I didn’t know what to expect with modern Irish cooking at the Pig’s ear. Let’s say I was very happily surprised. Very good food (and I am fussy), and enough of it to fill me right up. To make me ‘full up ping‘ as we say back in Sierra Leone – even after a long morning walking through Dublin being a tourist.
It is centrally located on Nassau street and overlooks Trinity College Gardens (and the cricket grounds) – plenty of beautiful people watching opportunities.
The set up at the Pig’s Ear is quite quirky- you enter through a pink door and climb upstairs up to the first floor of a town house into a lovely cozy room with about 15 tables. If you are lucky you get to walk up another flight of stairs to the second floor room with another 15 table and even better views. It is advisable to book ahead for a table but even when the restaurant was full the noise level was OK with me.
I really like the interiors of the restaurant – lovely wood wooden furniture, pale creamy walls, black accessories and mirrors all combined to make an airy and casual yet contemporary setting. The menu is also simple and causal. You get a choice of three of everything. As in – three starters, three mains, three sides, three desserts and three treats. For someone as indecisive as me, it makes choosing my meal much easier. Plus less chance of things not being available and more practice for the chefs with cooking the same things.
The menu at the Pigs Ear is all about good honest Irish cooking with a modern touch. You have got to drool over things like terrine of pork and ham knuckle with pistachio nuts, burnt apple and tea pickled prunes. Same for the earl grey tea and citrus cured salmon with cucumber, dill oil and buttermilk whey. Deciding what to eat sure was fun.
I absolutely adored their freshly baked seeded Irish brown bread with Guinness. It was a fight to not finish it all as I needed to leave space for the rest of the meal. I was slightly too embarrassed to ask for hints of how to make it myself but I am working up to it.
I downed the starter of blackened spring onions with the sweet chopped hen’s egg dressing and crispy fried brown bread in record time. It was every bit as good as it sounds.
For my main I had slow cooked duck leg with toasted oats and a side of garlic smoked potato, grilled lettuce & sweetcorn. The duck flesh just fell of the bone and was well complemented by the slightly charred lettuce and the creamy garlicky potatoes. I will certainly be trying something similar at home.
Then there was the ‘to die for’ cheese cake. It was actually like an upside down cheesecake with the fruit compote at the bottom, tasty creamy cheese in the middle, and crumbled up hobnobs on the top all beautifully presented in a glass jar. The cheesecake worked really well for me – the biscuits stay crunchy (soggy cheesecake bases are a big no-no for me), there was a generous amount of lush vanilla’y creamy cheese (my favourite bit) and I get to choose how much of the compote I scooped up (I prefer only little).
Finally I washed down my meal with a rich Irish cream coffee that was the perfect end to my meal.
I really enjoyed the food at the Pig’s Ear. Plus the service was great also – the staff were the right sort of attentive, friendly and non invasive. The food is exquisite and at 21.95 euro for 2 courses and 26.96 euro for three course it is very good value too. I wholeheartedly recommend dropping in for a meal if you are lucky enough to be in Dublin.
The Pig’s Ear,
4 Nassau St,
Dublin 2, Ireland.