Nothing beats Dublin on a sunny day. The cosmopolitan atmosphere, the quaint eateries and the chance to sit in the park and watch the world go, so when I heard that Taste of Dublin combined all of the above I knew I had to go.
Travelling from Belfast I find that the Enterprise is by far the easiest way to get to the city, as you can take in the scenery while having a buck’s fizz and a gourmet train picnic – well my travel companion agreed bagels and cream cheese felt very gourmet that early in the morning.
Celebrating its 10th year and situated in Iveagh Gardens having moved from Dublin Castle, Taste of Dublin is a firm favourite on the Irish culinary calendar. It combines a mix of luxury with rustic cuisine, with more than 100 artisan producers from across the country coming together to celebrate all things gastronomic.
There was a host of well known restaurants and top chefs sampling their culinary delights –Ross Lewis from Chapter One, Sunil Ghai from Jaipur, as well as celebrity chefs Michel Roux Jr, Rachel Allen and Neven Maguire all shared their secrets over the four days. In fact according to the organisers, it was the first time that 10 international and local Michelin stars were shining at the same event.
While the chefs wowed the crowds with their masterclasses, there was also a lot of taste treats to sample. Stand outs for us were, Matt The Thresher @ThreshersDublin for scallops (starter) – no I hadn’t heard of it either, but eatery in the heart of Dublin was named best Gastro Pub and Seafood Restaurant 2014/15, so it’s only right that the food tasted so good.
For main we headed off for a Taste of Thailand to try a spicy lamb curry from Saba @SabaDublin – one of my favourite Dublin restaurants and definitely one to try if you like spice. There was also some authentic Thai dancers which were simply spectacular
For dessert we had Culcow artisan ice-cream, which was a bit too authentic and a little gritty for my taste. Give me Pooh Bear from Mauds any day of the week!
A day in the sun is not complete without something refreshing to wash it down, so it was great to see some suppliers from our neck of the woods having a presence. Shortcross Gin @ShortcrossGin and Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer @CrabbiesUK from United Wines were on hand and although I’m not a gin drinker, the Crabbie’s was gratefully received. The original Ginger Beer definitely has a kick to it, but the Strawberry and Lime and Scottish Raspberry are sweet and tasty – my very unscientific option was to try all three at once! I’m sure that will go down well in my next summer BBQ.
I know the event is now passed, hopefully it gave you some food for thought for next year. I know we have food events in the north, but this definitely felt different – maybe it was the sunshine, my own special brew of Crabbie’s or simply the company, but we tasted our way round Dublin and it definitely tasted great!
By Grainne McGarvey. Spotting local hidden gems from the world of beauty, health, fashion, tourism and hospitality. I have my ear to the ground (quite literally) to keep you up to date about the new or interesting products and services from our neck of the woods. If you know one – get in touch on twitter @grainnemcgarvey or at www.pulseprni.com