WHERE: The landmark Old Post Office on Blackrock’s Main Street is the setting for a fine-dining restaurant, which combines European style with authentic Chinese Sichuan cuisine. The aim of the restaurant is to give guests a five-star experience, which blends elegant décor and incomparable menus. General Manager, Paul Malone, explains, “We take guests on a journey through the Sichuan province, by tasting the flavours that define it, sourcing only the finest of Irish locally sourced ingredients.”
WHAT: Head Chef, Yu Shucheng, recruited from the Sichuan region, is at the helm of the kitchen, and the vast and varied menu includes Sichuan favourites complemented by distinctive spices and unique flavours that tantalise the taste buds. Signature dishes include Hot & Sour Soup with minced cornfed chicken, soya bean, Chinese mushroom and crispy rice noodles, Sichuan Spiced Steamed Whole Black Sole with ginger and scallion, Marinated Seatrout in Black Bean Sauce and Ashbourne French Trim Lamb Chops with cumin, coriander and chilli. Indeed, there is a menu to suit every budget. For example, a two-course business lunch including tea and coffee is €22, the two-course early bird menu is €36, while the six-course tasting menu is €65. The menus, including A La Carte, Christmas lunch and dinner options, are complemented by an extensive drinks menu – with over 50 wines, including bio-dynamic varieties, with cocktails, craft beers and Chinese liqueurs.
HOW: As for the décor, the traditional stone façade of the building fronts a series of light airy spaces from the bar to an informal dining area, leading through to the formal dining room at the rear featuring a floor-to-ceiling glass wall and terraces, making the most of the views out over Dublin Bay. Interior designers, the DJI Group, chose a palette of pale aqua greens and duck egg blues for the wall coverings, wood panelling and velvet-covered dining chairs.
The table settings are formal yet echo the light airy feel with white linen tablecloths, linen napkins, sparkling glassware and delicate crockery edged with gold. It’s definitely not your average Chinese restaurant. On the walls are paintings of local scenes by artist Willy Redmond, while the carpet features an abstract Asian floral pattern with large Chinese sculptures and porcelain urns dotted throughout.
AND: Whether you are an intrepid diner looking for an alternative to chicken and beef (try the frog legs, tripe and trotters) or in search of elegant surroundings for a client dinner or intimate family gathering, the Old Post Office caters to each palate and budget. No wonder regulars are keeping it a secret; it’s the perfect marriage of east meets west in south County Dublin.
Need to Know: Old Post Office, 7 Rock Hill, Blackrock, Co Dublin. For menu information and to book a table telephone: 01 555 9991 or visit www.theoldpostoffice.ie