2014 has been another incredible year for the Dublin restaurant scene and as I started thinking about it today I thought back over the countless wonderful meals I've had. Sometimes certain meals are better than others and with that in mind I wanted to put together a collection of the 25 best things I've eaten over the year. This is a personal list based on my own personal tastes so while I am sure there are equally good meals in other places these are the 25 that stood out to me.
25th. The Fumbally Eggs With Avocado
You won't get a nicer cleaner breakfast than this. I add the avocado on just to pimp it up a little. Perfect place to do a bit of work as well in the morning and start the day in the best possible way.
24th. Base Wood Fired Pizza
Easily one of the best takeaway spots in the city and you can have it at the weekend without feeling any guilt because there is no grease and the pizza is so clean and delicious. Has saved many a hungover person.
23rd. Croissants And Coffee - Le Petit Parisienne
I raved about the place a couple of weeks ago and I make it my mission to get in here once a week. We have so many sub standard pastries in this country that eating a couple of croissants and a coffee in here is sheer bliss.
22nd. Simple Turbot In Lemon - Super Miss Sue
I said this was one of my favorite meals I'd ever eaten at the time. Not everybody gets the concept because they want to be wowed by fancy sauces and high end cooking but the clean fresh fish and veg in here tick all the boxes for me. Superb.
21st. Chilli Chicken Crunches With Baked Potato - Crackbird
Food snobs might turn their noses up at me including this on the list but I go here pretty much every weekend for an early lunch and order the same thing every week. Chilli chicken crunches, whipped feta sauce and a baked potato. It is the highlight of the week for me as I sit there reading the paper.
20th. Smoked Chicken Quesadillas - Odessa
I can still taste this meal I had earlier in the year as if I had it an hour ago. The perfect dish for a weekend morning... Big meaty quesadillas and crunchy potatoes on the side all packing a nice punch.
19th. Crispy Porchetta Sandwich - Poulet Bonne Femme
The best sandwich in town. Nothing else even comes close. I've only managed to eat one this year as I sat on a step in the sunshine watching the world go by, I was in heaven.
18th. Chocolate Brownie - Brother Hubbard
The food in this place on Capel street is certainly good but I always eat my salad or brunch with one eye on the dessert. You simply haven't lived until you've had one of these brownies.
17th. Sausage, Eggs And Beans - Slice Cafe
If you read the title of this dish without seeing it you'd think it was an ordinary boring cafe. As the picture shows though this is home simple cooking of the very highest order.
16th. Sea Salt And Brown Bread Ice Cream - Murphys
In the middle of our heat wave a couple of scoops of this and a walk up listening to the street performers on Grafton Street is about as good as life gets.
15th. Tuna Tostados - 777
Just an incredible little starter that I had numerous times and each was as good as the last. How they get the tuna so fresh and the flavours so good I'll never know.
14th. Tuna Sashimi And Edamame Beans - Yamamori
Must be using the same supplier as 777 above as the tuna is equally fresh and they are only a couple of doors away from each other. When the health buzz starts and I have these two dishes I can feel the goodness seeping into my body.
13th. The Full Breakfast - The Butcher's Grill
The ultimate hangover cure. I'm not talking a mild hangover either but a big proper stinker where you need a big fry up. This is the best one in town with the smoked beans and rosti potato being absolutely killer.
12th. Ribs And Rump - Whitefriar Grill
Served on a Sunday night and costing only 40 Euros for 2 people this is a meat feast to die for. Could not believe the size of it and the taste from all the meat when it came out to the table.
11th. Mixed Meat Box - My Meat Wagon
Not the first to arrive on the BBQ scene in Dublin but when I sat outside at the tail end of summer enjoying simple meat and mash out of a box for a tenner I could not have been more content.
10th. Prawns A La Planca - Coppinger Row
Probably the best starter I've ever had in Dublin. Won't be to everyones taste as you have to use your hands to rip the shells and heads off but absolutely delicious
9th. Roast Sunday Lunch - The Old Spot
New gastro pub on the scene but they have nailed it straight away. Roast lunches seem to have gone out of fashion but they'd be on the list for the properly cooked roasties on this dinner alone.
8th. Anti Pasta - Da Mimmos
The is the little hidden gem that I got in so much shit for reviewing. I had heard a lot about it but couldn't believe the quality of the food and service as I sat there eating one of the greatest antipastis.
7th. Cheese Burger With Skinny Fries - Bunsen
I don't get to go here as much as I'd like to because I'm always out trying new spots, but this always does it for me. The perfection of the burger that is juicy and delicious. Love.
6th. Lobster Eggs Benedict - San Lorenzos
I'm sorry but anybody who has the balls to put lobster on a brunch menu and charge properly for it is a winner for me. Bounced down the road with happiness after eating this.
5th. Tasting Menu Brunch - Forrest Avenue
Unbelievable. Didn't know what to expect when heading in and wasn't that keen on the sound of 5 courses for brunch but it was absolutely out of this world.
4th. Chicken Burrito With Salsa Verde - Boojum
I have this about 3 days a week. Waiting to get bored of it but it just isn't happening. Judging by the growing queues I'm not the only one who gets so excited about this place.
3rd. Tomato Ravioli - Pinocchio
Proper Italian pasta cooked with love. I ordered the pasta of the day expecting something decent but I got pasta as good as any I've ever had in the world. I even ordered a second plate it was so good.
2nd. Fish And Chips - The Fish Shop
An amazing experience in the most unlikely of places. It's a little shack out the back of the market in Blackrock. The fish had been caught a couple of hours before I was served and they made the beer batter as I waited. Incredible.
1. Margherita With Basil - Manifesto
The list above has some pretty special food on it but the best meal I had this year was a pizza. Bread, tomato sauce, mozzarella and a bit of basil torn over the top. Stunning how good it was and just shows that the best food in life is always the most simple. I'd have this for the next 100 days if I could.