Friday, April 5, 2013

[Review] Brioche Ce Soir, Aungier St, Dublin 2

Let me start this review by getting one thing said early. Brioche Ce Soir is cosy. Cosy in the sense that your elbow is mere centimetres from your neighbours' food and you get to know their nasal hair rather well. On the plus side, you can eavesdrop to your heart's content. Normally, this kind of closeness will have me clawing at the walls and gritting my teeth throughout the meal. But somehow, it's acceptable in Brioche Ce Soir. 

Every piece of space is at a premium in Brioche. You realise this when you enter and see two chefs working smoothly behind the daytime sandwich counter which is now complete with a small countertop cooker.The containers that normally hold lunchtime salads and sandwich fillings are now put to use holding the mise en place for the nights cooking. Throughout the service, the chefs shuttle between the counter and the upright fridges. Given the space constraints in the kitchen and on the table tops, it's only natural that Brioche Ce Soir's menu is centred around little tasting plates, all priced in the starter range.

First to arrive was pan-fried sea bass with cherry tomatoes and basil butter (€7), followed by a house speciality of gravadlax-style home-cured salmon, served with horseradish creme fraiche, beetroot and some hidden pickled cucumber (€7).  A little casserole pot of nuclear hot potato & blue cheese gratin was cold evening perfection, while haricot vert tossed in shallot and smoked bacon dressing (€4.50) demonstrated the way all vegetables should be prepared. Pot braised belly of pork (€7) was cooked just the way I like it, crispy with no flabbiness. The final dish of the evening was a thick buckwheat galette topped with a veritable mountain of creamed leeks and even creamier avocado. 
Pan-fried sea bass with cherry tomatoes
From left: cured salmon with a twist and haricot vert
Braised belly pork with parmesan foam
Pot braised belly of pork (€7) was cooked just the way I like it, crispy with no flabbiness. At Brioche, the belly pork had been sliced and pan-fried for an extra crispy finish before being topped with a parmesan foam. The final dish of the evening was a thick buckwheat galette topped with a veritable mountain of creamed leeks and even creamier avocado.  The photo doesn't do this dish justice, but trust me when I say that it's hard to beat a pile of creamy leeks and avocado. 
Buckwheat crepe with creamed leeks and avocado
Six tasty dishes, resulting in a bill that barely cleared the €40 mark. We didn't have any wine on the night we visited, but a quick glance at the wine list reveals good pricing in line with food prices. So tuck your elbows in, give your neighbours a greeting nod and enjoy some high-quality, small-sized portions of French cooking.

Brioche Ce Soir, 65 Aungier St., Dublin 2
Tel: +353 (0)1 475 8536
URL: www.brioche.ie
Twitter: @BriocheCafe

Brioche Ce Soir on Urbanspoon

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