101 Talbot in Dublin

The origins of food seem to be an increasing obsession with restaurants and shops – I’m guessing it’s not least because of the proliferation of television programmes raising awareness of how animals are reared.
It was noticeable on my recent trip to Dublin that the provenance information now often forms part of the invitation to dine, with details off egg production, meat and even vegetables appearing in shop windows.
However, I think I sensed a little backlash to this trend at the unusual 101 Talbot . My foodie-dar spotted the non-descript entrance leading to a first floor restaurant in the less party-obsessed north of the city – and it’s never wrong.
Not much to look at maybe, but this amazingly popular galleried dining area was just about packed out the whole time we were there. Generous portions of interesting but homely food with some unusual veggie options such as the split pea dip with coconut served with cruditie which was light yet rich and showed this place’s ambitions to include dishes with a Middle Eastern feel.
I tucked into a duck confit on a fantastically tomatoey bed of puy lentils but was completely over-faced by the sight of the homemade puds. Worth noting that those against the creeping tax of bottled water will be pleased to be greeted with a jug of tap water flavoured with a sprig of mint on arrival. No pushing of expensive bottled liquids here!
Everything about the place is honest and unassuming – even the signs near the till which go to the lengths of telling you where the meat is sourced, killed and even boned but then adds a modest little rider – “if you’re interested”.

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