6 Courses of Pure food heaven.
Cookie FM Rating – 5/5
It’s not every day I can say that a chef I’ve watched on Saturday Kitchen Live has cooked my dinner – but during the DublinTown Food & Drink Festival 2018, Anna Haugh did and I was delighted! Dublin restaurant Pichet welcomed back their former chef to their kitchen for one night only, and I was lucky enough to attend. Anna Haugh and Pichet Head Chef Stephen Gibson cooked up a fantastic 6-course evening dinner for a full house, with a brigade of a dozen chefs, who all need to take a bow.
My brother and I opted for the wine-paired dinner, though things first kicked off with a Dingle Gin & Fever Tree Tonic in gorgeous globe glasses with complimentary bread & oils. The first course was a duo of Burren Smoke House Mackerel Pâté and Chicken Liver Parfait on Toasted Barm Brack. The former sat atop a thin crisp cracker dotted with seeds, fresh herbs and radish slices, while the latter was a unique flavour combination of smooth parfait on toasted Barm Brack (an Irish Halloween spicy bread) with pickled shallot rings. Both were perfectly complimented by the clean gin & tonic.
Next was the Carrot Salad with Tarragon and Tête de Moine Cheese. This was a true celebration of the humble carrot, with a variety of the vegetable including pickled, purée and traditional boiled carrots. It was beautifully complimented by the Tête de Moine Cheese, that was delicately turned into a flower, yet is smooth and strong in flavour. I’ve never tried this cheese before, but I’m on the lookout for Christmas! This course was paired with Grüner Veltliner, Markus Huber, Traisental.
The third course of the evening was Crispy Pig’s Head with Caper Gribiche and Pickled Vegetables. Though some people may be turned off by ‘pig’s head’ don’t let that steer you away from the tasty little croquette filled with succulent pork, herbs and a crisp coating. This sat atop a complimentary caper gribiche, a mayonnaise-style cold sauce made with hard-boiled egg yolks, mustard and herbs. A simplistic salad of carrot and beetroot slices, alongside half a quail’s egg completed the dish. The flavour of the croquette was truly delicious, and was the ultimate crispy on the outside-moist on the inside combo! The meat just fell apart and you could tell it had been slow cooked to perfection. This course was paired with Riesling, Dom. Joseph Cattin, Alsace.
We then had the Crab & Scallop Tortellini with Sherry Washed Bisque, which I was really looking forward to. I’m a big fan of both crab and scallop, ingredients I rarely eat at home, therefore when combined within thin pasta I knew I was in for a treat. The seafood flavours work beautifully together, well enveloped by the Sherry-washed bisque. Altogether it was a very tasty palate cleanser, that was also complimented by its paired wine of 2013 Cline County Estate, Chardonnay, Sonoma.
For the final savoury dish, the fifth course was Roast Beef Bavette with Parsnip & Cumin Purée and Boiled Stuffed Boxty. Now, I absolutely adore beef, especially rare beef, and this roasted bavette cut (also known as flank steak) was impeccably cooked. It had a gorgeous crust, was nice and pink served with specks of sea salt, alongside the vegetable accompaniments. The flavour of the beef was to die for! Then with the stuffed boxty, née an Irish potato cake, the purée and the cabbage ribbons, it was a perfectly Irish dish. Ireland on a plate! We moved onto the red wine for this dish, as it was paired with a glass of 2014 Château des Landes, Lassac – St-Emilion, Bordeaux that I thought was a wonderful match.
Dessert rounded up the menu with a Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Apple Jelly and Cinnamon Dusted Doughnuts. Personally I love panna cotta, therefore this right up my street! The silky smooth dessert was topped with a layer of apple jelly, cubes of apple, mint leaves and blackberries, while three miniature donuts coated in a sweet cinnamon sugar sat pretty on the side. A scrumptious finish to an epic meal! Dessert was paired with Cockagee Irish Keeved Cider, which I really enjoyed with it.
We were then given four mini Petit Fours alongside White Chocolate & Guinness 1798 Limited Edition Double Extra Stout, which I deemed an interesting combination.
Overall, I could not praise this meal any higher as I’ve run out of positive compliments! It was truly one of the best dinners I’ve ever eaten, and made me want to enjoy a six-course dinner on a regular basis. Anna Haugh, Stephen Gibson and their brigade did an excellent job and it’s very safe to say I look forward to my next meal at Pichet. Our waiter was also excellent, full of knowledge, very friendly and attentive.
Tried & Tested
Burren Smoke House Mackerel Pâté
Chicken Liver Parfait on Toasted Barm Brack
Carrot Salad with Tarragon and Tête de Moine Cheese
Crispy Pig’s Head with Caper Gribiche and Pickled Vegetables
Crab & Scallop Tortellini with Sherry Washed Bisque
Roast Beef Bavette with Parsnip & Cumin Purée and Boiled Stuffed Boxty
Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Apple Jelly and Cinnamon Dusted Doughnuts
Dingle Gin & Fever Tree Tonic
Grüner Veltliner, Markus Huber, Traisental
Riesling, Dom. Joseph Cattin, Alsace
2013 Cline County Estate, Chardonnay, Sonoma
2014 Château des Landes, Lassac – St-Emilion, Bordeaux
Cockagee Irish Keeved Cider
White Chocolate & Guinness 1798 Limited Edition Double Extra Stout
Pichet, 14-15 Trinity STREET, DUBLIN 2
CALL ON (01) 677 1060 // CLICK TO VISIT pichet
Images © Nirina Plunkett
*I did attend as a non-paying guest for this experience as part of DublinTown Food & Drink Festival, but that does not influence the authenticity of this review.