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!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Bovine Menu at La Brasserie, Bon Appetit

Early in 2012, Malahide restaurant Bon Appetit launched a teaser campaign on both Twitter and their website hinting that a new offering, Bovine Bon Appetit, was on the way. The name and the cow logo definitely suggested a beefy slant, but it took a while before the full details emerged.

The Bovine concept turned out to be pretty simple - a diverse selection of beef cuts, sourced from the  most flavourful breeds of rare cattle. The menu, or "beef bible" lists detailed notes on breeds, types of cuts, aging, marbling, cooking temperatures and even tasting guidelines. Pride of place in this new lineup is a Grade 9 Wagyu steak, offered initially at cost price. All I can say is that it didn't take me long to book a table.

The BIL and his wife joined us for dinner in La Brasserie to celebrate a new job for one of us. We kicked off with some aperitifs in Le Bon Vin, the tapas and wine bar located on the ground floor of Bon Appetit. Once our table was ready, we were guided downstairs to La Brasserie, where we were presented with both La Brasserie and Bovine menus. There was no question that for the majority of us steak was going to be ordered. The only question left to be answered was which cut would be selected. The Popeseye (the Butcher's Secret), the wing rib (the Well Hung) or the ribeye (the Trendy Boy) all sounded tempting, while the Wagyu Sirloin (aka The Big Spender) ruled supreme.

In anticipation of a big meal, the two of us shared a starter of salt cod scotch egg (€9.50). A perfectly runny egg yolk was nestled inside a shell of cod and potato which had been fried until crispy golden. 
Stitch and Bear - La Brasserie - Salt cod Scotch egg
Scotch egg with cod
Just one member of our party of four had chosen to dine from the regular La Brasserie menu, choosing the sliders (€24.00). This comprised three perfectly constructed mini-burgers, made from beef, lamb and venison. These little guys must have tasted well, based on the comments of "best beef burger ever", followed by "best lamb burger ever" we heard issuing from that side of the table.
Stitch and Bear - La Brasserie - Sliders
Slider burgers at La Brasserie
Both of us ladies had pushed the boat out by ordering the 8oz/225g Wagyu sirloin (€49.50). I'd never had the privilege of indulging in this carnivore delight before, so I grasped the opportunity to enjoy it at cost. I asked for the chef to cook it as he saw fit (my normal tastes run to blue or rare), and I would describe the end result as medium rare. Each steak on the Bovine menu comes with one accompanying sauce, so I went for my all-time favourite of Béarnaise, which I supplemented with an additional order of indulgent truffle butter.

The Wagyu sirloin is the single most expensive menu item I've ever ordered, so I really wanted it to live up to its promise. Well, I can tell you that it is wonderfully tender, with a subtle taste that is distinctly different from other steaks. The intense marbling that is typical of the breed produces a texture that is slightly reminiscent of foie gras. In short, it's flipping delicious. 

Himself ordered the 250g ribeye steak aged 60 days (€24.00) which was beautifully cooked with all the flavour that one expects from a juicy fatty ribeye. To round out the steaks, we also ordered some of the wonderful sounding side dishes. We might possibly have over-indulged with creamed spinach with Gruyère (€4.50), creamed sweetcorn (€3.50), chips (€3.95) and finally, broccoli Hollandaise (€3.50)
Stitch and Bear - La Brasserie - Wagyu sirloin steak
Wagyu sirloin steak with accompanying butters
Stitch and Bear - La Brasserie - Creamed sweetcorn
Creamed sweetcorn side
At this point in the meal, I was defeated by beef, and I settled for a mint tea made with fresh leaves (€3.50). However, some of the others bravely soldiered on and ordered desserts. The star dessert was a vanilla cheesecake (€7.50) served very prettily in a glass jar with a crumble base and topped by fresh fruits and berries. Utterly simple but delicious. Special mention has to go to a 2007 Monbazillac De Haute Montlong dessert wine which was a deep concentrated gold, with more spice and less sweetness than a Sauternes.
Stitch and Bear - La Brasserie - Cheesecake
Cheesecake at La Brasserie
This was my second time dining at Oliver Dunne's Malahide kingdom, and I have to say that it was another remarkable experience. Service was attentive and charming throughout the whole night. We were in the mood to celebrate (which our final bill reflected, ouch!) and we were delighted by the offer of a free round of after-dinner drinks. 

Bon Appetit continues to offer wonderful value to diners with Early Bird and special menus in both the main restaurant and La Brasserie. The Bovine menu does offer a great selection of prices, meaning that it's possible to enjoy some really good steak without breaking the bank. 

La Brasserie at Bon Appetit, St Jame's Terrace, Malahide, Co Dublin
Tel: +353 (0)1 845 0314
Twitter: @bonappbovine @bonappmalahide


Amee said...

I enjoy your reviews so much as they are the only way I get to eat out in Dublin these days :)

dudara said...

Ah, don't say that!

David @kitchen72 said...

Looks amazing - I must really try to get out there. Those sliders... OMG

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