Taste at Rustic by Dylan McGrath
If you follow The Life of Stuff on Instagram Stories, you probably had a drool over the photo updates of my dining experience at Taste of Rustic by Dylan McGrath. Perhaps I inspired you to book a table? If I didn’t or if you didn’t you’ll most likely want to after you read the following post. Mmmm deliciousness …
A couple of weeks ago Patrick, Smith and I took ourselves to Dylan McGrath’s newest restaurant Taste at Rustic on South Great George’s Street. We were there on invite to try out the new three course “Early Taste” Menu (Early Bird). It was an easy invitation to accept, not just because it was Dylan McGrath’s newest invention, okay mainly, but also because we hadn’t dined there yet … and especially because the description of the restaurant includes influences from some of our favourite visited countries; Japan, Spain and South America.
Taste at Rustic is easy to find. It’s on the third floor of Rustic Stone restaurant.
The decor is dark but as we were there at 5.30pm the natural light that came through the top story windows played tricks with its ambience. Reflected natural light bounced from the leather upholstered chairs, wine glasses, rustic mirrored ceiling and open planned cooking area, to create a warm but cool atmosphere where the contrast of leather and mirror meets wood and brick. I love the look.
Taste at Rustic call it ‘in the room cooking’ and there really is no better way to name it. It’s self explanatory.
The counter of the restaurant extends the whole length of the kitchen cooking areas. Which means that it allows for an experience that is unique, educational and entertaining, should you decide to dine at the counter.
We were seated at a corner couched table which was perfect for our little family. Although an effort was made to accommodate us with a chair booster for Smith, it didn’t fit our seating. This wasn’t a problem because luckily at 18 months we haven’t reached (and hope not to) the ‘terrible two’s’, so dining out without a high chair wasn’t an issue as he only needed a little encouragement to stay seated.
Smith sat happily next to Patrick for half of our meal and then me for the rest, nibbling on the tastes and flavours presented to him.
Our table was simply laid with sparkling wine glasses, chop sticks, cutlery and napkins. We were treated to temaki in style rolls that were packed with avocado, just to get our bellies rumbling and to welcome us to the restaurant.
For starters Patrick chose the Pork Belly Brushed in Tare – braised and finished on the robata grill with quail egg and shiso leaf truffle. The presentation was fantastic. The portion size was generous. The quail eggs were cooked to perfection. The pork belly was delicious, crispy yet tender. The ratio of meat to fat meant that every bite was full of meaty flavour. The best pork belly either of us have tasted.
Although I was more than tempted and very disappointed that I couldn’t order the sushi for starters (I couldn’t eat raw fish at the time of dining). I was more than happy with my choice of Warm Broth of Miso – made with dark miso, spring onion, pumpkin tofu and truffle dressing. I actually had a goo for it as I waited for it to be served. The miso soup was presented in a cup, very traditional in style. I both drank from the cup and ate the soup. It was rich compared to other miso soups I have tasted but it was also moreish. I could imagine it being the perfect pick me up on a cold winters evening.
For main course Patrick ordered the Chicken – rubbed and poached in Peruvian spices, brushed with rosemary infused teriyaki and Japanese sansho pepper. Served with a side of young potatoes baked in lime and sea salt. We do try to order something other than the chicken when we’re dining out as its normally too ‘safe’ an option. Not in this case. Again the portion size was hearty. The chicken was packed full of flavour from the inside out. Tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. Delicious.
For my main dish I chose the Fermanagh Blackened Sirloin – 6oz served ona a warm salt block, brushed with a little miso and sesame powder, accompanied with crispy rise chips rolled in hot sauce and blowtorched shiitake mushrooms. The sirloin is served rare, exactly as it should be and the way I would normally order my steak. However as the plan was for Smith to enjoy some of my main course of sirloin with me, we asked for a robata grill to be brought to the table. We didn’t want to give him rare steak and this way I was able to cook the steak a little longer for him to enjoy. Even with the added cooking time the sirloin was full of flavour and was melt in the mouth tender. Fantastic.
Patrick’s aforementioned baby baked potatoes were enjoyed. However my crispy rice chips were something of a revelation to us both. They were amazing. The perfect sized portion for one person. They were crispy, crunchy, and sweet but deliciously sticky sweet and not sickly sweet.
We decided to share our desserts, so the unanimous decision was made to order the Green Tea Brulee – with pistachio, yoghurt mousse, white chocolate and yuzu ice cream. We also ordered the Chocolate and Japanese Pepper Mousse – with dark chocolate biscuits and dark cocoa chocolate sauce. If I had to choose all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I would however start with the Chocolate Mousse which has a bitterness to it, reflective of the quality chocolate ingredients used. I’d then finish with the Green Tea Brulee which had a sweet and sour flavour, as opposed to the other way around.
What a dining experience! The flavours, the tastes, the combinations, the quality!
It was interesting to observe that Patrick’s choices for starters and main courses were both described as ‘sweet’ and both of mine were described as ‘Unami’ which is savoury. It is very well thought out to include these descriptions as well as the nutritional information such as GF, gluten-free and WF, wheat free especially for those who want to be more adventurous when dining out.
At €39.50 per person, this Early Taste menu is a steal and a dining date you won’t want to stand up. I highly recommend it.
Bríd, looked after us and our table throughout our stay. She was informative, friendly and attentive, which completed our five-star experience.
Both Patrick and I are looking forward to returning. Next time we have our sights set on the Wagyu Steaks and sashimi. I know we won’t be disappointed either.