Taste of Dublin: Everything you need to know
The restaurants, chefs and exhibitors to look out for, and where to shelter from the showers
The forecast is for mixed weather, but there are plenty of spaces under cover at Taste of Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens venue
What is it ?
Four days of feasting on mini versions of the signature dishes of more than 20 restaurants, cookery demos by well know Irish and international chefs, masterclasses, beer, wine and spirits tastings, musical entertainment and food market shopping, running from Thursday to Sunday. More than 30,000 people are expected to visit the festival during its four-day run.
Where is it on?
Iveagh Gardens, Dublin 2. The entrance is on Clonmel Street, off Harcourt Street, and the Harcourt Luas stop is nearby.
How do I get tickets?
You can buy them online here, or on the door. There are two sessions each day (lunch and dinner), and Friday’s evening session is already sold out.
What’s new for this year?
Happily the event can be enjoyed without the need for florins this year as the event’s fake currency has been suspended in favour of contactless payments. Signature dishes have been capped at €5, but there will also be Icon dishes, individually priced, if you want to splash out. The JustEat.ie waitstaff will be on hand with card readers to take orders and deliver dishes to those who may be queue averse.
What restaurants are new to the line-up this year?
Hang Dai, the Chinese with a twist on Dublin’s Camden Street, makes its debut at the festival. Also taking part for the first time are Bowls by Kwanghi, a Hong Kong street food cafe; Korean food outlets Arisu and Jaru; Grálinn with its Irish tapas; Lil Portie Caribbean Kitchen; Asahi Asian street food; Shaka Poké; Leon healthy fast food (Thursday only); Vietnom, locally sourced Vietnamese street food (Sunday only); and the 2018 Dragons’ Den success story Pleesecakes, which will bring its cheesecake concept to Dublin from London. Asian food is strongly represented, accounting for almost half of the participating restaurants.
What shouldn’t I miss?
The Exchequer restaurants, in Dublin 2 and in Ranelagh, are celebrating 10 years in business by hosting a new double-decker stand at the festival. Visitors will be able to book an hour-long package to visit the roof terrace, or rather the Terrazza Peroni – it’s covered, so might be a good place to escape the rain – to drink beer, wine or prosecco and munch on canapes including manchego cheese croquettes and monkfish scampi.
Canapes, you say?
Canapes will also be on offer at the Ketel One Kitchen, where today and tomorrow food writer, stylist and London Standard columnist Anna Barnett will be sharing the delicious bites she has created to match the three varieties of this vodka-based spirit beverage which comes in three varieties – grapefruit and rose, cucumber and mint and peach and orange blossom.
Any other advice?
Bring your umbrella ... the forecast is for changeable weather with some rain. Helen Cooke, project manager at Taste of Dublin said: “We have built a super festival arena with many of our Taste activities in covered tents, however just in case, we will be giving out free rainproof ponchos. We have tickets available for the VIP Lounge which is housed in a large marquee with luxurious seating and service and here attendees can enjoy their Taste dishes in comfort.”
Where else can I go to dodge the showers and have a sit down?
The Neff Taste Kitchen has a programme of well known chefs doing cookery demos throughout the four days. The headliner from overseas is Irish chef Colin Fassnidge, now based in Australia, where he is a restaurateur and guest judge on My Kitchen Rules, Australia. Other chefs doing cooking demos include Kevin Dundon, Clodagh McKenna, Rory O’Connell, Paul Kelly, Sunil Ghai and Aoife Noonan.
Best photo-op spot?
The Jaipur Group, which has gone for a dramatic black and gold theme for its menu this year, is once again staging its Taj Mahal photo station, complete with backdrop and costumes. Donations made at the photo station will be passed on to the Dublin Simon Community.