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

FOOD FOR SHAR­ING

Shar­ing is car­ing. The Care Bears knew it, any­one who eats within a five-foot ra­dius of me knows it (whether they wish to or not) and now lots of restau­rants are cot­ton­ing on to the fact, too. Fam­ily-style roasts, shar­ing plat­ters and ev­ery-man-and-woman-forthem­selves meals are a fun way to at­tract groups of din­ers. We’ve found some good shar­ing of­fers – and no sign of your mum warn­ing the fam­ily to hold back.

You’ll battle to fin­ish the mas­sive mezze plat­ters at

(31 Rich­mond St S, Dublin 2, 01-475 9969, rotanacafe.ie). This ca­sual restau­rant does top-notch Le­banese food that is per­fect for groups, in­clud­ing a gar­gan­tuan Mezze Rotana (¤26.90) that is a good starter for three or four peo­ple. It in­cludes falafel, hum­mus, feta, fried sam­bousek pastries filled with lamb, spinach, veg­eta­bles and cheese, stuffed vine leaves, a tabouleh salad, spicy Hara pota­toes, smokey aubergine mouta­bal, fried kibbeh (cro­quette style meat balls with bul­gur wheat and lamb), pickles, olives, tahina sauce and Le­banese bread.

You might have room to squeeze in the Mixed Char­coal Grill (¤29.90) of lamb shish ke­bab, chicken shish taouk, lamb kofta and chicken kofta served with mixed salad, Le­banese bread, gar­lic and tahina sauce and a dish of

Rotana Café

hum­mus. It’s BYOB here, with no cork­age charge.

The Wash­er­woman (60 Glas­nevin Hill, Dublin 9, 01-8379441, the­wash­er­woman.ie) is the lat­est open­ing from Elaine Mur­phy, of the Wind­ing Stair and Woollen Mills. It has in­tro­duced a daily Roast­ing Tray fam­ily din­ner which feeds two adults and two kids. The menu varies, but in­cludes Sloppy bolog­nese mac-n -cheese with wild gar­lic bread and salad on Tues­days, coq-au-vin with mash, crispy bread and salad on Thurs­days or a meat and seafood paella on Fri­days. Ev­ery­one gets a 99 ice-cream cone af­ter­wards. ¤50 per ta­ble, or­der in ad­vance, eat from 5pm (ta­bles must be va­cated by 7pm).

Wed­nes­day is rib night at 777 (7 Cas­tle House, South Great Ge­orges Street, Dublin 2, 01-425 4052, 777.ie). You can get a plat­ter for two that in­cludes a huge side of sweet, sticky ribs with slaw, four tacos, fin­ger-lick­ing Elotes Mex­i­can street corn (charred and dipped in mayo and Parme­san) and two mar­gar­i­tas for ¤40. No bookings taken, so pop in early to get your name down.

On Thurs­days, head to Ya­mamori Tengu (38-39 Lower Or­mond Quay, Dublin 1, 01-872 0003, ya­mamori.ie) for spit-roast pig ben­tos. From 6pm, DJs hit the turnta­bles in this lit­tle out­post hid­den at the back of Ya­mamori Sushi. The free-range pig, how­ever, has been turn­ing around the spit since morn­ing – with some crack­ling if you get there early enough. Hosted by Ryan Skel­ton, the evening in­cludes a

Shar­ing is now on the menu all over the cap­i­tal

var­ied cast of DJs plus a bento box in­clud­ing some of the piggy, black rice, crispy gy­oza, pickles and salad and a Sap­poro beer for ¤10.

Fri­day nights are a great time to head to Hailan (65 Dame St, Dublin 2, 01-764 5722) our favourite Korean joint in Dublin. This small but per­fectly formed restau­rant in Dame Street is a real gem – and while our hearts will for­ever be­long to the fried pork and kim­chi (¤10.90, but you won’t want to share), the large Korean soups are per­fect for a group.

There are five vari­ants in­clud­ing spicy chicken and potato, mixed seafood, and bul­gogi beef, but the kim­chi and ham (¤29.90) is fan­tas­tic – a steam­ing caul­dron of spicy stew dot­ted with chilli oil and crammed with Korean pick­led cab­bage, sausage, tofu, ham and veg­eta­bles. With some rice and per­haps a plate of pan-fried prawn and cour­gette dumplings (¤9.90), you’ll be full to burst­ing.

Sun­days are all about the roast. There are a num­ber of places of­fer­ing fam­ily-style roasts, but “Carve-It-Your­self” at The Ex­che­quer (3-5 Ex­che­quer St, Dublin 2, 01-670 6787, the­ex­che­quer.ie) is one of the best. A whole roast chicken, a rib of beef, a rack of pork or a sea­sonal roast to feed four peo­ple, plus roast and mashed pota­toes, roast veggies, stuffing and gal­lons of very good gravy, and a bot­tle of wine is ¤49.95. You can add a jug of Bloody Mary for an­other ¤30. Book by Fri­day to guar­an­tee your Sun­day lunch.

If you pre­fer to blow away the cob­webs with some chilli, down the road at Taco Taco (14 Dame Court, Dublin 2, taco­ta­co­dublin.com) there is a whole char­grilled jerk chicken for two peo­ple ev­ery Sun­day, served with sweet potato fries, corn on the cob, coleslaw, pineap­ple and green chilli salsa for ¤29.95.

Or fin­ish your week off on a meat binge at White­friar Grill (16 Aungier St, Dublin 2, 01-475 9003, white­fri­ar­grill.ie) where the Ribs ‘n’ Rump Sun­day spe­cial for two in­cludes a 14oz char-grilled rump steak, BBQ baby back ribs, ba­con ribs, honey glazed lamb ribs, and two sides (choose from crunchy tobacco onions, steamed greens, fries, or bal­samic onion and mush­rooms) for ¤40. Doggy bag op­tional…

– Rachel Collins

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