I don’t know about you, but I have an awful habit of discriminating against restaurants outside of the city centre, thinking that what chef with any credibility or ambition would locate itself in the ‘Burbs? Well hopefully that mindset is changing somewhat, with restaurants such as Bastible and Craft choosing to locate outside the inner circle and not allow their creativity (and obviously profit margins) be stifled by the ridiculously high rental costs and council rates that plagues their city centre contemporaries.
Out in the burbs where I habitate, I am lucky to have within walking distance of my home (I say walking in a theoretical sense of course), Tani Restaurant in Terenure. Formerly known as Tani Sushi, the eatery underwent renovation early last year, and out went the vacant looking IKEA furniture, and in came darker, moodier woods and exposed brick to give a much more professional look and cosier atmosphere. On my visit last week, the pan-Asian staff were, as always, extremely friendly and really, really smiley. The restaurant itself is small and was brimming over with families on this particular Sunday evening. As we are wont to do, we did the perfunctory act of taking the menus and pretending to consider the options available to us, but inwardly knowing the outcome was always going to be the same. So without any level of experimentation, himself and myself chose one of our favourites to share as a starter – 6 pieces of Spider roll (€13.50) consisting of deep fried soft shell crab, flying fish roe, avocado, crab meat, and spring onions. I’m not one of life’s biggest sushi fans, but this was absolutely delicious with the crab lending a sweetness to the rolls which appeals to my non-sushi loving palette. If you’re not a sushi lover yourself, give these a go, or alternatively try the hoi sin duck rolls which we didn’t have on this occasion but are also seriously scrummy.
Himself followed this up with the Tuna and Salmon Set (€13.00) made up of 2 salmon nigiri, 2 tuna nigiri, 6 pieces each of salmon and tuna maki (the roundy ones). In his opinion, these were some of the best sushi he had tasted in Dublin (his other favourite being Zakura in Wexford Street), with the freshness of the fish being particularly evident. Being the sushi philistine that I am, I was more in love with the decorative wasabi bow! For my part, as I was having one of those “order-the-same-as-always” evenings, I had me some Chicken Yaki Soba , a.k.a noodles and vegetables with deep fried chicken pieces. The dish is served with chilli sauce and ginger on the side in case you want to take the heat levels up a notch. Even with the additions, the noodles are not too spicy but my idea (possibly wrongly) of perfect Asian street food.
Having just the right level of fullness, we decided to share a green tea Creme Brulee for dessert. Although the custard had split somewhat, I still found it nonetheless tasty and light. Himself wasn’t feeling the love for it though.
As long as Tani keep up this level of great food at a good price, we will definitely keep coming. And who knows, maybe the Gourmet Burger, and the Italian place up the road are also worth a try. My ‘aul Leap Card could do with a rest anyway.
Tani Restaurant, 93 Terenure Road North, Dublin 6w. Tel: (01) 538 8000