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Some Things We Ate Last Week

Last week involved a lot of amazing things in Aimsir, Kildare, spread across 18 courses with drinks pairings. Highlights (the whole thing was a life highlight) included a Killary Fjord oyster gently poached in roasted koji butter and apple balsamic to give it a nutty tone; dry-aged turbot with foraged sea lettuce and a fermented celeriac and sheep whey sauce; wild duck breast with beetroot and cherry that was elevated to another level by the addition of a punchy lavender gel (below), juiced crown price pumpkin with salted rapeseed pumpkin and seed brittle (below), and of course, that soda bread cooked in beef fat. Petit fours of raw sheep's milk fudge, toasted koji tart and douglas fir filled sweet buns were another highlight - Helen

Drinks were varied and beautifully matched, ranging from a red ale with the bread, to a Killahora apple ice wine produced in Cork that was produced with a perfect piece of Young Buck cheese and divided opinion somewhat with the port-purists, but is definitely going on our Christmas list. Believe the Aimsir hype - Helen

We also managed to bag seats for Allta's soft launch where everything was 50% off. All The Food readers got first dibs on seats and managed to crash their system with the demand, and boy did it live up to the hype. Every dish seemed better than the last, but the handmade pastas in particular were stand outs. The chicken liver scarpinocc was outrageously rich, the gubbeen capellati with maitake were smoky, cheesy, popping parcels of joy, and the barbecued lamb with seaweed papardelle and cais na tire cheese has kicked all other lamb we've eaten this year (with the exception of Aimsir) into the dust. It's made with the last of this year's organic mayo lamb, salted and confited, then smoked over birch and glazed with homemade bbq sauce, black apple purée, brown butter and salted cherry vinegar. That sound you just heard was your own mind blowing - Lisa

We also paid a visit to Old Street in Malahide who had invited us to a Charles Heidseick Champagne dinner. We loved this Champagne and mushroom risotto with fresh truffle, wild trumpet mushrooms and pecorino foam, served with CH's Blanc de Blancs NV, made from chardonnay - Lisa