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Out to lunch

Dublin’s cafes and restaurants kept us going throughout the lockdown with their innovative and delicious take out offerings. As they now re-open, they deserve our support

Take it away Dublin

Restaurants are getting ready to light their candles and welcome diners once more but don’t expect them to stop cooking up some of the wonderful innovations very many brought in to help keep their cookers firing throughout the lockdown.

With reduced capacity the order of the day, and a likely reluctance among some customers to venture out just yet, you’ll be able to continue enjoying Dublin’s finest fare from the comfort of your own kitchen for some time to come.

If you can at all, please do because, unfortunately, the Restaurant Association of Ireland has sounded the alarm about a possible "tsunami of closures" in July.

It is warning that the difference between physical distancing of 1m and 2m is the difference between an industry collapsing and an industry reopening. Right now, supporting Dublin’s restaurant scene in any way you can over the coming months – whether in store, take out, delivery, click and collect or via gift vouchers – is the very best tip you could leave.


Incredible Indian

The team at Ananda, many people’s favourite Indian restaurant, launched their first Dine at Home menu, for collection only at its Dundrum location. Simply WhatsApp them your order and your preferred pick-up time, payment is contactless, call when you are outside, and they will bring it out to you. The Ananda Taster for Two menu has a selection that changes every week, and costs €65, with 30 per cent off all à la carte wines.

Back to the lab

Brush up your food chemistry with The Lab Kits, all the ingredients you need to make incredible sourdough pizza at home. It’s the brainchild of The Lab on Thomas Street, in the heart of Dublin’s Liberties. You get seven options ranging in price from €19.50 for a double margherita to €50 for pizzas, prosecco and cookie dough. These guys think of everything – there’s a QR code inside the box which, when scanned by your smartphone’s camera, will give you a quick demo video so you can’t go wrong. (There’s a printed step-by-step guide too in the box for luddites, including how to dispose of all of it in an environmentally friendly manner). Order before 12 noon for next-day Dublin delivery, or collect and pay contact-free during opening hours.

BBQ from TBG

By this stage you may already have enjoyed the Butcher Grill at Home box, a terrific steak dinner for two take out option. Now the Ranelagh meat eater’s paradise has added a super summer barbecue offering. The Butcher Grill BBQ Box kit has two options, ribs (€45) or striploin (€58) – order by midday and collect from its premises after 5pm from Thursday to Sunday. Expect baby back ribs, parboiled and marinated in TBG house rub, boneless chicken thighs, vacuum packed and marinated, charred corn on the cob, ruby coleslaw, potato salad, BBQ sauce, coconut panna cotta and even a pack of Clinton’s crisps. They’ve a wide range of beers and cocktails they can add to your order too, as well as additional sides and desserts. Though each kit is designed for two, there’s enough in it for three, with very little fuss or clean-up required, as should be mandatory for all barbecues.

Lucky number sevens

If all that meat is too much for you, check out George’s Street favourite 777, which is adding new vegetarian taco boxes to its range of 777 at Home offerings. Pre-order before midday and collect after 5pm (or collect from Dillingers in Ranelagh, with a day’s notice). Its regular taco boxes are a delight – home kits with everything you need to bring its contemporary Mexican kitchen to your table. From just €50, expect totopos and salsas, taquitos and tostados. Expect salsa verde, guacamole, house chorizo, cilantro onion, habanero sauce, guajillo (a chilli) chicken, black bean purée, portobello mushrooms, chipotle pesto and manchego cheese, it’s all here. You’ll get grilled corn slaw on the side and chocolatey desserts and don’t forget to order an additional bottle of authentic 777 margaritas to wash it all down with.

Sandra O'Connell

Sandra O'Connell

Sandra O'Connell is a contributor to The Irish Times