Wednesday 5 June 2013

Anglers Rest, Strawberry Beds, Dublin 20

I’ve been in Dublin a few nights this week and on the first night we came dangerously close to eating in the hotel. Luckily an Irish colleague suggested a venue and this catastrophe was narrowly avoided. The Anglers Rest is a great old pub in an area of Dublin called Strawberry Beds, and the location is every bit as lovely as it sounds. The pub is run by Wrights, famous for Irish seafood, their signature restaurant in Howth has long been on my list of ‘places to eat at’, but so far have only managed a smoked salmon sandwich at their airport concession.

I shared starters with a mate, I had oysters and he had crab. The oysters were super-fresh and super-tasty, with a simple red wine vinegar and shallot accompaniment. Given that I was sharing I only got three oysters, I could easily have eaten a dozen. The crab was every bit as good and was served with some lovely bread (Irish bread is always great). This dual-starter was really showing off Irish seafood at its very best.

A sirloin steak (rare, obviously) for main course, drenched in tarragon butter and served with fried onions and mushrooms. If my starter was a great example of Irish seafood, this was great Irish beef, incredibly flavoursome with a fantastic texture. The chunky chips that were served with the steak were big and tasty and the peppercorn sauce complemented both perfectly. The only disappointment was the small serving of the peppercorn sauce, it just wasn’t enough for me; and only at the end of the meal did I realise that a colleague had left his. Gutted!

Dessert started with some bad news: “we don’t have any Eton Mess left sir”, which was a crushing blow. The antidote turned out to be an excellent bread and butter pudding with an equally excellent vanilla ice cream. A beautifully cooked individual portion with the perfect ratio of constituent parts (i.e. plenty of sultanas).

In summary, a fantastic find. I’m sure Dubliners reading this (I know there are a couple at least) will be very familiar with the Anglers Rest but until last night I wasn’t. It will from now on be an important part of my Dublin food repertoire! Recommended.

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