Restaurants run on a different calendar to the rest of the world. While most of us were back to work in early January, Instagram and Twitter became awash with restaurants gleefully announcing that they were closing for the night for their annual staff Christmas party, or some even closing for extended periods for their belated, and well-deserved, Christmas breaks. Refreshed and eager, the chefs are back at the pass and it looks like loads of them spent their time off dreaming up new dishes to lure us, and our much longed-for January pay packets, off our couches and onto their restaurant seats.
1) "Remy" From China Sichan
Choosing to eat at a Chinese restaurant often means accepting the fact that you won’t be having dessert. China Sichuan is a rarity - a Chinese restaurant with seriously good food that has a dedicated and talented pastry chef. Karen Smith created this playful dessert to celebrate Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rat. Christened "Remy", it’s filled with caramel, cognac, sesame, and ginger, but you’ll have to be quick as it’s only on the menu until February 1st.
2) Truffled Mac And Cheese From Boco
The gang at Boco on Bolton Street are experts at cooking with fire, mainly when making their wood-fired pizzas. They’ve added some new small plates to their menu this month, and this insanely cheesey truffled mac is on our February bucket list. It’s loaded with a mix of Toonsbridge fior di latte, truffled pecorino, Knockanore cheddar, and mascarpone for a serious injection of cheese oomph.
3) Smoked Salmon From Urbanity
There’s definitely a stretch in the evenings and, while it hasn’t been upgraded to a 'Category 2 Grand Stretch' just yet, the glimmer of hope is definitely there. New from Urbanity in Smithfield, smoked salmon is served with soy and sesame-glazed tenderstem broccoli, confit potatoes, and a lemon and dill yogurt dressing in a dish that will add some much-needed sunshine to your life.
4) Roast Venison From Peploe's
Peploe’s has been enjoying a surge in interest recently, thanks to a consistent stream of positive write-ups from reviewers on the food coming out of Graeme Dodrill’s kitchen. Several new menu additions were announced last week, but the one that we’ve not been able to stop thinking about is this roast Wicklow venison with red wine borlotti bean stew, cavolo nero, and a gherkin and walnut jus.
5) Milk And Honey Sundae From The Café At Shelbourne Social
The team in Shelbourne Social haven’t just added new menu items, they’ve added an entire café which opened last week with surprisingly little fanfare. Aimed at the lunch and coffee crowd, the café opens each afternoon from Tuesday to Friday. The menu has a range of sandwiches, soups, salads, and lunch plates but the desserts caught our eye because of the heavy focus on soft serve ice-cream - which is totally fine by us. There are lots of options like lemon meringue, coffee float and blackberry shortcake, but this Milk and Honey Sundae with honeycomb, shortbread, fudge pieces, sea salt, and Irish honey looks like an upgrade on a much loved classic.