Dublin City Food: A taste of the city.
In welcoming and familiar surroundings, Dublin City Food serves up some not so familiar dishes
Restaurant Title: Dublin City Food
Address: 7, St Andrews Street, Dublin 2
Phone: 01-485 3273
To start, a smoked mackerel salad sounds good, but I can’t resist the truffled poached duck egg with steamed asparagus and a quenelle of dates and chorizo. The egg, served on a small piece of toast, is a little undercooked, with a slight taste of truffle. It’s been cleverly scored after poaching to look like a cracked Terry’s Chocolate Orange and goes well with the slightly bitter, smoky and chewy chorizo and date.
Dan’s Ardrahan salad is a delicate dish of tiny cubes of cheese, lambs’ lettuce, spiced orange segments, roasted almonds, slivers of asparagus and pickled radish. Blobs of dressing, more citrusy than the “garlic and honey” description, cut the nuttiness of the cheese perfectly. It is tasty and very pretty.
The main courses are substantial and explain the small size and lightness of the starters. Though tempted by braised short ribs, Dan goes for that rib eye, which is almost the size of the plate. It’s accompanied by a tangy Béarnaise with micro tarragon leaves, chips and watercress salad. It’s a fine piece of meat, nicely marbled and perfectly cooked. The chips are delicious, fluffy and enormous.
Forgoing a Dublin classic of cockles and mussels, I choose pan-fried hake. Also a large portion, it’s served in a deep dish on a lightly herbed mash, surrounded by a delicate tomato and sorrel consommé. The hake skin is buttery and crisp, and the flesh falls apart, melting into the potato and consommé. This necessitates a degree of slurping (just as well the occasion isn’t a first date), but it’s worth it.
There’s a cheese board and two desserts to choose from: grilled pineapple with piña colada sabayon is sweet, tangy and satisfying, but the macerated fruit with vanilla ice cream is particularly good, with plump, slightly tart blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries and a sablé biscuit.
Service is excellent throughout, perhaps because it’s quiet, but mostly you get the sense this is just how the place operates. The chef comes upstairs twice to ask diners how their food is; staff appear to really want you to enjoy yourself. You’re in their home, after all.
With a name like Dublin City Food, it’s really making a statement – and as a final taste of what a city has to offer, they don’t come much sweeter.
Two starters, mains and desserts with coffees, sparkling water and a bottle of wine came to €119.50.
THE VERDICT: 8/10. Good food, great service
Dublin City Food, 7 St Andrew’s Street, Dublin 2, tel: 01-485 3273
Facilities: Single bathroom on top floor
Music: Varied, from funk to house
Food provenance: Connemara Hill lamb Kilmore Quay mussels, Ardrahan cheese
Wheelchair access: No
Catherine Cleary is on leave