Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fabulous Food Trails Dublin,Ireland

Time was a little tight for my trip to Dublin and the weather did not play in my favor.I decided that being a tourist in the city where I grew up might be interesting. After a little research I chose Fabulous Food Tours. I have been out of the culinary loop in Dublin for quite sometime and was quite impressed at how the scene has changed.
Growing up in Dublin it certainly wasn’t a destination city for food. There were a limited number of fine dining restaurants and quality ingredients were hard to come by.
The food scene has changed radically over the last few years and even with the economic downturn people seem not to have lost there taste for quality food.
The tour does not focus on fine dining  but rather introduces some of the fun food trends.
Fabulous food tours will give you a taste both figurative and literal of some of what Dublin has to offer. We did a walking tour of some nice little food spots that have opened in Dublin in the past few years and also got a peek inside an old Victorian era bar and a traditional butcher shop.
As much as I enjoyed seeing what new stuff Dublin has to offer some of the things in old Dublin were interesting. When we visited the  butcher shop we were shown an old photo which showed how the place operated before supermarkets took an enormous toll on local butchers.
You will notice the number of employees and with all the meat lying on the ground the complete lack of sanitation. I took a photo of the old photo so excuse the quality.

The butcher took some time to show us some of the less common cuts to us. Tongue, oxtails and hearts were all on display. I guess the more things change the more they stay the same.


Another one of  our stops was an excellent cheese shop called Sheridan’s where the selection of fine cheeses was excellent. We go to taste a couple of fine Irish cheeses which I have to say could compete with the best cheeses in the world. It  was wonderful to see such a knowledgeable staff working in an operation that clearly cares about what it sells. They are able to keep the cheeses out on shelves as they maintain an optimum for cheese storage temperature throughout the whole store.  The store also has some very fine cured meats.



We got to taste some great home made desserts at a nice little courtyard restaurant called The Cake Café at the rear of The Daintree Building on Camden Street. This place has a eco friendly ethos and tries to use as many sustainable processes as possible which actually includes all the staff bicycling to work. While both items were very good the lemon slice was superb.
We got to drop in and have a little taste of whiskey in an old Dublin pub and were regaled by the bar man about the history of the place and how the place of the pub is changing in Irish society.

Cocoa Atelier is a very fine Chocolatier with excellent chocolates a couple of which we got to taste. We did not get to taste their French macaroons but I made a return trip after the tour and the macaroons are on par to the ones I have tried from Payard. The store is almost worth a visit just to check out the chandeliers made from kitchen whisks.
Their website is currently under construction so here is their info on Facebook.


I had forgotten when you called something “savage” in Dublin it was a complement.After I tasted the “Savage Sausage Rolls” at Lolly and Cooks in the Georges Arcade market I had no doubt it was a compliment. Sausage meat wrapped in puff pastry and served piping hot,delicious.
They also some very nice looking cupcakes.
The Georges Arcade is an interesting little market with stalls selling amongst other things old coins, Tibetan art and vintage clothing. There is even a place to get a fish pedicure, where you put your feet in a tank and tiny fish eat the dead skin (I was  very creeped out by this).



We also visited a small but extremely the small but well stocked gourmet food store, Liston’s, where we tasted a  a very nice tomato basil tart. I was so busy looking around the place I took very few photos so this little set does not do the place justice.


Our last stop on the tour was Murphy's Ice Cream. Last but by no means least. The selection of ice cream was incredible with my favorites being the sea salt and brown bread. These ice creams are made in small batches from the cream of Kerry cows.


And just around the corner from our last stop nd not on the tour  but no food tour could be complete without a visit to Molly Malone’s statue affectionately known as The Tart With The Cart.

‘’As she wheeled he wheelbarrow
Through Streets Broad and Narrow
Cryin’ Cockles and Mussels Alive Alive..O’’

All in all I found the walk to be enjoyable and you will see some nice places hear a little history meet some real Dubliners along  the way. If you plan on doing this I would recommend doing early on in your visit because you will want to visit some of the places independently also I am sure you can get some pointers from the guide.Our guide Pamela was knowledgeable and friendly.
 I would say this would be difficult if not impossible to do independently as you'd miss out in the tastings and the little talks the various owners give you.
Take a look at their website below.