Browsing Category

HOME

FOOD HOME RECIPES

Apres-Ski at Home

Apres Ski at Home

It’s that time of year when you’re feeling a bit exhausted from Christmas, but optimistic for the year ahead. But sadly the koffers are a bit empty from all the Yuletide excesses, so there’ll be no skiing on the pistes of Val-d’Isère for you this year. Fret you not, for you can still indulge in the Alpine experience from the comfort of your own home. Invite a few besties over, line up 50 Shades 1 & 2 on Netflix, and have an evening of Apres-Ski in the middle of Drumcondra. If you don’t have an IKEA Fondue Kit (seriously, you don’t?), just feck a couple of camembert rounds in the oven to bake, cut up a fresh baguette in large cubes, put them on skewers and you’re good to go! What about the drinks you say? Well, you could go the Jägermeister route, but we want to keep it classy, so time to whip up some Mulled Wine, or Glühwein if you want to get all authentic on it. ‘Tis easy peasy and it’ll keep you warm if you want to save on heating bills.

So On y va! as they say on the black pistes of Chamonix. Firstly, you’ll need some nice fruity wine – Shiraz or Merlot will do the trick.  You’re going to be diluting and boiling the arse out of it, so you can put away that spendy Châteauneuf-du-Pape you picked up at Donnybrook Fair, Susan.

INGREDIENTS:
1 litre Red Wine
500ml Water
8 Cloves
2 Cinnamon Sticks
1 Orange, first zested and then cut in thin slices
4 Star Anise
1 tsp. ground Cardamon
100g Demerera Sugar

Bring the wine with the water, spices, orange zest and slices, and sugar to the boil and leave to gently simmer for about 30 minutes. Pour through a sieve and serve in mugs (not in thin glasses for ‘elf n’ safety reasons.) Job done. Prost!

FOOD HOME RESTAURANT REVIEWS

My Thai in the Suburbs

Thai has to be one of everyone’s favourite International cusines. Indeed, a recent poll by Taste of Dublin found that it was the favourite foreign food of 35% of the Irish population, nipping on the heels of the nation’s favourite, Italian which came in at 37%. Its popularity is evident by the growth of the Camile and Diep takeway chains, as well as the ever growing number of Thai restaurants popping all over the place, albeit varying wildly in their authenticity.

I was recently invited to the new kid on the block, Narra Thai Restaurant, to try out their menu in their newly opened restaurant in Stillorgan, South County Dublin. Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by our host and restaurant co-owner Maggie, who took us to our seats. Since it was on the extremely nippy side outdoors, himself ordered a tea to aid brain-function during the menu decision making process. He was speedily given what the owner referred to as a Tea Bomb, a sea urchin looking flower which opens out when hot water is poured over it. Apparently, it’s not easy to get here in Ireland, and he absolutely loved it, being the fussy little tea fecker that he is. To begin with, we both had soups for starters (remember the whole nippy/Baltic weather previously referred to). Himself, had the Pho Thak Seafood Soup and I went for the Chicken Tom Yum Goong. Mine was deliciously spicy with the chicken pieces perfectly tender, not the chewy lumps, that you can sometimes get. My other half declared himself the winner of the starters round (we are sooo competitive) with his fragrant soup with its plentiful portions of prawns, mussels and squid. He was particularly impressed by the knife skills displayed on the calamari (aren’t men funny ‘aul creatures?).

Narra Thai Restaurant, Dublin

And so to the mains, himself went for the Ped Ma-Kham ( that’s Duck With Tamarind Sauce to you, matey) upon recommendation from the lovely owner, Maggie. The generous portion of locally-sourced crispy duck was served on top of crispy noodles and dressed with tamarind sauce and coriander and a portion of steamed jasmine rice. Those very impressive knife skills were on show again with the beautifully carved potato and carrots which decorated the plate. I went for the Prawn Massaman curry which was the perfect follow up to the zingy soup starter and was beautifully mild with its creamy coconut base with potatoes and peanuts and generous amount of juicy prawns. (Is there anything worse than having to play find-the-prawn? Not here, there were loads of ’em). Should we have wished to take up the hotness level, Maggie brought us a bowl of sliced chillies in fish sauce and lime juice. Being absolutely full, but still with an ever-open dessert pocket, we shared the home baked warm coconut tart served with vanilla ice cream which was wonderfully chewy (that’s a very good thing in this case).

End verdict: This was perhaps the best Thai Food I’ve had in Dublin. The food was lovingly prepared by the Thai-born chef and the attention to detail was excellent, coupled with friendly and attentive service. While I was invited on this occasion (yay!), my review was in no way influenced by that, and I wouldn’t (and won’t) hesitate to pay the next time. Give it a go, methinks you’ll likey (a lot!)

Narra Thai and Asian Restaurant, 2 Lower Kilmacud Road, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin
Tel: 01 2108440
Website: http://www.narracuisine.ie

FOOD HOME RESTAURANT OFFERS

Best Dining Offers in Dublin Right Now

Suesey Street

Having my own business,  it breaks my heart seeing restaurants on voucher websites, as I know how much commission they must pay, and how tight margins are already. However, as a consumer, who doesn’t love a good offer, and it’s a great way to try somewhere new or places normally above the budget. So once again, I’ve scoured the websites and brought you some beauties. This time, they all come from thetaste.ie as the other usual suspects i.e. Groupon, Living Social etc. are getting a tad repetitious shall we say in their offerings. So on the note, here are some I think you’ll like to try in the weeks ahead:

L’ECRIVAIN
OK, I’ve gone proper posh here, but everyone should have a Michelin starred dinner at least once in their lives. Situated on Baggot Street, and run by Derry Clarke, this stylish restaurant has held a Michelin star for the last 14 years. The Taste offer gives 3 courses from their Summer Dinner Menu with tea or coffee and petit fours for 2 people for only €75, which would normally cost a princely €150. The Summer Menu offers among other dishes: Fois Gras, Aged Wicklow Lamb, and Raspberry Panacotta. (OK, OK, they would be my choices :-)) You can have a goo of the full summer menu and buy the offer here
Restaurant Website: http://lecrivain.com/

SUESEY STREET (seen above)
I can’t personally vouch for the supper club, but I can vouch for Suesey Street – the French-inspired food and decor are truly top notch. Managed by John Healey from TV3’s The Restaurant, the eatery is situated on the Leeson Street end of Fitzwilliam Place. With live jazz music in the background, the supper club offers 4 course dinner for two people with a bottle of wine  for only €69. My picks would be the Toonsbridge Burrata, followed by Suckling Pig Belly & Confit Squid, and finished off with Strawberry Cheesecake. Or maybe the Whipped Dark Chocolate with Caramelised Banana. Decisions, decisions! Seriously, for such great quality food, wine, and the addition of live jazz, this is a ridiculously good offer. Peruse the menu and check out the offer deets here
Restaurant Website: http://www.sueseystreet.ie/

HUGO’S
I’m very fond of Hugo’s on Merrion Row. The decor is old-school, moody French bistro. The service – courteous and unpretentious. The food – excellent. I haven’t tried it for brunch yet, but with this offer, I’m definitely going to give it a go. How about Steak, eggs & chips, Sardines on Toast (hmmm, not sure about that one), Bourbon & Fig French Toast (you had me at Bourbon :-)). The menu offers something more that the usual Eggs Benedict, so perfect if you want to make a change from your ususal. The offers gives 2 courses for 2 people for €25. Pretty brilliant, eh? If you don’t get to go to brunch, you should seriously consider their early-bird menu for €22.50 for two courses, or €28.50 for three courses. Methinks, you’ll like it a lot. Check out the offer & sample brunch menu here.
Restaurant Website: https://www.hugos.ie/

Photo courtesy of Suesey Street.

FOOD HOME RESTAURANT REVIEWS

Nothing Beats a Good Pokē

Klaw Poke, Dublin

Never visit a restaurant on its opening day, that’s just not playing fair. Despite months of planning, there will invariably be hiccups, late deliveries, staff shortages, missing toilet rolls – you get the picture. However, on this occasion, I didn’t really have a choice. I had been madly curious about the fab Mr. Sabongi’s latest offering (he of Rock Lobster, Klaw notoriety), and my other half was leaving the country for a while and knew he would just love it. So on a sunny Friday early evening in May (you might remember the one), we took ourselves to the posh end of Capel Street (which end’s that you say? Well, you be the judge :-)) Klaw Poke is the new arrival in question, whose menu is focussed around pokē  (pronounced “poh-kay”, but where’s the innuendo fun in that), or Hawaiian Sushi which is a cross between Japanese sushi and Peruvian ceviche and made up of pieces of raw tuna, salmon and other seafood marinated in soy sauce, seaweed and sesame and served on a base of rice or quinoa with greens such as kimchi and avocado to bump up the health value.

Klaw Poke, Capel Street

The restaurant is small and can host about 24 bums on seats, with some at the long bar overlooking the kitchen, watching the magic happen. The decor has a fresh holiday feel with a long chalkboard which would line the wall with its menu was a work in progress on the evening in question. The menus were also still at the printers, and so our super-friendly waiter listed out the options available. Being crap at retention, I could only remember the first and last items he mentioned. Thankfully, himself is less of a goldfish on the memory front, so we ordered the Salmon with Siraracha Aioli & Yellowfin Tuna & House Ponzu. The speedily served result was an explosion of a freshness. Delicately marinated fish in a perfectly paired sauce, rice, chillis, avocado, delicious kimchi (which I’m normally not a fan of), picked cucumber, and radishes created a dish which was perfect marriage of healthy eating and sublime taste. Would I be full afterwards? Maybe not. Satisfied? Definitely. Prices vary according to the fish chosen, and you can choose your toppings and sauce, so you can customise your dish to suit your tastes, or just trust the experts and try one of their signature bowls

Since that first evening, I understand that there have been a number of additions to the menu such as lobster rolls, chowder, and crab on toast. And indeed, they have also played around with their Pokē recipes which is really the beauty of this dish, which will undoubtedly be shooting up in menus all over the place, – the permutations are endless! Unfortunately, I have not been back yet, simply due to the location being a bit out of my way, but I look forward to making the trek very soon, and I recommend you do too.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save