I can't keep up with the current pace of restaurant openings in Dublin! I've never really struggled for material for this blog, but lately I feel swamped. There are cool things happening on every corner with cool concepts and too-cool-for-school kids. Thankfully, one of the new openings comes from an old friend, and brings a nice relaxed pace.
Nearly two years (tempus fugit) I reviewed Musashi Sushi & Noodles on the Northside's Capel Street. I was impressed with its simple organic wooden decor, clean sushi and good value. And now Zakura on Wexford Street. brings a similar, clean approach to the Southside with its wooden paneled walls and seats. Simple and quick to fit out, yet it perfectly suits the clean, organic nature of Japanese cuisine.
A cute kimmi doll adorns the cover of the menu, which inside bears more than a striking resemblance to the menu from a particular restaurant chain. There's a good mix of sushi, small plates, teppan, rice and noodle dishes to choose from as you sip your little cup of green tea. Special value €8 lunch dishes and €9 Bento boxes are sure to bring the local office workers looking for a tasty, cost-effective meal.
|The cutey-pie menu complete with Kimmi Doll|
|Good value lunch time specials|
I ordered a yaki bibimbap, a Korean dish of rice, fresh and pickled vegetables, seasoned meat and a fried egg served in a nuclear hot stone bowl. To eat, all the ingredients are mixed vigorously together before getting stuck in. It's a tasty and filling dish, a great choice for a cold winter's day.
Himself also went with a rice option, cooking the cha han (€7.99), a classic Japanese dish of fried rice, vegetables and meat. Here the cha han came piled high, packed with crunchy green beans and rich fungus. Both dishes came with little bowls of miso soup, while the cha han also had a little bowl of addictively delicious pickles. A small portion of spicy tuna roll gained its spiciness from a dollop of sriracha-like sauce. Simple, just like sushi should be.
|Spicy tuna roll|
Zakura hits the nail spot on the proverbial head. There's enough variety on the menu to keep you coming back, plus it's cracking value for the lunchtime crowd, or an attractive option for an early evening dinner. It operates a BYOB policy for a mere €4, (hopefully this won't attract the usual drunken Wexford Street crowd). Sometimes you don't need to be the hottest, latest venue. Sometimes a calm, internal confidence is all that's required.
Tel: +353 (0)1 555 8000