Having heard so many Chinese Whispers about this new offering we were eager to get to Blackrock to check out The Old Post Office. New openings are plentiful in Dublin right now, finding time to visit is the only predicament.
The ethos of TheTaste.ie has always been if we dine somewhere, old or new and we do not have an enjoyable experience we will not write about it. Despite the litany of bad press this beautifully appointed restaurant has received we are happy to report that our experience was very pleasant.
The Old Post Office in Blackrock is a beautiful venue. Entering through a trendy, New York style bar, it is clear that The DJI Group have waved their magic wand and designed a plush, formal and elegant setting. Awash with Aquatic shades, a peaceful and immensely relaxing ambiance that draws you in.
A super engaging team of waiting staff are lead by the very charming GM (ex Four Seasons) Paul Malone. No ask is too much for Paul and his energetic team. On the night we dined, one large group booking requested more space and an entire table was removed from the restaurant to accommodate this request.
The Chinese cuisine on offer in The Old Post Office is firmly focused on authentic Sichuan dishes. Each unique creation is very clearly delivered with an exceptional level of flavour filled knowledge. Taking our seats, one of us blessed with an all encapsulating view of the magnificent Dublin Bay and the other with views of the resplendent interior design all around us.
Deciding on a 7.30pm, Friday night booking the restaurant was already well on its way to a busy service for the night. A nice mix of couples as well as three larger tables of extremely well dressed and groomed to within an inch of their lives female diners. The affluent location clearly attracting a plethora of diners of means.
Taking our time over the menu we eventually decided to start with Pan Fried Pork Dumplings – hot garlic sauce & spring onions €13.00 Crisp on the outside and flavourful on the inside with a really nice hot garlic & spring onion dipping sauce on the side. We would have liked maybe two more dumplings on the plate due to both the deliciousness and the price.
Our second starter of Five Spiced Beef – Sichuan salt & chili pepper €18.00 took us by surprise when it landed on the table. Not expecting a cold beef starter, at first we were waiting for some sort of sauce to arrive. The premise it turned out was that the dry spices on the plate are to be added to the beef to suit your own taste. This was actually a very tasty dish but perhaps a little heads up on the menu to indicate that this is served cold would be no harm.
Our first main of Braised Beef In Hot & Spicy Sauce – cucumber, scallion & corriander €38.00 arrived to the table in all its aromatic glory. The freshness of cucumber, scallion & coriander complimenting the richness of the braised beef. This beef required no cutting as it literally fell apart at the sight of the fork. Opting for a side of Dan Dan Noodles €5.00 proved a worthy comrade for this flavourful dish.
Our second main of the evening was a divine Steamed Whole Black Sole – Ginger & Scallion €38.00. This is the dish that will make sure we pay this restaurant a return visit. Deciding to opt for on the bone (were you even there if you didn’t get the best possible photo!) The succulent steamed flesh of the Black Sole glided off the bone with ease. Again, flavour is where this restaurant rocks it. A side of impossibly fluffy Egg Fried Rice €5.00 was not needed but being the carbohydrate lovers that we are, it was an essential addition to the table. This dish was probably enough for two people, or if you are like us, one very large appetite!
You know those people that never have room for dessert? We will never be those people! The dessert menu is decidedly short but still piqued our interest. Two tarts were ordered, the first a Pear Chocolate Tart – Vanilla Ice cream, chocolate popping candy €9.00 and the second was its cousin Caramel Almond Tart – Crystallized Ginger Ice Cream, Raspberry Dust €9.00. Both were really tasty and we didn’t leave a crumb. Along with these Tarts were two obligatory Cocktails to end our Friday night out. Espresso Martini was not on the menu but this posed absolutely no problem at all and we were presented with a delicious Espresso Martini along side an Old Fashioned which is made here with a Malbec Syrup and served with a generous chunk of Chocolate bark.
Our overall impression of The Old Post Office Blackrock is that it clearly has very heavy financial backing and is quite perfectly placed in one of Dublin’s most affluent areas. This is a Five Star Venue. Is it for everyone? It is for everyone that enjoys flavour packed Sichuan Cusine in the most impressive of surroundings. We will definitely return due to many reasons, the whole black sole being the main one. This is an expensive restaurant that delivers on service with excellent local staff and an outstanding view of Dublin Bay. It’s hard to fathom that the backers of this outstanding venue would invest to this extent if a market did not exists for such an establishment.
We recommend you try this flavourful taste experience for yourself. It’s certainly a wonderful place to spend an evening.
The Old Post Office
Phone : 01 – 5559991
REVIEW BY KEITH MAHON