Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Views and Reviews: Locks Brasserie

Goat Cheese and Onion Parfait
Rachel, Dublin

I have a confession. I have been VERY distracted from the blog recently.  I would like to be able to virtuously claim that this is because I am a very busy student dedicated to completing my end of year assignments but I know I would be fooling no one.  It is in fact as a result of a far more lovely reason, I recently became engaged! The Boyfriend is now The Fiancé!

In amongst all the loveliness of the celebrations and the beginnings of planning (I really need to get those assignments done) I am very aware that a certain aspect of our lives is going to have to change.  The amount that we spend on food and eating out just isn't compatible with talk about wedding budgets and saving. No more popping in to Fallon & Byrne 'just to get one thing' and coming out €20 lighter. Far fewer meals out and certainly no fancy Michelin starred restaurants. Or maybe not...

A night out with some of my friends at Locks Brasserie recently has reconfirmed my faith that there is great value to be had when eating out in this city.  Locks offers a 'Seasonal Market two course Treat Menu' for €25.  You might think that this is just posh talk for 'early bird' but the menu is available all evening from Sunday to Wednesday and until 7pm every other day.  

BBQ Pork Belly
To start with I opted for the goat cheese and onion parfait (top) which was served with beetroot, confit fennel and an orange gel. Goat cheese and beetroot is a match made in heaven and the light, almost mousse-like texture of the parfait was devine, particularly when eaten with some of our selection of homemade breads. To follow, all three of us had been tempted by the sound of BBQ Pork Belly served with pork scratchings and smoked beans. The pork was melt in the mouth and the light and crispy scratchings made me think of a grown up version of rancheros (I mean that in a good way!) The smoked beans were the only real low point of the meal as they were woefully underdone. We shared two side dishes between us at €4 a pop, some nice, but unremarkable green beans, and a rich and creamy dauphinoise.
Basil Tart

Dessert is an optional extra and I was delighted when we were offered the full a la carte dessert to choose from. I feel that dessert can often be the highlight in this type of restaurant as it gives the kitchen the opportunity to show off their creativity.  This might explain my choice of the most unusual sounding dessert, the basil tart with blood orange sorbet, basil gel and candied mandarin. The tart on it's own was very savoury but was a fabulous contrast to the sweet and tart sorbet, an unusual combination but I thought it worked and it looked fantastic! Coffee with accompanying petit fours rounded off a delicious meal which, including a bellini cocktail, came to €55 each, including service. There is great value to be had at Locks which, when combined with their fabulous staff and beautiful surroundings, left me feeling very reassured that we'll still be able to afford the odd little treat of a fancy meal out even while we're on our wedding money diet.  We probably won't be able to do what we did after this meal though, which was to head into town for a shed load of cocktails (see last post) but you have to do some celebrating before all the saving begins, right?

Locks Brasserie
Number One
Windsor Terrace
Portobello, Dublin 8

01 420 0555


  1. That dessert looks fab, I'm not normally a dessert person but this could sway me! Yum!

  2. I don't have a big sweet tooth so this was perfect for me. Had a taste of my friend's chocolate pavé dessert and that was pretty fab too!