Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Something Different at Dockland. A Delightful Diversity of Dishes

Something Different at Dockland 
A Delightful Diversity of Dishes
Thai Curry

The transition from Club Brasserie to Dockland had some punters worried. But it was more or less seamless and soon we realised that, while there were many small plates here, the choice was bigger than ever, the types of dishes more varied than before. You don’t need to be over adventurous to enjoy the flavoursome food here but plain eaters may have to study the menu in some detail.

Toulouse sausage
We arrived in early on a Friday, in good form having earlier attended the O’Donovan Wine Fair in the nearby Clayton. The form wasn’t entirely down to the wine - we spit much more than we swallowed. But the drops and the chats were enjoyable as was the warm welcome by Beth and her newly male reinforced Dockland team!

There are no sub headings on the menu, just one title: bites to bigger bites. Roughly you have a dozen bites (small plates) and, believe it or not, more or less the same number of bigger bites (main courses, if you will, not that the old terminology is entirely accurate here). You could perhaps have three bites, or one bite and one bigger, or even two bigger. Lots of scope to try different things and also to share.

And lots to drink also, including an increasing choice of non-alcoholic (they’re working on that!). A good list of white and red wines, an impressive collection of gins, and a full bar too. No shortage but in the circumstances we gave it a skip on the night.

It did take us a while to go through the menu. I started with the Toulouse Sausage Bruschetta, with tomato chilli jam, roasted red onions, mustard mayo and honey mustard dressing. With a crispy little salad, this was terrific, moist and full of texture and flavour, a terrific bite and I was on my way for six euro.
Roasted stuffed Aubergine

CL’s opener cost the same, actually 6.50. Her choice was the Roasted Stuffed Aubergine, with tomato fondue, roasted red onions, feta cheese, sumac and mint oil. Again, moist and delicious, a cracking combination of textures and flavours. Up and running.

Just to give you an idea of the variety here, I’ll detail two of the other “bites”. One is the Moroccan Lamb Koftas (ras al hanout, saffron aioli, harissa oil, and zataar), another the Macroom Halloumi cheese, courgette plus carrot fritters. With all the various combinations available here, you could eat at Dockland for weeks and not repeat yourself.

Big bites are just as varied. You could have Crispy Asian Duck confit plus a spiced noodle salad (with blood orange lime nam iiim chilli dressing, coriander, chillies, mint, toasted tomato seeds, sugarsnap, mixed peppers). I was seriously considering that before I made a different choice.  Also tempting was the Slow Roasted Crispy Belly of Pork with fennel seeds, served with Borlotti beans, rosemary, buttered cabbage, Clonakilty blackpudding and caramelised apple.

In the end, my pick was the Thai Green Chicken Curry, basmati rice, cucumber mint salad (18.00). At first glance, I thought this was a little on the small side but the bowls were packed, one with the curry (oh those crunchy peppers), the rice was perfectly cooked and that little bowl of cucumber sauce played a key role and I also enjoyed my poppadum. Took my time with that I can tell you and enjoyed every little bit - no room for dessert at the end!

Our other dish was also from the east: Spiced Lentil and sweet potato dhal, spinach, basmati rice, poppadum crisps and yogurt (16.00). The result here was equally satisfying, a superb and generous counter to the cold outside. We were very happy with those two dishes, not the kind of plates you’d do at home (and that’s one of the reasons we venture out to Cork’s marvellous restaurants and cafes).

And that plain eater?  Perhaps the Chargrilled Ribeye steak along with the Dockland Dirty Fries would do the trick. Even there, expect a surprise or two like the roasted harissa oil with the chips! Plain or adventurous, you’ll be well looked after here. The welcome is warm and the service is efficient and friendly.

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