It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of both Staple Foods and Nobó since both of their early days so when I saw this event on my Instagram feed one day I instantly booked my good friend and amazing blogger Louise Cooney and I in for the first night.
Bookings were available for 6.30 p.m. or 8 p.m. meaning earlier diners only had their tables until 8 p.m. Arriving at 6.25 p.m. to an empty restaurant for what was advertised as a sold-out event was a little bit surprising. By 6.45 p.m. a few more diners had arrived but it was not crowded as I had expected. Staff were warm and quick to come around for orders, I’m guessing because of the time restriction to get the first batch of diners in and out before the next seating.
For starters we both chose the ‘Jamaican style vegan nachos, with slow cooked beans, roasted root vegetables with pineapple and an avocado, tomato, coriander salsa with garlic, lime chili sea salt topped with melted vegan cashew cheese’. Phew – what a mouthful! Pity the same couldn’t be said for the portion size that came however.
Honestly, I didn’t enjoy this dish. Perhaps to no fault albeit my own, but I had envisioned something completely different when I ordered this dish so I was a little confused/disappointed when it arrived and I found myself tucking into whole cloves of garlic on top of a portbello mushroom. For me, this was the worst dish of the night, even presentation-wise I was really let down as this is course that should set the tone for the night.
After our starter we were given a palate cleanser, provided by Nobó which was a Pink Sherbert flavoured sorbet. I loved the baby pink colour – apparently coming from beetroot; and it really did taste just like sherbert but it was served in a shot glass, meaning it was tiny and with one of those wooden sticks you use to stir your coffee. Melting sorbet and a stick? Not ideal. So far, so not-so-good.
Mains were better though. Louise had the ‘Warm orzo and herb salad on a sweet potato & parsnip purée, served with balsamic glazed figs and pistachio’.
While I had the ‘Pan-seared and roasted fennel, with chili baked potato cubes, mixed peppers and edamame pods, served with an orange vegan beurre blanc sauce & crushed toasted almonds’.
Both of us chose to add on the ‘white wine, coconut and orange braised chicken breast with a hint of chili’ which came shredded in a seperate ramekin and was charged a €4 supplement.
I enjoyed my dish. The portion size was much more generous than the previous two courses, particularly with the chicken added on. It was flavoursome yet it lacked any real “wow factor” and frankly, I’ve been more impressed by some lunches I’ve had in Staple Foods than I was by these two courses.
To finish we were served a ‘Vegan sundae with Nobó Irish Salted Caramel Frozen Goodness, vegan chocolate sauce, a banana & coconut caramel, hazelnut sea salt praline and strawberry consumé’. This was delicious, as Nobó always is, I just wish there had been more – a “sundae” in my eyes (and if you Google image search the term) usually depicts something much more decadent.
Our four-courses, with our chicken supplement but no drinks, cost us €29 and I couldn’t help but feel a bit hard done by for this when you consider how good Dublin and Ireland’s current food scene is and how much that same price tag could get you elsewhere. In future I think I’ll just stick to being a Staple Foods lunch-gal!
For those that are curious to see what the rest of the menu had to offer: