Brunch Date at Soder & Ko

I’ve attended a couple a functions with The Taste in Solder & Ko, located on Georges Street, and its always left me wanting more. I was there on their launch night & more recently for a bloggers lunch. Now as much as I like my beer I do enjoy good food. Soder & Ko more than deliver in both areas.

So on August Bank Holiday Sunday I decided we should enjoy “Date Day” by starting off with a good brunch. After a gruelling bus journey that took nearly two hours, needless to say we were famished, straight to the restaurant we went. We were greeted by a very friendly welcome and were seated at a comfortable booth at the front of the restaurant. If you haven’t been there before its quite a large building with an airy feel to it. It boasts a big bar where the staff concoct some of the nicest cocktails I’ve ever enjoyed. Also a really nice craft beer selection too. Just beyond the bar is the kitchen area where all the magic happens. There is a lovely garden area upstairs where I’ve seen artists play some relaxing music.

So after perusing the menu we finally started with some cocktails, would`ve been rude not too. I ordered the Gurka Grass  & Wayne went for Mjunka Martini. Both were delicious.

After reading the food menu we finally decided what to eat. We chose to share a few dishes so we both got to enjoy the experience and neither of us felt hard done by. So first up came the chicken wings. Hand on heart these are the best wings I ever tried ( besides Wayne’s home cooked ones). They are spicy and crispy, a great combo.

Next up came the dim sum. After trying this at the blogger lunch I couldn’t wait to get back and try some more. We ordered the king prawn dumplings that were steamed in a bamboo basket and the Pot Stickers which are crispy chicken and scallion dumplings. These were oh so tasty. Wayne loved the prawns while my favourite was the pot stickers. 

Shortly after the steamed buns came out. These are a firm favourite with customer so I believed, and I understand why. Wayne had the breakfast bun, egg,bacon, sausage and house sauce, while I munched away on the crab, miso mayo and spring onion bun. These were both extremely tasty. 

After such an amazing feed, we finished our meal with two coffees to try avoid the impending food coma. Our experience of Soder & Ko was extremely relaxing and friendly and we’re looking forward to our next visit already! Check out for more info. 

Big Boys Know How to Party – Night 1 European Beer Bloggers Conference

When it was announced that headline sponsors of the EBBC were going to be Molson Coors, Guinness & Smithwicks it caused some ripples among the blogging community. It’s important to highlight, that this wasn’t a Craft beer bloggers event, but a beer bloggers event. The simple truth is that without the support of the above mentioned companies it is very likely the event may not have gone ahead at all.

Now, the agenda for the evening was a walk from the Church over to St James’ Gate where we were going to get a tour of the facility, with food and beer in the Storehouse. My immediate thought was, we’re just going on an elongated version of the extremely popular tourist attraction, Storehouse tour. My fears were instantly banished when we arrived at the front gate on Thomas St. 

Here we we given hi viz vests, eye glasses, and shown to the square where Guinness Master Brewer Fergal Murray was waiting to show us around. We were in for something special. We were in the hub of St James’ Gate. Walking through the yards toward the tunnel we were told more of the history of St James Gate. Down through the tunnel toward something, that no one else has seen yet. Brewhouse 4, the brand spanking new kit that Diageo have put in place to replace the now defunct Waterford, Kilkenny and Dundalk breweries. Needless to say this was an impressive feat of engineering, the sheer scale of it was mind boggling. Particularly for one or two of the craft brewers who tagged along. 


Once we’d finished in here, we were brought up to the familiar store house building and whisked up to the 6th floor for drinks and food reception. These guys know how to do hospitality, 1.3m visitors a year can’t be wrong. 

Here we were treated to the best of Irish produce, Oysters, Pork, Beef, farmhouse cheeses. Matched to Guinness’ beer. The Oysters with Extra Stout were delish. But the ribs were a knock out. The FES marinated burgers were good too (think that was Burger number 2 out of maybe 5 all weekend!) One of the surprises of the evening was that they’d brought over some Belgian Special Export – a rock solid beer at 8%. This just shows us what Guinness used to be, but this thing is a very distant relation to the current Guinness Draft. It’s Full of flavour. A subtle sweet roastiness. Why don’t you sell this here? Another surprise was the “Night Porter” a 5.5% chocolate porter brewed as part of an internal staff competition. This beer was really really good. And it would stand up very well against many craft stouts and porters. It’s a pity its only available in the Storehouse.

Also my favourite Matthew Curtis vine took place here – below for your viewing pleasure


From here we were whisked away to a secret location, The Candle Bar in Kellys Hotel on Georges St. This was the Pilsner Urquell party! As a special treat from Vaclav Berka, the master brewer there, brought over the unfiltered unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell in Oak casks. This is a good beer anyway, but to get to taste it this way was a true privilege. Here’s a video of Vaclav tapping the keg. 

After being stuffed to the gills in the Storehouse, more food winged its way out, Pulled Pork, and Steak Sandwiches. They were delish. From here we moved on to the next bar in our group, but at this stage the day was beginning to catch up with us, and with an early start the next morning I got the bus home.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Guinness, Pilsner Urquell, and Molson Coors for their support and the level of hospitality was second to none. Whatever peoples opinions on the beers are, the guys and girls I met showed as much passion that i’ve seen from many brewers. I’m thankful it was Fergal leading us around and he answered any questions honestly and openly. This I fear wouldn’t have happened if we had someone from PR or marketing to look after us. 

#Brewsweplate – Beer & Food 5 Course Meal – Featuring Brown Paper Bag Project

You may have seen a lot of retweeting by me in recent weeks shouting out about the recent #Brewsweplate event. This was the second such event ran by Eric Heilig and Floriane Loup where each course is cooked to match the beers. My post about the last event is here

The beers this time were supplied by the Brown Paper Bag Project, a nomadic brewer that has spawned from one of the finest gastro pubs in the country, L Mulligan Grocer in Stoneybatter. Their brewer Brian was there to describe each beer with each course.

The ante was upped this time, both in terms of price and matched beers. 5 vs 4 on the last outing. The venue was meant to be the wonderful Powerscourt Centre, but there was a last minute change to Juno’s cafe on Parkgate St Dublin 8. The price, €65. A dining room with an open kitchen, and the place full to the rafters we were in for a treat.

The Menu
The Amuse Bouche

First up was the amuse bouche, mackerel with butter milk and caviar. A tasty little morsel. 

The Duck Course

Here we have a Duck Faggot with Kale, Pomegranate Seeds, Potato and onion seed, matched to the Big Red beer. Faggots are a traditional English dish cooked usually with low cost cuts, here we had moist succulent duck that was excellently seasoned.  

The Goat Cheese Course

Next up we had the lovely St Tola Goat’s Cheese course, with pear and sourdough. Matched to the excitingly refreshing Gose.  I’m a bit of a cheese phobe, slowly coming around to it, and this was my first time eating this cheese. It was lovely and creamy with a bit of sharpness that was complimented excellently by the beer.

The Beef Course

Now the piece de la resistance, FX Buckley dry aged beef, flat iron steak if i recall correctly, and slow braised beef cheek with dillisk, barley, root textures, and a smoked oyster foam. Our matching beer was the Pleasant Porter. The steak portion was perfectly cooked, vibrant pink, and the cheek, literally just melted in your mouth. The oyster foam added a savoury note that was amplified by the pleasant porter. A knock dish, and one I would order if it were available anywhere.

Not One, but two deserts!

The final courses were deserts, both matched to different beers. On the left we have a Passionfruit puree with white chocolate, topped with coriander and sea salt. Matched to the Trinity a belgian beer the coriander matched perfectly and salt gave a lovely lip curling tartness to the desert. On the right we have Tonca, Cocoa, Alexander’s seeds, blackberry and lemon. Firstly, i’ve no idea what tonca is, or who alexander is, but this was a mighty tasty desert. Fresh berries and crunch from the pink wafer worked beautifully. However this was the only course where I personally felt the matching beer was a miss. 

All in all, we had a great night, yet again. Sat at a table with great people, looked after all night and thoroughly enjoyable meal. Eric & Floriane, what a night, I can’t wait to see what you come up with next, and you know i’ll be there. 

Brown Paper Bag beers are now available nationwide in all good off licences, and bars. They are distributed by Premier Beers and if you can find the Gose, get that. Also the Big Red is lovely. I must buy some more to do testing of my own.

Probus Wines – Dublin 2

Located in Dublin 2, just off Merrion Square, on Fenian St / Denizille Lane opposite the Gingerman Pub. This off license / deli / café is an intriguing proposition.

The building itself used to be a licensed premises, and this license remains with the building. This allows you to be able to purchase a beer, and drink on site. With a 20% drink in upcharge to drink in its more than fair. 

Paul in Probus regularly runs tasting evenings on Thursday and Saturday evenings, and last week in their Irish Beers with Irish Cheeses series it was red ales. Mrs Irishbeersnob is mad about cheese, i’m slowly but surely getting over my phobia with her guidance. So we booked our spots on Facebook. 

The charge is a very reasonable €6 each. So we settled in having arrived for 6pm. So the beer line up was Irish Reds, and our offerings were Dungarvan Brew Co – Copper Coast Red, O’Haras Red, and Galway Bay Red Ale. The cheeses were starting in order of strength. So we started with Goats Cheese, then a Gubbeen, and lastly a matured Cooleeney I think. Aidan Sweeney was guiding us expertly through the tasting and was 
more than happy to share his ample knowledge with his very willing audience. It was interesting the subtle differences to the tastes of the cheese when matched with different beers.

There was a surprise in store for us though, with the strongest cheese, Aidan had a bottle of Porterhouses Louder barley wine that is associated with Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, i’m happy to say this collaboration was a lot better than the last one, Down n Outz. Big Flavour with a big cheese, was just the ticket, I felt it complemented it very well. Now for the twist in the tale, and pure cheesehead aficionados may wish to look away now, we tried it with Coca Cola, and it totally neutralized the flavour of the cheese. A lot of food for thought.

After the tasting was finished we enjoyed the company of a lovely crowd, and one of the regulars brought a Tequila & Lime cake, it was divine! 

We stuck around for a while and had a couple of beers, I’d a Trooper and Galway Bay Buried at Sea ( I think I prefer the bottled version vs draft) and her good self had a Shepherd Neame’s Canterbury Jack. All very enjoyable. Our final bill was just under €30, a very nice evening. Sadly we didn’t partake of the food as we were stuffed from our earlier visit to Bison.

Paul and his team have a great setup, a very wide range of Craft Beer & Wines from all over the world. For very reasonable prices. A lovely looking deli that has a sandwich calling my name Gubbeen and Salami with roasted peppers! The food on the night smelled delicious, and looked lovely. To have the option to sit in with a beer and only add on 20% extra, makes it a real alternative to the pub, and perhaps its an insight into the European style licensing system that was shot down by the publicans lobby when proposed by the PD’s many years ago now it seems. If your in the area definitely pop in, and enjoy the hospitality and surroundings, you will be very well looked after. See you again soon.

Bobo’s Burgers – Dame St

Ok, i’m going to apologise in advance for no pictures. I was ravenous when I visited Bobo’s ( / @bobosburgers) last Wednesday and taking photos of the food was the last thing on my mind. (edit 04/08 – However Mrs Irish Beersnob took a pic of her burger and its below)

Mrs Irishbeersnob won one of Bobo’s numerous twitter competitions, they give away on Facebook/Twitter 3 x Meal for 2 (Burger, Side and Beer or House Wine each) and also they give away lunches as well. They are certainly very active on Social Media, and the place was packed when we got there. Around 630 on a Wednesday evening. Good sign.

There are a number of Gourmet burger places around the city centre now, Bobo’s has two outlets, Dame St, and Wexford St. 

Firstly, there is large bench areas, not unlike Wagamama, but there were also tables for couples and smaller groups. We were shown to a table and perused the menu.

So Beef is king as is to be expected, especially with all the pictures of cows on the wall, a huge array of choice. Though there are tempting options from the Pork and Lamb burgers, and also the Chicken. The beef is 100% Irish, and each patty 7oz. 

I went for “The Sex on the Farm” Prime juicy beef burger with iceberg lettuce, tomato, onion, Old Dubliner cheddar cheese, smothered with chilli beef mince, hot salsa, creme fraiche and jalapeño and roasted red pepper mayonnaise. 

Mrs Irishbeersnob went for “The Cashel” Prime juicy beef burger with beef tomato, Cashel Blue cheese, cured smoked bacon, red onion, rocket, black pepper and tomato relish

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No its a Bobo’s “The Cashel Burger!”

For sides, I went with the “Half n Half” half chunky chips with onion rings, and sweet chilli dip, and garlic mayo. “Skinny Fries” for Mrs Irishbeersnob.

Beers were standard fair, half of heineken and carlsberg.

The food came out and my god, they were more akin to skyscrapers than burgers. Held together with a skewer these behemoths looked delicious. There was no skimping with ingredients either. A nice thick layer of chilli mince, and Cashel Blue. Btw the Chilli was delicious. I can imagine the Chilli Cheese Fries as a result are fantastic.

So pondering the logistics of eating this thing we set about it. Visually very impressive. Taste wise it was nailed. The blend of the spicy with the burger was phenomenal. Really really enjoyed it. The sides were also really good. But the burgers were the stars of the show undoubtedly. 

I would definitely go back. A good pre drink stomach liner, and noticed they stay open very late so could also satisfy those drunken munchies.

Bobos well done i must say. Keep up the good work.

Red Torch Ginger

Thai food, don’t you just love it? Myself and Mrs Irishbeersnob certainly do. 

Red Torch Ginger ( / @Redtorchginger) is located in Dublin City Centre, opposite Trocadero on Sth Andrew St. Easy to find, and very central whether you’re going out on the town, or heading the Gaiety or Olympia to catch a show its very central to everything.

First impressions walking through the door, a nice bar area with high stools, and tables which would suit people who are looking to eat and run, and then the main dining room. The decor itself is striking, and very contemporary. The full wall print is particularly impressive.

We were welcomed in by Gary and shown to our table. As we there after work, we decided to go with the Early Bird Menu. For nearly a full week Gary had been tormenting me on a daily basis with their daily special cocktails, well at last we were able to sample these for ourselves. Today’s special, a Mai Tai. 

The early bird menu is a very reasonable €19.95 for 2 courses with tea/coffee. 3 courses for €23.95. There was small uplifts if you were having duck or seafood. We ordered our mai tai’s while we looked at the menu.

Unlike some places, you have carte blanche on the menu for your choice of course. So we decided and placed our order.

I decided on the Chicken Wings, and for main Chu Chee Gung, described on the menu as a fried prawn red curry, and 3 chillis pictured above, not for the faint hearted. Mrs Irishbeersnob went with the Pork Ribs, and for main Chicken and Cashew Nuts Stir Fry. 

The starters arrived shortly after, the wings were lovely, cripy skin, with a nice little salad, and Sweet Chilli based dipping sauce. Though once I saw the ribs, I was wishing I got those. They were fantastic. Meat falling off the bone, and very very tasty. Next time!

At this stage, we were nearly finished the mai tais, Gary recommended a lovely red wine, Cotes de Ventoux, a fantastic French red from the Rhone region. It complimented our main courses fantastically. Very smooth, and not as powerful as some reds can be. 

The main courses were presented on lovely rectangular plates, with a generous bowl of steamed rice. My main firstly, was amazing. The prawns were cooked perfectly, and the sauce was so full of flavour from the chilli, but also the citrus elements. There were a few beads of sweat on my brow. Fantastic. The Cashew Nut Stirfry was equally as well executed. The oyster sauce was delicious. Some of the best thai we’ve had in a long time.

Empty Plates, always a good sign

So to dessert, or not to dessert? I’m not usually a man for desserts, but being so impressed with the cocktails. We decided to pick from the “Dessert in a glass” section of the cocktail menu. The cocktails on the night were expertly made from scratch, by Chris. Bravo sir. 

I opted for the Cappuccino Martini, and Mrs Irishbeersnob went for the Snickers. Fantastic. The perfect choice for after dinner.

Once again we walk away from a restaurant having been extremely well looked after. Gary and his team run a great ship, they obviously take a great deal of pride in their work. This shows from the moment you walk in. But its also great to see a bit of a sense of humour at play 

“Everybody was kung fu fighting!”

The future is very bright, and hopefully in that future there is a way for the guys to highlight their spectacular cocktails. The bar area would be fantastic for this, however as I understand it, they have to serve food with alcohol, I am sure though the team will embrace this challenge and design a menu of suitable nibbles for those who want a cocktail more than a great meal. This choice will not only make Red Torch Ginger a great restaurant, but potentially a great place to start the night with a light bite and truly spectacular cocktails.

Also, I know Gary is currently augmenting the drinks menu to include more craft beer alongside the mainstays, this is part of a growing and most welcome trend in the Irish hospitality industry and is great to see. Gary any time you want to run anything by, give me a shout. We will see you again soon.