Yesterday J and I went to The Greenhouse on Dawson Street, Dublin 2. I have read a lot about this restaurant from other bloggers and newspaper reviews and there is a lot of hype, many say it is the best restaurant in Dublin and most people agree that it will soon have a Michelin Star. I am not what you would call a ‘foodie’ and I don’t get as excited by fancy food as J, but I went to The Greenhouse with an open mind and was excited about having a new culinary experience. Also, J keeps telling me that I need to improve my ‘taste memory’ so I wanted to work on that as well.
I like the location of The Greenhouse just of St. Stephens Green and the restaurant itself is a good size with about 12-15 tables. There were two choices of menu, one was a 5 course surprise tasting menu at 55euro each with an option of having wine with each dish, or there was the standard lunch menu with two courses at 25euro and three courses at 30euro. J and I both agreed that coming for lunch was the best value and at 25euro for two courses was excellent value. We wanted a long lunch and to try as much as possible from Finnish Chef Mickael Viljanen so we went for the surprise 5 course tasting menu.
Here is a brief summary of what we had…
Amuses bouche of parmesan cream in a choux pastry and yummy maison made sour dough baguette and butter.
Dish 1: Frozen Fois Gras crumble with sea buckthorn berries, sea buckthorn sorbet, and a foie gras pudding served in a glass cup to resemble a dessert. The frozen foie gras was delicious as was the sorbet but the dish as a whole was a little too rich as a starter and without a toast or biscuit to add needed texture. J realised he had made a mistake in not ordering the matching wines (this course would have come with a 2010 Gewürztraminer) so he asked for them to come with the next courses.
Dish 2: Eel, trout, salmon, horseradish, dill, beetroot and jersey royale cubes on a wakame and lovage vichyssoise. This was J’s favourite dish and I thought it looked very pretty on its blue plate. J used his fingers to scoop up the last of his vichyssoise. Eagle eyed J also noticed that his plate had come without any dill, he was happy when I shared mine with him as he said it made all the difference. He was very happy with the wine match: a 2011 Pinot Gris, again from Alsace.
Dish 3: Pollock cooked in chicken fat served with lobster, a seafood mousseline, a yummy mushroom (we think shitake though it tasted like truffle), an earl grey flower and a chicken and pea broth poured on. I really enjoyed this dish, this is when I started to get into the fine dining experience. Wine wise it was a very full bodied 2010 Bourgogne Chardonnay with vanilla and citrus notes. I had sips of J’s wine and I could see how they really added to all the flavours of each dish.
Dish 4: Slow roasted piglet with pineapple, Buckwheat spatzle, bbq sauce, onion and wild onion flowers (which were amazing). It didn’t sound very sophisticated (it has been suggested that it’s just the Hawaiian pizza flavour combo), but the pig was so well cooked and the onion and flowers were great with the smoky bbq. However, the spatzle was a let down and it would have been much better if it had of been crispy. The wine was some complementary but unmemorable Rioja.
Dish 5: Bittersweet chocolate tart, nut ice cream, milk and caramel. I loved the dessert wine, the Jorge Ordonez, No 2 Moscatel, Malaga 2010 but J couldn’t stand the rose water aftertaste; it was too sweet for him no matter how bitter the chocolate was.
Dish 6: I know it was supposed to be a 5 course surprise tasting menu but when I saw people being served the house speciality passion fruit soufflé I had to ask for it as an extra. It came beautifully and very edibly presented topped with passion fruit sorbet before an incision was made to add the white chocolate and ginger coulis. I loved everything about this dessert but a spoonful of this in J’s mouth made it contort with a sweetness overdose!
J reckons that it was a damn good meal but the flavour combination and fun are packed into the savoury courses. At 25euro for two courses get a entree, main course and a coffee and you’ll have done the Greenhouse justice and you’ll feel like you stolen such good food. (I still think you should pay that 5euro extra and get the passion fruit soufflé if it’s on the menu!)