Got no sole

I’ll have the pan-seared yellow-bellied peasant loin on a bed of rocket and seaweed fronds smothered in lemon curd jus enraptured with saffron and guinea pig foam…

There is a painfully hip new trend assaulting our capital city. Beautiful young things are leaving our pubs in droves and colonising the new bastions of cool – the gastro-pub-bar-café-diner-clubs.

What was once innovative and fresh has now become hackneyed and pedestrian. Jo Macken’s establishments have spawned a multitude of imitations. Shabby chic, anything to do with jam jars, vintage china, rustic napkins, copper piping, galvanised metal and exposed brick walls are all de rigeur.

Too loud music, ubiquitous tapas, uncomfortable metal bar stools, open kitchens and cocktails (prepared by our own mixologist) are also familiar staples of this particular species of venue.

On entering the latest arrival on the “SoGo” scene, one immediately feels unwelcome. A half-hearted greeting by staff who are clearly feeling imposed upon, is followed by a sharp warning that my tenure at the table should not exceed an hour.

Of course the food was excellent. But at those prices, it bloody well should be.

I find myself longing for the uncomplicated days when lasagne was considered the height of culinary sophistication in Ireland.


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