Us poor Irish eejits. No matter what time over the 'Summer' months that we plan events outside, we end up soaked. And not by booze. Well, sometimes by booze, but mostly the bloody rain.
Taste Of Dublin was no exception this year, although for the Saturday early session, we seemed to miss the worst of it...well, past 1pm anyway. It's hard work enjoying food standing in a field. Never mind a muddy damp field. Not helped by the prices to get in and then fork out for anything that you want to sample. But y'know, if you're going to go, put on some sensible shoes, enjoy, and have a big ol' drink! Fair play to the organisers, they had a good bit of floor covering around to save anyone sinking into the ground..too much.
It was my first time there, and apart from the inexplicable frozen pizza promo stand, there was definitely plenty there for everyone to enjoy.
Unfortunately the one dish I got, Ham hock with pudding was vile. Cold, slimy, and the salad dressing tasted like it had been rubbed on the floor of a portaloo. If a food was a reality show contestant having a moment, it would be Jade Goody after discovering she had a verruca. 'Am I minging?!' Yes, Ham hock, you are most definitely minging.
I was starving and slightly hungover so was in desperate need of something soaky (aside from the bastard clouds hovering menacingly above) and tasty to cheer me up. With that, out floated an angel from the Clonakilty stand bearing plump juicy discs of white pudding topped with apple mush-something. It being free of course, my pudding cherub was pounced on immediately. Luckily, there was one left which I got my mitts, and gob, on. I'd say that free bit of pudding was one of the tastiest things there that day, and would have done wonders for the company's profile.
We didn't have long to hang around before our booking for Kanchi's Dine In The Dark was due to start, so we scooted around to the Kildare Village tent to sample the prosecco and cocktails. We got in just in time for a small shower to come down.
After a quick refreshment
or three, it was time to get on down in the dark. I kind of knew what to expect from the info given before, but didn't really know how I'd find it once in there. Turns out, I wasn't the only one unsure of it-someone had to turn around after going in after finding it too disorientating. Kanchi raise awareness of disability, and obviously in this case, it was about experience dining 'blind'. Your perception and reaction to such a change is incredible. I found myself talking really loud at times (totes scarleh for myself shouting 'FISH!' when I tasted..um, scallops) and felt vulnerable when moving to and from the table. I expected to be more aware of the flavours, sure, but I didn't think that I'd experience the flavours changing so much in one bite.
The food choices were really interesting. The starter was a cold soup which we all thought was either green or a white-ish colour, and turned out to be orange. Not many of us got all the ingredients in that. I still maintain there was ginger in it. OK, I'm wrong, but it was VERY like it, whatever it bleedin' was.
Main was scallops..that would be the 'FISH!' I announced to everyone in Dublin 2...and veg in a kind of a stew..I think..the wine had definitely kicked in by then.
Bloody lovely NZ Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc, who wouldn't enjoy it, hey?! Anyway, it was the first time in my life that I enjoyed scallops. Beautiful.
Dessert was the lightest brownie I have ever tasted. With bacon. Yes, bacon. I also shouted 'BACON!' when eating it...Don't ever take me to a dimly lit restaurant.
Everyone loved the choc and bacon combo. Lets face it-Hangover+choc+bacon+wine. It's just a Disprin short of a masterpiece. It also had bacon fat and Jack Daniels sauce with a pecan on top.
It was a really fun event, I hope some who might be reading this got to go!
Here's me, not shouting, but possibly still worrying our chef Stuart O'Keeffe given the state of me.
We scooted over to the O'Brien's Wine tent to try some more Astrolabe, but got distracted by something shiny, and tried this tasty fiend instead.
Thanks to all at Kanchi, Conway Communications and my bro for the tickets.