The Vintage Kitchen has been creating quite the buzz lately and was on my (very long) to visit list for a while … the opportunity arose when my sister made a booking for 6 of us, to celebrate my brothers birthday on a Wednesday in early February. I’ve been mulling over this post for the last few weeks now as I just didn’t like it (ducks and hides) – I know that I am now extremely unique as literally everyone else on this planet (possible exaggeration) is raving about it…
We started our evening with a drink next door in Mulligans. The Vintage Kitchen is “Bring your own Wine” and they do not charge any corkage. It’s a small restaurant and our table for 6 was at the back of the room, next to the kitchen area. This is probably one of the negative things that lingered (literally) with me – at the time in the restaurant we didn’t notice, but getting home, every single item of clothing on us, down to scarves, smelled so badly of cooking. I appreciate an open kitchen and a small restaurant has limitations but something in the extraction was not working very well and it really isn’t nice to leave smelling of cooking.
The place itself is quirky with a nice ambience and friendly staff and the most interesting decor including vintage arts and crafts, which can offer on and purchase if you like! The menu is set with 2 courses for €25. We spent a while looking at the menu, getting wine opened, and we were very kindly offered a glass of sparkling wine to start us off which was a lovely touch. The menu is quite varied, with around 5 starters, 5 mains and 3 dessert options.
To start, I decided on the gratin – smoked haddock, chorizo and leek with scallop. A couple of others also went for the same as me with the other starters in the group being the duck liver creme (pate) which came with toasted breads and the St. Tola goats cheese salad with figs. The gratin was an enjoyable dish but quite heavy and turning the clock back I’d probably choose a lighter starter but its hard to fault it as a dish. The duck liver creme was easily the best starter… we all had a taste and it was resounding agreement on that.
Onto the mains – the steak was always going to be a winner for the birthday boy and also for my husband, served on wooden board, with roasted tomatoes, crisp baby potatoes and a pearl onion stew in a little pot to the side.
I decided on the pork belly which was beautifully presented on a circular slate with tomatoes, a homemade tomato ketchup, potatoes and a pureed carrot – there was almost too much going on, on the plate but it worked, just…
The lamb shank was also popular, served with roasted carrots, a celeriac puree mash, crisp baby potatoes and a sticky treacle sauce. And the final dish was fish – hake with caviar on top with roasted vegetables. We all enjoyed the main courses, but there was a lot on each plate – perhaps a little less here would be more. After the gratin to start, I couldn’t even get half way through the large piece of pork belly. I felt so full, I couldn’t even contemplate a dessert.
My sister, husband and Dad decided they did have room for cheese though and ordered the plate to finish off the meal. The cheese was plated in the kitchen and left under the hot lamps so when it arrived to the table it was very warm and melting on the plate. I don’t know why the cheese was left under hot lamps like this as it ruined the cheese and that was a pity.
Something about The Vintage Kitchen is amiss for me… but I do know its getting great plaudits from the industry and restaurant goers including being listed just recently in the McKennas Guides ‘100 Best Restaurants in Ireland 2014’ – I’m delighted to see new restaurants in Dublin and Ireland doing well – this one just isn’t for me…
The Vintage Kitchen – 7 Poolbeg Street, Dublin 2 – firstname.lastname@example.org – (01) 6798705