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Gastronomic Ireland Part 3 – Dublin Fine Dining Restaurants

Gastronomic Ireland Part 3 – Dublin Fine Dining Restaurants

medium_16-DT-CD-2005Dublin is a large city, so it affords all types of gastronomic experiences, depending on your mood. This post will cover my favorite Dublin dine dining restaurants experiences. As many other foodies have discovered before me, Dublin restaurant scene is very sophisticated, complete with Michelin Star Restaurants. As I mentioned in my first post, Ireland cuisine is influenced by several major trends the localvore movement, international influence and modernization of traditional recipes. These three factors play a strong role in the fine dining scene in Dublin.

Restaurant Association Ireland

The Restaurant Association, Ireland recently awarded dairy producer Gleneilen Farm with a local food hero award. Local producers are the heart of Ireland culinary renaissance .. Image courtesy of Restaurant Association, Ireland.

Competition among restaurants  is probably one of the biggest factors forcing Dublin restaurants to up their game. The prize is a savvy Dublin food consumer and flocks of international tourist who investigate the restaurants on TripAdvisor.com before stepping foot in the restaurant.  The food blogger community in Dublin has been aggressively reviewing Dublin Chefs and keeping restaurants on their toes.


Bang Restaurant

One of my favorite Dublin fine dining restaurants is Bang!  This restaurant provided us one of my favorite meals in the past year. I would compare say Bang is on par, if not better, than Michael Mina in San Francisco. In my opinion Bang, embodies the Irish Culinary Renaissance that I mentioned in my previous article.

Ireland Dublin Bang exterior

My favorite Dublin Fine Dining restaurant was Bang off Merrion Row

Ireland Dublin Bang Chef Yeung

Head Chef Phil Yeung, has established partnerships with local farmers to ensure he receives their best seasonal offerings. Chef Philip’s said that his dishes are, “…a tribute to Irish food producers. My vegetables should still be in the ground 12 hours before they are in the kitchen.”

Here is what we tasted based on Bang’s “The Gathering” tasting menu:

Géarú Goile, Gaelic for Amuse Bouche, is a pistachio cream and potato foam appetizer that is meant to transition the palate from whatever you were eating previously. This dish was light, refreshing and playful. It was paired with the Prosecco La Contessa Sumante. The gentle bubbles from the Presecco played nicely with the foam and nut toppings.

Ireland Dublin Bang Amusche Buche

Géarú Goile, Gaelic for amuse bouche


Second course – Clare Island Salmon- This dish is a modern homage to Irish salmon and is served two ways. The first preparation is cured Clare Island salmon, which was rich and smooth with the natural flavor of the salmon taking center stage. The second item was the salmon tartar which was pure in flavor. It was extremely fresh and harmonized well with the cured flavors of the other salmon. The plate was garnished with salted cucumber, local radish, a clever use of grated frozen horseradish. What really worked with this dish is the multiple number of flavor pairing options, by mixing and matching each of the garnishments with each of the salmon preparations, it was like enjoying several different dishes at once.  It was paired with Domaine des Corbillieres; Sauvignon Blanc, Loire Valley

Ireland Dublin Bang Salmon

One of the better tastings of salmon that we have ever experienced. Fresh ingredients are the central focus of the dish


Third Course Killkeel  Harbor John Dory- The smooth and naturally buttery John Dory is pan sauteed and  served with a shellfish bisque sauce, broad beans, prawn and confit potato. All I can saw was wow! Tthe sweet buttery fish protein was accentuated with sweet clam sauce. The Nicolas Maillet Macon Villages, 2011 Chardonnay had a nice oak finish that complimented the flavors of both the Dory and clams. This was my absolute favorite dish of the tasting.

Ireland Dublin Bang John Dorey

I loved the rich clam sauce that married the buttery flavors of the John Dorey and prawn


Fourth Course Skeganore Farm Duck -This duck dish is a modern dish with a subtle nod to traditional Irish cuisine. The duck breast was pan seared, then roasted creating a crisp skin and juicy meat .  It was served with rustic local white turnip, rhubard, and glazed endive. The plate was dressed burnt rhubarb gel and duck jus. The Cork region duck had a smooth clean flavor, with the remarkably clean flavor of duck popping out on the flavor profile. The accompaniments added the right notes of earthy bitters and sweetness to round of the flavor. The burnt rhubarb gel made this dish pop, but adding a layer of sweet that tied together the protein and earthy flavors.   The Australian Shiraz, Little Rascal, Goulburn Valley, Australia 2011 added the right fruit forward punch to the dish; a perfect pairing.

Ireland Dublin Bang Duck

Delicious West Cork Duck, complimented with root vegetables.


Fifth course Hereford Ranch Beef – This dish was a study modern and traditional Irish cuisine. Beef was a rare meal for peasant Irish people in the past and often they would settle on off-cuts of beef. Chef Phil Yeung uses Hereford Farm beef tongue and cheek. These ingredients are slow cooked in Guinness and Red Wine. This dish was garnished with rainbow carrots, celeriac, horseradish mash potato and turnip tops. The flavors and textures were perfect. Don’t be afraid of these cuts of beef. The tongue reminds you of braised short ribs and the check is very similar to flank steak. The Guinness and red wine create a very rich, chocolaty smooth flavor with notes of berry.  The Cabernet Sauvignon Chateau Puy Castera, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux, 2007 helped to create a balance in this rich dish and helps to accentuate the natural beef flavors.

Ireland Dublin Bang Beef

Bang’s version of “Tongue and Cheek”. The flavors of the beef were amazing and the sauce was just there to accentuate.


Sixth Cource Cheese of the Day was of course Irish Cheeses from local producers, Duras Farmhouse cheeses and Killeen’s Farmhouse cheeses. The Duras and Compte are both semi-soft cow’s milk cheeses were served with grapes, truffled honey, local apple compote, and house made crackers. The Malbec Gouguenheim, Mendoza, Argentina 2011, was a nice choice to break up the rich flavors and paired nicely with the sweet accompaniments.

Ireland Dublin Bang Cheese

I love Irish cheese!


Seventh Course  Stem Ginger Panacotta – This dessert course was impressive, both from a presentation and flavor. The centerpiece of this dessert is a gel tube made from stem ginger and stuffed with panacotta and dressed with a sweet rhubarb soup. The dessert was accompanied with macerated strawberries, strawberry sorbet, pistachio gel, and meringues. I liked the balanced flavors of the gels sweet and tangy flavors mixing with the rich panacotta. The wine accompaniment was  Chateau Jolys, Jurancon 2010, which has a dry flavor that balanced out the sugars in the dessert.

Ireland Dublin Bang Dessert

The dish was so pretty I had a hard time taking a bite.

For more information visit: http://www.bangrestaurant.com

Bang on Urbanspoon

The Gathering


The Gathering Specials : You will notice that many restaurants are featuring “The Gathering” tasting menus to support Tourism Ireland’s PR campaign.These menus are typically tasting menus and feature the best items on the restaurants menu. Like Bang,  the samplings will leave you full and will provide a culinary tour of Ireland. Note that if you download “The Gathering” App for your smartphone, you can get a discount on Bang’s tasting menu. 

The Pig’s Ear

Ireland Dublin Pigs Ear nteriorThe Pigs Ear is one the hottest trending restaurants in Dublin right now. The entrance feels like you are entering a secret supper club, you enter through a pink door and ascend a narrow stairway leading you to a loft converted into a restaurant. It feels like I was entering an exclusive, popup dinner at the Wolves Mouth in Los Angeles.  With tables overlooking the Trinity College Athletic field, it is perfect at sunset.  This restaurant was recommended to me by no less than three different Dublin Chefs and a gaggle of  Irish food bloggers raving about their supper high quality food. Here is what we ordered:

Ireland Dublin Pigs Ear Exterior


Ireland Dublin Pigs Ear goat cheese2

Whipped St.Tula Ash Goat cheese – We experienced all types of fried goat’s cheese preparations in Ireland, although the Pig’s Ear had one of the best presentations. The whipped goat cheese is piped into a canolli shell and capped it with fried rye crumbs. I loved the artful presentation with fresh vegetables. I loved the balanced flavor and texture of goat’s cheese against the shell.

Ireland Dublin Pigs Ear goat cheese


Thyme Roast Chicken Breast– The chicken breast sous vided to lock in the juices within the muscle. The breast was then browned in a hot pan, to add additional flavor and lock up the juices under the skin. The quality of the chicken was very high, with tender flesh and herbal notes in the meat. Daniele and I both noted that this was probably one of the juiciest pieces of chicken that we ever experienced. It was served with butter roasted potatoes centers, truffle sweet corn, and toasted hazelnuts.

Ireland Dublin Pigs Ear chicken

Pork Belly -This dish was one of the better pork belly dishes I have experienced. Thick cut pork belly was slow cooked in its own juices and then pan seared to give it a crispy crackle on the exterior. The belly was accompanied with sweet pears and salt baked celeriac (celery root). To the side,  they also provided a lovely house made black pudding. a classic Irish dish is made from congealed pig’s blood. Trust me it sounds scary, but the flavor is incredible.

Ireland Dublin Pigs Ear pork belly


The pork belly was served with a side dish that stole the show, barley risotto. The barley was slow cooked to al dente and made into a creamy risotto style dish. It was mixed with burnt pair and fried bacon cracklings. This was the most innovative dish I experienced on my trip and I will be attempting to make this at home.  The texture layering rotated from smooth, to semi-firm to crisp. The flavor layers rotated from earthy, salty to sweet.

Ireland Dublin Pigs Ear pork belly barley risotto


Warm 70% Chocolate Tart with Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream – The dark chocolate tart had a firm, yet creamy texture. The flavor was of intense chocolate , which permeates your taste buds. The house made salted butter caramel ice cream was creamy and had flavor elements of  sweet, savory and salty. The ice cream broke up the intense chocolate tart, but also accentuated the chocolate flavors, bringing balance to the desert. The best part of this dessert was the chocolate flavor pop-rocks on top.

Ireland Dublin Pigs Ear dessert


For more information, please go to their website: http://www.thepigsear.com/

Pig's Ear on Urbanspoon



Bono’s Influence on Dublin Fine Dining  – Several years ago Bono and Guitarist “The Edge” purchased The Clarence Hotel along the Lifey river. They completely renovated the hotel. The restaurant in the hotel, “The Tea Room” became an overnight draw for flocks of tourists (and Dubs) hoping to catch a glimpse of Bono, while eating wild mushrooms tortellini in a peanut cappuccino sauce.  U-2’s recording studio is just around the corner and the band is often seen in the restaurant while recording albums.  Bono and The Clarence Team, noticing food trends,  decided to renovate the restaurant and bring in two dynamic Chefs , Oliver Dunne and Rory Carville. The restaurants will be renamed “Cleaver East” and will open in August 2013. Based on their restaurant blog, I expect to see a menu that is a hybrid of Bang and The Pig’s ear. 

My other recommendations for Dublin Fine Dining Restaurants: So little time and so many restaurants to try; I will just have to come back  😉

Chapter OneChapter One – A Michelin Star restaurant, which features “modern Irish cooking with a flair for Irish hospitality.” 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1 http://www.chapteronerestaurant.com



The Greenhouse – Fresh seasonal ingredients are the center of this restaurant’s menu. St. Stephens Green Dawson St, Dublin 2 http://www.thegreenhouserestaurant.ie/home.php




Other Gastronomic Ireland Posts

About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.


  1. Everything looks great – my husband was in Ireland for 2 years a number of years ago and we plan to go back someday soon – love the information provided here, hopefully we will be lucky enough to try some when we are back in ireland!!

  2. Looked like you had a great time diving into the culinary treats of Ireland!

  3. Wow, your descriptions and pictures make me feel like I’m there… except it’s hard to taste through the computer :)

  4. Christy Garrett

    All of this food looks so good, especially, the chocolate tart dessert.

    I was shocked that the Band restaurant serves seven course meals but from the looks of the portions they did look relatively small.

  5. Besides the food looking so good, the presentations are amazing!

  6. Great article. As I am going to Ireland next year, I will bookmark this one.

  7. Boy, oh boy, does this food look great!

  8. Wow! That’s a lot of food. It’s always interesting to see what is served in restaurants in different countries. We should all be adventurous about food when traveling.

  9. Daniele Holmberg

    Great article my love. We thoroughly enjoyed each of these places. I love your mention about how Bono has influenced Dublin Food! Too bad we never made it out to his hotel!

  10. You ALWAYS make me hungry…thanks got blogs don’t make fat 😉

  11. Lot’s of cool looking dishes! Thank you for sharing them!

  12. Norma [email protected], Grow & Strenghten Your Business ONLINE

    Looks like you had a great time in Dublin, great photos. Fine dining every day? I could live with that! :)

  13. Alexandra McAllister

    WOW! What great pics and descriptions! I’d love to go there! “Bang” definitely would be #1 on my list. Thanks for sharing this amazing post! Love it!

  14. Lisa Frederiksen - BreakingTheCycles.com

    Wow, wow, wow – amazing! And your photos are incredible – really makes one feel as if they’re about to pick up the fork and dig in! Thanks for sharing your food adventures!

  15. You’ve made me hungry with all of the wonderful pictures of food.

  16. The warm chocolate tart with the salted caramel ice cream – whoa!

    I have now decided I want to be a food writer! :) Everything looked delicious.

  17. Vatsala Shukla

    My ultimate favorite is the warm chocolate tart with salted caramel ice cream. (I love chocolate)

    Just looking at the pictures has made me hungry! Thank you for sharing with us, your readers, Tom.

  18. Reading this made me so hungry. Some of the food looked better than anything I have eaten in years. I am currently traveling the world and when I get to Dublin I will be sure to check out the Bang restaurant. The food looks amazing. Thanks for the detailed post and great pictures.

  19. Robin Strohmaier

    Wow, Tom! The photos and your descriptions are amazing. Seven courses sound amazing, too! If I do make it to Ireland one day, I will definitely look up the Bang.

  20. Wow. Having grown up in an Irish family, I am constantly amazed at how different Irish cuisine is now than with what I grew up with. I am so looking forward to traveling through Ireland and enjoying the “reinvention of Irish cooking” firsthand.

  21. Can you ship me some of the cheeses ASAP (Smile). I love cheese and this sounds so good.

  22. I was going to leave a comment on how beautiful that food looks but I got hungry and went to make myself some …..

  23. Moira Hutchison

    Pure awesomeness! Thanks for sharing your experiences – your descriptions and excellent photos provide a treat for the senses :) I particularly liked the deserts (but maybe that’s ‘cos I’m feeling a bit tired this afternoon!)

  24. Thank you for sharing the beautiful food art. I can feel the amount of love and creativity and effort that is expressed in these dishes, Tom.

  25. Ah, “My vegetables should still be in the ground 12 hours before they are in my kitchen.” One of the secrets of really fine food! The duck from your Bang tasting really jumped out at me … although all the rest looked mouth-watering as well. (I happen to love duck. And rabbit.) Great reportage, Tom!

  26. I love your slogan- life is too short for bad food and cheap wine- brilliant! great info thanks- keep them coming

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