A New Year’s Message

As New Year has just come upon us, it is sad to see restaurants that we love closing down. One restaurant in particular that I loved was Fasta which was less than ten minutes’ walk from my apartment. Fasta did excellent authentic Italian cuisine for under a tenner. When it closed down, my first thought was, it will be greatly missed. It was located under Connolly Station, which made it ideal for train passengers who did not want to go home and cook.

Sadly I think this will be another common occurrence next year, and it will be sad to read of beloved restaurants closing. Thankfully New Year’s brings two things new restaurants and resolutions. One of my New Year’s resolutions is that I aim to visit as many as restaurants as I can this year. I probably won’t be visiting one every week, but I will be doing reviews every two or three weeks. 

As always my reviews will be varied and I won’t be focusing too much on one particular cuisine. You will also catch me posting more on Instagram. So, please follow my Instagram account. Where I will also be sharing some mini reviews that won’t make a full review. You can also catch me on Threads as I don’t know where X will end up. Also most of the people I follow are now on Threads.

Food Festivals

One of the great joys for a foodie is being able to taste samples from different restaurants. It’s a great way to see if you might enjoy eating at the restaurant you got a sample from. Getting to have some great food at a great price is something we all enjoy. And as a fussy eater, I get to see if I could go for a meal in the restaurant. This, is why I really love food festivals and why fellow fussy eaters will too.

Last year I visited Taste of Dublin, and it was an enjoyable experience. The weather was great, the food was fantastic, and the live music was just perfect. You can read my mini review here. However, it is worth noting that Irish summer weather can be unpredictable, and  rain can appear. But it is possible to become a Bob Dylan song, and get shelter from the storm. So, all is not lost and if you decide to attend any food festivals, keep an eye on the weather.

A few months later I visited The Big Grill Festival in Herbert Park, which has been running since 2014 and is Europe’s biggest BBQ festival. Showcasing some of Ireland’s best restaurants and craft drinks alongside some of the best national and international chefs. I first attended The Big Grill Festival in 2015 when I snagged a deal on Living Social. 

At The Big Grill Festival you got the opportunity to attend various talks and demonstrations, giving you the chance to pick up some cooking tips. There is also various parts of the festival where you can see and hear some live music and DJ’s. Music is the perfect accompaniment to great food. 

What did I eat?

Of course the main reason why I attended The Big Grill Festival was to sample some great food and drink. I was not disappointed as there was a wide choice of restaurants to choose from. These  included Hawksmoor, Hang Dai, Chimac, Bites by Kwanghi, Reggie Does Pizza and Pitt Bros.  

One of the first food stalls I visited was Andy Stubbs, who specialises in Texas BBQ and Modern Mexican Food. Andy has been BBQing for 10 years all over the UK and I was dying  to taste his BBQ Ribs which you can see below.

The Big Grill Ribs New Year Message

The ribs were juicy, tender and the meat fell of the bone. They also tasted a bit salty but nothing that would put you off eating them.

Another food stall I visited was Reggie Does Pizza, run by Reggie White Dublin’s best Pizza Chef. Reggie now heads up the kitchen of Little Forest a sister restaurant to John and Sandy Wyver’s acclaimed Forest Avenue. Previously, Reggie was the Chef behind the first PI in South Great Georges Street. Reggie has slightly modified the Neapolitan style pizzas he cooked in PI, which you can see below.

You will notice I had a seven inch Margherita pizza which had black spots on the crust known as leoparding. This adds to the flavour and does not signify an overcooked burnt pizza. As you can see below.

Big Grill Reggie Does Pizza

The Pizza was not too cheesy, the tomato sauce was not dripping and there was not too much basil. The Crust was a revelation, it was not too thick and had a nice crunch to it. It also looked like it belonged on a Roman style pizza.

What did I drink?

To accompany the food I had numerous beers to choose from and I ended up with an old favourite. Lucky Saint was a lovely alcohol free larger that I first encountered last year in Gymkhana, when I visited London. The beer is brewed in Bavaria the home of Oktoberfest.

The Big Grill Lucky Saint New Year

The larger has a hazy golden colour and a white frothy head with a slight citrus aroma. The taste which is a very important part of the beer, was crisp, refreshing with a clean dry finish.  

What did it cost?

My ticket cost me €26.68, my two Luck Saint Beers cost €6.50 each, and my food portions were €7.00 each.  Most of the food will cost around €7 but you can find some that will cost more and some that will cost less.

My ticket was the basic general access ticket that allows you to attend on one specific day. There are other tickets available that allow you to enter on multiple days, fast track entry, or access to a VIP area. If you do get a general access ticket, please arrive early as you could be queueing for quite a while.  

See more reviews here.