Words: Shamim de Brún
Words: Shamim de Brún
It’s the end of the quarter, so we’ve gotten all reflective and nostalgic for all the gorgeous food Dublin has been slinging this year. So we’ve condensed all the best bits into a handy little list for your gluttonous consideration.
Go forth and gorge yourself.
If you’re firmly on the veggie train, this Rasel Hanout roasted Irish cauliflower, quinoa tabbouleh, beet and pomegranate, and yoghurt purée with pomegranate dressing is the treat for you. It’s the perfect balance of savoury and sweet, crunchy and chewy. Roasted cauliflower with pomegranate is a surprisingly easy win. Plus, it’s a great excuse to eat a pomegranate, which is basically nature’s juicy milseán. So try it out and be the bell of the ball.
This is a next-level roast at its literal best. How often do you get to chomp down on a wild Irish Venison Shank Brasato? For the carnivorously inclined, it is a bucket list dish. Chuck in the potato purée, crispy chanterelles and a demi-glace, and you have a dish worth coveting. As things to eat in Dublin go, this one ranks!
Potato and parmesan fritters with truffle aioli and shaved parma ham is a flavour bomb waiting to explode in your mouth. It’s like a fancy twist on the classic pub grub, but elevated to gourmet status. Who doesn’t love a good excuse to chow down on some crispy, creamy, cheesy goodness?
The truffle aioli adds an extra touch of luxury, while the shaved parma ham takes it to the next level. Basically, it’s the ultimate comfort food with a fancy pants makeover. This signature starter has been on Sienna’s menu since day one. It’s incredibly moreish and perfect for a lunchtime treat if you’re in Malahide.
If you’re looking to eat in Dublin, this is the winter warmer to beat. The sausage itself isn’t your average bangers and mash sausage. We’re talking about some serious artisanal, handcrafted goodness here. And with a secret recipe from a local Italian butcher? How could it not be delightful, original, and somewhat magical?
While the full recipe is unknowable, it had been confirmed that wild fennel and Calabrian chilli play dominant roles. That’s a flavour town waiting for you to park up in. The fennel should give it a nice earthy, herbal note, while the chilli will bring a touch of the heat we need in this cold, wet city.
This bad boy, made up of malt panna cotta with clementine jus and slices topped with pistachios, is the dessert to beat in Dublin. Let’s talk texture. The smooth, creamy panna cotta paired with the zesty, tangy clementine jus is like a soirée in your mouth. And then, when you think it can’t get any better, they go and sprinkle some crunchy, nutty pistachios on top. I mean, come on. It’s like they’re trying to make us all drool with envy. These are the cold hard facts.
If you’re looking to make all your dessert dreams come true, this Dark Chocolate & Pistachio Tart is the real deal. It’s got all the rich and indulgent dark chocolate. The crunchy and oh-so-tasty pistachios. The sweet and creamy roasted banana ice cream and the playful honeycomb crumb. It’s like the dessert version of a wild party – all the flavours and textures are just having a good time together.
Cheesecake mochi is the dessert crossover episode we didn’t know we needed. It’s like biting into a cloud of creamy, cheesy, chewy goodness. And honestly, who doesn’t want a little extra dose of joy in their lives? Plus, trying cheesecake mochi is the perfect excuse to take a break from your sugar-free BS and indulge in something truly irresistible: Cheesecake Strawberry Mochi. I ate it in January, and my boyfriend is still talking about it with dessert lust in his eyes. So treat yo’self and thank us later!
As things to eat in Dublin go, this dish has all the personality and charm of the Irish and the Welsh. If you’re looking for something different but not too different, then the Guinness and leek buck rarebit from Daddy’s is your port of call. It’s a special that was so popular it got extended. So you know it’s gonna be tasty.
It’s like a warm hug – comforting and satisfying. The creamy cheese sauce, infused with the bold flavour of Guinness and the bite of leeks, is smothered over a thick slice of bread. It’s a dish that’s equal parts fun and sophisticated, like a cocktail party for your taste buds.
If you’re looking for a truly indulgent Pancake experience, then you gotta get yourself to Alma for some locally sourced artisanal pancakes. Alma made their name on their classic Dulce de Leche Pancakes. Going to Alma is like going for a fancy brunch, but on a weekday – how bougie is that?
These pancakes are made with the finest ingredients, with their suppliers listed on the menu. And you know the chef who made them is some pancake wizard, carefully crafting each one with the utmost care and attention. Think fancy-schmancy honey drizzle and you’re on the right track. It’s like a pancake revolution, and you’re on the front lines in Alma.
Glás has made its name on these wonderfully inventive vegan and veggie dishes that are always glamorously presented. This new addition to their menu is no different. It’s a heartily comforting veggie dish with appeal as vast as the low-fi beats girl. The earthy taste of turnips pairs well with the savoury smoked bread, while the bitter notes of chicory foam balance the creaminess of the wild garlic cream.
In it’s entirety, this little ditty is made up of Foie Gras and Organic Chicken Liver Parfait on Brioche with a buttery hazelnut crunch accented by a Pedro Ximenez Jelly. If that alone doesn’t make you want to try it then let’s talk about the presentation. This dish is like a work of art on a plate. The smooth, velvety texture of the parfait paired with the crunchy hazelnut crunch and the sweet, tangy jelly is like an art deco symphony for your taste buds.
Anything from Gaz is always top-notch quality at the best price he can give it to ya, so it’s worth the DART out to Blackrock for this little ditty, ideally with a glass of crisp white wine.
Who’s feeling adventurous? If you’re in the mood for something different, salted cod & nduja croquettes are the appetizer of the moment. Croquetts have been having more than just a moment across menus in the city as a way to combine our beloved potato with just about anything. Salted cod has a distinctive, salty flavour that pairs well with strong, bold flavours like nduja. Salted cod is also a bit on the milder side, so it allows the nduja to shine without overpowering it. Now wrap that up with some buttery spuds and deep dry it in bread crumbs, and you can imagine this app is as sexy as Pedro Pascal.
If you’re looking for a modern classic to eat in Dublin look no further than the garlic butter hake kiev. It’s like a little nugget of heaven, wrapped in crispy breadcrumbs and stuffed with garlic butter that oozes out like liquid gold when you cut into it. And the fish? Is it possible to beat sustainably sourced Hake? The garlic butter is like a little kiss in every bite. It perfectly balances rich, buttery goodness and fresh, flaky fish. What more could you want to eat in Dublin?
As someone who has spent a great deal of time eating, I can confidently say that few dishes can rival the simple, satisfying pleasure of a pot of mussels. There’s something truly magical about these plump, briny bivalves nestled in a fragrant broth of white wine, garlic, and herbs. The rich, savoury flavours of the broth combine with the tender, juicy mussels to create a symphony of tastes and textures. Now add in a buttery slice of Irish brown soda bread, and you have yourself a meal. Prepare to be transported to seafood nirvana.
You would never guess that was tofu, would you? Chimac is well known for its chicken exploits, but all their burgers are available with a tofu patty. And they do not skimp on the tofu, either. It is a good solid sexy chunk of crunchy deep-fried soybean protein, and it couldn’t look more transgressive. Cover that patty in kimchi, throw in a few pickles and cheese it if you’re feeling it. It is, quite frankly, the best-looking feed. Pair it with kombucha and some chips and you’ll feel alive again.
If you’re looking for a meal that’ll warm you up faster than a flame thrower in a blizzard, look no further than a Porchetta roast with wild garlic. This isn’t your average boring Sunday roast, oh no. We’re talking about succulent, herb-infused pork belly, slow-roasted to perfection until it practically falls apart at the mere mention of a knife. And let’s not forget about that wild garlic. It’s like liquid gold that’s been kissed by the gods of flavour. Just imagine biting into a piece of that juicy pork with that heavenly sauce and feeling your taste buds explode with joy. Beautiful.
If you want a meal that will knock your socks off, you need to get yourself down to Note restaurant and order the beef cheek, smoked eel, celeriac, and cabbage dish. It works harder than a Ru Girl after bottoming the week before. The beef cheek is so tender it practically melts in your mouth, and the smoky flavour of the eel adds a little something-something that’ll make your taste buds sing. Plus, the celeriac and cabbage balance earthy and fresh flavours to tie the whole thing together. And don’t even get me started on how it’s presented – it’s like a work of art on a plate. Yes, it’s a bit small, and yes, it’s a bit expensive, but damn, does it look like I want to eat it.
Pizza is one of the most glorious foods to have ever come into existence. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to get wrong. But Bambino doesn’t know how to go wrong. This slice of Big Hot Pep is an outstanding balance between sweet, spicy, and salty. Made up of house-pickled jalapeños and homemade hot honey supported by a perfectly charred crust. If you’ve never had a sweet and spicy pizza, it’s time to change that. Currently, there’s no better slice in Dublin.
Who doesn’t love a chicken burger with slaw? It is an essential part of the Dublin diet. But combine that with 3FE Hot sauce mayo with pickled cucumber, and serve it on brioche, and you have something so provocative it’s almost too perverse to eat. 3FE is well known for its quality and commitment to provenance, so you’re really doing the lord’s work when you go all in on this one. If your mouth isn’t watering just looking at that pic, then you are the problem.
Available at Five Points or Grand Canal street.
We’ve all seen the rise of mac and cheese in Ireland. But there’s something about truffle mac and cheese that hits different. It’s the kind of dish you take one look at, and you know it will be incredible. The creamy, gooey mac and cheese is already a classic comfort food. But when you add in those earthy, decadent truffle shavings, it takes it to a whole new level. There’s just something so indulgent and luxurious about it. It’s the perfect dish to treat yourself to after a long week.
Let me introduce you to the roasted Dover Sole. This fish is so good it practically screams, “I’m fancy”, as soon as it hits the table. It’s delicate and flaky, with a buttery flavour that’ll make you want to lick the plate clean (Judge not lest ye be judged). And when it’s roasted to perfection, you’ve got yourself a meal that’s fit for royalty. Plus, it’s healthy adjacent, so you can feel good about yourself while you’re enjoying it. So, if you want to class up your dinner, get yourself a roasted Dover Sole from Dilingers. Just be prepared to share, as it’s designed for a twosie.
Sometimes you want a sandwich that is as big as your face, and Leroy’s is here to provide. Layers of Milano salami, nduja citrus aioli, Swiss cheese, pickled banana peppers and iceberg lettuce on Tartine Organic Bakery Dublin ciabatta combine to make this monstrously good-looking sandwich. It’s serving New York Deli style with local Dublin flare. I would dislocate my jaw for a good bite of it to feel the textures and flavours dance the rhumba.
This little ditty from Sceal Bakery doubles up on locally sourced rhubarb from Ryans’s Rhubarb and turns it into a tart jam underneath and lightly poached stalks on top. Sweet crème pâtisserie binds those two pink layers together. All that tops Sceal’s flakey pastry is made using emmer flour from Oak Forest Mills.
This bad boy is nutty and honeyed in flavour and incredibly flakey. Ticking all the boxes for a delicious mouthful in every bite. It is the truest joy a Rhubarb-er could ever hope to ingest.
Blood orange season is the best time to let loose and eat out like a boss. It’s a chance to try new and exciting dishes featuring the sweet, tangy flavour of blood oranges. This wild seabass crudo with blood orange, radish and rosemary looks like a flavour feis ceol in your mouth.
Expect a light and fresh dish packed with bold citrus and herb flavours. This dish is the perfect way to make the most of the blood orange season and add a touch of sophistication to your meal game.
The ultimate weekend lunch move for two people is this Arzo from La Gordita. Dublin 8’s new hot spot is teaming with all sorts of Spanish delicacies. This traditional rice dish is packed with all sorts of amazing seafood goodness. We’re talking about tender, juicy pulpo (that’s octopus, for those who don’t speak Spanish), plump carabinero, and fresh, succulent prawns, all nestled in a bed of fluffy, fragrant Spanish rice.
Designed for sharing, this beauty is bound to be filling. The combination of flavours and textures is unreal. You’ve got the briny, savoury seafood, the aromatic rice, and a little kick of spice that’ll wake up your taste buds. It’s the perfect lunch for when you’re feeling a little fancy, adventurous, and hungry. So head on over to La Gorditas at the weekend to give it a wack.
Elsewhere on CHAR: Why I Hate the Word Foodie!