Last year when I asked myself the question if I’d go to Taste of Dublin in 2017 I said ‘Yeh, If I got free tickets’. Well, I got free tickets so I went again. I probably wouldn’t have gone if I didn’t get the free tickets. Taste of Dublin is not cheap. There’s still 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 got 45f free with my tickets but still managed to buy an additional 40f. Same as last year, I could have done with just buying 30 because I didn’t really need those extra 10 but of course we used them anyway. I had picked 6 dishes I wanted to try before going. I always suggest deciding on a budget before going so you don’t lose the run of yourself.
Normally, I tend to just get the one item from a restaurant’s menu but this year I got all 3 from Jaipur and all 3 from The Wild Goose.
I adored all the dishes from The Wild Goose. To start I had the Seafood 99. A savoury cone filled with salmon rillettes, hundreds and thousands and a tuna tartare surprise at the bottom of the cone (6 Florins). It was such a refreshing dish and a nice play with a dessert theme.
Next, I had Duo of Goose – Smoked goose breast, confit of goose leg served with spiced red cabbage, prune jam and game jus (7 Florins). Now, I am not one for savouring food. I hoover it into me but with this dish, I took my time with it because it was just perfection. I absolutely loved everything about it. The spiced red cabbage had just enough of a kick to it and the goose was cooked exactly how I like it.
Finally, I had their Pineapple Panna Cotta – vanilla pannacotta with compressed pineapple, Chantilly cream and pineapple coulis (4 Florins). I don’t think has ever happened to me in my life but I forgot to take a picture of it. I’ve an unhealthy obsession lately with pineapple, mango, and passionfruit so as soon as I saw this on the menu I knew I had to get it. I’m never usually impressed with the desserts at Taste of Dublin but this one restored my fate in them.
The Jaipur stand had dishes from each of their restaurants, Jaipur, Ananda and Chakra. From Ananda, we had Tumeric and Lime Prawn Curry – tiger prawns, fresh turmeric root, coconut, curry leaf oil, lime and gooseberry achaar (7 Florins). This dish really needs to be on their full-time menu. It was gorgeous. There was such a creamy taste to it. There was a decent portion of rice too which helped bulk up the dish making it more filling.
From Chakra. LP had Lamb Bihari – slow cooked spring lamb, twice cooked, young onions, aged sweet kohlrabi, cabbage and broccoli, bulgur wheat and paratha with flaky Malabar bread. I’m surprised he didn’t get a second portion of this he raved about it so much. What is Malabar bread? It’s the most delicious bread in the world that’s what it is!
Lastly, from Jaipur we had Tea Smoked Chicken Tikka – Darjeeling tea smoked young chicken tikka with tamarind and apple ketchup, and mangosteen glaze. Not our favourite of the 3 but by no means not a fabulous dish.
My stand out “Woah what the hell is that!” dish from Taste of Dublin was from Urchin. It was Duck Liver, Choux-Bun, Pear Caramel (6 Florins). I’m raging the picture didn’t turn out too great. It was the most unusual thing. Is it sweet? Is it savoury? All I know is that it’s delicious and I’ll be booking a table for Urchin pronto.
Another take on a dessert style dish was from Matt The Threshers. Stuffed wild Irish crab donuts with a coral dusting (6 Florins). I made such a face when I saw these on the menu. “A savoury donut? Go away!” but I am converted.
I also had Pan-seared scallops served in the shell with Boudin noir, saffron pickled onions and celeriac crisps (7 Florins). I think I’d be doing an injustice to myself if I went to Taste of Dublin and didn’t get scallops. Normally they are on every second menu but not this year. If you like scallops, I’d get these. The celeriac crisps really add a different flavour to it and I’ll be attempting to make them at home myself.
LP was mad to try The Old Spot. He got the Beef Brisket, Ruby Slaw on a Brioche Bun (6 Florins) and Chargrilled Corn on the Cob, with Harissa and Lime Salt (4 Florins). I don’t like brisket so I was never going to like the burger. He, however, loved it and said it was one of the nicest things he had. The corn was a really nice touch. I think The Old Spot probably had the best value menu for what you got.
Next, I had San Lorenzo’s Jerk chicken taco with avocado salsa, crispy chorizo, iceberg lettuce, red pepper mayo, chilli and coriander (7 Florins). I think it needed a sauce of some kind. Don’t get me wrong, it was nice, there was just some much nicer food that I tried. I’m probably just being a bit picky and it’s not like it would stop me going back to San Lorenzo’s.
Before we left we got some Rock Oysters from Kelly Oysters Co.Galway. We just got them with a small bit of lemon juice on them. A really nice end to a day of fabulous food.
I also tried out the Spice Bag Cocktail from Craft Brews and Cocktail Corner by Alltech Beverage Division Ireland (7 Florins). It didn’t taste anything like a spice bag (which is probably a good thing tbh!). It’s got Town Branch Rye, homemade passion fruit and mango puree, peach liqueur, Peychaud bitters, lime juice and chilli tincture
I also picked up some of Mama Nagi’s Hot Punjabi Chilli Paste. They were 4 florins each or 3 for 10 so I got all 3. I’ve never met a nicer woman. I’m looking forward to trying them out and will report back how I got on.
Do you know who I really missed from the day though? Pichet and Chop House. Last year I put dishes from their in a joint first place. I kept longing for Pichet’s Crispy Hen Egg and Chop House’s Prime Steak with Béarnaise and Duck Fat Fries. I was disappointed that they weren’t there.
Apart from missing Pichet and Chop House, I think this year had the nicest food I’ve had at Taste of Dublin. The weather was gorgeous, the atmosphere was great and although I was on my peg leg, many of the stalls offering me a seat which I really appreciated. My take home from Taste of Dublin is that I need to book both The Wild Goose and Jaipur/Ananda pronto and that’s what I like about Taste. It gives me ideas about where I should be trying next.
Would I go back to Taste of Dublin?
I wouldn’t go again this year but I’ll go next year if I get free tickets.
What did I not like? (Ripped from last years post!)
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.