Go big or go home. Here are some of best places in the capital to find head-turning plates that you can indulge together.
From seafood platters to sumptuous steak cuts, there’s a certain decadence to ordering sharing plates, and a wonderful feeling of indulgence enjoying them.
I’d recommend bringing a helping hand, or two, to get through these beauties.
Spitafields, 25 The Coombe, Dublin 8
This is the brand new restaurant opening from the team behind The Pigs Ear, and although it’s housed in an old pub, it is very much restaurant food with nods to hearty pub fare. The heartiest perhaps being the Cock-a-Leekie pie, a family sized (although, they say it is for two) chicken and leek pot pie with a beautiful lattice topping.
It elicits wows and maybe even whoops on arrival. They also do a Cote de Bouef for two and a delectable, massive Millefeuille dessert designed for sharing. Expect severe food envy if you don’t opt for at least one of the above.
Variety Jones, 78 Thomas Street, Dublin 8
The emphasis at Variety Jones is on sharing, with a menu devised of snacks, small plates and family style dishes. This allows them to serve whole fish and generous meat cuts, that are all cooked or finished over live fire.
Hearth-grilled halibut comes with bouillabaisse and Dublin Bay prawns, lamb rump is served with smokey vegetables. The foie gras and chicken liver pate with potato waffles although not specified as sharing, is also best tackled with a pal. It’s a menu you’ll want to try lots from from, so at least one dining companion is recommended here.
Hang Dai, 20 Camden Street Lower, Dublin 2
Hang Dai stands out in Dublin for serving Chinese food that priorities interesting flavour combinations and ideas over our typical expectations of an Irish Chinese.
Most of their fun menu suits sharing, but it’s the duck that really requires a helping hand. Skeaghanore duck is slow cooked in an apple-fired wood oven and served in two parts starting with duck broth and Chinese pickles then as classic duck pancakes.
The legs taken off the bone, crispy skin, thinly sliced duck breast, cucumber and cherry hoisin. You can order half or whole.
Mr Dinh, 101 - 102 Capel Street, Dublin 1
Dim sum was, lets face it, made for sharing. I’ve tried and failed to eat it alone, always wishing I had a companion to justify ordering just one more basket. So please do bring a pal when you head to Mr. Dinh on Capel Street.
The extensive dim sum menu is only served until 5 pm each day, so visit early to get stuck in. Everything here is good and made from scratch in-house, featuring all the classics and favourites. Take a look at the delectable deep-fried chilli & salted vegetable dishes while you’re at it. A perfect side for your dim sum feast.
Etto, 18 Merrion Row, Dublin 2
Etto is the critics darling and with good reason, they’ve even been name-checked by Nigella Lawson and Ottolenghi. On your first visit everyone will tell you to try the sharing Cotes du Boeuf so do.
It’s always spot on and served with perfect roast spuds for dipping in the accompanying bowl of Bernaise. They have excellent wines by the glass and carafe and make sure to try their famous dessert of red wine prunes with vanilla mascarpone, Nigella's favourite.
Mr. Fox, 38 Parnell Sq. West, Dublin 1
At Mr. Fox the menu, as the name may suggest, features plenty of brave, bold meaty plates but none more exuberant than the sharing chateaubriand served with barbecued beef short rib, baby gem, blue cheese and gratin potatoes.
There’s a lot of goodness to get through. Another cunning reason you’ll need some extra people around you is for the irresistible dessert menu full of nostalgia, you’ll want to taste them all. A homemade ‘Iceberger’ and ‘Bounty’, the Clementine ‘Super Split’ and delightful walnut whips.
Klaw, 5A Crown Alley, Dublin 2 & Seafood Cafe, 11 Sprangers Yard, Fownes Street Upper, Dublin 2
When seafood is on your mind Temple Bar is the place to head, the tiny crab shack Klaw or it’s nearby sister spot The Seafood Cafe. Squeeze yourselves onto the sought after high stools in Klaw for a sharing plates of oysters, seafood towers or a whole crab.
At Seafood Cafe around the corner settle into a cosy banquettes and feast on whole grilled fish, lobster, pots of mussels and plenty of fresh, ever changing specials. This food was all made for sharing.
The Legal Eagle, 1-2 Chancery Place, Dublin 7
This smartly restored pub, serves an extensive menu celebrating Irish food with a plethora of options for lunch, dinner and the rest. It’s a menu that lends itself to sharing even outside of their mouthwatering, meaty sharing dishes.
Choose from rump of Irish McLoughlin's beef or the 1kg Chateaubriand, which they suggest would suit two or three people. Both come with batter pudding, cauliflower rarebit, stovie potatoes and gravy. The Ploughman's Board, meat platter and cured fish plate are all best enjoyed with some company too.
777, 7 Castle House, South Great George's Street, Dublin 2
Behind an unassuming black exterior on Georges Street lies this buzzing kitsch restaurant inspired by the traditional ’70s-style taquerias of Mexico. A menu of tacos, tostadas and tequila are natural bedfellows for sharing especially the pig head carnitas tacos with salsa negra and papas fritas which is only served as an order for 2.
Then there is the Asada de Carne, a 24oz grilled ribeye on the bone served with black beans, Pico de Gallo, guacamole, chimichurri, elotes and papas fritas. Head there on Mondays for the ultimate twosome treat - two for one margaritas.
Image via Unsplash.com
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