Forest Avenue, Dublin
A couple of weekends ago I was lucky enough to enjoy a quick trip to Dublin, a city I have never visited before. The £10 flights to get there, seemed too good to be true. Perhaps not the sunniest destination to escape the grey winter weather, but we managed to avoid any rain during our two and a half days exploring the city. Amongst art exhibitions, a rugby match and a trip to the Guinness factory, we managed to stumble upon one of Dublin’s hidden culinary treasures - Forest Avenue. With an unassuming exterior, we popped in, on our way out one morning to book a table for Saturday lunch, the staff were very helpful and we began to look forward to eating there.
We were seated in the window at the bar - perfect for taking photos. The interior was stylish but not over the top, of course there were exposed filament lights - an essential for any restaurant keeping up with the trends it seems. The open kitchen gives the dining area a buzz and you get to see the talented chefs behind the wonderful food we tasted.
A lazy morning meant that we hadn’t eaten breakfast, so when presented with the option of a two, three or six course tasting menu, the six course seemed very appealing.
Our first half hour consisted of a rolling assortment of bites. Without having any of these written on the menu, I really enjoyed guessing what each one consisted of. This surprise element makes eating more exciting, you can’t prepare your taste buds for what is about to come next, as you can when clutching a copy of the menu.
We couldn’t believe our eyes when the dishes on the menu began to arrive, bought to us very friendly and knowledgable staff- in fact one of the waitresses has her own food blog, brimming with restaurant recommendations, we were disappointed only to have met her on the last day. Check out her Instagram here for more restaurant recommendations.
Having settled into the rhythm of being bought dish after dish, our first starter from the tasting menu arrived- Agnolotti of parmesan, pickled walnut, Roscoe onion and mushroom butter, these were two mouthfuls you wish you could have all over again! This was followed by grilled sprouting broccoli, mackerel tartar, Poivrade artichoke with wild garlic yoghurt - this was delicious and definitely the most photogenic of the lot.
Our first main was Cod, Jerusalem artichoke, cabbage, with dashi veloute - the cod was two mouthfuls of giant flakes of silky fish cooked to perfection complemented by the crispy cabbage and artichoke, the dash veloute brought this dish together nicely.
Next I think was my favourite main- Lamb, carrot, preserved lemon, olive and smoked yoghurt, the preserved lemon was not overpowering but gave the dish a citrus punch and the lamb was perfectly pink.
To finish, we were served poached rhubarb, blood orange and coconut rice pudding - this couldn’t be further from the school rice pudding that springs to mind when I saw this on the menu. Although a little too coconutty for me, the sharp blood orange and rhubarb underneath was delicious.
The cheese was another highlight for me, not something I normally choose when I eat out, but I do love seeing inventive cheese board presentations as this certainly was. Galway goats cheese came with home made rustic crackers, apple puree and candied walnut- the perfect way to round off our trip to Dublin.
The total for six courses came to €50 each which was not bad value for the array of food we enjoyed and the friendly service we received.
I would definitely pay Forest Avenue a visit next time you find yourself wondering the streets of Dublin.