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Dublin: 7°C Sunday 23 January 2022

10 of Dublin’s most interesting new restaurants for 2015

The last 12 months in restaurant openings: a selective edit.

AMID CONSIDERABLE evidence that (for some people at least) the recession is over, Dublin’s restaurant scene has worked itself into a frenzy over the last year.

New places open so frequently, it’s hard to sort the stars from the glorified bars. So we’ve looked at the restaurants that have opened over the last 12 months, and picked out the ones you need to know about.

Any trends? Well, yes. Everything is casual: white tablecloths are out, cutlery in a can is in. And Japanese is big this year (meaning you can probably expect to see ready-made ramen in Spar by this time 2016).

Without further ado:

1. Taco Taco

Source: Taco Taco

The burrito is dead, long live the taco. This pop-up from the people who brought you San Lorenzo’s lives in the space where Odessa used to be on Dame Court, and serves up Mexican-with-influences (jerk chicken taco, anyone?) in the same surroundings.

The pulled pork and pineapple is a highlight, and they’ll do you the Nutella chocolate cheesecake that’s a San Lorenzo’s favourite too.

Find it here.

2. SMS Luna (formerly Popdown)

Source: Super Miss Sue

Underneath Super Miss Sue on the corner of Drury Street is Luna, formerly known as Popdown – the latest enterprise from restaurateur John Farrell of Dillinger’s, Butcher Grill and 777 fame.

It’s a pretty amazing underground space, which for a while operated as a ‘greatest hits’ restaurant serving the best of his other outlets, but has now developed into a high-end steakhouse. Take it from us, the Iberico pork flank is excellent.

Find it here.

3. Fish Shop Smithfield


Another new arrival in D7, this high-end fish-and-chip joint is the first storefront restaurant opened by the managers of a beloved fish stall in Blackrock market. It’s some of the best fried fish you’ll get in the city, alongside unusual seafood starters (razor clams, oysters with chilli) and… what’s that? A glass of wine for €3.50? Yes please, I think I will.

Find them here.

4. Taste at Rustic

Source: Taste at Rustic by Dylan McGrath

Dylan McGrath spent a year tinkering with Japanese cuisine, and this is the result. On the top floor above its older sibling the Rustic Stone, Taste at Rustic sorts its dishes by the five basic tastes (sweet, salt, bitter, sour, umami) and serves food you are unlikely to see anywhere else in the city. (Beef brushed in burnt onion stock and topped with bonito flakes, anyone?)

To quote our source: “The Japanese fondue is to die for.” Find it here.

5. Bread & Bones

Source: Bread & Bones

If you hadn’t worked it out by now, Japan and eastern Asia are this year’s go-to influence. Bread and Bones, however, takes its dishes away from the sushi and noodles Dubliners are used to. It replaces them with a casual (most dishes around €12) menu based around ramen and bao, steamed buns to be sliced open and stuffed with fillings of your choice.

Try the duck bao. Find it here.

6. Amuse Restaurant

Conor Dempsey was the head chef at Dax for some years before opening Amuse on Dawson Street with his wife Joanna. Their stated aim is to serve French-style food with influences from Japanese, Vietnam and Korea – replacing the heavy butteriness of many French dishes with lighter notes. It adds up to a menu unlike anywhere else we’ve seen in the city.

Oh, also and you can get three courses for €35 during the week. Find it here.

7. Meeting House Dublin

Source: The Meeting House Dublin

Meeting House has taken the very visible spot formerly held by Eden/Nede on Meeting House Square in Temple Bar, and turned it into… well, a much more casual place. Gone is the white minimalist decor, arrived is an Burmese-inflected menu with a selection of small dishes for sharing. Oh, and reputedly excellent cocktails.

Find it here.

8. Honest Pizza

Source: Honest Pizza wood fired

Honest to Goodness has been a favourite Dublin lunch spot for ten years now, growing from Dun Laoghaire Dart station to the Market Arcade, to its own spot on Dame Court. And they have now opened a wood-fired pizza restaurant above the cafe, serving very authentic Italian pizza for frankly modest prices (€10-€14). It also has the same friendly service as its cafe friends.

Find it here.

9. My Meat Wagon

Source: Facebook

Dublin is filling up with mediocre barbecue joints: when you could get pulled pork in Abrakebabra, you knew it was too late. But My Meat Wagon are doing it right. Large platters of meat slow-cooked to perfection, with fine blues tunes on the stereo. Find them here.

10. Avenue by Munier

Source: Avenue by Nick Munier

Masterchef frontman Nick Munier has already seen success with Pichet on Dame Lane. And he has now turned his attention to casual dining, in the form of Avenue – a Crow Street storefront that promises to bring together two different restaurants (one posher than the other, and opening June 6) and a cocktail bar under one roof.

The restaurant has already hit headlines after a spat between the TV chef and his (now former) head chef Tom Walsh. It’ll be interesting to see where Munier takes it next.

Find it here.

Have we missed any interesting new spots? Is there anywhere people need to try? Let us know in the comments…

By Michael Freeman, originally published on DailyEdge.ie.


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