I want to first start of by saying thank you to Caitriona Redmond (Whole Some Ireland) who gave me a free ticket to Taste of Dublin 2016. I probably wouldn’t have gone if I didn’t get a free ticket. Taste of Dublin is not cheap. There’s an entrance fee which varies from day to day and you need to buy food on top of this. Food is bought with “Florins” which can be purchased there in books of 20 or 5. 1e = 1f. I’m not a huge fan of this system because I seem to always be left with 1f left over and they can’t be exchanged back for euros.
I bought 40f and tbh I could have done with just buying 30 because I didn’t really need those extra 10 but of course I used them anyway. I would strongly suggest deciding on a budget before you go in so you don’t do what I did last year and lose the run of yourself. Now onto the food.
Joint 1st Place: Pichet – Crispy Hen Egg, Black Pudding, Pea Dressing, Tartar Sauce (6 Florins) and The Chop House – Seared 35 Day Aged Hereford Prime Steak with Classic Béarnaise and Duck Fat Fries (7 Florins).
The crispy egg from Pichet was absolutely gorgeous. The egg was perfectly cooked and the combination of the tartar sauce and black pudding was divine. I would have happily got another portion of this and if I was going again it’d be the first thing I’d go for.
Next was the Seared 35 Day Aged Hereford Prime Steak with Classic Béarnaise and Duck Fat Fries from The Chop House. The reason this is joint 1st is because I think it’s the best value dish and tastes great as well. They don’t skimp on the amount of chips they give you and they also give you plenty of béarnaise sauce which is gorgeous. The steak is a little bit awkward to eat just with a fork but if you’re like me you’ll just power through it.
2nd Place: The Green Hen – Duck Sausage Roll, Chutney, Miso Mayo (6 Florins)
Terrible picture of the duck sausage roll but it was very tasty. The chutney and mayo complimented it well and I would get this again if I went back. At 6 Florins it’s not bad value either.
3rd Place: Dunbrody House – Seared Kilmore Quay Scallops with Mornay Foam (7 Florins)
I love scallops and decided to get one scallop dish at Taste of Dublin. I was torn between getting this and The Green Hens scallop dish (“Surf and Turf” Scallop Kebab – Pork Belly. Baby Gem, Apple, Hazelnut) but I swore to myself I wouldn’t get any pork belly dishes this year so the Dunbrody House scallop dish won. At 7 Florins it really wasn’t worth it. It was nice, don’t get me wrong but I wouldn’t be rushing back to have another. I think if I was going to the Dunbrody House stand again I’d go for the Slow Cooked Oliver Carty Pork Ribs, Glazed in Dunbrody Stout Reduction.
I wasn’t overly impressed with the desserts I got. In fact, I actually didn’t like two of them at all and was kicking myself for getting them.
Marcels – Chocolate and Strawberry Eclair, Honeycomb and Sea Salt (6 Florins)
I love sea salt and chocolate but I just didn’t like this dish. I felt like the salt just didn’t really work well with it. The dried strawberries were nice and the honeycomb was lovely as well but overall I didn’t like it.
Farrier and Draper – Posset – Passion Fruit, Sicilian Lemon, Vanilla Ice Cream and Salted Caramel Popcorn (4 Florins)
On paper, this sounded great. I love all the separate components but as an overall dish I was let down. The popcorn was too hard to bite (now this could be because I just got my braces off and my teeth are still getting used to life) and the passionfruit was just a tad too bitter. However, the vanilla ice cream was lovely. At 4 Florins it was one of the cheaper (maybe the cheapest) dish I got and it was good value for money but I wouldn’t get it again.
Dunbrody House – Dancastle Wexford Strawberries with Elderflower Jelly and Fresh Pouring Cream (5 Florins)
I didn’t have this but Maria did and she thought it was gorgeous and it looked gorgeous as well. I had serious food envy considering my two desserts let me down.
Overall I was happy with the food I got but not the price. I already had Pichet and The Chop House on my list of places to go back to and blog about and having tasted the food they served at Taste of Dublin I can’t wait to go again. Pichet, The Green Hen and Marcels also have an offer that if you get a dish from each of their stands you get 10% off in any of their restaurants.
Would I go back to Taste of Dublin? Tough one. Would I go back this year? No. Will I go next year? If I get free tickets? Probably.
What did I not like? The price. As I’ve already said – it’s really expensive. If you’re looking for a nice meal I’d recommend just booking somewhere like Pichet, Fade St. Social, Boqueria or Cleaver East because for the same price you’d get a quality sit down meal.