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, July 28, 2014

[Review] Mourne Seafood Bar, Charlotte Quay, Dublin 2 - CLOSED

This current fine weather will forever be known in the collective Irish memory as "The summer of 2014" (as compared to  the "Floods of 1986" or the "Snow of 2010"). It will also be known as the year that hordes of aggressive seagulls descended on Dublin, terrorising the urban dwellers unaccustomed to malevolent birds. Anyone bought up in the country will be used to eyeballing gigantic rooks and crows, but no so for our city cousins. Queue obligatory evil seagull picture...
Invasion of the seagulls
Thankfully, my interaction with seagulls was limited during our recent visit to the new Mourne Seafood Bar, beautifully situated on a corner of Grand Canal Dock, with a fine view of swimming seagulls and bright yellow Viking Splash duck boats. In fact, Mourne Seafood Bar could be quite the spot for people watching, with views over Hanover Quay, the Marker Hotel and the dock itself.

A retro butcher's bike festooned with hanging flowers guides you down the quayside  but that is as far as the tweeness goes. Inside, there are no creels, ratty fishing nets or other cliched paraphernalia, but instead you find a bar and a beautifully bright restaurant, which instantly transports you away from Dublin to somewhere of perpetual light. 
Signposting the way on Charlotte Quay
This restaurant is unapologetically all about the fish. Given that Irish people have a fairly ambivalent relationship with fish, this might stop some people from ever dining there. More fool them is all I say.  It has a raw bar offering with oysters, langoustines, crab and  other delectable fruits de mer, with an all-day menu supplemented by daily specials. 

I started with a perfectly cooked seafood risotto, flavoured and coloured by rich saffron and scallop corals (€9). Nutty grains of rice and a wonderful texture put this firmly in contention for "Best risotto ever". A half dozen oysters, served on ice and gently swimming in their juices, were the epitome of fresh seafood (€12).
Seafood risotto
Half dozen oysters
A whole grilled split lobster (€28.00) served with fries and lobster and basil cream was silence inducing, apart from the sounds of claw crackers being deployed, plus my sighs of frustration when I failed to snag a last delicious strand with the winkler. I had dallied with the thought of the half lobster when ordering, but there is something wonderful about demolishing a whole lobster. 

Across the table, a large pot of mussels, classically steamed with white wine, garlic and cream (€14) was being decimated with equal silence. A side order of Tuscan fries (with salty black olives and Parmesan) seal the deal for us. Their rich salty flavour ensures that we eat every last one, ignoring their poor cousin regular fries. 
Whole split lobster with cream sauce
Mussels steamed with white wine and garlic
Delicious salty Tuscan fries
We decline desserts, as quite frankly, we are full to the brim. Another consideration is that we've also washed down this magnificent feast with a bottle of Finca Montepedrosa Verdejo (€28). Sometimes, it's good to admit defeat and we leave to seek fresh air and a little perambulation.  Our server for the night had been perfection itself, leaving us to our own devices for most of the meal. 

The total bill for the night, including sparkling water, is just shy of €100. If you're not of the gluttonous inclination, it's very possible to eat there for much less and still depart satisfied. The arrival of Super Miss Sue, and now Mourne Seafood, has heralded a change in Dublin dining tastes. Seafood or fish is no longer the minority crowd-pleasing dish on the menu, but sits front and centre. Mourne Seafood is simply "Brill-iant".

Mourne Seafood Bar, Millennium Tower, Charlotte Quay, Dublin 2
Tel: +353 (0)1 668 8862
Twitter: @DublinMSB


1 comment

Colette said...

Great photos of the dishes. Love the look of the risotto and the lobster. Must pay a visit one of these days.

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