Following the Leinster v Scarlets match on a recent Saturday afternoon, we went for a wander into town to pick up a few bits and pieces and a drink while deciding on dinner. It was a bright and sunny evening so we fancied some outdoor dining, ringing Asador they confirmed they had tables outside free and we went along. They have a nice patio area to the front of the restaurant on the corner of Percy Place and Haddington Road.
We were just in time for the early bird menu which is great value at €20 for 2 courses / €24 for 3 courses so we decided to stick with that. To start though we enjoyed a cocktail – the Hendrick’s Basil Smash – a gin cocktail of course – this cocktail is Hendricks Gin, Saint Germain, basil, lemon juice, black pepper. I loved this cocktail mainly due to the slightly savoury tang with the basil and pepper… presented beautifully with a cherry tomato garnish too.
To start I chose the Smoked Duck Breast Salad – beautiful pink duck, hazelnuts, hint of fruit in the dressing, with the blue cheese being a perfect flavour combination. I actually don’t really like strong blue cheeses but this worked and without it, it wouldn’t have been as good as it was. Really well presented too, it tasted just as good as it looked on the plate.
His starter wasn’t as successful – Citrus Cured Salmon with a cucumber chilli salsa and lemon creme fraiche. It tasted of very little, quite bland even with the accompaniments. The piece of salmon was huge so maybe a better quality smaller piece of would have better results in taste.
For mains then, I had a dilemma, I don’t normally like to order chicken when out, we eat enough of it at home but I couldn’t resist this dish, so many of my favourite things – BBQ Breast of Chicken – smoked paprika marintaed breast of chicken, potato gratin, butternut squash and chorizo salsa… and it was a good choice, full of flavours, it lived up to the menu description with ease and I’d have this again and again no problem… The crispy skin of the chicken, and all that chorizo, sitting on top of a squash puree with the potato gratin – it all just worked so well and my mouth is watering just thinking of how tasty this was!
Once again I won the battle of the dishes as he chose the 7oz Flat Iron, served with crispy onion rings, smoked tomato and Asador frites with a choice of sauce on the side. I love to see what is essentially a steak restaurant put a steak on its early bird or pre concert menu with no supplement, this should be the norm. there are great less pricey cuts of beef out there and flat iron is one of them. Except for on this occasion where it was bland, tasteless and just not that great. Yes underneath the huge mound of onion rings there is some meat! Such a pity as it should be good and full of flavour from the asador cooking. It wasn’t just us either as I overheard another table complain to the waiter also so perhaps something to look at. Maybe we were just unlucky on the night we visited.
To accompany all of this we had a bottle of the Californian Beringer Zinfandel. Well there may have been 2 bottles being truthful! Priced at €39 this is reasonable for a very good wine.
We still had some room so decided to share the cheese plate and this was a definite winner… a huge slate, so artistically laid out, fruits, nuts, biscuits, chutneys and great cheeses, served at a good temperature and all for just a €3 supplement on the 3 course menu.
We sat outside on our visit and the terrace area was quiet that evening, just a couple of tables. Inside however was packed – and mainly with what seemed to be bigger groups and a lot of younger groups too. I’m not sure if i was a table of 2 I’d have enjoyed the atmosphere inside. So that’s something I would bear in mind for a future visit. We enjoyed our meal, mine more than his due to my menu choices. The cheese plate was spectacular … the patio is a nice people watching spot too. Coming into Winter though so the time to sit outside is fast dwindling!
Asador | 1 Victoria House, Haddington Road, Dublin 4 | + 353 1 254 5353 | firstname.lastname@example.org