Hard but not impossible because there were a number of negatives to the evening. Rated at number 6 in Dublin, the locals speak of this place in hushed and reverent tones so one had high expectations, sadly, they were not delivered but they did reduce the bill as a result so let me deal just with the facts. I honestly was looking forward to dusting off the superlatives for this place.
They have an interesting concept, only opening three nights a week and with a weekly set menu with a choice of just two items for each course. The price is set as well ,40 euros or 60 for the tasting menu which is a small portion of all six items. With such a limited offering it would be fair to think service would be slick and timely – wrong!
We booked for 7:00 and opted for the six course taster menu. By 7:45 we had had a Martini, some bread and a bouche amuse served on a large flat lump of stone. To be fair, it was very good, but for 45 minutes a rather slow start. I know my No:2 son would now tell me that if I wanted fast food I should go to McDonalds but 45 minutes to the first course? Slow by anyone’s standards and so it went on with a wait of about 15 minutes between each offering, which took just 2 or 3 minutes to eat, at best 5.
The first offering was a dish with smoked haddock which was a tad salty and only just cooked, to be honest just a little under but not far enough to complain, it came with a ‘warm Jersey Royal potato salad’ which consisted of four or five tiny cubes of potato, just the wrong side of cooked but at least they were warm! Stout Rarebit was on the menu as part of the dish but did not materialise.
No 2, 15 minutes later, was a Pulled Pork Shoulder Raviolo and was first rate.
No 3 another 15 minutes latter saw the arrival of ‘Salted Atlantic Blossom’. I have never heard of Atlantic Blossom so asked what it was and the conversation ran a little like this “It’s an Atlantic white fish” – “Ah, you mean Cod?” - “From the Cod family” - “You mean Cod” – “Yes. It’s Cod” this last one was reluctantly admitted. It was raw so I sent it back. When a fresh one was returned (another 15 minutes) I was basically told I did not know what salted cod was! Sorry, I’ve been in the food trade since 1972 and DO know salted cod (as opposed to salt cod) and also raw fish when I see it, it was opalescent inside and cold, aka raw. Effort two was cooked and delightful but was accompanied by a piece of ‘Crispy Pork Skin’ so crispy Jaws would have struggled with it and what it was doing with such delicately flavoured fish is a mystery, if a ‘crunch’ element was needed why not a piece of crisped cod skin? They also gave my wife a second portion even though hers was fine the first time round, strangely she did not complain!
Next came Slow Roasted Rose Veal Cheek which was a delight even though the baby spring onion came including its roots.
We opted for the cheese selection next but were served a lemon and coconut granita first, it might have been better to have waited until after the cheese as it was quite sweet but no a big problem. The cheese selection included Gabriel, an Irish version of Parmesan. We were told it was the last of the cheese that was produced by this particular company and was used quite a lot in cooking, frankly it should have been reserved for that as it was hard, dried out and not very palatable. I have binned better quality Parmesan as not fit to serve.
Lastly there was a the Lemon Meringue pie, a piece of tarte au citron topped with Italian meringue, the dish was over complicated with the addition of a very tart blackberry sorbet and a hard and chewy poppy seed macaroon but the tarte au citron itself was stunning. We were each given a glass of ice cold Sauternes to go with the dessert and that too was excellent.
To summarise, good table service, good food in parts but not stunning, slow kitchen service and an un-asked for but quite welcome price reduction. Perhaps they saw me taking copious notes and thought I might be someone important! Not sure the place deserves its No 6 standing but a reasonable meal if a tab over the top in both price and pretention.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.