Sunday, 5 April 2015

IL POSTO, Style & Sustenance . The Taste Magazine April edition 2015

Style & Sustenance from Il Posto Restaurant by Robert Jacob

Il Posto

You would not think glamour and the food industry held many similarities, but in conversation with Amanda Jackson, one of the two sisters that co-owned and run IL Posto Restaurant on St Stephen’s green soon changes that preconception.

Following stints working in restaurants across America for 10 years, the charming and very glamorous blonde decided to return home and hasn’t looked back since as Il Posto celebrates their 12th birthday this year, no mean feat in an industry where a mere 7% see it through to their first birthday.

So you are 12 years in business, how do you feel about your big birthday? 
We are extremely proud. While it has been a lot of hard work, it has also been a most enjoyable, fruitful and discovering experience for both Susannah and I.

Have you always been in the restaurant industry? If so which restaurants did you work in?
I have worked in many restaurants across America, mainly in New York and Boston and prior to taking over Il Posto, I worked here as the manager. Susannah and I, both worked in Tante Zoe in Temple bar many moons ago as well.

When did you start/takeover Il posto? How come you decided to work with your sister?
When the previous American owners decided to move back to the States, I approached Susannah, who was then living in London, to come back home and for us to take over Il Posto and 12 years on, here we are.

How do you split the responsibilities? Who’s good at what?
We both work hands on in the restaurant and one of us is always here at any time. While Susannah looks after the business side of things, I mainly look after the PR & business development.

I believe your chefs are brothers also, how did that come about?
Oscar, our head chef is married to an old school friend of ours way back and likewise they moved back home and his brother followed on. Both were chefs in the states.

Whats the one thing you are most proud of about the restaurant?
Our regulars that returns again and again, this makes up for all the hard work and determination.

On the food, how would you describe it?
We serve an Italian / Mediterranean cuisine assembling and combining locally sourced seasonal ingredients.

What’s your favourite dish off the current menu?
It would have to be our ever popular Liver dish.

When you are away from il Posto where do you enjoy dining out?
Trocadero is one of my old time favourite as it is always good fun. For special occasion, I like dressing up and go to Ross Lewis’s Chapter One.

What is the one piece of advise you would give someone looking to setup a new restaurant?
Be prepared to work ultra hard, offer good value, have lots of determination, be original, experiment, go with the times and make it your own. Remember, there are no short cuts.

Table Talk : In conversation with Amanda Jackson
Il Posto Restaurant
10, St Stephen’s Green
Dublin 2

©2012-2015;Robert Jacob;jacob'scrackers;jacobscrackers9; All rights reserved 

ANANDA,The Taste Magazine April edition 2015

Ananda one of Dublin’s finest dining experiences  by Robert Jacob

photo 1

Ananda in Dundrum Town Centre is regarded as one of Dublin’s finest dining experiences, so it was no surprise that last month, Eurotoque Ireland welcomed their first Indian Chef as Comissioner.

The restaurant and its Executive Head Chef Sunil Ghai boasts an impressive array of awards between them over the years, from Best Chef, Best Restaurant in Dublin, to Best World Cuisine.
At Ananda, the very skilled and creative Sunil Ghai offers contemporary Indian Cuisine and he continues to delight us by constantly challenging our perception of what Indian Cuisine should be.

His approach is most of all focused on pure clean flavours and seasonal produce.
Using predominantly Indian flavours and traditional cooking methods but no more so as in keeping with his creative goals, he is not afraid to dip into molecular gastronomy often tinged with inspirations from French, Japanese and Far Eastern cuisine and reinvents them into something magical and makes it his own.

Here is his Deconstructed Papdi Chatt, Tamarind relish & Coriander foam

photo 2

A dessert of Masala Thandai Kulfi, Semolina crisp, Rose gel, Pistachio & semolina sand.

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With high ceiling, the d├ęcor at Ananda is airy yet opulent, all gelled together with suspended water lilies chandeliers and upholstery in jewels colours.

Tables are well spaced out and service here is slick and attentive.
An amuse bouche of Pan Seared Kilkee Scallops, Goan Chorizo, Pea & Celeriac puree and Yuzu foam.


Beautifully presented, they shone like jewels and you couldn’t but resist the urge but to pluck them off the sombre dark slate and put them in your mouth. It was the right move as they melted like butter, silky, sweet and succulent on the tongue, the Goan Chorizio offered enough saltiness and spiciness in making these a perfect mouthful.

A starter of Duck served 2 -ways consisted of Smoked tikka, Potted Duck leg terrine, Plum & Kumquat chutney, Pickled cucumber was another favourite.


The terrine was beautifully seasoned with plenty of chunky duck meat and ,while it was a pressed terrine, it was still very light.  The smoked tikka on the other hand was a robust dish, spicy, bold and full of flavours. With the fruity chutneys and sweet & sour pickled cucumber it was a real treat.
Not far behind was the Robata Guinea Fowl, Indian 5 spice, Aubergine & Pea crush, Parsnips fries and pomegranate.

Unapologetic, sitting atop a mound of vegetables crush, it was tender and beautifully cooked. A perfect way to savour this fragrant free-range supreme of Guinea fowl from the Japanese Robata grill and the more traditional Indian Tandoori clay oven. The combination of both methods of cooking, offered wonderful depth and roundness of flavours.
The vegetable crush and parsnip fries while adding contrast and texture, were equally delicious on their own.

Having eaten here before and sampled other dishes that we knew were equally superlative, this time around,for mains, we wanted to try something more traditional and the Kitchen duly obliged without any fuss.
We opted for Black Tiger Prawns Jalfrezi, organic garlic & onions.


Delicate in flavour but absolutely beautiful. The prawns were succulent yet indulgent. The sauce was tangy and spicy as it is meant to be, with lots of Chevene onions to sweeten  and tame the green chillies, while some of the freshness of the Coriander was sacrificed at the alter of flavour, it’s fragrant aroma was still in evidence.

To say that this dish was simply delicious would be an understatement and injustice. It was sublime.
Wicklow Lamb with brown onions, Cardamon & fresh Coriander was another winner.


The sauce alone won me over for it’s wonderful depth of flavour and creaminess. The lamb just fell apart at the touch of ones fork. With a garnish of fresh coriander to reintroduce a lightness and freshness, this dish was just so good that I must pester Sunil for the recipe, for Curries doesn’t get any better than this one.

A Chocolate & hazelnut bar, Orange sorbet, Macaron and frosted raspberries was sinfully good and looked like it was lovingly created in a Michelin * kitchen.


A rich chocolate parfait with plenty of crushed roasted hazelnuts. It was silky , creamy and not overtly sweet. Perfect Macaron with  crisp outer shells and gooey centre of tangy orange cream and smooth Orange sorbet completed this heavenly dessert.

This was a perfect meal and evening. Without doubt, we can expect to see many great things from Sunil Ghai. They will undoubtedly be unexpected yet wonderful and rightly so that  he has won himself a prominent place among Ireland’s finest Chefs.

Ananda Restaurant Dundrum
Sandyford road
Dundrum Town Centre
Dublin 14
01- 2980099

©2012-2015;Robert Jacob;jacob'scrackers;jacobscrackers9; All rights reserved 

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Egg-stra specials eggs at M&S

                      Make it an Egg-stra Special Easter

Treat someone to a show-stopping egg this Easter. The Following range of luxury eggs have been 

made by Lir Chocolates exclusively for MARKS & SPENCER.

These  eggs are hand-made and decorated by skilled Irish chocolatiers LIR, with each one taking 

almost an hour to make and the range covers, A Spring Garden of Assorted Chocolate 

Eggs,  ​Marc de Champagne Egg, ​The Sculptured Column Egg,  ​Feuilletine Milk 

Chocolate Egg & Giant Golden Lattice Egg.

The Giant Golden lattice egg, a real piece de resistance was created in smooth milk chocolate, delicately hand-piped and lustred with gold, then finished with a mini golden lattice egg that sits proudly in the centre.

 Only 7,500 of these beautiful eggs are being produced, each with a limited edition number.

 Over eight people help create the finely piped milk chocolate lattice, four people dust the egg with golden lustre and four people place each individual chocolate bead on to the egg. 

M&S Chocolate Developer, Alexandra Emerson White, commented 
‘This year we wanted a show-stopping egg that not only looked amazing but tasted divine. We've been working on perfecting the egg for years but the intricate structure and time it takes to make the egg means we can only make so many. We've made the chocoholics’ dream come true this Easter

Make sure you snap one up before they sells out!

The Column Egg... Milk chocolate half egg divided by decorated dark crispy praline filled eggs €17.99 265 grms

Feuilletine Milk Chocolate Egg.... Hand decorated milk chocolate egg rolled in crispy feuilletine pieces €22.50 345 grms

A Spring Garden of Chocolate Assorted Eggs,...Hand decorated milk, dark and white chocolate eggs with raspberry, pistachio and butterscotch €17.99, 320g

All products are available at all M&S stores across the country or check out www.marksandspencerIreland for a store neareast to you.

Have a smashing Easter .

Robert. x

©2012-2015;Robert Jacob;jacob'scrackers;jacobscrackers9; All rights reserved