Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ananda Indian Restaurant - Dundrum

Ananda is the newly opened Indian restaurant in Dundrum Town Centre. It's been open for a few weeks now and I had eagerly anticipated a chance to eat there, which finally arrived last night.

When we arrived at the restaurant, the hostess went to check on our table, leaving us to stand in the corridor outside the restaurant. At this stage I felt a little like an orphan child sneaking a peek in through a window, but not being allowed to eat at the table. Eventually, the host/manager noticed us standing rather desolately outside and he apologised for the lack of seating for waiting guests. We were seated at the table, which was still in the process of being set with silver and glass ware.

However, any upset we may have been feeling disappeared once we got down to the serious business of reading the menu and selecting our dishes and wines. Poppadoms were served to the table along with a choice of 4 sauces, two of which appeared to be mango chutney and none of which possessed any real heat. The toasted spice tomato relish was very nice though.

Our starters consisted of a duck platter with a terrine of confit duck, tikka duck, pickled cucumbers, mango sauce and apple sauce. The terrine could have benefited from being slightly warmer in order to release the flavours a little more, but the duck tikka was delicious, especially with the accompanying mango sauce. Our other starter of free range guinea fowl fillet was served with a deliciously spicy tomato based sauce and potato crisps. It left a wonderful warming heat in the mouth long after it was cleaned from the plate.

Mains were monkfish tails, served with rice and a green curry sauce which was flavoured with curry leaves. The other main of duck chettinad (sliced fried duck breast served on crushed potatoes with a fantastic aniseed/star anise flavour).. A chili cheese and a gluten free roti bread were our accompaniments to the meal.

Throughout the meal, the attention to detail and presentation was top notch. Each sauce focussed on one or two flavours rather than hitting you over the head with strong curry flavours. House wines were excellent value and served to complement the food.

Two espressos served with little chocolate bonbons rounded off our meal which came to approximately €90. The only downside was the slow service, but the hostess did apologise for this, stating that they were short-staffed on the night. Personally I don't want excuses, I want service to continue and not be left waiting for 5 minutes to get a refill in my water glass.

What do I think overall? This is what I would consider the second good modern Indian restaurnt in Dublin (following the excellent Indian Summer in Kilmacud). There is no doubt that Ananda has the greater pedigree of the two with the involvement of Michelin chef Atul Kochhar. But will it be enough in the current climate?

Dublin still awaits the arrival of a good value everyday Indian.

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