Sunday 11 December 2016

Review: Mr Fox restaurant

There are restaurants that open and make so much noise in terms of PR that it's impossible to book a table for weeks. Then there are places like Mr. Fox restaurant, which appear discreetly in the background of Dublin's buzzing food scene. I tend to rush to the latter category especially if they're in my part of the city, yes... I'm a proud Northsider.

Mr. Fox restaurant opened in what used to be The Hot Stove which I admit having never visited. It's a bold move to open a restaurant in a basement level in this part of the city centre. But I suppose you can look at Chapter One; if the food is good enough people will go anywhere.

Knowing that Mr. Fox was a sister restaurant of The Pig's Ear, I expected the food to be good. We visited on a cold November evening and the place was very quiet and felt very new.

The restaurant is spacious with a beautiful bricked wall with pretty tiles around the fireplace. The furniture is simple but elegant with its brown colour palette.

In terms of menu the lunch and pre-theatre menu are priced at €26 for two courses and €33 for three courses. We went for the 'a la carte' from which I wanted to order everything.

We were first brought some sourdough bread with an earthy whipped cep butter and a delighted parmesan cream.

All the snacks were tempting and we shared a simple plate of lardo in toast with rosemary (€5), you can't really get it wrong with delicious pork fat.

We also had indulgent pig's head croquettes with indulging shreds of pork inside, topped with pickled carrot, gherkin and smoked pear (€8).

My started of bone marrow (€10) was very moreish. The bone was cut length ways and came with snails, big dots of parsley puree, pickled daikon radish (I think) and very thin rings of crispy onion. A brilliant dish served with toasted sourdough.

Mr. FFID's starter was equally scrumptious, a beautiful tartare of deer meat with thin slices of nutty Jerusalem artichoke and redcurrants (€11).

My main of venison (€26) was a stunning dish. The slices of loin were cooked beautifully and served with salsify, one of my favourite vegetables from my childhood. Sadly you don't often see it on menus. It was served with tender and sweet hispy cabbage, a quenelle of smooth mash, and paired perfectly with blackberries and trompettes de la mort mushroom.

Mr. FFID had the partridge dish (€24) which was a flavoursome and comforting dish, with its roast barley and girolles.

I have to be honest, the dessert we chose didn't live up to the standards of the dishes that had come before. We shared the chocolate bouchon (€7) which came with smears of malt custard, milk ice cream and pieces of feuilletine.

Mr. Fox is a strong addition to a part of the city lacking in casual restaurants or modern Irish food. I don't think many people have heard of it yet so it really felt like a hidden gem. Go and try it for yourself!

Mr. Fox restaurant
38 Parnell Square West
Dublin 1
Mr. Fox's website

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