Irish cuisine

There are two places in Dublin that Olly and I ate at that deserve a massive shout-out for their deliciousness - both places we ate at on his birthday. (Lucky thing!) For Olly's birthday lunch we headed to Pitt Bros, which has the most amazing BBQ food. I went for the pulled pork bun which was utterly juicy and divine, and Olly had the Pitt Masters combo which has pulled pork and brisket in it. Now, I'm not a fan of beef, but I had a taste of his brisket and Irish beef is something else. Seriously yummy! Pitt Bros is definitely better than a lot of the BBQ places we've eaten at in London - can they open a branch over here please?

For dinner we went to the Michelin-starred restaurant l'Ecrivain - a totally different vibe and feel to our lunch! If you're ever in Dublin on a Monday and want to sample some Michelin-starred food, l'Ecrivan is actually the only Michelin-starred restaurant open on a Monday. We went for the six course tasting menu, which for €65 is brilliant value, although I wouldn't classify the amuse-bouche, palate cleansers and tea/coffee/petit fours as a course in their own right, which is rather sneaky for them to do that!

My starter was the 43ºC organic salmon with oxtail consommé, watercress and lemon aioli, herb spätzle and girolles. I have never had herb spätzle before but it was delicious - it's like a a green meaty vegetable. Olly had the pheasant and ham hock terrine with Jerusalem artichoke purée, raisins, parsley emulsion and walnuts.

For our main we both opted for the rare breed pork belly with confit, mustard gnocchi, turnip, sauerkraut and apple and mustard gel - heavenly - and I had the chocolate, orange and almond warm brownie with white chocolate parfait, orange and almond tuile and burnt orange jus for dessert. Neither of us can remember what Olly's dessert was but he did like it! Mine was a little rich but still very tasty.

Despite the slight sneakiness of "six courses", we had a beautiful meal at L'Ecrivain to celebrate Olly's 30th birthday and enjoyed a bottle of 2012 Walnut Block Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand with our meal - that is a gorgeous wine. I'd definitely recommend you pay them a visit if you're ever in Dublin but after two trips to Ireland in the space of three weeks for me, I think it will be a good few months before I return again. I definitely will though as there's still lots to do, see and, of course, eat delicious food in Ireland. x

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