Calling All Hipsters - 777 Is Your New Dublin Mecca
The Dublin restaurant scene has changed dramatically over the last couple of years. Gone is starched lined, inflated prices and snooty waiters replaced with a new wave of New York style hipster joints with causal menus, staff dressed like scruffs and no ability to book tables. Crackbird is the big daddy of the hipster joints but new kid on the block is 777 a Mexican spot in an area called the Hipster Triangle (made that up but a mixture of Dame Street, George's Street and South William Street). This place is so cool that nobody even goes there yet. When most places these days are screaming about 15 Euro 3 course menus on huge chalk boards and trying everything to get punters in the door 777 have gone for the complete opposite and basically tried to hide their premises. It's one of the oldest tricks in the book and clearly all aimed at building a rep as a secretive spot for the "in crowd".
When I visited on a Sunday lunch time the place had more staff than customers. At least 7 versus 3. The place had only been open for 2 days though and it was early enough. When you are basically hiding your restaurant from the general public you rely on word of mouth and even in an age of social media that will take a week to kick in. Expect the place to be packed from next weekend onwards.
After Italian, Mexican is my favorite type of food and it pissed me off no end that it took Ireland so long to cop on to the whole burrito trend. We were probably 3 years late on that one. When you think Mexican you think...melted cheddar cheese, ground beef, guacamole and sour cream all piled on to some sort of starch. Funnily enough when you spend time in Mexico like I have the food is nothing like that. The cheddar cheese slant is just the western world bastardizing their food to fit our own tastes. You won't find anything like that here in 777 because this is the real deal. It doesn't get more Mexican than this.
Not only was I testing them on one of my favorite cuisines but I also added in Oysters (a huge favorite) and fresh orange juice (something I'll slate people for getting wrong). The place passed on all 3 fronts with flying colors. One of the freshest juices I've tasted and huge big plump and fresh oysters with 3 types of chili sauces for a nice alternative to tabasco.
Main course (which you can see at the top of the post) was a mixture of chicken, eggs, beans and was on the brunch menu. I'd love to tell you what it was called but I was reading the paper and forgot to write it down and I can't find their brunch menu online. Safe to say it was delicious. Everything I ever wanted from a brunch menu and more.
This place is going to explode in popularity once people actually find it. You won't be able to get in the door because they've nailed the concept, menu and execution (as you would expect form people who also own Dillingers and The Butchers Grill in Ranelagh). The only negative for me were being asked 7 times if I was enjoying my lunch (which I was) but that is normal when staff and owners are eager to please on opening weekend. This is a restaurant that needs to be visited at night. There are cocktails, tequila and all sorts of beers in abundance and the food needs the buzz to go along with it. Even the bar setup and decor are made for slamming shots down with friends and kicking your night off in style.
My advice is to get down there pronto and get in early on the next hipster spot in Dublin because this place is gonna be the real deal. It has all the ingredients to become one of Dublin's top 5 restaurants. Good luck finding it though.