/ The Dublin Guide
Dublin — By Jessica Colley on July 30, 2010 at 12:04 am
Filed under: dining, restaurant, thai cuisine, top-feature

Discovering Thai in Dublin – Diep Le Shaker

The first time I turned down the lane that is home to Diep Le Shaker, I was struck with the sensation that I was on to something good. This Royal Thai restaurant isn’t exactly hidden, but you won’t stroll by it on a walk through Dublin City Centre either. Through friends I had been let in on the secret that awaits down Pembroke Lane: cuisine that is tangy, authentic, spicy and served with style. To break away from traditional Irish food and savor a healthy meal, call and make a reservation at this hot spot the moment you arrive in Dublin.

There are few restaurants that get each detail just right. Beyond its ‘only-people-in-the-know’ location, Diep Le Shaker also scores very high points for decor, atmosphere, service, and quality of food. Call me a sucker for details, but I love the rich red booths and cozy chairs, stylish outfits on the waiters, and candlelight on the tables. You can tell that Dublin’s elite love this atmosphere as well – especially on Friday and Saturday nights when the restaurant is full of well-dressed locals who have been loyal customers for ten years.

On a recent trip to Diep Le Shaker, my experience was taken to a whole new level. Instead of perusing the menu and settling on old personal favorites, I asked the knowledgeable staff for recommendations. Putting my entire meal in their hands, I trusted my server to deliver on Diep Le Shaker’s concept of stimulating the five senses: sweet, salty, hot, sour, and neutral. Authentic ingredients are flown in straight from Bangkok, ensuring that the lively food will transport you to a different place.

Fresh flavors are nourishing and healthy at the same time. For an appetizer, we shared two dishes that both packed such a punch, it was impossible to declare one our favorite. The first was finely shredded duck breast mixed with lemongrass, chili, lime, coriander, and mint and served in lettuce cups. A green papaya salad with fresh lime, roasted peanuts, crispy pork, and coconut rice came next. The combination of these ingredients played on the taste buds and coconut rice cooled and soothed a kick to the tongue. Before the entrees even arrived I was hooked.

Engaging all the senses, the cuisine at Diep Le Shaker satisfies before it reaches your lips. As a plate with whole-steamed sea bass, infused with lemongrass and coriander, and served with chili, lime, and garlic hit the table, aromas once again awakened my appetite. Our other entree was a chicken curry, thick and satisfying, that tempted me to head straight into the kitchen and demand the recipe from the chef. Diep is the perfect place to discover something new – whether you already love Thai food or are willing to let the friendly Irish staff help you explore a whole new spectrum of flavors.

An indulgent evening wouldn’t be complete without dessert and cocktails. While many Thai restaurants fail miserably at desserts – Diep gets this just right as well. A lemongrass and lime parfait was a cool and light finish to the meal. The staff here took genuine pleasure in making recommendations, as evidenced by smiles on our waiter’s faces with each satisfied bite. In my experience, I know a meal is special when I’m still thinking about it weeks later. The coconut rice, the divine chicken curry, and the signature cocktails have been on mind since we departed that Friday evening. I can hardly wait to return, settle into a cozy booth, and see what else the chef has up his sleeve.

If you’re the kind of traveler who would rather rub elbows with Dubliners than fellow tourists, this Thai restaurant will make you feel at the center of the local dining scene in Dublin.

The Basics:

  • Address: Diep Le Shaker, 55 Pembroke Lane, Dublin 2. (map)
  • Reservations: Strongly advised. Call ahead to reserve a table, especially for large groups (excellent round tables are available). Alternatively, fill out an online form here.
  • Opening Hours: Lunch Tuesday – Thursday: noon – 2:30 pm & Friday noon – 5:30pm. Dinner: Tuesday & Wednesday 5 – 10:30 pm and Thursday – Saturday 6 – 11:30pm. Closed on Sunday and Monday.
  • Dress Code: Business casual. However, if you want to get dressed up, you won’t feel out of place!

Menu Options:

  • A la Carte Evening Menu (available any day of the week): Appetizers: €7 – 14.50, Main Courses: €21.50 – 29
  • Evening Value menu (price fixed menu with an option of 2 or 3 courses) is available Tuesday – Friday: 2 courses €21.95 or 3 courses €25.95 (not including drinks or gratuity).
  • Lunch Menu: 2 courses – €15.95,  3 courses – €19.95

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Diep Le Shaker

Disclosure: The author was the guest of Diep Le Shaker for the purposes of this review; the opinions expressed are strictly her own.

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