You know what? I'm a bit torn between telling you about this place and keeping it for myself. Mr FFID and I never book meals in advance and had tried to go to The Vintage Kitchen many times at the last minute but never got a table until last month.
We got there a little early as we were so looking forward to it, my blogger friend Manon highly recommended it to me and I had the feeling that I'd like it. A nice waitress suggested we have a drink next door while we waited for our table, we didn't mind having one of Dublin's best pints of Guinness at Mulligans.
When we arrived back at The Vintage Kitchen, it was buzzling and quite nosy due to the presence of a big group of ladies. It wasn't too bad since we got a table at the back, just beside the kitchen. We could see the chef at work from where we were sitting, he was very busy, focused and looked like he was cooking with passion. I could also see each dish coming out of the kitchen and the waiter saw I was trying to have a glimpse while deciding on what to order, he smiled and showed me the plates so I could see them better. I'm so nosy sometimes!
The restaurant is quite small and the decor simple. You have random object all over the place and the tables are quite close from each other. It's cosy but in a good way.
On the menu you find very affordable lunch options (€5 for small plates, mains for a tenner and desserts for a fiver). In the evening they have a 2 course menu for €25 , you can add a dessert for a fiver if you feel like it. The Vintage Kitchen has a BYO policy with no corkage fee once you order 2 courses from their dinner menu. The menu changes frequently as they use seasonal ingredients, one reason to always come back I suppose.
I suprised myself ordering a vegetarian starter which I never do but when I saw there was St. Tola Organic cheese in it I couldn't resist! An appetising and colourful dish arrived at my table. Ripe Spanish tomatoes, fleshy apricots, some fig, balsamic and apple puree were a match made in heaven with one of my favourite Irish cheese. It was simple but so fresh and tasty.
Mr. FFID's starter was even better. He went for the duck liver creme served in a jar. Some lime jelly brought a zesty kick to it while the crunchy pistachios delivered a contrast in texture. Some toasted bread was served in a little basket on the plate and a divine beetroot and orange butter brought the dish to life. This starter was full of flavours and quite substantial, a real winner!
To follow, I ordered the Slaney river slow roasted lamb shank. The piece of meat was massive, tender and fell off the bone. There was some treacle gravy on top which was delicious, even for me who isn't usually a fan of gravy. The dish was pretty to look at with some tomatoes, slow roasted carrots and a delightful celeriac mash in a mini sauce pan.
Mr. FFID ordered the pan fried Thomastown Kilkenny striploin of (€5 supplement) which he wanted to be cooked rare. I very often find steaks are overcooked in restaurants but this one was cooked to perfection. the meat was plated on a slate topped with roasted beef tomato. Some succulent garlic new potatoes came in a little bucket, a tasty horseradish mayo and some cabbage with bacon cream added some more great flavours to the whole dish.
We were pretty full after all of that but we ended our meal with their vanilla panna cotta with boozy berries, it was delicious. I love simple desserts and if there is a bit of booze in them it's even better!
We loved The Vintage Kitchen! The menu is a celebration of Irish produce and features seasonal ingredients beautifully. Now I understand why it's difficult to get a table at the weekend. I'd recommend it if you want some delicious food that doesn't cost you an arm and a leg, you can even bring your favourite wine to go with it!
Last but not least, they have a 1970's Vinyl record player playing music in the restaurant. You can even bring along your own vinyls, how cool is that?
The Vintage Kitchen
7 Poolbeg Street
This is an independent review, I paid for my meal.