A New Wave of Flavours in Howth – Mamó Restaurant Review
The old saying, ‘good things come in small packages’ could indeed relate directly to the perfectly curated little package that is Mamó. With so many new restaurants opening this year, we felt particularly drawn to Mamó. Killian Durkin has honed some serious skills under watchful eyes in both Thornton’s and Chapter One and his beautiful partner in both business and life, the very charming Jess D’Arcy (ex Etto) is the quintessential leading lady, providing warm welcomes and sensational recommendations. Embarking on the trip to Howth on a cold Wednesday evening for our 7.30pm booking, we were delighted to see a full house. As our food came out, course by course we soon realised why this brand new restaurant is already thriving.
We started off with two snacks to share. Spiced Almonds €4.00, generously coated in a mix of warming spices, a bowl of these with a glass of wine would be fantastic at any time! Haddock and Leek Croquettes €6.00, Jess explained that the premise here is to somewhat emulate a chowder style filling and oh how this delivered. The lightest, crisp crumb coating protecting a warm, creamy filling of micro nuggets of haddock and speckles of leek. We adored these.
Opting for a bottle of Chateau Le Payral Bergerac, bursting with blackcurrant fruitiness. This was really good with all courses. We have to mention the really tasty Ginger Beer on offer in Mamó. Jess reliably informed us this is made by two ladies, Rose & Margaux that are really focused on sustainability, natural methods and creative flavours, their business is called ‘Four Hands’ and we will certainly be keeping an eye out for more of their wonderful creations.
Our first starer of Salt Baked Celeriac, Pickled Girolles and Roast Hazelnut €10.00. Silky slivers of Salt Baked Celeriac, layered with meaty little pickled girolles and a generous sprinkling of lightly roasted hazelnuts. A harmonious plate of seasonal flavours that come together to tantalise each and every tastebud.
Our second starter, Bonito Ceviche, Leche De Tigre and Pickled Pear €13.00 woke every taste bud with its zing. Meaty morsels of Tuna bathing in a silky Leche De Tigre all lifted by the addition of pickled pear.
With four mains to choose from we could not pass on the carnivourous treat that is, Higgins Côte de Boeuf, Crispy Potatoes and Bearnaise €67.00 (For Two). Cooked medium as requested, this was one fine piece of bone licking beef. Crispy Potatoes scented with Rosemary and the ultimate indulgence of buttery béarnaise completed our main.
The sides on offer were very tempting but desserts had been earmarked from the moment we picked up the menu. Dark Chocolate, Blueberries and Meringue €7.00 was quite the taste sensation. The decadent dark chocolate ganache had a serious cut of lemon through it which mellows out the richness to perfection, a soft peak of Swiss Meringue and the ever so slightly acidic blueberries all came together to form a dessert that we would order again and again.
A sweet, creamy slice of Howth Honey Tart, Sea Salt Ice Cream €7.00, made using Howth Honey, you simply cannot get more local than that, completed our evening. Sea Salt Ice Cream is a new ice cream flavour on us but one we are already looking forward to tasting again. The sweet and the salty, the Yin and Yang of the flavour world.
Mamó is providing the ultimate in grown up comfort food. We entered the restaurant a little exhausted after a very busy few days and left refuelled and revived by the soul satisfying food that we had enjoyed so much. Howth is such a beautiful area and Mamó is now top of our list for our next opportunity for a leisurely lunch or dinner. We highly recommend booking a table and sampling the fabulous fayre on offer. It is small openings like this that are making the Dublin dining scene so exciting.
Review By: Keith Mahon