Brothers Ricky and Julian Mak have opened Mak at D6 in the heart of Ranelagh, on one side of the famous triangle. Although it serves a decent variety of Chinese starters and mains, it's also got a focus on Hong Kong style Dim Sum. Dim Sum (which literally means "touch the heart") is a traditional form of Chinese cuisine which consists of small dishes, designed to be served alongside tea.
Our waitress was keen to explain the menu concept to us, something I personally could have done without. I've sat across from little old ladies in Dim Sum houses in San Francisco who had chicken feet sticking out of their wrinkled faces, while simultaneously slurping congee. (I still shudder to this day.) Ranelagh doesn't quite reach the same heights of authenticity. Kudos to our waitress though for suggesting that we switch to a bigger table in order to accommodate all our dishes.
The Dim Sum menu is broken into three sections; steamed, pan-grilled or crispy. You could probably interpret that as a sliding scale of healthy choice! Disappointingly for me, most of the dim sum feature wheat pastry, so I was limited to a handful of choices. We ordered one from each section. 2 portions of sticky rice with prawn and pork steamed in a lotus leaf (€6.00) arrived at the table in the traditional bamboo steamer. At first glance, they didn't look very appetising, but once I opened the parcels, I quite liked the sticky, porridge-like rice inside. Himself ordered spicy chicken potstickers (4 for €6.00) and pork taro ball (3 for €5.50). The potstickers looked wonderfully golden and crispy against the banana leaf while the pork taro balls were crunchy and filled with sweet char siu type pork.
|Spicy chicken potstickers|
|Singapore udon noodles with chicken|
|Crispy pork belly|
|Pork yuk sung with lettuce|
I was delighted to see that pork yuk sung (€6.00) could be ordered a single portion, as some many restaurants insist on a two person order for this delicious dish of savoury fried pork mince, served on a bed of crispy rice noodles. The two pieces of lettuce that arrived with my order were insufficient for the amount of tasty pork I received, but the kitchen quickly sent out some more leaves.
Himself ordered chicken singapore udon (€13.95), with a good spicy curry flavour, while we also shared a portion of the crispy pork belly (€16.50). The pork belly was expertly crispy with not a single piece of soft fat left and flavoured with five spice. I wasn't enamoured with the accompanying overly-sweet hoisin sauce, instead preferring roasted chili oil or soya sauce.
Overall, we liked Mak at D6. The food is what I call standard Chinese, but it was well cooked, flavoursome and beautifully presented. Based on the dishes that we enjoyed, I'd say that the Dim Sum dishes merit further investigation. Service was excellent, with dishes arriving from the kitchen as they were ready. As you'd expect in Ranelagh, the interior is sleek and modern with smart glasses and tableware. Split level seating and some cosy booths break up the interior, while a brightly lit cocktail bar also promises good things.
Given that Ranelagh recently lost long-established Wongs to a fire, there is now room in the market for a new Chinese restaurant to step up and grab the custom. Mak at D6, with its modern style, and little plates of Dim Sum and cocktails, could well be that place.
Tel: +353 (0)1 406 0006