In the Irish Independent this week (which now has a paywall btw so no more free restaurant review content unless you hand over your credit card details), Katy McGuinness *finally* has a good vegan experience at Glas on Chatham Street. This is off the back of giving Beast (now closed, no surprise) a trouncing saying "vegans deserve better", and a better but not overly enthused take on Sova Vegan Butcher saying "nothing will convince me that meat substitutes are as tasty as meat itself." Glas on the other hand is a "resolutely fake-meat-free zone ... serving tasty food that just happens not to include meat or fish". Whoop!
Tempura shimeji mushrooms in beer batter with herb salsa were "utterly delicious", barley risotto with scallions, smoked paprika and Jerusalem artichoke was "nicely balanced", and chickpea and polenta fries came with a fermented black garlic mayo that she'd like to buy by the jar. A few minor complaints - sweetcorn and jalapeno fritters were "on the brink of leaden", rainbow carrots with goats cheese creme fraiche, hazelnut salt and zhug needed more astringency, and baked squash with potato rosti and a crisp hen's egg lacked cohesion. A deconstructed tropical Eton mess with meringue shards, rum, pineapple, coconut cream and passion-fruit sorbet gave no hint it was a vegan version - "a win", and she says she likes what Glas are doing, giving them 8/10 for food and value. Read her review here.
In the Irish Times Catherine Cleary ventured to Stepaside for brunch at another new opening, neighbourhood restaurant Woodruff. She describes them as "ambitious", starting with making their own sourdough and churning their own butter - "a league apart" from "the bottled egg and buckets of mayonnaise brunch chancers". A "generous" full Irish, fluffy sweet buttermilk pancakes, and a bowl of granola with Velvet Cloud yoghurt all brought "contentment", while her more lunchy white pollock with seaweed gnocchi, baby leeks and celeriac "exceeds expectations". A Scotch egg with Andarl pork meat, a gooey egg and panko breadcrumbs was "brilliantly executed", and golden crisp chips were "excellent", as was the accompanying kimchi mayonnaise. A crème brûlée with shortbread was "good", and she says Stepaside has got itself "an excellent restaurant", giving it 9/10. Read her review here.
In the Irish Examiner Leslie Williams found himself in the position of having a stinking cold but needing to write a restaurant review, so there was only one thing for it - fish and chips. And where does a food critic go when they want fish and chips? Fish Shop, of course. And there's none of your smoked cod or battered sausages around here. We're talking smoked haddock croquettes ("creamy and rich"), squid sliders ("squeaky fresh and tender") and deep-fried brill and John Dory, with batter "feather-light and supremely crispy". Chips were good but could have been crispier (a common Fish Shop complaint), and dessert of lemon posset was "luscious" but refreshing. Much praise too for the wine list that "delivers much more than it promises", and he calls it "a casual but very high quality fish and chips restaurant, giving it 9/10 for food, wine and value. (Review not currently online but should be soon here)
In the Sunday Independent Lucinda O'Sullivan is at her favourite restaurant, where she seems to eat every week according to Instagram, Rasam in Glasthule. She previously said she'd eat her last meal here and describes it as a "home away from home", saying she couldn't wait to try their new menu. Mumbai-style pan-seared scallops with green pea purée and mango chutney were "divine", Delhi magic mushrooms with ginger, garlic and morels were "heavenly", and a Manshari Thali (selection of small dishes) is describes as "a complete meal". Lucinda herself had a second starter instead of a main, Mala Jhinga - large Indian Ocean prawns with mace, cardamom, cream cheese, avocado and greens (no verdict but presumably thumbs up), with a side of okra ("another favourite"). Again just a description of the dessert of saffron-flavoured ice-cream with sweet vermicelli and shiny, glowing basil seeds, but she says "I'd eat in Rasam every night if I could", and she's making a decent effort. (Review not currently online)