Every week, Lovin's food writer Sarah Clayton-Lea scours the streets for the best eats in the whole of Dublin. From market stalls to six-course tasting menus, consider our review series, The Dish, your one-stop guide to all things tasty in the city.
This week we took the good ol’ DART down to the pretty seaside town of Skerries to check out 5Rock, an Argentinian grill/cocktail spot that’s right on the harbour. With unique interior features inspired by the sea, it’s the ideal place for a catch-up dinner with a bit of a buzz.
What’s the vibes?
Walking along the harbour road, you’ll spot 5Rock as soon as you turn onto the scenic stretch of bars and restaurants that overlook the bay. An outdoor garden area with fairylights seems like the perfect place to sit down with a margarita, but we’re feeling the end of summer chill, so we head inside.
Trendy neon and moody lights give the interior a city slicker feel, and if it wasn’t for the breathtaking view of the sun setting over the harbour from our window table I would have reckoned I was in the middle of the LES in New York.
The walls in 5ROCK are finished with delicate seashells and sand, the bar stools are old Mini Coupe car seats, and the tables are salvaged old French oak. The mixture of relaxed seaside vibes and trendier touches, such as a cute little flip-board cocktail menu works seriously well.
Staff are friendlier than any I’ve come across in the city centre, maybe it’s a Skerries thing, or maybe just a 5ROCK thing? Either way, when the waiter sits down opposite me to recommend a drink I’m not complaining. This place is already impressing.
What’s on the menu?
Hearty Argentinian cuisine, or tacos and grilled meats, makes up the majority of the menu. There’s so many mouthwatering options to choose from that it’s difficult to choose just a few, the sign of a great menu.
From grilled prawns, BBQ rib taquitos, and chargrilled turkey burgers, it’s a pretty hearty affair, so the fact that I was absolutely STARVING worked in my favour. ‘Cos boy, did we order a whole lot of food.
For starters we went with the Boneless Chicken Wings with a hot Buffalo sauce, and a Loughshinny Crab Tostada of dressed Loughshinny crab, jalapeno, chipotle & micro coriander.
While the wings are technically more goujon-like than boneless wings, they were soooooo good. Skerries is home to Dublin’s best chicken wings in Blue Bar, and the sauce on these guys was just as tasty but with an extra spicy kick.
The crab from nearby Loughshinny was fresh and soft, a lovely balance to the crispy tostada. The jalapeno didn’t come through too much, letting the flavour of the crab shine like the true star it is. Verdict? I could have eaten another portion of this for my main it was that yum.
And oh, the mains. Those sweet, beautiful, filling mains. A 5ROCK Lobster Roll of
fresh Lobster, served on a brioche roll with cripsy bacon bits, shredded baby gem lettuce chipotle mayo & red cabbage brought me right back to a summer in Brooklyn spent gorging on lobster rolls by the bay.
My main gal pal got the 5ROCK Burger, an 8oz beef burger topped with oak-leak lettuce, Monterey Jack cheese, tomato & chilli relish, pickled gherkins & crispy fried onions which came with house fries & corn slaw. I’m ashamed to say it defeated her, and while insanely tasty, between the hefty starters and overdoing it on side dishes, she couldn’t make much of a dent in it.
And yes, she did have food regret the next day thinking about the burger she left behind.
Two sides tipped us over the edge into food coma land: Bacon Mac & Cheese, and Grilled Sweet Corn. Like I said, the menu options were too tempting to resist. Both delish, both unnecessary to have ordered alongside the huge plates of food in front of us but hey, the heart wants what the heart wants.
What’s the verdict?
A margarita cocktail and a Dingle strawberry-infused gin with rosemary were our dessert, and perked us right up.
As the night went on, more people popped in for drinks and to catch up over a G&T at the bar. If I lived locally I reckon this would become my new go-to spot, but for now 5ROCK is gonna have to be a evening outing as a treat.
5ROCK is well worth the trip out for an evening out with a view to rival any resort on the west coast. Pumping tunes, artisan cocktails, friendly staff and smashing food? It's a win-win.
All photographs by Alana Laverty