girl eats dublin

Enthusiastically eating my way around Dublin and beyond.

Category: Cheap & cheerful

Blas Cafe, Dublin 1 & Bibi’s, Emorville Avenue.

I remember the days when brunch was a lazy, hungover affair that took place any time after 2pm on a Sunday, and was usually accompanied by a “hair of the dog.” These days, it’s more likely to take place at what I would term “breakfast time”, and be accompanied by the bottles of milk and buggies of those friends who have since grown up and acquired small, giggly, wriggly responsibilities. And I wouldn’t change a thing.

I also had admit to myself recently, that I’d become just a bit set in my brunch ways and needed to try some new places. So, given that “brunch in Dublin” is still one of the most popular search terms leading visitors to this blog, this review brings you two new (or new to me) options for brunch in Dublin that are well worth your patronage of a weekend morning. Unintentionally, they both begin with B!

The counter at Blas Cafe.

The counter at Blas Cafe.

First up, the very family-friendly Blas Cafe, located in the Chocolate Factory building on King’s Inns Street in Dublin 1. If you’re a southside-dweller like me, fear not, this is well worth the trip. Just head for the Cineworld cinema, and you can even park in their car park. The cafe is just down this side street between Bolton Street and Parnell Street – there was also plenty of on-street disc parking available on the day I visited. The Chocolate Factory is a creative working space, home to artists and creative businesses, that feels like still very much a work in progress, and Blas occupies the ground floor.

And what a ground floor. I could see why the friends who selected our brunch venue that day have become regulars here. A huge, airy space filled with large and small wooden tables that offers plenty of space for little feet to run around, and lots of interesting nooks and crannies for them to poke into (or to park a buggy in). There’s even a drum kit art installation – but maybe best to keep them away from that one. On a Saturday morning, sunshine was streaming in through the windows and throwing light on the lovely counter displaying cakes and Wall & Keogh teas, and onto the huge kitchen area. I’d describe Blas as the Fumbally of the Northside, without the queues.

Blas floor

We had a big bench to gather our assorted group of adults and small people around, and it lent itself well to people arriving and ordering at different times. You order at the counter and your food & drinks are brought to the table a short while later.

Fresh from a Pilates class at my “happy place,” Form School that morning, I was determined to keep it healthy, and thankfully there were plenty of options for me to do so. From the simple menu (a little annoyingly, not published anywhere online so I can’t share it with you) I chose the poached eggs with bacon. This came with a delicious portion of homemade baked beans in tomato sauce, two pieces of lean bacon, a plentiful serving of avocado and salad leaves and some sourdough toast. I passed on the toast, but thankfully there were a few hungry little mouths only too delighted to take it off my hands. A hearty brunch or breakfast dish, and fantastic value at just 7.95.

Poached eggs & bacon at Blas, with optional side of Gruffalo.

Poached eggs & bacon at Blas, with optional side of Gruffalo.

The coffee was great, so I had two, and with the second I decided to indulge in a “Paleo” coconut brownie (just like the cavemen used to eat, obviously). But that was unfortunately a little bland, and not worth the calories it inevitably contained. That’ll teach me.

The cafe was pretty empty while we had our brunch, but was starting to fill up around 12.30 or so as we got ready to leave. It currently opens for brunch on Saturdays only, so don’t leave it until Sunday, or you’ll be disappointed.

(While writing this review, I found some more lovely photos of Blas by French Foodie in Dublin, which can be found in her post here.)

The second great brunch experience I had recently was a little more akin to those lazy brunches of old, when my friend the Divine Doctor (she’s going to love that nickname) and I, took a trip across the city centre for a late Sunday afternoon visit to Bibi’s on Emorville Avenue. Just off the South Circular road on a red-brick residential street, Bibi’s has long been a haunt of the Dublin 8 cool crowd, but it had been ages since I’d paid it a visit. What was formerly half clothes shop, half cafe, has been fully transformed into a cafe/restaurant which is now one of the prettiest spaces I’ve eaten in in Dublin.

If you, like me, are a little jaded by the usual french toast and Eggs Benny options of Dublin’s many brunch spots, the weekend menu at Bibi’s is an altogether different kettle of fish. An Ottolenghi-esque roster of ingredients turns out original brunch dishes like Turkish Eggs; Roasted butternut squash & poached eggs; as well as twists on the standard brunch options such as a smoked salmon Eggs Florentine and a sinful-sounding roast ham, Gubbeen cheese and relish pan-fried toastie.

We both settled on the roasted squash with poached eggs, out of pure curiosity.

Bibis 2

Butternut Squash and Poached eggs… I dream of this.

Whoever invented this dish is nothing short of a genius. Covered in garlic yoghurt – YES you read this right, and it is amazing – and drizzled with chilli butter, this was a dish I wanted to order again before I was even halfway through it.

A generous bowl of toasted, fresh sourdough and two tiny dishes of butter was served alongside our egg dishes. I loved the toast being served on the side, rather than the ingredients all being piled on top of the toast as you get in so many restaurants.

Bibis

Having walked to the Poolbeg lighthouse earlier that afternoon, we’d already decided we had earned a treat, and picked the Hazelnut Blondies from the pile of baked treats that had greeted us on walking in the door. These were washed down beautifully by Cloud Picker coffee (I’ve been enjoying a bag from this new Irish micro-roaster at home the last few weeks), and fresh green juices by Sprout. Add to that the veritable flock of the loveliest, friendliest waitresses who attended to our every wish and didn’t rush us when we were sitting there after the other customers had left, and it all added up to make it a most relaxing Sunday afternoon.

So I’ll be adding both Blas and Bibi’s to my weekend haunts from now on, and maybe I should move onto the C’s next. Any suggestions?

Blas Cafe, The Chocolate Factory, King’s Inns Street, Dublin 1. Check out their Facebook page.

Bibi’s, 14A Emorville Avenue, Dublin 8. www.bibis.ie

Advertisements

Foodgame, South Lotts Road.

foodgame sign 1

There’s a happy triangle of culinary goodness to be found in this little corner of Dublin 4, at the junction of Bath Avenue, Shelbourne Road, and Grand Canal Street.

Not so long ago, your options were limited to a choice of two chippers, or a feed of pints in Slattery’s pub. Then Junior’s arrived on the scene, which seems to be out the door every day and night of the week. Now we have Paulie’s Pizza, the Chop House, and Farmer Brown’s, all feeding the well-heeled locals and the Google Ghetto-dwellers, as well as The Bath Pub giving Slatt’s a run for its money on the pub front (they’ll also serve you a pizza during the week or brunch at the weekend).

But it’s the smallest spot that has stolen my heart, and become my new local, since I moved to the area a few months ago. Foodgame is a tiny cafe on South Lotts Road that’s busy every weekend (and I hear they do a savage lunch during the week), but still feels like a well-kept secret to everyone except the loyal locals who frequent it. It started life a few years ago as part-foodstore, part cafe, but over time has morphed fully into a cafe/restaurant. I got addicted to the coffee first, when all of my weekend jogs or walks gradually started to end up there. Then I came back for the grub… and now I keep going back.

Last Saturday morning, I’d sat down at a table just inside the door, papers in front of me as I waited for my coffee to arrive, when a little girl toddled in with her Dad. She looked around, big smile on her face, and clapped her hands. I knew just how she felt.

Foodgame is somewhere that I’m perfectly happy to go on my own – in fact I kind of prefer to. The communal seating and counter areas in this small space lend themselves to spreading out the papers while you get stuck into your coffee and breakfast.

photo credit - Foodgame

photo credit – Foodgame

I love the simplicity of the menu, which is the same few dishes written on a blackboard and rustled up in the tiny kitchen area. Bacon and eggs, mushrooms on toast, scrambled eggs on toast, omelettes, their homemade granola. Most things come served on their freshly baked brown bread, or toast if you prefer. There aren’t any fancy brunch dishes or “healthy options” on the weekend menu, but I like to think that these beautiful piles of the yellowest eggs and perfectly grilled rashers are clearly made with only the finest of produce, so they can only be good for you. Like my logic? You’re welcome.

Although one exception to this rule may be their totally legendary mushrooms – this pile of buttery garlicky goodness on toast (or as a side with your eggs, if you ask nicely) is worth every single one of the bazillion calories it undoubtedly contains.

I love the staff, who are always friendly, never over-familiar, and intuitively sympathetic to hangovers (not that I ever have one). Annoyingly, none of them look like they eat their own buttery mushrooms – maybe my “good for you” logic is actually true.

I love the small selection of baked things on the counter (my sister & I fought over every last crumb of an orange & polenta cake on a recent visit), the scribbled design of the coffee cups, the clever blackboards outside (usually offering free coffee to whatever poor unfortunate has been in the news that week), and the two tiny tables outside that get the sun in the mornings.

foodgame sign 2

I love it so much, that I’m afraid that by writing about Foodgame I won’t get my favourite seat at the weekend any more (assuming people other than my mother are reading this blog). But I’m risking it, because I reckon they deserve it. You need that coffee, and those mushrooms on toast, in your life.

Foodgame, 10 South Lotts Road, Ringsend, Dublin 4.

Visit their website or their excellent Facebook page for more info and pretty pictures.

Salt Lick, Ranelagh.

photo 1

I know, I know, it’s been ages since I last posted, and I fear that my finger has slipped well and truly off the pulse. I know this, because it wasn’t me who found out about hot new pop-up restaurant, Salt Lick, even though it’s been on the go for a while and reviewed by much more active food bloggers than me. It took an invitation from my clearly much more clued-in friend Liza for me to go and try out this Friday & Saturday night-only eatery, which for 2 nights a week has been transforming the interior of Hobart’s cafe in the centre of Ranelagh. I loved the concept of a different theme every month – Liza had previously visited during “Taco month” and in June, it was “Tea and toast,” an intriguing theme which apparently involved “things on toast” washed down by Earl Grey martinis, if you don’t mind. But it was the winning combination of July being Japanese month, and the phrase “BYOC” that finally convinced me to pay Salt Lick a visit.

What’s BYOC, you ask? Well, in the absence of a booze licence, the clever chaps behind Salt Lick have gone one better on the recession-friendly BYO theme made popular by restaurants like Little Jerusalem and Musashi. Not content with showing off their creative cookery skills, they’ve also got a resident mixologist, so BYOC = Bring your own Cocktails. Oh yes. You bring the spirits, they make the cocktails and charge a small fee for the other ingredients. The cocktails also change with the monthly theme, and a quick check of Salt Lick’s Facebook page informed me that vodka was the spirit of choice for their Japanese-themed cocktails. Rocking up to a restaurant on a Friday night with a half-full bottle of vodka rooted out from the back of your drinks cupboard stashed in your handbag, only adds to the fun.

When I arrived at 8pm, on time for once, the place was almost full and already buzzing. Hobart’s has been re-fitted with booths for all but one of the tables, which lends itself well to it moonlighting as a restaurant on weekends, and Salt Lick have added their own branding to the windows and tables. While I waited for Liza and Nicola to arrive, I decided to get the ball rolling with a drink and guiltily dug out my vodka bottle, handed it to the waitress and ordered a Wasabi Martini (€4). It was a risky choice for me, as my opinion on wasabi is best expressed by the definition I once heard from a long-forgotten source of “having your sinuses violated by a Dyno-Rod.” But hey, for €4 I decided I could afford the risk. The other cocktail option was a Lychee & Grapefruit punch, which you can have in a jug for €12, or a half-carafe for €7, and the drinks menu (see photo at the top) helpfully explains just how many cocktails your chosen quantity of BYO vodka will run to. They’ll also mix you up a whiskey-based cocktail or a Moscow Mule, or you can bring wine or beer if the cocktails aren’t your thing.

If anything, the first one tasted a bit too sweet and with too little of wasabi, but on our second round we requested less sugar, and with a bit more bite they were so drinkable, we never got to try the punch at all.

Wasabi Martini. Not a Dyno-Rod in sight.

Wasabi Martini. Not a Dyno-Rod in sight.

The set menu is €25 for two courses, or €30 for three, and ordering offers no decision-making dilemmas, as there are only two options per course – vegetarian and non-veggie, with both being variations on the same.

We ordered one veggie starter option and two standard starters so that we’d get to sample everything. The Vegetarian Starter Plate consisted of garlic & soy grilled aubergine, tempura courgette & pickled mushroom, and the “Izakaya plate” of Tempura chicken, pickled mushrooms & crispy silken tofu, came with with a smoked garlic & wasabi dipping sauce.

photo 3

Izakaya Plate: Tempura Chicken, pickled mushrooms, crispy silken tofu (bottom right).

The presentation was superb, although the food was a little hard to see in the dark surroundings (atmosphere, yeah?) and the tempura batter was crisp perfection. It was actually the veggie starter that won over for me – the courgette tempura and grilled aubergine on the vegetarian plate were amazing. There was something about the tempura chicken that was a little too “chicken nugget” for me, but the silken tofu was melt-in-the-mouth and the pickled mushrooms that featured on both starter dishes could single-handedly earn fungus a place on any Michelin-star menu.

Ramen was the order of the day for our main courses, and we all went for the pork ramen, which came with a giant side order each of “Karashi fries.” I have no idea what Karashi is, but I will guess it’s the Japanese for “Crispy, delicious and OMG someone please take them away from me before I eat them all.”

photo 4

Pork Ramen with kimchi and Karashi fries.

The huge bowls of ramen contained generous portions of shredded pork shoulder, a perfectly poached egg, nori seaweed, fish cake, and spring onion. Oh, and lots of noodles, although I barely had room for noodles by the time I’d slurped up all of the other ingredients. None of us managed to empty our bowls. Funnily enough, we had no similar problem emptying the wasabi martini glasses…

We ordered one dessert in the interest of sampling, a Lemon Posset with sake, served with homemade Peanut Brittle. It was a huge portion, plenty for all three of us to have a piece of brittle each, which we dipped into the very runny posset. Almost completely liquid in texture, we guessed this was possibly due to the sake causing it not to set fully. But sweet, delicious, and probably totally unnecessary it was in any case.

The place was full all night, with great tunes played throughout and no pressure from the very friendly staff to move along so that they could squeeze in more sittings. Sure, where would you want to be going on a rainy Friday night, when you can drink €4 cocktails and chair-dance to Hall & Oates at your table?

Once we’d finished our drinks and decided on where the next stage of our Friday night would take us, we asked for the bill and got a bit of a shock when it arrived. Yes, it’s technically cheap and cheerful at €30 a head for amazingly creative food and BYO, but a word of warning – if you insist on ordering thirteen wasabi martinis, this *may* bump up your bill ever so slightly.

salt lick bill

Oops.

Although, given those thirteen martinis had been stretched out of one half-litre of vodka, we reckoned we’d done pretty well.

So, get your skates on if you fancy Turning Japanese before the menu changes again – only two weekends left in July.

*Correction: since publishing this post, the guys at Salt Lick have contacted me to say that Japanese month has unfortunately ended its run, but they’ll be open for business with a brand new menu from next weekend. Theme to be revealed this week!*

Salt Lick don’t have a website, but they have a pretty slick Tumblr and a Facebook page, and you can call (085) 102 7273 to book a table. I can’t wait to see what these guys come up with for August.

Salt Lick (in Hobart’s), Ranelagh, Dublin 6.

My top eats of 2013.

Happy New Year header

Happy New Year! I’ve been a bad blogger since before Christmas with “the day job” taking up most of my waking hours, but my New Years’ resolution is to post one review on this blog, every week of 2014. Hopefully this will be good news to at least some of the readers who have made it so rewarding for me to write about restaurants I visited in Dublin last year.

So, before 2014 gets much older, I thought I’d round up my top 5 eats in Dublin of 2013, including a couple that I never got around to writing about (see busyness excuse above).

1. Las Tapas de Lola

Hands-down my Dublin restaurant of the year. I first reviewed Las Tapas de Lola on the second night they were in business, and wasn’t at all surprised to see them become the most talked-about, written about and queued-up-for restaurant in Dublin this year. Every meal I’ve had at what is now commonly referred to as “Lola’s” has been a joy. Yes, the tapas are amazing (try the chickpeas with spinach, the meatiest of meatballs, the paella with squid ink, and the churros – Oh God, the churros), the surroundings are gorgeous, but it’s the personal touch of every single member of the team at Lola’s that makes every visit so memorable. Whether it’s giving passionate food or wine recommendations, helping to squeeze in “just one more” friend to your table or remembering names and faces of their repeat customers, Vanessa, Anna and their team rock it every time.

2. Restaurant Forty One at Residence

It’s a big statement, but I think the lunch I had at Residence back in August probably stands out as my best single meal of the year. I was also lucky enough to ring in the New Year with dinner there, and the 3-course celebration menu definitely didn’t let down the standard of my earlier visit. But it’s hard to beat the lunch experience for the price, and if your New Years’ resolution is to expand your eating horizons, I’d definitely recommend starting here.

3. Dillinger’s

I’ve been surprised to hear mixed feedback from friends on “the new” Dillinger’s since it reopened after refurbishment earlier this year, as each brunch and dinner I’ve had there in recent months has been fantastic. Even quite aside from the heartache-curing qualities of their superb margaritas, anything I’ve eaten there, from tuna tacos to steak to outstanding French toast at the weekend, has been tasty, fresh, generously-portioned and served up with a smile (usually by someone ridiculously good looking). I just wish they’d bring back the Huevos Rancheros to the brunch menu.

4. Bijou

This Rathgar stalwart, which I’d formerly regarded as a bit too middle-of-the-road to be worth trading in for a dinner in town, was the location of another of my best meals this year when I went for a mid-week local dinner with a friend and was seriously wowed by the food. Bijou had its menu cleverly remodeled under new chef Ian Ussher, offering creative and beautifully presented modern dishes, while still maintaining the midweek specials, brunch and Sunday lunch options that should see them keep their loyal local custom while attracting a new crowd which, like me, may have previously passed it by (Check out their “Meat & Liquor” menu from Mondays-Wednesdays). It’s also rare to find somewhere in Dublin these days that has as good an atmosphere and buzz on a Tuesday night as you’ll see on a Saturday.

Bijou

Featherblade of beef at Bijou, Rathgar.

We were still talking about their Pork Tasting board, feather-blade beef and salted caramel martinis, weeks later. Next time someone’s foolish enough to ask me out for a romantic dinner, this will be my venue of choice.

5. The Black Apple Café

Perhaps an unusual choice for a Top 5 meals, given that I usually have nothing more here than a bowl of porridge or an eggy breakfast, is my new local favourite, The Black Apple Cafe. On my first visit earlier in the year, I got the feeling that this was a lot of other people’s favourite local café too. In a part of Harold’s Cross that you’d only pass by accident, in the middle of a motley row of shops and businesses, you’ll find the lovely team at the Black Apple Café cooking up ridiculously good cakes, breakfasts and the best flat white I’ve had in Dublin. It’s a place I usually visit by myself and a bowl of their porridge with fruit and a perfectly created coffee enjoyed with the paper makes it my “happy place.”

black apple

And, as I feel I’ve neglected to try new places in the last few months, the top five on my hitlist to visit to help accomplish my New Years’ blogging resolution, in no particular order, are:

1. Etto, Merrion Row

2. Kinara Kitchen, Ranelagh

3. Terra Madre, Dublin 1

4. Forrest Avenue, Sussex Terrace

5. Seven Social, Dublin 7.

If you’ve got anywhere else you think I should try, I’d love to hear about it. Thanks for visiting and reading Girl Eats Dublin in 2013 – I promise to be a more regular reviewer in 2014!

Catherine.

The Vintage Kitchen, Poolbeg Street.

From the Irish Times to le cool, to the 80+ rave reviews on Tripadvisor, the Vintage Kitchen has been one of the most talked-about new places to eat in Dublin this year. Which of course means that any time I’ve tried to get a reservation for dinner there, they haven’t ever had a Friday or Saturday evening table when I’ve asked for one, and I kind of gave up trying a while ago. But, as soon as arrangements were made a few weeks ago for a Tuesday night rendezvous with my favourite dining companions, the Loreto Ladies, we snapped up the 8.15pm table we were offered and started studying the menu in anticipation.

The Vintage Kitchen’s BYOW policy has played no small part in its popularity, meaning that you can bring your favourite wine without even paying corkage. I was delighted to see that this also appears to extend into a Bring Your Own Pint policy, with punters arriving in with pints of Arthur’s finest in hand from Mulligan’s next door.

Better again, it was only when I noticed our waiter dropping records off at a couple of tables near us that I remembered also reading about their “Bring your own Vinyl” policy, which allows customers to bring their favourite records to spin on the restaurant’s turntable while enjoying their meal. The perfect option for the music obsessive or budding DJ, a potential embarrassment for those of you whose only stash of vinyl is made up of Mum’s old Mary Black albums and a Bosco LP… Thankfully the diners supplying the records on the night we visited had pretty uncontroversial Motown and indie leanings.

The menu is divided into ‘Something to Start’, ‘Something to Follow’ and ‘Something to Finish’ – that’s starter, main course and desserts to you and me. For €25 you get two courses of your choice from the menu, and you can add dessert for an extra fiver. Our waiter advised us from the start to “leave room” for dessert…at least we thought that’s what he was saying, but our hearing may have been muffled by the sound of furious scoffing of the little basket of fresh bread with a creamy fennel butter that he had just dropped off at our table. He got a bit more firm then, refusing our pleas for “more bread please” in favour of us leaving room for the food.

I started with “The excellent St Tola (adjective not mine, but I can’t argue with the description) organic goat’s cheese, black figs, Spanish tomatoes, cherry and star anise relish and slow roasted beets,” and what a start it was. The velvety-smooth little balls of goat’s cheese combined with the beetroot, tomato (two ingredients I would presume never should go together) and the pool of almost-black relish at the bottom of the dish, were a stunning combination.

St Tola goat's cheese and beetroot starter.

St Tola goat’s cheese and beetroot starter.

“House salt cod and Clogherhead crab salad” was the other star starter, also proudly bearing its Irish ingredients in its name. In the case of this dish, I didn’t think the presentation did it any favours, as the array of “blobs” of chili mayo and roast pepper pesto struggled to stand out against the clear glass dish – but the portion was generous enough for everyone to have a taste, and it tasted fantastic.

Salt cod & Clogherhead crab salad starter.

Salt cod & Clogherhead crab salad starter.

The other two had fish chowder (Sligo clams and Glenmar house smoked natural haddock chowder, to be precise) with tons of haddock and mussels shipwrecked in many delicious litres of cream, and an unusual dish of roasted and braised Carlow mushrooms, truffle essence, greens and basil milk, which proved worth the risk of ordering something that the rest of us were a bit “ugh” about on paper.

When it came to our mains, we mostly chose different main courses so as to sample as much of the menu as possible, trying everything but the steak and veggie options.

I never thought I could be completely full from eating white fish for dinner, but as I struggled to finish the last mouthfuls (never let it be said I was a quitter) of my huge, fresh piece of pan-fried Kilmore Quay hake, having polished off all of the accompanying “sautéed Cajun Roaring Bay” mussels and scooped the caviar out of the seashells that topped off this incredible dish, I had to concede that dessert wasn’t going to be on the cards.

Kilmore Quay hake, caviar, sauteed mussels, organic leeks.

Kilmore Quay hake, caviar, sauteed mussels, organic leeks.

I also loved the look of Niamh’s roasted poussin with crispy potatoes, soy and apple gravy with celeriac pot – the latter of which I couldn’t leave alone as I kept stealing forkfuls from across the table (sorry Niamh), and the other main course on our table which was the Slaney River slow roasted lamb shank with treacle gravy, slow roasted carrots and sweet potato mash. None of the four of us had anything but huge praise for all of this food (and we weren’t even availing of the BYOW).

Little crispy poussin (awww) with celeriac pot.

Little crispy poussin (awww) with celeriac pot.

Much has been made of the “vintage” decor here, and while it’s definitely quirky, I couldn’t honestly describe it as comfortable. Conditions at our window four-top table were pretty cramped and there was a persistent draught from the window at the back of my neck for the whole night. I wouldn’t put up with it in any other restaurant. But as you might have guessed already, the Vintage Kitchen isn’t really like any other restaurant you’ll find in Dublin right now.

The value for money is incredible when you consider that we enjoyed all of the dishes above at a cost of €100 for four people. It’s worth mentioning that two dishes on the night we visited carried a supplement – a relatively hefty €6 for the striploin of beef and another €4 for the cheese plate on the dessert menu would bring the cost of your dessert, if you were to make it that far, to €9. Our friendly waiter (and I mean by this that he was so friendly that my friends thought I knew him, so enthusiastic were the chats throughout our meal) also raved about their lunch menu, which includes the superbly creamy fish chowder and which I urge you try if you’re a Dublin city centre worker.

They’re also currently promoting a brilliant value Christmas lunch menu on their website where €25 will get you not two, but three courses, which should guarantee them a full house for the whole festive season. We’re already booked in for the Lovely Ladies Christmas Liquid Lunch, 2013 Edition, where I’m sure we’ll take full advantage of all possible BYO policies.

Even though it describes itself as a “pop down to” rather than a “pop-up” restaurant, it feels like The Vintage Kitchen could be a testing ground for chef Sean Drugan, before he moves onto loftier things. So my advice is to take whatever booking you can get, and go there soon.

The Vintage Kitchen, 7 Poolbeg Street, Dublin 2.

+353 (1) 679 8705 for reservations or visit their website.