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Here comes the summer

Here’s a sample of some of the latest culinary treats on offer for the summer season

Charlotte Quay has begun its Summer Supper Series.

Charlotte Quay has begun its Summer Supper Series.


Summer fare at Charlotte Quay

Charlotte Quay has begun its Summer Supper Series, with the first event having kicked off early June. The occasional event starts at 4pm with cocktails and canapés, followed by a 6pm supper, a medley of summer tunes, seafood and spritzers. Expect dishes such as peppered swordfish carpaccio, butter-fried scallop and pea sandwich, grilled lobster and sharing paella. While you’re keeping an eye out for the next one to be announced, make a booking for lunch – it’s a nice option for al-fresco business dining any day of the week.

New life in Blackrock’s Old Post Office

Following a €1.6m refurbishment, the former Old Post Office on Blackrock Main Street is now home to a new restaurant of the same name. The newly opened restaurant blends Chinese Sichuan cuisine with European fine dining, courtesy of head chef Yu Shuchen, who has been recruited from the Sichuan province by the Chinese business partners who own it.

It’s managed by local hospitality veteran and consultant Paul Malone, and is going big on tasting menus. These range from €45 at lunch, to a choice of €70, €90 or the premium €120 for dinner, this last starting with a glass of Bollinger before offering two starters, hot and sour soup, four main courses with vegetables and rice or noodles, plus a chef’s selection plate for dessert.

Signature dishes will include hot and sour soup with minced corn-fed chicken, soya bean, Chinese mushroom and crispy rice noodles; Sichuan spiced steamed whole black sole with ginger and scallion; marinated seatrout in black bean sauce; and Ashbourne French trim lamb chops with cumin, coriander and chilli. The drinks menu includes more than 50 wines, including bio-dynamic, with cocktails, craft beers and Chinese liqueurs.

Grow for GOAL

Aid agency GOAL is taking over Merrion Square in Dublin as part of the Laya City Spectacular in July, with an event designed to inspire little ones to learn the importance of not only eating fruit and vegetables, but growing them as well.

The GOAL team will be replicating practices operated by the agency in Zimbabwe, Niger, Ethiopia and Malawi which will involve kids (and their parents!) getting their hands mucky planting their own crops in GOAL’s authentic African space.

While playing games and planting seeds, children will learn the benefits and the nutritional value of the food that will grow from them. They can then take away their new plant and watch it flourish over the summer.

Meanwhile the Laya City Spectacular – which also has an event in Cork – will feature its usual great mix of jaw-dropping street performances from international talent, live music and the Just Eat Street food market with delicious global cuisines. The event takes place in Dublin on July 12th-14th (and in Fitzgerald Park, Cork, July 20th-21st).

Summer surprise at the Shelbourne

Just when you thought you knew every square inch of the Shelbourne, it goes and opens two elegant new spaces. The exclusive new 1824 Bar – named after the year the hotel was founded – is a chic space offering a hand-picked list of whiskeys. Open from 5pm, it has a strict no reservations policy so turn up and try your luck.

For outdoor lovers, it’s also debuting The Terrace, just in time for summer. Tucked away within the hotel at mezzanine level, it’s a relaxed little plaza with a view of the sky that blurs the edge between indoors and out to delightful effect. It means you are sheltered from the elements – it is after all summer – but open to the light which filters through the heart of the hotel.

It’s a nice spot to work, or to relax over some great charcuterie and cheese, with a glass of fine wine. Linger as the afternoon or evening wears on, wrapped in a cosy blanket and warmed by an open fireplace. The Terrace serves three curated Irish sharing platters from 12pm-7pm daily, through to September, from €50 for two sharing.

Time for a new person to pick up SPADE

The city’s food entrepreneurs will be sad to hear that Susan Richardson, centre manager at SPADE, is hanging up her apron, or more properly her spreadsheets and accounting packages – or maybe just her big bunch of keys.

Richardson has spent the past 28 years at the community-based enterprise centre in Smithfield – long before it was trendy – helping to support some of the city’s best loved food businesses, from Oishi Sushi to The Delicious Food Company and, more recently, vegan baker Buttercream Dream.

Always a keen promoter of her protégés to the media, she’ll be using her retirement to travel more but will doubtless continue her longstanding practice of cheering (quietly) every time she sees one of their products on supermarket shelves.