THE TASTE AT RUSTIC
If you’re a fan of reality food television, you’ll be familiar with the name Dylan McGrath. You may know him from Masterchef Ireland, but the award winning celebrity chef is famous for his cooking style, which is centred on visually pleasing dishes cooked in the correct manner. We were able to visit The Taste of Rustic while we visited Dublin and my goodness, it was not a meal, but a very lavish and exquisite experience we won’t forget.
The restaurant is on the top floor of a three story building, each housing a different section. Each floor was HEAVING! We went up to the top floor to be greeted by passionate and friendly staff (with a great sense of humour too!) who were more than happy to help.
The restaurant is a fusion between modern European and Japanese food, with a dash of Peruvian styled. The open kitchen created a hip but relaxing atmosphere. The decor was contemporary with it’s slick and bronze, mirror-tiled ceiling, their black leather seating, wood and red brick walls.
We started off with the cocktail menu, but before I start, let me say that they have an extensive wine menu. They have so many different types of wine you can order by the glass – the whole wine menu is 20 pages long…
Anyway, we stuck to our cocktails – I got the ‘Pink Peppercorn Sour’ (€9) which is a bittersweet Vodka based drink with notes of honey and vanilla and a fresh sharp finish of pink peppercorn. Apparently, this is the ideal drink to start your evening with as it awakens your palette, and cleanse it between the dishes! My mum enjoyed this one more than I did. She ordered herself a the ‘Gin Garden’ (€10) but with Vodka instead of Gin. This one was shaken apple and cucumber with St Germain elderflower liqueur. I adored this one! The elderflower made it super fresh and delicious.
Each of the dishes on the menu is designed to represent and categorised as one of the five tastes – sweet, salt, bitter, umami and sour. The menu is very big a little confusing but asking the waiters helps a lot. The sushi dishes are €4 PER sushi, so fair warning, the dishes look amazing but your wallet may not at the end of the meal. We ordered the salmon nigiri, smoked mackerel, and tuna akami. The sushi was served on a salt stone and each piece was already flavoured so they didn’t come with any soy sauce or wasabi. You could tell the fish was fresh because there wasn’t an overly fishy smell at all. They were incredibly fresh and they melted right in your mouth.
- BLOW TORCHED SCALLOPS (€13) – with avocado, yuzu purée and black garlic crumb
- GRILLED ASPARAGUS (€6)
- PORK BELLY (€8.50) – braised and finished on the Robata Grill with quail egg and shiso leaf truffle salad *highly recommend*
- CHICKEN GRILL (€21) – rubbed and poached in Peruvian spices, brushed with rosemary infused teriyaki and Japanese sansho
- FERMANAGH BLACKEND SIRLOIN STEAK (€33) *highly recommend*
The meats are grilled Japanese style, poached first at low temperatures, cooked over white Japanese charcoal, flat like the Peruvian antichuchos and then served on charred coal for better flavour.
The marinated chicken thighs was served with amazing sweet teriyaki, and a few different spiced dipping sauces. It also came along with a side of vegetable skewer. The Sirloin steak was impeccably cooked on the Robata grill, and is brushed with a little miso and sesame powder and served on hot charcoal, so the meat is still cooking while served! It also came with their own version of chips, which was essentially fried rice squares – complimented the steak very well.
We were so full by this time but we still managed to order 3 dishes! And rightfully so! All of them were very different, so it was great to try the array that the restaurant offered. Apparently in Japan and in many Asian countries, dessert is not common to finish a meal with. However, you could tell that The Taste at Rustic prepared the desserts in a way that they were not only light but also relevant to the tastes of the rest of the meal.
- GREEN TEA BRÛLÉE (€10.50) – with pistachio, yogurt mousse, white chocolate and yuzu ice cream
- SMOKED JAPANESE CHEESECAKE (€9.50) – with soya caramel, fresh banana, salted caramel and frozen popcorn ice cream
- CHOCOLATE AND JAPANESE PEPPER MOUSSE (€10) – with dark chocolate biscuits and dark cocoa chocolate sauce *highly recommend*
The green tea brulee was sweet but the yogurt had a slightly sour flavour, definitely adding to the overall dessert and making it so delectable and not overly sweet. The cheesecake was not sweet but quite a smoky essence of savoury cheese. The texture was more Marmite like maybe because of the soy; I recommend it for those who prefer an umami and salty dessert. It’s a great combination of sweet, creamy, and spicy, all at once! The chocolate mousse normally comes in 3, but we were so full, that we asked for a small taster. It’s a light mousse packed with sweetness, and a dark chocolate sauce on a soft and crunchy biscuit base.
I think our total bill came to somewhere around €200+ which is definitely up there in the prices but overall, the experience and the dishes were definitely worth the price. We ordered quite a bit of food, dabbling here and there, but if you go for a normal sized meal, it’s worth the money. If you’re a foodie and prioritise taste and flavourful education, you MUST stop for a visit. The culinary art and presentation alone is something young chefs and bloggers can learn from! I would come back again, and 100% recommend this place to a friend.
Taste at Rustic,
17 South Great George’s St,
Dublin 2 Ireland.
Tel: +353 (0) 1 526 7701