My Foodie Weekend: A Culinary Wishlist From Food Writer Ciara McQuillan - The Gloss Magazine

My Foodie Weekend: A Culinary Wishlist From Food Writer Ciara McQuillan

In this new series, we explore the rhythms and routines of Ireland’s foodie folk. First up, THE GLOSS food writer Ciara McQuillan shares her ideal foodie weekend and latest culinary discoveries…

It’s of little surprise to those that know me that my thoughts consistently reverberate around food. With that in mind, these are the delicacies that will (hopefully) dominate my weekend along with intermittent strolls to walk it all off. Again, hopefully.

To Dine: Nothing ushers in the weekend more than dinner out on Friday night, for me at least. Tonight, I plan to pay a visit to Kites in Ballsbridge, arguably the pioneer of Asian fine dining in Dublin. This weekend will be my first visit although I have eyed it for years while driving by, something about it always catching my eye. The impressive staying power of a restaurant that has survived trading in Ireland for over 30 years means it must be doing something right – I intend to find out. Dishes in contention include Hot and Sour Soup, Salt and Chilli Crab Claws and Cantonese Duck among others. If plans fall asunder and a more casual affair is required, I have a deep longing to try the Nashville fried chicken from Firebyrd in Ranelagh. Reports are good.

To Snack: With any luck, Saturday morning will kick start with a creamy cappuccino and a homemade sausage roll in baabaa in Chapelizod. The cakes are dangerously delicious and almost too pretty to eat. But not quite.

Afterwards, there isn’t a sandwich in Dublin that I have mooned over more than the salt beef sandwich from kosher Deli 613 in Rathmines, and this weekend, I plan to make that particular culinary dream a reality. Thick slabs of warm salt beef, briney pickes and hot mustard all crammed into fresh rye bread is the sandwich of dreams and I have convinced myself that the New York (XL, basically) size is a more cost effective buy as it will likely feed two. Probably.

To Buy: As my kitchen is out of bounds at the moment, due to some very exciting construction, cooking is a challenge, which saddens me greatly. The upside of this particular pickle is that I get to buy lots of delicious things that require little or no prep. With that in mind, may I introduce you to tins of smoked Goatsbridge Rainbow trout. This is the pantry staple of dreams. Pop open a tin, remove said trout and slather, in all its unctuous glory, onto crunchy, buttered sourdough with a slice of lemon. Deliciously moreish and, if you can manage to get your hands on some Toonsbridge cultured butter, all the better. Picture via @goatsbridge / @nualahickey.

To Drink: With the week that’s in it, indulging in a St Brigid’s Cloak from Blue Martini Cocktail Bar at The K Club feels like the patriotic thing to do. As far as cocktails go that is. A near magical combination of Ferncullen Irish whiskey, Valentia Island Vermouth and Beara Bitters seriously impresses. If you don’t happen to make it to The K Club, they have kindly shared the recipe so you can be patriotic in the comfort of your own home. Incidentally, the St Brigid’s Cloak will be served at a St Brigid’s Feast taking place on Friday, February 2 in The K Club in collaboration with Powerscourt Distillery.


50ml Ferncullen 8-Year-Old Whiskey
25ml Valentia Island Vermouth
A dash or orange Beara Bitter


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