Monday 28 January 2013

BANG restaurant, 11 Merrion Row, Dublin 2

A few days before Christmas I spotted a tempting offer on ‘Surprise 5 Course Tasting Menu for Two at The Award Winning BANG Restaurant in Dublin 2 - just €69 ’. The words ‘surprise’, ‘tasting’ and ‘award winning’ made me enter my credit card and €69 later I received my voucher. We were lucky to have got the 2 tasting menus for the price of one and were looking forward to it.

Their pre-theatre menu is at €22 for 2 courses or €27 for 3 courses. In the evening you have the choice between “a la carte” or their 5 course tasting menu at €69 each (suggested wines for €29). They also do afternoon tea on Saturdays for €19.95.

Our waitress informed us that the surprise menu would be explained to us dish by dish as it was brought to our table. She also asked us if either of us had allergies, so Mr. FFID told her about his seafood intolerance. It was thoughtful considering the price we paid for the deal.

We started the meal with a beautiful roast squash soup that warmed us up and nicely opened our appetite. In this creamy deliciousness were hidden a small sage dumpling (a bit too small) and some crunchy hazelnuts.
Then, I was brought a plate of  lightly cured Clare island salmon with horseradish crème fraiche, cucumber, and black sesame paste. It was fresh, colourful, elegantly plated and tasty.

Mr. FFID had a vegetarian dish which mainly consisted of various beetroot with a large portion of Fivemiletown goat cheese. There was also some gorgeous spiced pear and toasted sunflower seeds that were nicely caramelised. It was beautiful to look at and also tasted divine.

We then both had the beef cheek with celeriac, carrot and a creamy spring onion mash.  The beef cheek was slow cooked for over 14 hours, it was so tender and succulent that I was giggling with happiness.

The surprise menu was even better at the sight of our next dish: the cheese. It included a slice of one of my favourite French cheese, Comté and a piece of excellent Durrus Irish farmhouse cheese served with some grapes, crackers and truffled honey. Do I need to say more? Also it was nice to eat some cheese before the sweet course like the French do.

We wrapped this lovely meal up with an dark chocolate pavé which was accompanied by a sweet and delicious passion fruit sorbet and salty caramel. It wasn't very original but it was good, the refreshing sorbet nicely complemented the intensity of the dark chocolate.

Throughout the meal the service was faultless. The dishes came quickly and the staff were efficient. The atmosphere in the restaurant was relaxed, got a bit loud sometimes but probably because the room was big and people were getting merrier.

Because we were using the Menupages deal we were added a 12.50% service but were aware of it. The tasting menu is the best option if like me you prefer smaller portions and to taste a bit of everything without leaving the restaurant too stuffed.

BANG restaurant isn’t cheap and the bill can go up quickly. I think the full price of the tasting menu is too high but then you have cheaper options on the menu to choose from. It's a good place for trying modern Irish cuisine served by excellent staff in a vibrant atmosphere.

How about you? Have you ever been to BANG?  Where did you have the best tasting menu?

BANG restaurant
11 Merrion Row, Dublin 2
(01) 400 4229

This is an independent review, I paid for my meal.