I've been suffering a serious case of restaurant fatigue the last few weeks. It's a combination of me being guilty of eating out at the same spots, and also most restaurants serving up the same dishes. I'm sick of seeing identical menus in different restaurants around the city. It's hard to go to a mid-price restaurant without seeing the chicken wings with blue cheese dip, I'd also be hard pressed to find a good deli or sandwich bar that isn't selling pulled pork sandwiches. Not that they're not delicious or I don't like them, but it's nice to try something new for a change. If you're feeling like something new, delicious and definitely different then you have to visit The Woollen Mills.
I had heard a lot about The Woollen Mills over the last month and I knew it was going to be good having heard it was owned and ran by the same people behind The Winding Stair. I decided to check it out last week to see what it was like. The Woollen Mills is based in an iconic old building just over the Ha'penny Bridge, and you just need to walk in the door to know that you're in for a treat. To your left is the take away deli with an old wooden table heaving under the weight of incredible freshly baked cakes, baskets of fresh breads, trays of sandwiches and fresh coffee. The interior of the Woollen Mills is stripped back and fancy at the same time, like Dublin meets New York.
The main section of the restaurant was absolutely buzzing and there weren't many seats left come 1pm. The kitchen is open so you can see the chefs whipping up your dishes, so I sat up at the bar to have a nosey peek in at what they were doing. The menu is pretty big and there is something for everyone. The have a vegetarian, meat, fish and gruel section. The gruel section is all traditional Irish dishes like Dublin Coddle. They also had some tempting pork scratching with homemade apple ketchup and ox tongue fritters, but I decided to go for curried crab claws and a cauliflower blue cheese salad.
The curried crab claws were divine and probably the nicest way I've ever had crab claws before. The sauce was really mild and creamy, but so delicious. It came on top of a spiced homemade bread with samphire. The whole thing was just incredible, I want to go back immediately just thinking about it! I also ordered a side salad of roast cauliflower, celery, sultanas and a blue cheese buttermilk sauce. It may sound a bit weird but it was delicious, I literally cleaned my plate of every crumb.
The crabs claws cost €16 and the cauliflower salad was €5, so while not the cheapest it was off their restaurant menu and the quality was superb and quantities generous. It was also one of the more expensive items on their restaurant menu to be fair. You could also always grab a gourmet sandwich for €7.95, or one of their salad plates of soups. If you're just in the mood for a hearty sandwich theirs did look incredible and were filled with beef, turkey, pulled pork and more and with all kinds of delicious salads on freshly baked bread. Their cakes also looked incredible and if I wasn't full I would have went for their parsnip cake or a slice of their chocolate mud cake. In fact I think I need to go back again soon to sample out the cakes.
This place is definitely a must try, and without a doubt my favourite new restaurant.