Indian restaurants are two-a-penny in Dublin, but rarely do they rise above take-away standards. With this in mind, James Kavanagh checked out the new Camden Street Indian, Pickle, but did it prove to be any different?
Indian food is probably my third favourite cuisine (Mediterranean being first, Middle Eastern takes second.) Done right, it’s such an indulgent treat.
Unfortunately, you could count, on one hand, the good Indian restaurants in Dublin, so I’m not exactly spoiled for choice.
So, when some of my food-worshiping friends started to gush about Pickle, I got excited.
Descriptive lingo that was thrown around included “divine depth of flavour,” “what Indian food should taste like,” “authentic” etc.
They weren’t wrong – the food we ate on the night William and I visited Pickle is how you’d imagine it might taste from a local market in India.
Sunil Ghai is the culinary creative behind the restaurant, and he’s been through the mill within the Indian food scene in Dublin – so he knows what he’s cooking about.
We Ordered Everything
As usual we wanted to taste everything, so we decided to order a load of small plates to share and two ‘mains’.
On arrival lovely, smiling, Indian staff greeted us. (Smiling, happy staff is actually a bit of a rarity these days in restaurant/café world, I find.)
The walls are plastered with old Bollywood movie posters and facts about Indian food, which make waiting on your meal (something that usually kills me) interesting.
For starters, we ordered Seekh Kebab, Cottage Cheese with Tempered Spinach, Spare Ribs a delicious sticky mango coating, a Mixed Naan Basket (which included divine garlic naan – I could have just eaten that, to be honest) and deliciously light and crispy Poppadum’s.
Rich, Deep Flavour
The tempered spinach ended up being the star of the show. It was the perfect thing to dunk the garlic naan bread into, and every-now-and-then you’d get a gooey chunk of cottage cheese – perfect and creamy.
The rib meat fell away from the bone, which had a rich, deep flavour, and the sweet mango added a zingy overtone – a perfect match.
For our main dishes, I got the old reliable Butter Chicken – I was in the mood for comfort.
I was delighted as the sauce to meat ratio was about 70 to 30. I always feel a hefty amount of sauce is so necessary in Indian food, especially when there’s so much delicious naan bread to be dunked and devoured.
William ordered Barbary Duck Khurchan with Peppers, Shallots and Crispy Lotus Root. Quite the mouthful, but it was basically an Indian duck stir-fry with a spicy kick.
The presentation of the food isn’t very Instagram-friendly. It’s on fairly simple metal and ceramic plates, but it really doesn’t need frills – the taste does the convincing.
In terms of the bill, we got four starter shareable dishes, two mains and two Cokes for €84.
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