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!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

M&L Chinese Restaurant, Dublin

Update: Read here for a more recent 2013 review of M&L Szechuan restaurant

I had heard via word of mouth about a 'real' Chinese restaurant located off O'Connell Street. Hmm.. I said. I thought that at this stage I had tried all the traditional restaurants in that part of the world, but it turns out that I hadn't.

The M&L is located on Cathedral Street near the Pro Cathedral. When we walked up, we could see that the place was literally heaving with Chinese. Entire families were seated enjoying feasts of food. There seemed to be a real vibe and buzz in the place.

When we were seated, the waiter handed us an English menu. A very bland looking menu at that which didn't seem to match up at all with the glorious looking spreads around us. So we folded the menus shut and beckoned over our waiter. I asked for a fried beef dish with chilis (no sauce). He hummed and hawed and eventually wrote something down on his little pad. My other half asked for a whole steamed fish with some form of spicy sauce. But this seemed to cause an incredible amount of confusion. The waiter even returned from the kitchen, obviously sent by the chef, to be sure that we wanted the whole fish, 'head and all'.

My beef turned out exactly as I wanted. Dry-fried pieces of beef, flavoured with dried chilies, cumin, sesame and vegetables. My tastebuds tingled and my mouth rejoiced. The fish came served in a large bowl of chili and siuchan pepper flavoured oil. He dived straight in, emerging with many large portions of fish, pronouncing it very flavoursome.

I think that Chinese food can be quite addictive, and spicy food the more so. All day, I had been craving my 'hit' of spiciness and flavour, and I definitely got it at the M&L. As we left, we saw a family tucking into a plate of gorgeous looking crabs, so the challenge for us on our next visit will be to persuade the staff that we really want to eat their food and that they should share that elusive Chinese menu with us.

Total cost for the two dishes, along with a plate of 10 dumplings, one sparking water and one diet coke came to E35. Excellent value and definitely on my list to restaurants to return to.

M&L Restaurant, 13 Cathedral Street, Dublin 1. 01-874 8038

1 comment

The Mandarin Man said...

Hi, your review and experience are very typical of what happens to most of us when we enter a Chinese restaurant in Dublin. I have just established a language course that culminates in a visit to M&L whereby you order real Chinese food - in Chinese!!!! Experiences to date have been excellent. If interested - check out my site.

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