FOR the last couple of years I’ve been meaning to try The Vintage Kitchen. Any time I’ve been talking to friends who have been, they all raved about it. The problem was that every time I tried to get a table (yes, it was always at the last minute) they were booked out. This time we were lucky and managed to get a table…..but it was for a Monday night. Normally Mondays don’t appeal to people but being on my last few weeks of maternity leave – and it being my other half’s actual birthday – we booked a table for five people.
With the recent demise of The Screen Cinema it’s hard to describe where the restaurant is located. “It’s beside Muligan’s”. “Which Muligan’s?” “The one on Poolbeg Street.” “Where’s Poolbeg Street again?” Off the Pearse Street side of Trinity is the best way I can describe it.
The restaurant itself is lovely and cosy. Even though it was a Monday night it looked full. The manager mentioned that they are booked up for the following few months for Fridays and Saturdays but are still taking bookings for mid-week. One of the reasons for its huge popularity is that is is BYOW (I presume you can bring beer) with no corkage. This is a huge bonus for a city centre location as even a lot of restaurants in the suburbs charge corkage.
The pricing keeps everything simple – two courses for €28 and three for €34. There are five starters and five main courses on the menu. Myself and my husband chose to start with the Goats Cheese Salad (pictured below), which was accompanied by toasted brioche, black fig, tomato jam, baked beets and apricot and orange puree. The combination of flavours was terrific, the size of the portion was huge, and I was left wondering how I was going to eat a main course. The two other guys, Phil and Tom, chose the Risotto of Chilli, Roasted Red Pepper, Prawns and Garlic upon the recommendation from the waiter. I sampled it, and it lived up to the hype. There were loads of perfectly cooked prawns in the portion and I have no idea how the guys were able to eat it all. Maybe the fact that one of the lads is 6ft 5in had something to do with it. My friend Clare had the Duck Liver Creme (parfait or pâté to you and me). It was as descibed: light and creamy, and the lime jelly gave it a lovely kick.
We were really happy that the main courses didn’t arrive straight after the starters. We had a 20-minute breather which gave us time to digest and get a nice big glass of wine into us. For the mains I ordered Roast Pork Shoulder (pictured below) which was mentioned to me by the waiter as the chicken was no longer available. When it arrived I was again wondering how I’d manage to eat it all. Hmmmmm… no problem there as the minute my fork touched it, it fell from the bone and I was hooked. It was so juicy and tender – probably one of the best pork dinners I’ve ever had. The only downside was the parsnips, as they weren’t cooked enough, so were still a little tough. Phil ordered the Slow Roasted Lamb Shank which came with roasted celeriac and twice-cooked carrots. He said it was the best meal he has eaten in Dublin. Tom, got the cod with white beans, mussels and caviar. He said it was a good choice as his starter was pretty heavy. Paddy got a Fillet of Steak, and he was the only one who didn’t think it was one of his favourite meals. He felt the steak wasn’t as tender and textured as he thought it would be, and he had food envy when he saw the other dishes come out.
We were stuffed to the gills by the time dessert was mentioned but we managed to squeeze in a Half Baked Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice-cream. This was an all-round winner.
Stick a fork in me. I’m done….but I’ll be back for more.
The Vintage Kitchen
7 Poolbeg Street
Tel: 01 679 8705
The Featured Image on top is by TheTaste.ie