ARE YOU STRESSING ABOUT BOOKING THAT CHRISTMAS DINNER YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BOOK WEEKS AGO? Well, c’mere to me.
The past few weeks I’ve been booking up the whole damn city for family get togethers, work lunches and Christmas reunion dinner parties so I know where all the good Christmas Menus are at.
€48.00 for three courses
The food here is special – make sure to get the ‘home smoked salmon, dill pickled cucumber, horseradish butter and Guinness bread’. You will want a whole loaf of that bread though it’s addictive. They always do an amazing veggie option too, such as ‘pumpkin dumplings, chanterelle mushrooms, duck egg, smoked gubbeen fondue, kale, mushroom broth’. Plus there’s a cool cocktail bar upstairs in the style of 1970’s living room so you don’t need to leave the building if you don’t want to. I’m thinking of those new Christmas heels girls!
€23 for 2 courses (Early Bird Menu)
If you want to avoid the madness of town, why not hit 8A Brasserie in Monkstown and hit a local pub afterwards in the village. I love going to local pubs over Christmas and not having to contend with the 6 deep queue to get at the bar like the pubs in town. 8A is such good value and the food is moreish. Their crisp fried calamari, wasabi and lime aioli is exceptional and the fish & chips are some of the best there is out there. Beer battered fresh haddock, homemade tartar sauce, pea/mint puree and homemade chips (crucial).
KINARA KITCHEN, Ranelagh
€21.95 for three courses earlybird (up until 8pm)
If you are doing a Thursday night dinner, you could hit Kinara Kitchen for an early bird. The best pakistani food around and a nice change from all the Christmas themed menus served everywhere else. Try the ‘prawns shasli’ to start; ‘prawns marinated with ginger, garlic and mixed spices cooked over chargrill with onions and pepper’. Then try the ‘Makanwala Murghi’ (buttered chicken) barbecued chicken breast flavoured with ginger and garlic, butter, onion, spices, dry fenugreek, finished with a tomato cream sauce and garnished with sun-dried tomatoes. It’s my favourite butter chicken in the land – I can’t go there without ordering that. I’ve done it once before and the grief I felt was not worth it. Oh and they have a cocktail bar upstairs too!
€47.50 for three courses
One of my favourite things about Coppinger is the atmosphere. There is always such a good buzz, day or night. Oh and the Flo and Basy cocktail; HELLO LOVER. Gin, elderflower liqueur, agave, lime juice and basil, it’s my favourite cocktail in Dublin. The food is always great, although I’d like them to change up the menu a bit more often. I’ll be ordering ‘grilled halloumi & roast pumpkin salad with caramelised onion dressing, and sunflower seeds’ to start, followed by the ‘roast monkfish, cauliflower purée and smoked pancetta when I’m in over Christmas.
HANG DAI – on my hit list
A la carte menu only.
This chinese restaurant only opened a couple of weeks ago but has great people behind it, the former head executive chef of Luna and Super Miss Sue – I’m only dying to try it! It’s looks like great fun, check out the website to see the decor, it’s like something out of Blade Runner and the food porn is incredible. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend it myself as I’ve tried twice to get a table with no luck so far. Photo courtesy of the Hang Dai website.
€40 for three courses
They do a glass of prosecco on arrival for dinner groups – eh sold! And if you don’t want dessert on the set menu, you can have a glass of prosecco instead! Do you sense a theme here? Again, good atmosphere for a group and there is a great bar there too for…guess…COCKTAILS! Get a pornstar martini or an espresso martini…and you’ll be having the best night of your life within a half hour. They do sharing plates of starters such as larb gai, prawn gyoza and they have a good selection of thai fusion main courses such as lemongrass chicken and shaking beef. If you book the Christmas menu you get free access to the Opium Rooms upstairs, so again, no traipsing around town or queuing to get into other pubs. Photo courtesy of the Opium website.
THE LITTLE KITCHEN
€45.00 for three courses
Love this place and it’s BYO! I bloody love a good BYO. Bring your favourite prosecco or wine and there is no corkage fee. The food is so good, on the current Christmas Menu, try the ‘naturally smoked haddock & chorizo risotto with leeks & garden pea’ to start and maybe the ‘grilled fillet of beef, chestnut mushroom & gorgonzola gratin, horseradish & chilli emulsion with sautéed potatoes’ as your main course. It’s tiny though, so if you book a table for 8 people, you take up half the place.
If you want me to organise your Christmas dinner night out, giz a buzz – I can be paid in prosecco!