I eat out about 300 times a year, between lunch and dinner, and for the most part the meals are okay – decent at best.
Once a year, however, there is a dining experience that makes me pinch myself. And yesterday in Richmond I had that very experience.
Like most people, when I think of brunch I think of either Ranelagh or the George's Street area for some savage options like Dillingers, San Lorenzos or The Exchequer. Like all good things in life though, if you over indulge, you get bored of them.
So I wanted to find somewhere new. I wanted to find somewhere slightly off the beaten track.
Richmond is pretty much across the street from The Bernard Shaw and you could blink and miss it when walking past. But keeping your eyes peeled, you'll be when you pull back the thick curtain, you enter into a buzzing, trendy and compact room.
They've made the most of small space and the tunes, wickedly good service and decor make you feel at home straight away.
I was in the mood to load up on food, so I went with a Mexican chicken wrap which came open and which tasted absolutely fucking delicious.
So many restaurants try this type of dish in Dublin but don't have the balls to hit the customer with a proper kick of chili – but as a dish this rocked, and the fiery smokey kick in the sauce was a stand-out element.
In the cause of writing a proper review I decided to be a pig and order the sardine special as well – you're welcome, readers.
It's one of the most wonderful fish in the world and it's served all across the Med, but for some reason ignored in this part of the world. The ones here were simple, perfectly cooked and the simple dill and caper garnish was all they needed – if I wasn't in a public place I'd have picked the bones up and sucked the last bits of flesh from them.
Chefs all try to outdo each other, but the best ones in the world rely on good ingredients and have the confidence to just put three simple sardines on a plate. It cost about a tenner, but I'd genuinely pay €50 just to get that taste again right now as I write this.
My coffee was perfect, my juice freshly squeezed and the bill very modest at under €30.
Eating out is subjective but I can safely say that from a personal perspective this was the very best thing I've eaten in 2016. By a country mile.