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!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

[Review] Bastible, South Circular Road, Dublin 8

Early in 2015, I signed up for the Level 2 WSET qualification in wines and spirits. Many of the attendees on the course were already involved in the food & beverage industry, with only a few non-industry stragglers, like myself, taking part. One of the attendees was a young chef, Barry, with his wife and their story of a soon-to-be-opened restaurant.

Little did I realise that Barry was Barry FitzGerald, former head chef at  Dublin hotspot Etto and, prior to that, the Harwood Arms in London. And in due course, his restaurant Bastible did open, perched on the junction of Leonard's Corner. 

The interior is very modern masculine with dark green walls and an open kitchen located to the rear where Barry and the chefs work with smooth, calm efficiency. In fact, the whole affair is sleek and smooth, starting with the impeccable sourdough bread and delicious butter followed by two potato crisps topped with tartare and onion. I don't know if the chefs at Lock's and Bastible are sharing notes, but that's two amuse of crisp potato slices I've received in the past few months.
Little amuse of crisp potato with tartare

The lunch menu is straightforward with 3 choices each for starter, main and dessert. Two courses cost €32, while three courses cost €38. It's somewhat expensive for lunch, but the menu is deliciously seasonal featuring all manner of en-vogue ingredients including sea beet, kohlrabi and Brussels sprouts. My starter of roasted baby beetroot and sliced pickled candy beet is balanced nicely by the creamy smoked ricotta, enlivened by the pungent black garlic. Pan-seared mackel is perfect with Jerusalem artichokes and sea beet. 
Roast beetroots with smoked ricotta and black garlic
Mackerel with Jerusalem artichokes and sea beet
Hake is accompanied by a scattering of fresh cockles, salt-baked kohlrabi and meaty, chewy kale. It's a fish dish for cold winter days. The description of roast onion squash had tempted me to go vegetarian, and I was not disappointed by the hearty meaty flesh, dipped into the smooth egg yolk and chestnut. 
Hake, salt-baked kohlrabi, cockles and kale
Roast onion squash, chestnuts and warm egg yolk.
As you would hope from a restaurant with interesting food, the wine list is also interesting with a good selection of wines by the glass. With accompanying glasses of Italian Faleria (€7.25) and Pinta Negra Branco from Lisbon (€6.95) and some sparkling water, our total bill is €82.70.

From the minute it opened, Bastible was the target of all Dublin restaurant hype. Bookings surged following some stellar reviews and the restaurant struggled to keep up with demand. On our lunchtime visit, things were very quiet, no doubt influenced by the biblical deluge outside. 

I must admit that I'm a bit on the fence about Bastible. There's something great there for certain, but I wasn't a fan of close to €90 for lunch and the dining room is a bit too dark in decor for my tastes. I think I'd like to try it again, as the seasons swing towards Spring and Summer, with different ingredients to flavour the menu. 

Bastible, 111 South Circular Road, Dublin 8
Tel: +353 (0)1 473 7409
Twitter: @Bastible111
Instagram: @Bastible111

Bastible Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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