The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - THE TICKET SEVEN DAYS -


51 Elm­wood Ave., Ranelagh, Dublin 6, 01 497 9163, ¤¤ There’s in­ti­mate restau­rants, and then there’s Brioche, where you’ll not only know what your neigh­bours are hav­ing for din­ner, you’ll know the in­ti­mate de­tails of their lives and can score them on their ta­ble man­ners. But if you put your blink­ers on, it’s a lovely spot. It serves French tast­ing plates (they rec­om­mend two to three per per­son) such as seared Thornhill duck breast, cele­riac purée, and cher­ries or ba­cal­hau style fil­let of hake, red pep­per ragu. Wines by the glass are good value and you can’t beat the warm, but­tery brioche you get on ar­rival.


60-61 Par­nell Street, Dublin1, 01 872 8318, hop­house.ie ¤ Korean food is all the rage th­ese days, but the Hop House was serv­ing it be­fore your granny could say Kim­chi. It’s all a bit crazy, with noise from the bar next door spilling through to the restau­rant, but it’s the only place to go for au­then­tic Bibim­bap (a hot stone bowl filled with rice, as­sorted vegetables, Gochu­jang chilli pep­per paste, slices of mar­i­nated beef and a raw egg yolk). Their flash­ing disco pitch­ers of Korean beer are worth the trip alone.


60 Daw­son Street, Dublin 2, 01-672 8898; 66 South Wil­liam Street, Dublin 2, 01-672 9044, lemonco.com, ¤ Many moons ago, as I queued in Le­mon, a man wan­dered in off the street look­ing for lunch. “You mean you put meat on pan­cakes?” he roared, “Are you mad? No­body’d eat that.” And off he stomped in search of some carvery... How wrong he was. Ir­ish peo­ple are mad for a crepe, and Le­mon’s are still some of the best in town. The Club (streaky ba­con, roast chicken breast, tomato and dress­ing, ¤6.95) and the veg­gie Power Plus (but­tered nut­meg spinach, ched­dar, garlic but­ter mush­rooms, creme fraiche and garlic mayo, ¤6.95) are a de­li­cious, and filling – a tri­an­gu­lar take away din­ner. We’ve yet to try the Pep­per­oni Cal­zone but any­thing that mixes pizza and pan­cake gets the thumbs up around here.


15 Capel Street, Dublin 1 01-532 80 68, musashidublin.com Unit 2, Bur­ton Hall, Cus­tom house Square, Mayor St Dublin 1 01-55573 73, ¤ Dublin’s best sushi restau­rant broke our hearts when it opened in far too small a room on Capel Street a few years ago. No book­ings, scant space, you had to el­bow your way in to try their de­li­cious Ebi Tem­pura Masago rolls, sliv­ers of spicy tuna or sashimi se­lec­tion named after Ja­panese flow­ers. Thank­fully its newer, larger sis­ter restau­rant in the IFSC makes it eas­ier to ac­cess this taste of Ja­pan. And the qual­ity of their de­liv­ery menu is ex­cel­lent, recre­at­ing the restau­rant ex­pe­ri­ence, even if you don’t have the cute Ja­panese fur­ni­ture at home.


13/14 Cathe­dral St, Dublin 1, (01) 874 8038, mlchi­ne­ser­estau­rant.com ¤ Claim­ing the spot as Dublin’s “most au­then­tic Szechuan restau­rant”, M&L has gar­nered a cult fol­low­ing thanks to its seem­ingly end­less list of tasty, MSG-free dishes. Fans speak in hushed tones of the “Chi­nese-lan­guage menu” that (most likely doesn’t) have ex­tra spe­cial­ties on it. No mat­ter, the English lan­guage one of­fers de­lights such as braised seabass in hot and spicy sauce and steamed ra­zor clams with rice noo­dles. The spicy beef is about 50 per cent chilli – only for the brave of con­sti­tu­tion.


17 Cam­den Street Lower, Dublin, 01-405 2222, neon17.ie ¤ It’s a real bone of con­tention, the op­ti­mum tech­nique with which to pull the big­gest ice cream cone. Hours of rowdy re­search have gone into it (and an old Satur­day job pulling end­less cones for tourists may have gone un­men­tioned). Neon brought this all on them­selves of course, with their clever idea of giv­ing you a free, empty cone with ev­ery meal and let­ting you loose on their ice cream ma­chine. Gim­micky, yes. But free ice creams do not a Thai restau­rant make, so just as well their food is as much fun. Fast, spicy Asian favourites of noo­dles, cur­ries, soups and wok-fried dishes, plus an ex­cel­lent, ex­plo­sive duck larb salad for just ¤6.50 (the ice cream comes in handy af­ter­wards)


1 Den­zille Lane/26 Fe­nian Street, Dublin 2, 01 6629649, probuswines.ie, ¤ Although tech­ni­cally a wine bar and craft beer store, Probus does a roar­ing trade in soak­age. This tri­an­gu­lar spot has high ta­bles and some com­mu­nal benches inside, sur­rounded by a dis­tinct air of chaos – but that’s part of the charm. The deli counter serves de­cent sand­wiches and sal­ads (from ¤4 and up), with hot spe­cials ev­ery day (the chorizo stew is a win­ner) and ex­cel­lent piz­zas in the evenings for ¤12. The air dried beef pizza is a per­fect rea­son to stay for another glass of red. On sunny days you can bring a chair, wine and food out­side and lord it over the pint-drinkers at The Ginger­man pub across the road.


Sci­ence Gallery, Naughton In­sti­tute, Pearse Street, Trin­ity Col­lege, Dublin 2, 01 896 4091, sci­ence­gallery.com ¤ An ex­cel­lent spot for lunch or early din­ner, the ground floor of the ever-evolv­ing Sci­ence Gallery is a buzzy, vi­brant spot. Many of the exhibitions spill over into the café, which you reach by pass­ing through the gift shop – avert your eyes or pre­pare to spend. In­stead, you can opt for a va­ri­ety of sam­bos, plat­ters, sal­ads and soups. Best op­tion is the stewp (no we’re not stewp-id, that’s how they spell it), a hearty hy­brid of stew and soup – and only ¤6.


13, Bach­e­lor’s Walk, Dublin 1, (01) 873 5300 ter­ra­madre.ie, ¤ Food – and machismo – flown di­rect from Italy, Terre Madre calls it­self a café, but it’s a lot more than that. In a blink-and-you-miss-it tiny base­ment room on the quays, it serves au­then­tic Ital­ian dishes made with Lardo di Colon­nata, Cam­pofilone egg pasta, Porchetta carpac­cio and Terena Ascolana olive oil. We may once have or­dered the Si­cil­ian ca­per sprout br­uschetta for starters and then again for dessert…


7 Pool­beg Street, Dublin 2, 01-6798705, thev­in­tagek­itchen.ie ¤ Yet another tiny restau­rant that it’s nigh-on im­pos­si­ble to get a ta­ble in, but when you do see what the fuss is about. Some of the best value cook­ing around, the lunchtime small and large plates cost just ¤5 and ¤10 but many of the “small” plates are full meals in them­selves. There’ll be no af­ter­noon slump with the spiced seafood chow­der or the risotto of pancetta, pea, chili & pars­ley. At night, the menu comes at ¤25 for two cour­ses, again great value. They have house wine by the glass or you can BYOB, and you can bring your own vinyl to play on their record player. Groovy


42 Or­mond Quay Lower, Dublin 1, Ire­land 01 828 0835, the­wool­len­mills.com ¤ Call­ing it­self an “eat­ing house” was right on the money, be­cause you’ll over-or­der here and still lick the plates clean. In a well-re­stored old mill build­ing with great views of the Ha’ap­peny Bridge, we hope the out­door ter­race re­mains as hos­pitable in win­ter. Cur­ried crab claws are de­li­cious, the ham hock, baby potato, black pud­ding and poached egg is a steal for ¤14.


7 Cas­tle House, South Great Ge­orges Street, Dublin 2, 777.ie ¤¤ We’ve known this place to be called 666, so dev­il­ishly strong are its mar­gar­i­tas, but if you fo­cus on the food, and stick to the spe­cials (Taco Tues­day: two taquitos for ¤4; on Sun­days, dishes cost ¤7.77), this is one of Dublin’s bet­ter Mex­i­can restau­rants. Try the soft shell crab taquitos, yel­lowfin tuna ce­viche and Mex­i­can-style sweet­corn, served with cheese, pasilla chillies, salt and lime. And go on, maybe one of those mar­gar­i­tas… just one mind.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.