Hands Down The Best Chinese Restaurant In Dublin
Chinese food in Ireland is generally a bag of shite. What we call Chinese on this island is about as close to the real thing as Ireland are to winning the World Cup in Brazil. It tyically consists of "curry" which is some sort of dark brown gravy that is so thick you could use it to fill potholes on the capital's streets or plaster your house. I won't even get started on the chips. In short what we've eaten here has been bastardized to within an inch of it's life to satisfy our local tastes and it has been pretty much like that since the 80s.
Luckily with China being the biggest country in the world and there being a billion of the feckers living there we are finally starting to see their authentic cuisine spread to Ireland. The great cities like New York, SF and London already have awesome Chinese food and our own Moore Street has some great spots so you could easily see the day where Dublin has it's own fully blown China Town. That would be a great thing. One spot that has been around for a while and which serves hand down the best and most authentic Chinese cuisine in Dublin is M&L on Cathedral Street (Just off O'Connell Street).
The first great sign when walking in is that the place is packed full of Chinese. When you peer across the street at the GPO you realise just how far this little capital of ours is coming in terms of being a truly multicultural world class city in less than 100 years. The place is always buzzing and is kitted out with cheap enough decor but everywhere you look you see huge plates and bowls of amazing steaming food.
Unlike most places like this the "English" menu is pretty decent and features most of the stuff the Chinese can order from their own menu. I did spot some people eating mad dishes that I couldn't find on my menu myself but the selection was pretty diverse. Another clue that they'd be used to people coming in looking for a chicken curry and chips was the fact that I was the only one presented within a knife and fork instead of chopsticks. The staff were amazing though and they quickly changed them when I asked and realised that I wasn't a complete muck savage bogger up on the train for the day.
I had amazing steamed dumplings with pork which melted in the mouth and which could have come from a street vendor in the East. Outstanding. I also had a simple Schezuan spicy chicken with fried rice which was absolutely melt in the mouth. There is a ton of stuff to choose from and the best thing about the place are the prices. You could have a meal for 2 in here with starters, mains and a couple of beers and get away for less than 50 Euros. Added to that the portions are Desperate Dan style and would feed a small horse.
China is a huge country with many cooking styles (this is all Schezuan) and the irony is that many Irish will visit this place and think it is completely unauthentic. You can here people asking "where are my prawn crackers and curry chips?". If I want to get away from the world and experience something totally unique this is where I'll head. You can eat yourself stupid for next to nothing and it is hands down the best Chinese in Dublin.