Food news: The Green Room at DIT Cathal Brugha Street
A few weeks ago I went along to a Hogwarts-themed dinner in The Green Room at DIT's Cathal Brugha Street campus, put on by third year students from the college's Culinary Arts degree course.
Head chef Julia Olkovitz supervised the kitchen team, while Maitre D' Deborah Ryan was in charge of front of house. The standard of both the food and service was excellent, on a par with (and better than) many Irish restaurants. The food arrived on time, our server made just the right amount of conversation but not too much, and the evening passed without a hitch, despite the team having to deal with no-shows and last-minute adjustments to the numbers of diners at several tables (including my own).
To begin, the kitchen served a 'Golden Snitch' pork belly croquette with mustard mayonnaise, followed by 'Kreacher's Onion Broth'. The fish course was 'Slytherin Cod' with dill, pea and an olive tuille served with beurre blanc, while the main course was a 'Feast of Duck' with beetroot, red cabbage, sweet sultanas and a side of mashed potato. Dessert was 'Forbidden Forest chocolate and cherry mousse' with port namelaka and vanilla sea salt ice-cream.
Anyone can book into The Green Room for these special themed lunches and dinners, and there is a regular, more simple lunch service which welcomes guests, as well as a college bakery, which is open to the public.
Upcoming themes include a re-run of the Hogwarts menu (lunch on March 7 and 8, and dinner on the 8th). Food fight: A Modern Mess is the theme on February 28 (lunch and dinner) and March 1 (lunch only), with a menu inspired by modern art, with each plate juxtaposing 'mess and finesse' and representing a vibrant piece of art. On March 14 (lunch and dinner) and 15 (lunch only), the theme is A Palate of History, with each course based either on a famous person or a historical event. Dessert will be Boston Tea Party, and there's a digestif named after British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. Other courses are inspired by wartime rationing, and the main course is rabbit, with a fine dining twist.
The five-course tasting menu is priced at €18, with house wine (Chateau Meaume 2014, a classic Bordeaux blend and a 2016 Picpoul de Pinet) €16 a bottle, and cocktails (€4) also available. For the Hogwarts' night, these included the 'Phoenix Feather' (a gin-based cocktail with Campari and grapefruit) and 'Felix Felicis', a combination of Prosecco and ginger beer. To book: (01) 402 4344.
WHISKEY AT SUESEY ST
A Whiskey Dinner at Dublin's Suesey Street on February 22 will see each course paired with a different whiskey, including West Cork Glengarriff Bog Oak Cask, Irish American Original, and Method and Madness Single Pot Still from the micro-distillery at Midleton. €55 per person. sueseystreet.ie
On Saturday, March 3, chef Stephen Ferris is putting on a special dinner at Underground Dining in Bangor, showcasing 12 Irish producers. The six-course tasting menu will be accompanied by matching wines, for an all-in price of £70pp. For bookings, call 0044 (0) 2891477788.
FERMENTED BLACK GARLIC
The Chan Chan range of Asian sauces and condiments from chef Kwanghi Chan includes a fermented black garlic paste made by hand in a stone pestle that is utterly addictive. Use it on crackers, with roast fish or chicken, or in salad dressings. €12.99 from the Asia Market. chanchan.ie