/ The Dublin Guide
Dublin — By Jessica Colley on June 14, 2010 at 6:05 pm
Filed under: cuisine, festival, restaurant

Taste of Dublin Food Festival

A couple months back when I was still wearing my winter coat in April I was dreaming about a sunny weekend in mid-June when the Taste of Dublin Food Festival would take over one of my favorite parks in the city, Iveagh Gardens. This past weekend, Dublin was transformed into a foodie’s haven: just about every restaurant in the city you would want to try was lined up in one place, serving up scrumptious little bites.

The festival ran from Thursday 10 June through Sunday 13 June. I had tickets to go on the Sunday afternoon, but when I woke, menacing grey clouds threatened to erupt and a downpour began just as I left the house for the festival. There was so much rain that it was actually pretty novel, and as we sampled the best from Dublin’s top restauranteurs crouched under tents, it actually turned quite atmospheric.

Here’s my top 3 choices from the restaurant section of the festival:

1. Diep Le Shaker: I had to fight my way to the front of the crowd around the Diep Le Shaker tent to sample a morsel of their Royal Thai cuisine. Fresh, flavorful, spicy little portions reminded me why this atmospheric restaurant has such a good reputation. Steamed sea bass with lemongrass, coriander, fresh lime, and chili was a balanced and light option compared to the heavier dishes on offer from some other restaurants.

2. Salon des Saveurs: This new restaurant from Conrad Gallagher is currently the talk of the town. Ever since the beginning of the festival I had been hearing about their roasted scallop served with confit duck, summer squash puree, and foie gras lollipops. This dish lived up to and exceeded my expectations – I couldn’t resist going back for seconds.

3. Chapter One: This Michelin-rated restaurant had a constant crowd sampling their dishes. It was tough to choose between the black pudding (which came highly recommended) and a fish croquette – so I tried both. The fish croquette won by a margin for me – it was a fantastic blend of flavors. If I had a sweet tooth, I would have gone for the entire trio and tried the dessert as well.

Despite the rain, I enjoyed every mouthful of Taste of Dublin. In true Irish fashion, the drinks were flowing and even on a Sunday afternoon, people were sipping on a craft beer or a glass of champagne. This annual event is one to plan your travels around – but beware that it isn’t cheap. Tickets for just one day are 20 euros for entry only – and then you must purchase a currency called Florins which you exchange for food and drink. The one good thing about the Florins is that it feels like monopoly money, and once you have it all in your hands it’s easy to spend!

After this festival I’m already considering making a reservation at a couple different restaurants. The small bites are just enough to tease you into making the call to book a table – and see what else the chef can do.

Photo Credit: SXC

Tags: cuisine, festival, restaurant

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