Restaurant review

€12 the essential dish, €16,970 the essential wine – The Irish Times


Address: 9 Lemons Street, Dublin 2

Telephone: 01-5725950

Kitchen: asian fusion

Cost: €€€

Sometimes you have an idea of ​​a place. With Hyde, for me, it’s four words: broom closet, fame, lovemaking. A staircase may be preferable to a closet; it doesn’t matter, but this four-story colossus, with glass elevators and many stairwells, leading to what may soon be the most phenomenal terrace in town, smolders with potential for a brief encounter.

There’s no velvet rope, but Ivy alumni Jamie Belton and Reagan Gomes run the show. Gekko, the restaurant space on the second floor, has rows of velvet booths that wrap around the room; perfect for sipping a wine list ranging from the Whispering Angel rosé to a €16,970 1986 Château Laffite Rothchild Methuselah – and, yes, it’s actually in the building. Our waiter pulls out the six-liter bottle for a skeptic’s show-and-tell. I have a feeling it’s not the first time he’s done this in the few days they’ve been open.

The spicier dishes stand out the most, especially the Bone Marrow with Peanut Chili Crisp, an intoxicating combination of warm, silky marrow and punch, all piled on sourdough toast.

While the bars are likely to be a big thing – there’s a long drink menu with 14 cocktails – it’s, as far as I’m concerned, all about the food, and my expectations are high. Karl Whelan, the executive chef here, is in serious form, having run the kitchens of Luna, Hang Dai and Saltwater Grocery, where he is chef-patron. He perfected the classics in chapter one.

Hyde’s menu is Asian-inspired. It follows the format of small plates and larger dishes to share, which is my kind of thing. The smoked salmon with kombu, radish, wasabi and soy gel, €12, sounds good; it’s a riff on a dish that Whelan has been serving in Saltwater since it opened. He doesn’t exactly reveal all of his trade secrets on the Hyde dish – it’s a more pedestrian version, but the combination of the firm, salty salmon with pickled radishes and dots of soy gel is clean and fresh. A crispy Rueda Verdejo, €38, works well.

Hamachi with lime and burnt kombu, €15.50, sashimi style, three pieces of fish with micro-oxalis and a drizzle of chimichurri-style sauce. It’s understated, but I’m not sure the quality of the fish justifies the price.

The spicier dishes stand out, especially the bone marrow with crispy peanut chilli, €12, which is an intoxicating combination of warm, silky marrow and heat strokes that manage to sit on top of the savory flavors, all piled on sourdough toast. which has been properly introduced into the butter. Caramelized and pickled onions add even more complexity. This is the dish you just have to order.

The chilli crispy squid, €11, is not quite what I expected. Rather than a bao bun, it’s quite doughy, sitting on a jet black squid stew. The squid ink, which can sometimes overwhelm, is held in balance, with a warmth that builds from the chilli.

Our final savory dish is the Steamed Cod, €22, a hot bowl of foamy white sauce that hovers over a white mound. It’s both intriguing and slightly unnerving. Topping the mound are opaque sheets of daikon, covering cod flakes and tiny sweet shells. It’s a miso sauce steeped in the classics, whipped with a good amount of butter and possibly some white wine, which makes it quite rich. It might work better as a smaller dish for one person.

We ordered a side of hand cut kimchi fries, €5, which are very good but probably not the best pairing with this dish, and the hot emulsion sauce could use a bit more kimchi.

For dessert, we end with a matcha pastry cream, €9.50, with nashi pear. It’s fresh and understated, but I think there should just be a bit more clarity in the dish. Somehow it doesn’t quite go down with the custard, and the caramelized white chocolate chunks are foreign.

Hyde is a quaint restaurant, and it no doubt intends to lure the Ivy crowd to its shiny new terraces, bars and restaurants with a more interesting approach to food. While it lacks the visceral excitement of Saltwater, and some Whelan dishes could be taken a bit further here, there are some very tasty bites, and it will have broad appeal. It’s not cheap. You may well end up with a rather high bill. But it’s likely to be fun.

Dinner for two with a bottle of wine was €125.

THE VERDICT: Tasty plates to share with Asian influences

Music: Synth and relaxing lounge music

Source of food: Sustainable Seafood, McLoughlin Meat, La Rousse Iberian Pork, McNally Farm

Vegetarian options: Very limited, on request; a vegetarian menu is planned

Wheelchair access: Accessible, with accessible washrooms