, we are now able to explore the 20 kilometres that surround us. The broad sweep of Dublin has now been left open to most of us, and that slight whisper of freedom in the air makes a trip to the other side of the city feel as sweet as boarding a flight to the other side of the world. While we were trapped between our four walls, developing Vitamin D deficiencies and scurvy, the whole city has been quietly stacking its shelves with artisan produce, carefully constructing dishes in food trucks and calmly handing out coffees from the back of horseboxes. An entire industry has been quietly assembling itself ready for our release. It’s the least we can do to go forth and gobble it all up. To help, here’s a list of the top things we’ve seen this week that we would love to try:
It’s hard to tell what draws you in first, the lamb chops or the packaging the chops come in. The chops have been doused with so much spice they have changed colour, it looks like you could get a teaspoon of turmeric off one just by nudging it. Delicately sized, the chops look as if they’ve been pulled straight from Street Restaurant’s iconic tandoori oven. They come in a box that’s shaped like an enormous matchbox, with an ancient Asian print and cool graphics on the front, the type of box that you keep and store in the top of the press for several years with the intention of reusing. Street Restaurant are doing takeaways from their Dundrum premises, visit their website for more information.
Ever since wholesalers Sicilia in Ireland posted a video of a jar of pistachio cream being slathered on top of thickly cut Italian bread, it’s been difficult to shake. The ease at which the product can be applied feels so removed from those tasty little nuts that you have to wrangle from their shells. Its creamy smoothness also makes for a pretty versatile product, that could be put on porridge, yoghurt, or maybe at a stretch in some desserts. The Sicilian made Pistachio Cream is available from the Sicilia in Ireland’s website here.
You can practically feel the sauce making its way down to your chin just by looking at a picture of the blackened Cajun spiced prawns. It’s difficult to know if this is a picture of the blackened prawn sub or a collection of the prawns that contribute to it, but it’s nice to imagine that the sub is heaped with as many glistening crustaceans as can be seen in the picture. This is the work of Minetta Deli based out in Sutton, that have paired the prawns with jalapeño mayonnaise, spinach, tomato and are serving it on toasted buttery ciabatta sub. Minetta do delivery and click-and-collect services, for more details visit their website.
Fresh to the Juniors menu, is the Roast Chicken Salad which looks thankfully looks nothing like a salad and more like a deconstructed roast chicken with chunks of bread. Finely chopped red onion, scallions, new season radishes, pine nuts, golden raisins are sprinkled on top, there are roasting juices and a chardonnay dressing added to the mix. Their Instagram post reads that there is in fact a bed of seasonal greens below, but they are thankfully obscured by carbs and protein. It’s listed as a meal suitable for two people, but do with that what you will. Juniors are running a click-and-collect service out of their Dublin 4 premises on their website here.
There have been sightings of iced coffees on social media, but since the Irish weather is such a cruel mistress, caution must be deployed before ordering one. Best to play it by ear and not throw yourself into iced coffee season just yet, that’s why Two Boys Brew’s extra chocolatey hot chocolate looks so comforting and approachable. Using Belgian milk and dark chocolate drops mixed into velvety steamed milk, the cafe has signalled that it’s okay not to pretend it’s 24 degrees outside. Their cafe is out in Phibsborough, and they also run a click and collect service on their website.
Oxmantown have always been lashing out the sweet treats, with their cannoli range and their custard tarts always snapped up by the customers of Smithfield. But this rack of lemon meringue tarts cooling on a tray has really caught the eye, the lemon curd is getting to know the thickly rolled crust of the pastry, all the while the freshly singed meringue is chilling out on the top. This photo gives no scope for scale so it’s easy to veer between images of bowl-sized lemon meringues and endless iced gem-sized meringues. Find them in Oxmantown’s Mary’s Abbey Smithfield spot, more information on their website.
Those Rascal’s have gone and rereleased their Strawberry Vanilla Shake beer. The design is all Florence Given-esque pink, white and black stylised groovy swirls. The release corresponds with cherry blossom season according to the brewery which is a nice thought. The can promises to combine the milky comfort of a strawberry milkshake with the tang of an IPA. The 5%-er beer can be bought online alongside Rascal’s other stash, they will even donate a €1 from every order to St. James’s Hospital Foundation.
Let’s be honest, they had us at jambon, but throwing saag paneer into the mix has truly elevated it to new heights. This dalliance into the world of puffed pastries is a new venture for SOUP 2 but by the looks of the curry encasement, the ramen-people have pulled it off. Find the jambons at SOUP 2’s King Street North spot in Smithfield and find more information on their Instagram.
Bread 41 have combined three things that are capable of bestowing maximum comfort on the consumer, croissants, muffins and mikados, into the mikado cruffin. The production is second to none, with every element of the mikado being put to good use, from the coconut marshmallow being melted on top, to the splodges of perfect red goo artistically dripped and then finished with the biscuit base being crumbled on top. That’s ignoring the cruffin, which is just standing to attention there, encrusted in sugar, forming layers of perfectly swirled pastry. Find Bread 41 in Pearse Street, you can order online from their website.
It’s been so long since we’ve had a food experience, it’s starting to feel like they never even happened. That eating in Dublin has only ever taken place on soggy park benches or cramped dashboards. That’s why things like the Phoenix Cafe’s picnic boxes are so important, they are a slice of reality, a memory box of a life once lived. They are also a great excuse to meet a pal in the Phoenix Park for a walk and enjoy a bite to eat while you try and spot Misneach and dodge wild garlic pickers. The Phoenix Cafe has covered a lot of bases by making an original picnic box, the vegan box and a kids’ picnic box option available. The boxes all include sandwiches, sweets, lemonade and tea or coffee for the adults. They are made from sustainably sourced food where possible and the box they come in is either compostable or recyclable depending on the choice. Visit their website to book the picnics.
Have a recommendation for our next top ten? Send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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