Monday 18 April 2016

Review: Bastible, Dublin 8

Shortly after it opened, Bastible was reviewed by Catherine Cleary from the Irish Times and people went mad! Everyone tried to get a table and the restaurant had to stop taking bookings for a while.

I waited for the madness to calm down but even so I had to book a table about 3 months in advance and got a table for the late service on a Saturday night. Barry Fitzgerald who owns Bastible with his partner was the head chef of one of my absolute favourite restaurants in Dublin, Etto so obviously I had high expectations.

Bastible is open for dinner from Wednesday to Saturday with a three course menu priced at €38 and €35 for the three course lunch menu on Saturday and Sunday. The menu is short with three options per course and additional snacks to chose from.

The design of the restaurant is ultra contemporary and stylish, I'd say has a Nordic influence which doesn't make it particularly cosy. The bathroom has this unfinished look... on purpose of course. There is an open kitchen with the most serene looking chefs and I laughed when Mr. FFID  jokily asked if they were hiding the ugly chefs at the back. Yes, the chefs aren't bad looking at all there!

We were brought some homemade sourdough bread and butter to start but also ordered some pre dinner snacks (€4.50 each).

A small portion of beef tartare was brought along with a spoon,  it was topped witch chervil and a herby sauce. It wasn't the most seasoned tartare but I'm guessing it was because it was served along with thin homemade potato crisps which were quite salty. I liked the idea but thought the tartare lacked a bit of a kick and was a little underwhelming.

The smoked Gubbeen cheese and wheat beer doughnuts were moreish though, they were somewhere between a cheesy gougere and a doughnut; light and at the same time had a delicious creaminess inside, topped with crispy rosemary leaves. 

We went for the same starter, a flavoursome sika deer faggot served with a delicious celeriac puree and lovage leaves. A great starter dish presently simply yet it oozed with flavour.

We also settled on the same main dish, a tender braised lamb neck with kohlrabi, mustard greens and a wild garlic purée. The meat was melt-in-the-mouth tender, beautifully cooked and the flavours worked very well together.

It doesn't happen often but the dessert was my highlight, Mr. FFID and I shared a beautiful white chocolate cremeux with was topped with a buckwheat crumbled and roasted pear.

A slice of Young Buck blue cheese served with crumbly drop scones and smoked apple rounded off the meal very well indeed.

Overall I enjoyed dinner in Bastible; food was well executed, the cooking inventive and they use good ingredients. However I have to admit,  I didn't love Bastible as much as I expected to but that's always the risk when a restaurant gets as much hype as it did. I thought the service and the decor lacked the warmth needed to make it a perfect experience. I think it probably deserves more than one visit though, considering the seasonality of the menu.

111 South Circular Road
Dublin 8
Bastible's website 

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