Taste of Dublin is on this weekend, from Friday until Sunday and is the ultimate alfresco foodie festival and this year marks its tenth anniversary. Held in the stunning Iveagh Gardens, this year each day is divided into two sittings; the afternoon session is from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and the evening session runs 5.30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and until 9.30 p.m. on Sunday.
Melanie May attended the launch, here is how she got on with her top spots to visit:
I attended the launch yesterday so here are some things to know. First off, cash isn’t accepted so you need to exchange your money for a book of tokens called Florins. You can buy these tokens off any of the sellers in pink t-shirts or at the Taste Banks dotted throughout. One Florins equals €1 and food and drinks range from two to nine Florins each.
Once inside, pick up a free guide to the festival, which has a list of restaurants, exhibitors, as well as a timetable of events and, most important, a menu with all the dishes you can sample on the day.
There are cooking demonstrations in various tents, the Dublin Cooking School hands on demo in the Electrolux Chefs’ Secrets tent was very popular and looked like good fun. There was a sushi making masterclass as well as loads of other demos and events taking place. These continue over the weekend with a host of well-known foodie names taking to the various stages. The free guide has all the details and times. If there is a particular event you want to see get there early as they run a first come first served basis.
Right, now on to the good stuff – the food – and oh my, there is so much food to try. There are stalls selling everything from chocolate to curry, popcorn to poppadoms, doughnuts to dumplings and everything in between.
All the food making you thirsty? Quench it with craft beers, prosecco, Champagne, coffee, juices, smoothies, water or wheatgrass juice, whatever takes your fancy. Make sure to visit The Shebeen the mobile bar!
For me the highlight was the 25 top restaurants present and the outstanding dishes they had on their menus. I took my time, read each of the menus and looked at the ingredients before making my mind up as to what dishes to try. In the end, I had the Soder & Ko steamed bun with Chinese roast duck, Asian salad and hoi sin sauce. The flavours were good but the bun too doughy for my liking. Next, I went for the braised Lambay Island lamb with feves, courgette flower, olive, baba ghanoush and lamb jus from Brioche. This was so unbelievably good, melt in the mouth tender flavourful lamb with a wonderful eclectic accompaniment of flavours and textures that all worked so well together – one of my top recommendations. My final dish, and my favourite, was from Beeftro and it was the Black Angus truffle slider with truffle mayonnaise and polenta corn fries – made with a 50/50 blend of Angus beef and Colby beef and served on a soft brioche bun. It was perfect. So tender and juicy and the fries were perfectly crisp. A great dish.
Yesterday, Taste of Dublin award winners were announced:
Best Dish – Brioche Restaurant by Chef Gavin McDonagh
Best Front of House – Soder & Ko
Best Exhibitor – The Shebeen
Best Feature – Nespresso
So, after all of that, my top three stalls to visit are:
- The Nespresso Experience for their coffee and food pairing event.
- Beeftro to sample their delicious slider.
- And Brioche to try their award winning dish.
For more info visit http://dublin.tastefestivals.com/