Select: Get a platter of the action – Dublin’s best meals to share
Sharing is caring, but everyone for themself is cool too
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-for-themselves meals are a fun way to attract groups of diners. We’ve found some good sharing offers – and no sign of your mum warning "family hold back".
You’ll battle to finish the massive mezze platters at Rotana Café (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 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 of their excellent 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 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, barbeque 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…