Lizzie Gore-Grimes checks out Sunil Ghai's new Indian eating house on Camden Street.
Traditionally, getting into a pickle is something you'd rather avoid. Not any more. With the opening of chef Sunil Ghai and Benny Jacob's new North Indian Eating House, Pickle, on Camden Street. Modeled on the old-world bustling caf's of Bombay, Pickle brings a new style of Indian eating to Dublin, and indeed Ireland.
Sunil's cooking style may be familiar to many from his recent years spent elevating Dundrum-based restaurant, Ananda, to the higher echelons of Dublin Dining (winning Best Restaurant in Dublin and Sunil winning Best Chef in Ireland while head chef there). Having thus set the bar for Indian cuisine at Ananda, it's fair to say he's fairly pole-vaulted over it with Pickle. You'll find no conveyer-belt curry or packet poppadoms here. Instead, you can feast on a box of cassava, lentil and vegetable crisps served with mini jars of salty, sweet prawn pickle and densely flavoured mango chutney. It goes without saying that Sunil's chutneys and accompaniments are a real highlight.
With each dish, he seems to offer an innovative twist. Venison keema comes with the meat stuffed into the roti bread, with a berry chutney to offset the deep savoury flavours. While the Goat mince curry with shallots, garlic and black cardamom is so sensationally smooth and moreish - it shatters any western reservations about this less-familiar meat; served with square pillows of home-made?pao bread to mop up all that umami-rich sauce. Divine. Tiger prawns slow-simmered in dessicated coconut, fresh turmeric and dry mangosteen also receive high-fives from the tongue taste receptors. The avocado raita can't go unmentioned either - enlivened with pomegranate seeds that burst like little cooling bombs in the mouth. The room is buzzy and inviting, with warm green and burnished copper tones, and lighting set to just the right level to allow everything to glint and gleam, plus the bonus of a comfy bar area upstairs for a pre- or post-prandial drink. One to add to your must-visit list.?
Pickle Eating House & Bar,
43 Lower Camden Street,
Tel: (01) 555 7755