Words: Emily Mullen
“I really like dark cosy places where you are hidden away from the outside world”
In our series called the Last Supper, we ask Dubliners and adoptees what their last meal would be in this fine city before they departed for St. Peter’s pearly gates. Handpicking starters, mains and desserts and everything in between, from the vast store cupboard of Dublin cuisine, past or present.
Completely fictitious and absolutely ridiculous it’s an unlimited budget series that relies purely on imagination. In mining the brains of these people, we hope to uncover some hidden gems, forgotten food slingers and make everyone a bit emosh in the process. Next up is Caitríona Devery, Food editor at District Magazine, someone who likes her cocktails with a tequila base, her cheeses by the multitude, her food filled with garlic and her dining spots dark and obscured.
First off where are you having your Last Supper?
I’m going to go to multiple places in the one night but I’ll be magicking myself around in a magical transporter machine which will make the Dubin public transport situation less annoying. I’m starting off in 777 on George’s Street because it’s just a really cosy, dark place with really loud music. I think it’s a really good place if you want to escape the city, to sit in one of their nice little booths and forget about everything. I really like dark cosy places where you are hidden away from the outside world.
So you are kicking your Last Supper off in 777 with a marg?
I’d have to have an aperitif there, they do really good margaritas, so I would have to have a classic. Their margaritas are quite sweet but they are really easy to drink. I love tequila-based drinks even though having a margarita before dinner probably isn’t a great idea. I’d like a snack while I was in there, they do oyster shots, which are an oyster with chilli, citrus and tomato so I’d like a couple of them.
Who are you with?
I’ve been spending the last six months in my parent’s house in Offaly so I’m dying to see my friends. So I would have a gang of my girlfriends that I haven’t seen in ages.
Tap or bottled water?
I’d probably go for fizzy water, I’m partial to bottled fizzy water it always feels kinda posh to me.
You are having an aperitif and a snack before your starter, but what are you having for your starter?
For my starter, we would hop into the magical transporter machine and we would head up to Parnell Street, and go to Jojo’s Chinese Restaurant. I’d have a big plate of their steamed dumplings to start, Pork and cabbage or prawn flavoured would be great. The dumplings are steamed and they are quite lumpy, clunky and heavy, they aren’t delicate like wontons. They are really satisfying. You have them with dips of black vinegar, soy sauce and chilli oil. I’m kind of addicted to dumplings, I lived in the UK for about ten years and in the middle of my time there, I was moving cities and I ended up coming back to Dublin for a Summer. It was around 2007 and I lived on North Great George’s Street which was an amazing street to live on. David Norris was our neighbour, it’s full of gorgeous Georgian buildings and you were right in the city centre. It was just around the time when that part of town felt like it was becoming a new Chinese and Asian area with loads of businesses and restaurants opening up. A lot of them were upstairs above shops, so they weren’t as developed as they are now. I love that kind of food and I would sometimes go off on little explorations around there and try things. It’s not expensive now but back then it was very cheap, too cheap, ridiculously cheap, you would get a really big plate of dumplings for like €5 or something like that. I love that part of town, from living there that Summer.
Where are you going for your main?
There’s an amazing Chinese/Korean restaurant on Capel Street called Hilan and they do a spicy cumin lamb with noodles. They usually put lots of fresh coriander on it and those big dried red chilis that you get and they slice them pretty thick, the lamb comes in a chilli and garlic broth which is nearly a szechuan spice flavour. If I go there with my friends, we often get a Chinese potato salad, it’s grated potato very lightly cooked with coriander, garlic, ginger and a bit of soy. It’s very simple but it’s one of the nicest dishes I think you can have as a side, it’s light but it’s really satisfying. You don’t see it on menus a lot but it’s a really tasty side.
What are you having to drink with your main?
It would probably be their Tsingtao beer, which is a Chinese beer, that’s very easy to drink, it’s crisp, light and it goes well with the food.
I’m not really into dessert, I usually go for a cheeseboard. Where I normally want to go after dinner is the upstairs of Delahunt which is called The Sitting Room, Martin who works there is really friendly and makes great cocktails. I’ve often gone there when it’s not that busy which is unreal because it actually feels like it actually could be your sitting room, which in Dublin would probably cost around €6 million to live in a building like that. It’s gorgeous inside, really elegant with a mid-century feel. It’s got big windows that look out over Camden Street, I have really fond memories of sitting in the window with a glass of wine and looking out. You feel really civilised but it’s also right bang in the centre of Camden Street which is often really nuts, some times you look out and there are really drunk people wandering around and you’re there sipping on a wine. They have like a snacks board, with chicken liver parfait, crackers and cheeses which I would magically make up with cheese that I love. I’d go for a mix of French and Irish, I do like hard cheeses so Mossfield cheese from Offaly (which I have to say because I’m from Offaly), Morbier which is a rich French cheese, there’s a lovely goats cheese called Selles-sur-Cher and maybe some Young Buck from Northern Ireland. I absolutely love cheese, so I would be very happy with plenty of it that would do me for dessert. I’d have to have a cocktail in The Sitting Room as well, they do one called Little Bird which has got tequila and some kinds of orange flavours in it. They have really gorgeous glasses in there, everything is really well thought out and considered.
I’d have to have a nightcap as well, I’d go to probably my favourite pub in Dublin which is conveniently right beside Delahunt, which is Anseo. I’d go in there and have a large bottle of Bulmers probably to just completely wreck the whole gourmet food experience.
Check out some of our previous Last Suppers here.