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, April 23, 2011

L. Mulligan Grocer, Stoneybatter

L. Mulligan Grocer opened its doors in Stoneybatter last year, describing itself as an Eating & Drinking Emporium. Although I was based in Amsterdam at the time, I followed their initial trials and tribulations through their engaging Twitter feed @LMulliganGrocer. Soon after opening, a family member by marriage tried to make a reservation, only to find that the person on the phone wouldn't believe him when he said that his name was L. Mulligan (it really was!).

Roll forward to April this year, and I had heard enough about Mulligans from other sources. It was time to go and sample their delights for myself. I visited on a Friday evening, when it became apparent that a delayed flight at Dublin Airport meant that I would be dining on my lonesome.

Mulligan's is a traditional pub when you enter, but the back opens out into a dining area. On that Friday evening, just about all seats were taken, but I was able to procure a small table in the bar area. One of the staff dropped off the drink and food menus, which come as pages inserted into a selection of old books. The food menu is broken down into starters and mains, each with a suggested beer pairing. I'm a sucker for belly pork, so I chose that along with a glass of the recommended Metalman pale ale. 

The pork came served with mash, cabbage and a balsamic and rum gravy. Portion size was decent for the money, but I found the pork to be only average. The skin was cooked to a kind of plasticky finish and although the flesh was moist, I couldn't find any really flavour in the pork. I found myself using the gravy to add flavour to the meat. (I couldn't help but contrast this to the fantastic pork that I had recently enjoyed at the Exchequer, which was effectively the same dish, but executed with much more aplomb). The accompanying Metalman ale was fantastic, with a light and tangy taste that I enjoyed much more than the pork.

After I had finished my pork, I sat back, releaxed and watch the crowd pour into Mulligan's. The place was turning a brisk trade, with many people enjoying the selection of craft beers on offer. It's definitely enjoyable to see an establishment offering an alternative selection. At this stage, I was offered a dessert menu, and I decided to try the Apple Crumble, served with Murphy's very delicious Sea Salt ice-cream.

My apple crumble came as a single serving in a little ramkin. The sides were warm to touch, but when I eventually managed to punch through the compacted top, I found the inside to be cold. This was a pity as I had looked forward to warm apple crumble with melting ice cream. The apple filling was too sugary which when mixed with the sweet crumble, meant that the whole dessert was just saccherine overkill.

Total damage came to approx €25 (sorry that I can't remember precisely). I am a fan of the virtues that Mulligans espouses and I wish them all the best. Perhaps I chose the wrong menu items, but I left feeling very "meh" about the whole experience. I wish I had felt otherwise. 

L. Mulligan Grocer, 18 Stoneybatter, Dublin 7. Tel +353 (0)1 670 9889


1 comment

WiseMóna said...

I wish more restaurant reviewers were as honest. Looking forward to reading more of your postings.

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