DUBLIN 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 s

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - EATING OUT | SEVEN DAYS -

BRASSERIE SIXTY6

66-67 South Great Ge­orges St, Dublin 2, 01-400 5878 brasseriesixty6.com ¤¤

Cel­e­brat­ing its 9th year in business – my how time flies – this George’s Street restau­rant was quite the nov­elty when it opened, with its plate-lined walls and never-end­ing din­ing room serv­ing whole ro­tis­serie chick­ens and suck­ling pigs to feed 10 peo­ple. At Sixty6 they ob­vi­ously be­lieve if it’s not broke and all that… so ever since they’ve been plat­ing up hearty fare such as mixed seafood grills, burg­ers, steaks, sal­ads and roast­ing just about any an­i­mal they can get their hands on. They do good Here­ford fil­let steaks (¤32.90 with pota­toes, spinach, mush­rooms and pep­per­corn sauce) and huge, fluffy build­ing block chips. Keep an eye out for their deals, which fre­quently mean you can eat for half price. A good spot for groups

EDEN BAR & GRILL

7 South Wil­liam Street, Dublin 2, Ire­land, tel: (01) 6706887, eden­barand­grill.ie ¤ A good brunch spot, Eden Bar & Grill (the off­shoot of the orig­i­nal Eden on Meet­ing House Square) has all the brunch bases cov­ered: a good win­dow seat for peo­ple watch­ing on South Wil­liam Street, comfy ban­quettes for those who are in­ca­pable of sit­ting up­right, and a very bright, high-ceilinged atrium out the back for the perky post-pi­lates and yummy mummy bri­gade. On the plate, things are more con­sis­tent. Dishes all hover around the ten­ner mark and in­clude salt-baked beet­root with goats cheese, poached eggs and wild mush­rooms and wild asparagus omelette with al­monds and Cashel Blue.

ETTO

18 Mer­rion Row, Dublin 2, 01 678 8872 info@etto.ie ¤¤ Barely a year old, Etto has al­ready earned enough ac­co­lades to snap at Michael Phelps’ heels - most re­cently a Miche­lin Bib Gour­mand. When they opened up last year, the trio of friends be­hind this lit­tle eatery lured us in with their pork belly and smoked eel cro­quettes and prosecco on tap. They’ve been wow­ing din­ers ever since with an ev­ery chang­ing Ital­ian-in­spired menu of small (from ¤10) and large plates (from about ¤19), rang­ing from the sweet­est char­grilled baby leeks to nduja - this year’s chorizo - served with mus­sels and sam­phire. Larger dishes in­clude feath­erblade steak, and pump­kin and ri­cotta ravi­oli. They’re big fans of po­lenta and lardo, and that’s just fine by us. The lengthy wine list of­fers a chance to break away from the usu­als, in­clud­ing a rich ruby Aus­trian Blaufränkisch.

HOP HOUSE

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.

IFI CAFÉ BAR

6 Eus­tace Street, Tem­ple Bar, Dublin 2. 01 679 5744 € A good spot to feed your body be­fore feed­ing your mind at the Ir­ish Film In­sti­tute in Tem­ple Bar. Serv­ing lunch and din­ner daily from 12.30 (and brunch on Sun­days from 12-4) the IFI café of­fers a good range of sand­wiches, burg­ers, sal­ads and stews - most com­ing in un­der a ten­ner. It also has loads of desserts, a small wine list and a grow­ing num­ber of craft beers. They also run events to coin­cide with the films be­ing shown on the three screens, so on Wed­nes­day Oc­to­ber 22nd you can watch Geron Wet­zel’s doc­u­men­tary El Bulli: Cook­ing in Progress, and follow it up with a meal in the café af­ter­wards (tick­ets €20)O.r the Hor­rorthon menu, which runs from Oct 23rd - 27th has zom­bie cock­tails, and food spe­cials for peo­ple com­ing to the Hal­lowe’en themed hor­ror flicks.

KC PEACHES

28-29 Nas­sau Street, Dublin 2, 01 633 6872, kc­peaches.com ¤ What’s that? You’d like a plate of lasagne with some cur­ried beef, tab­bouleh salad, roast pota­toes, creamed spinach and rice? And you’d like to follow it with a cookie the size of your head? Well you’ve come to the right place. KC Peaches’ buf­fet-style cafes do de­cent food, fast. You pay ac­cord­ing to your plate (or take-away box) size, and you’re free to load it with any­thing from the dozen or so hot dishes, plus a var­ied, healthy salad bar. With small hot plates start­ing at ¤4.80 your lunchtime en­ter­tain­ment is pro­vided by Trin­ity stu­dents from across the road who en­ter into a Jenga-style plate filling com­pe­ti­tions (and the be­wil­dered tourists watch­ing them). You can also get tasty made-to-or­der sand­wiches and sal­ads and ex­cel­lent baked goods. There are four KC Peaches out­lets in Dublin now, but the Nas­sau Street branch re­mains the best for lunch.

MUSASHI SUSHI

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.

M&L CHI­NESE

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

NEON

17 Cam­den St Lower, Dublin 2, 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)

SCI­ENCE GALLERY FLUX CAFÉ

Sci­ence Gallery, Naughton In­sti­tute, Pearse Street, Trin­ity

Col­lege, Dublin 2, 01 896 4091, sci­ence­gallery.com ¤ An ex­cel­lent pick 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.

TERRA MADRE CAFE

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…

VIN­TAGE KITCHEN

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 sl ump 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

THE WOOLLEN MILLS

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’apenny Bridge, we hope the out­door ter­race re­mains as hos­pitable in win­ter. The cur­ried crab claws with sam­phire (¤16) are de­li­cious and the ham hock, baby potato, black pud­ding and poached egg is a steal for ¤14. Make sure you try the house pick­les (¤3).

777

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.

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