Friday 27 June 2014

The Woollen Mills, 41-42 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin 1

I usually try not to rush to newly opened places but this time I couldn’t help it. The place was on my side of the Liffey and I have had my eye on it for a while as they have been getting ready to open.

Elaine Murphy from The Winding Stair has just opened the Woollen Mills, at the corner of Liffey Street Lower and Lower Ormond Quay.

The place is cool looking, more casual than its sister restaurant but as stylish with a great industrial vibe to the d├ęcor.

There is a take-away counter selling tea and coffee, soups, salads, sausage rolls, sandwiches as well as baked goods, pastries and breads made in their bakery upstairs.

In the restaurant the room is bright thanks to the huge windows, there is a long bar and an open kitchen. They even have part of their pantry at the very back of the room on the shelves.

The menu is a sectioned in four different categories: fish, meat, vegetables and Gruel (homage to Gruel which used to be on Dame Street a few years ago). There are many items to choose from, it took me while to decide: coddle, ox tongue fritters, curried crab claws on toast, beef cheek burger… This menu is full of heart-warming, belly-warming food, nothing else.

 We ordered Irish craft beers, a Liberties ale for Mr. FFID and I went for a Five Lamps lager.

We started off with the pork scratchings and their homemade apple ketchup (€5). The portion was perfect to share between the two of us, the scratchings were crisp, sprinkled with bacon and the apple ketchup was delightfully sweet and smooth. 

We also shared some Jerusalem artichoke hummus (€7) that was served with crispy sage and lemon roasted potato wedges.

It was a rainy day so I went for the ultimate comfort food: pork belly Mac and Cheese (€15). It came in a large enamel bowl, I dug into the cheesy golden crust straight away to find big chunks of pork belly in my macaroni. It was simply a hug in a bowl, the kind of thing you’d crave for on a dark winter evening.

Mr. FFID’s pork roll (12€) looked majestic, stacked high in the middle of the plate. I was a little jealous but at least I got to taste it: the bun was soft, the pulled pork was tender and everything was so messy with the slaw and dressings dripping onto the plate. Not sure if it was supposed to be a bun or a roll but that’s OK as it was delicious.

Finally we ordered the ‘plate of nice treats’ (€6). There were strawberry and passion fruit marshmallows which we liked. The slice of their peanut butter, oreo and chocolate (tart?) was heaven and the cinnamon bun was also lovely (I’d have that for breakfast any day). I wasn’t a huge fan of the pistachio and almond brittle as it was too sweet for me and stuck to my teeth.

The food in the Woollen Mills is simple but generous and comforting.  I can see it becoming popular with tourists due to its proximity to Ha’Penny Bridge but also with locals looking for some good casual grub on this side of the city centre.

The Woollen Mills
41-42 Lower Ormond Quay
Dublin 1

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