Residence Restaurant 41 - Decent Poncy Shit
I sold my business this week so I wanted to treat a good mate to a fancy bit of grub without thinking of cost. I'd heard very good things about Residence but had never been tempted because it was a members club. It's €850 a year to join but anybody can eat in the restaurant. The reason I didn't go before now is because I hate the concept of members clubs.They are usually full of people who are more interested in climbing a social ladder than the the things that matter in life and they remind me of the Celtic tiger. Anyway more on that later.
We went for the tasting menu without even looking at what was on it as we are both foodies and tasting menus are usually the best a kitchen has to offer. The clue is in the name really. First up was scallops. I'm never impressed with scallops because any old donkey could cook them well and they were with some sort of foam sauce which is always bullshit. I prefer frothy milk on my coffee and see no place for it on a starter. They did have some nice pork with them but scallops on a tasting menu is a cop out. Too easy. Too obvious.
The best course was the fois gras with toast. This was as delicious as it gets. Who doesn't like eating force fed geese? The toast was perfect but I've no idea why the served picked vegetables and tomatoes on the side? It felt a bit like a super model dressed up in clothes from ASDA. Very tasty though despite the strange ingredients and technically perfect. Top marks.
Next up was the duck. Really nicely cooked and lots of flavor but an ordinary enough dish. I was bored eating it. Tasting menus should be much more "wow" than this. Even though it was technically well cooked and pretty on the eye it just didn't pack the punch it should have.
We were just getting full when the cheese was served with lovely crackers, bread, grapes and apples. This was when the meal changed from ordinary to fantastic. There is no skill involved in serving cheese and in theory anybody could do it but this was perfection. The service was absolutely world class and that is what made the difference. Probably the best I've ever had in Dublin and it was no surprise as the entire waiting team were made up of French people. See the thing with the French is they can come across as arrogant bastards at times but if you want world class service with things done to perfection in a high end restaurant then you need to get them involved. They just get it.
The final course was an all time classic. Bananas with caramel. Loads of crunchy stuff, ice cream and caramel flavors running through it all. Desserts can be heavy and bog you down but this was freaking delicious. World class. The only fault was the addition of micro coriander on the dessert which was clearly just an error by somebody grabbing the wrong herb in the kitchen.
The meal finished with a couple of lovely biscuits and some chocolate truffles and coffees. The perfect ending to a meal and all the little touches were starting to add up. I wouldn't be popping in every week to eat here but for special occasions this is worth a go. It's not actually that crazy expensive either with the tasting menu coming in at €40 and with drinks and everything else bringing the bill up to €140 which given the effort that went in to this and the quality of ingredients doesn't seem outlandish.
I was still pretty down on members clubs but that changed when I went to the toilets at the end of the meal. My mind was changed instantly. The place was stunning and had a great buzz around it. It's way too much money to justify joining but I can now see why people would consider it. The good news is that you won't have to in order to enjoy the food. This is not Michelin starred food but with a few changes to the menu and some tinkering around the edges it wouldn't be a million miles off.
The Alternate View
I'm only one person eating there on a single day so it's important to get a little bit of balance. Check out there other reviews from people who have eaten there... Lucinda O'Sullivan Good Food Ireland Diffords Guide