In The Irish Times, Catherine Cleary was in much better mood than last week awarding Locks a rare 9/10, and saying "The food is brilliant and easily outflanks restaurants where tables are much harder to secure. Go soon to enjoy a restaurant at the top of its game." We also can't help but detect a subtle dig at Glover's Alley when she describes Locks as "calm, less nerve jangled than those earlier days, like a place that knows what it is rather than somewhere reaching for what it wants to be."
CC's food descriptions alone are enough to have you begging for a booking - "gobstopper-sized croquettes of smoked ham with disks of glistening apple", onion soup that comes with "a smoked buttermilk curd like a captured cloud in the bottom of the bowl, currachs of pearly charred onions and lifebuoy rings of battered shallots, like a bay with the tide gone out, all waiting for the soup which is poured from a jug at the table", and poached sea trout "such a vibrant colour that it looks like it was sliced sashimi style from something still flapping, then scorched with a flame and plated ... There are tricolour blobs of herb oil, creme fraiche and roe to finish one of the most beautiful starters I’ve had in an Irish restaurant." *books table immediately*. You can read her review here.
Tom Doorley in the Irish Daily Mail was equally loving his visit to Locks, mostly because he was let in the door - the last time he tried to eat there he was thrown out by ex-owner Sébastien Masi (long story involving some contentious pumpkin gnocchi). He calls the new Locks "one of the best places to eat in the capital", and says the food is about "serious talent and discipline". He calls the whipped chicken liver paté "ethereal", the agnolotti with smoked potato "inspired, quite brilliant", and the cod "impeccably cooked". If you didn't want to visit before you definitely do now. (Review not currently online)
Someone else who was loving the critic life was Leslie Williams in the Irish Examiner after eating in Assassination Custard THREE DAYS IN A ROW. Hard core. We've always wondered what the crazy name meant, and he starts his review by telling us - it involves Samuel Beckett being stabbed. Thankfully things look up from here.
He loved the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern inspired menu, featuring dishes like panelle chickpea flour fritters, goat's heart with cherries, yoghurt and smoked paprika, and homemade labneh with pomegranate seeds and sumac (all above). It sounds like a little piece of heaven and we're scratching our heads as to why they only open for lunch from Tuesday - Friday. Answers on a postcard. You can read his review here.