One of my best mates recently announced she was coming back to Dublin for a few months, which resulted in lots of bouncing around the house and excitedly clapping my hands. She is a great one for eating out with and since she left a few years ago an amazing amount of restaurants have opened up in Dublin. A lot of these places are quirky, creative and are catering for customers who want to eat good food but at reasonable prices. One such place is the Damson Diner which has opened where The South William used to be located and which seemed a good place to start in reintroducing her to the Dublin dining scene.
Set over three floors, the space has been totally transformed with diner style seating downstairs and a large open mezzanine upstairs. We wandered in just after six on what happened to be their opening night and were seated immediately in one of the little nooks. The decor is simple but eclectic and the whole thing has a 1940s feel to it. It is spacious yet were we were seated felt quite private and allowed us to have a good catch up without feeling like the people next to us were eavesdropping!
The menu is short and you can choose from Bites, In a Bowl or From the Grill. It is a mix of both Asian and American food but it isn't fusion, instead it is a choice of dishes from either area. We both love fish so decided to share a starter of Louisiana Crab Cakes. These were fresh white crab meat mixed with peppers, onions & celery and served with Louisiana hot sauce. They were lovely with a slight kick of heat off them but nothing that was too intense.
For our mains we both went for the Seared Tuna which was yellow-fin tuna, flash grilled and served with pickled radish, pickled ginger and fresh fennel. Now I'm not sure what I was expecting but it wasn't this, I think I had tuna steak in my head as that is the only way I have ever eaten tuna in a restaurant. This was a very pleasant surprise. It was fresh, tangy and it let the tuna be the star of the dish.
For our sides we choose chips and Breaded courgettes. The chips were grand, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside just like they should be but it was the breaded courgettes that had us talking. They were delicious chunks of breaded goodness and we probably could have eaten another bowl of them!
Damson Diner have a short menu of desserts but as we were fairly full we opted for one of their many delicious sounding cocktails. Damson Diner's cocktails are extra special as they are made with Irish fruit infusions that are done in house, think sloes, cranberries and raspberries left to infuse for a few months. These infusions are seasonal and once they are gone that's it until next year!! I had a strawberry blondie which was finished off with a sherbert covered strawberry while Maya had a Gin Tom Collins. Amazing!!
The staff were lovely on the night and took time to explain the food, cocktails and what the plan was for the rest of the restaurant. They showed us the private dining room which can seat about ten people and has a privacy window so that you can see out but no one can see you!! There is an adjoining smoking area just past this room and there are also plans to add a late night bar in the basement from early December which sounds like a perfect place to enjoy some pre Christmas cocktails!!
|Private Dining Area|
All together our meal cost us €63 which was for one starter, 2 mains, 2 sides and 2 cocktails. Damson Diner is located at 52 South William Street, Dublin 2 and there is more info on their Facebook page here.