Tuesday 30 July 2013

(Dinner) Camden Kitchen, 3 Camden Market, Grantham Street, Dublin 8

Sometimes it's when you don't hear too much about a place that you get the best surprise, this was the case for Camden Kitchen.

On a Friday night we couldn't get a table at a few restaurants and while walking down Camden Street I said to Mr. FFID 'What about Camden Kitchen?'. Luckily they had a table so we decided to give it a try.

Camden Kitchen is quite a small restaurant on 2 floors. We were sitting on the first floor which looked a bit like a mezzanine with just a few tables. If you can, sit downstairs, it looks more modern and spacious. The decor is very simple and unpretentious, it's all about the food there.

The welcoming waiter gave us the menus. I was nicely surprised by the choice of options. The starters ranged from €6.50 for a fish soup with tomato, saffron and aioli croutons to €10 for new season asparagus, crispy organic hen egg and parmesan. The mains sounded interesting with mention of local Irish produce and prices between €16.50 to €26.

I went for the fresh Connemara crab meat served with confit chicken wings (€10). I thought it was an original combination as you rarely see fish and meat together in a dish, it was certainly different from the usual. A sweetcorn purée was smeared on the plate and there was a nice mix of texture between the crispiness of the chicken wings and the softness of the crab meat. The dish was flavoursome and substantial.

Mr. FFID dug into a generous portion of chicken liver parfait topped with a delightful rhubarb chutney, thinly sliced radishes and some leaves (€8.50). A warm and soft toasted brioche was served with the parfait that himself happily enjoyed.

The mains were the highlights of the evening. I ordered the Tamworth pork chop (€19.50). My pork chop was tender, juicy and enormous, laid on a scrumptious wholegrain mustard mash. Some amazing flavours burst out of a sweetcorn gyoza, soft black pudding and a roasted apple, which were all placed on top of my piece of meat. Wow, something I expected could be bland and simple turned out to be truly delicious.

Mr. FFID's main of rib eye of Maurice Kettyle beef (€26) came with some celery root puree, white asparagus, Ox cheek and boulangere potatoes. The meat was succulent and melt in the mouth, the potatoes crispy on the top and all the different components on the plate worked very well together.

We were pretty full after that, we decided to share probably the most simple dessert on the menu: lemon and poppy seed madeleines (€7) with vanilla ice cream and lemon curd. We enjoyed it but it was maybe a bit too homemade looking compared to the rest of the meal.

Camden Kitchen is a little hidden gem and I recommend a visit. The service was thoroughly excellent: staff were attentive, friendly and smiley. They use fresh seasonal ingredients and the food is executed superbly. If you're looking for an intimate and casual restaurant with good food, this is the place!

Camden Kitchen
3 Camden Market
Grantham Street
Dublin 8
Tel: (01) 476 0125

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