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Our Dublin Food Highs and Lows of 2018

The Highs

The opening of Uno Mas Etto’s younger sister spent a semester in Spain and opened in December. We almost passed out waiting for the doors to open but it was worth the time spent drumming fingers on tables and peering in the window on Aungier Street. If you need us we’ll be at the bar eating the potato and onion tortilla.

The Death of Doughnuts A combination of doughnut fatigue plus the slow realisation that most of them are actually rubbish and made using a pre-mix has finally led to the decline of the doughnut. Thank u, next.

Different Dining 2018 brought about very welcome alternatives styles of dining. Street food from Vietnom, small plates from Grálinn and all day dining at Gertrude to name a few. Before 2018 was it even possible to get a buttermilk chicken pancake stack for breakfast or a banh mi from a horse box in the back of a Stoneybatter pub?

Wine Bars A new crop of wine bars has finally hit the city, like Loose Canon and First Draft, and places like Grantham's, Industry and Lilliput Stores have started doing wine nights. Viva la wine revolution.

Getting to experience Heron & Grey

It's no secret that getting a table here is not for the faint-hearted, and after 18 months of waiting with fingers poised waiting for tables to be released, only to be brutally rebuffed each time, we finally got through the doors for one of their waste dinners in April. They charged a reduced price and cooked with what was left in their fridges, freezers and fermenting areas before closing for a month, and we weren't sure what to expect, but it was one of the most exciting meals we've eaten in Ireland. Earlier this month owners Andrew Heron and Damien Grey announced they were going their separate ways in the New Year, with Damien continuing the restaurant under the name 'Liath'. Needless to say our fingers will be flexed and ready when reservations open on the 1st February.

White Mausu Mania

You can find a jar of peanut rayu in nearly everyone’s cupboard. New flavours coming to a pantry near you soon.

Sustainability More cafes and restaurants are looking for more sustainable ways of running their businesses, and it's now the norm to constantly have a KeepCup in hand, eat farm to fork from McNally's in North Dublin, or sea to fork from Niall Sabongi's SSI wholesale.

The Lows

The VAT increase The VAT rising to 13.5% in January will have huge implications for both customers and establishments alike, whether it comes in the form of rising menu prices or full on closures. Buckle up for some big changes out there.

The Ivy Ever since The Ivy opened during the summer, drama has been rife. Between the strict door policy, the vouchers furore and the tipping fiasco it seems the restaurant is all fur coat and less of the undergarments. Maybe save yourself the stress of trying to get a table and give this one a miss. Unless you feel the need to reminisce on the boom times of yore.

The Price of Wine in Restaurants

When did 70-80% become a standard margin on wine in Dublin? The capital's going to struggle to develop a wine culture as long as it costs this much to drink well.

The Closure of the Dublin Flea

After being forced to move from Newmarket Square in Dublin 8 in May by developers building new offices, the flea has yet to find a new home. The Christmas Flea allowed the traders a brief return, and it was packed with old and new customers, but the fact that there is still nowhere for it to trade, despite willing traders and eager customers, is a tragedy for independent shopping in the city.

The Loss of the Jo’Burger Group Joe Macken’s mini chain of restaurants have long been a staple on the modern Dublin food scene, and the announcement that the group had gone into liquidation caused shock waves throughout the industry. We are particularly grieving the loss of our formerly new favourite wine den, Bar Giuseppe.

Let us know your food highs and lows of 2018 by emailing

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