It’s not very often I find myself tackling the cobbles of Temple Bar, well there was a time when Club M was a second home on the weekend but thankfully that’s all a very distant memory now.
Although one of the busiest tourist traps in the city, Temple Bar sometimes gets a fair bit of stick by Dubliners like myself as often being considered a no go area. Love to or hate it you can’t deny the unique holiday atmosphere that can be found there every weekend.
So I found myself in Temple bar last weekend with my partner in crime for the night who I arranged to meet for a drink or three which turned into an unexpected evening in The Morgan Hotel. It’s probably been at least three years since I have been and my last recollection was a rather large bed that used to take pride of place at the front, where from my vague memory a saxophone player once banged out some 90’s favourites (don’t judge).
The bed has gone and apparently so has the saxophone player, instead The Morgan bar has undergone a “makeunder” and is now a stylish, more sedate cocktail bar with a bigger emphasis on food.
After two well crafted “Gone in Smoke” Woodford Reserve based cocktails in the new 10 Fleet Street Bar and Restaurant we decided to hang around and sample the menu in the newly designed space by award-winning Irish architect, Nikki O’Donnell.
It’s a big departure from the sterile white lines and chrome fittings of the past, now what you’ll find is a more sophisticated Art Deco design accented in teal and blush velvet.
The dinner menu is short and sweet but for a hotel it shows surprising provenance, which for once is actually listed on the menu, why more restaurants don’t shout about the quality of their local produce I just do not get.
We both had a craving for Oysters (€9)and satiated it by ordering our first starter to share, Carlingford Oysters ( a personal favourite) with a simple lemon and shallot dressing, plump, juicy and a low calorie delicacy, which was just as well considering the substantial mains to follow.
Our second starter of Castletownbere Pan-Seared Scallops (€14) on a bed of samphire, with a smoked tomato oil chorizo crumb and dash of béarnaise was a tasty little triumph, so far so good, our risk on hotel dining was turning out to be far better than expected.
Mains are very well spread, Lamb Rump, Blackened Cod , Grilled tofu and Seafood Linguini to name a few. I opted for an Asian influenced Duck Breast (€26), cooked medium rare, blush pink and perfectly succulent, served with long stem broccoli and green beans and a hoisin jus.
Across the table a gargantuan Tuna (€27) appeared, yellow fin to be exact, living up to its reputation as the steak of the sea, marinated in lime and coriander and bursting with flavour.
After a few impressive courses I was hesitant to order desert in case I jinxed a good meal but for the sake of you the reader I took a punt on a gorgeous Lemon Panna Cotta (€7) with a blueberry compote and a perfect little wobble.
My dairy loving companion instead played it safe with a Cheese Plate (€12) which for the price was a little underwhelming.
10 Fleet Street at The Morgan was a very pleasant surprise, one of those random nights that actually made me reconsider my aversion to Temple Bar, if you are looking for a spot in the area where you can enjoy a few cocktails, some good food and actually still be able to have a conversation in a chilled out setting then this is it.
Dinner for two with two glasses of wine came to €109
10 Fleet Street Bar and Restaurant
The Morgan Hotel
T: +353 (0)1 6437000
Jules Mahon is the Co-Founder and Editor of TheTaste. A WSET qualified wine expert, Jules loves exploring hidden gems and unearthing the best culinary experiences Ireland has to offer in addition to eating her way around the globe.
Championing the Irish Food scene and all of its stars, both at home and abroad is huge passion for her and her team of talented food writers.