Top Quality Chinese Restaurant Nestled Away in Ranelagh
Chinese food was the only Asian food that many of us were familiar with growing up in Ireland, however there aren't as many well known Chinese restaurants in the city these days when you compare them to the huge amount of top class Thai and Vietnamese restaurants and takeaways around Dublin.
I've used to love the Chinese dishes that we enjoyed as a family in The Ambassador in Cork when I was younger. It was only after a trip to China 5 years ago that I realised that the Chinese food I was familiar with growing up, while still delicious, was far from the authentic. I only came across Mak recently despite it being set up in Ranelagh for over 2 years, but after a quick glance of the Mak's online menu (my mouth was literally watering) I had high hopes that I had found a top class local Chinese. I decided to go on Saturday night and check it out. When I saw sesame prawn toast on the menu I had to order it straight away... Some old habits die hard! Mak's version was delicious, the toast was packed with meaty prawns and it was so perfectly chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside. The hot sauce to go with it was perfect, it gave it a lovely, hot kick. I could have happily had a whole plate of that to myself for dinner.
We decided to order a lot of Dim Sum and share one main dish between us, in order to try as much on the menu as humanly possible. The second dish that arrived, the Pork Pak Choi Potstickers, were again absolutely delicious. Despite being fried, they were still fairly light and the pork mix on the inside was packed with flavour! Another dish I would 100% order again.
The steamed Dim Sum sounded really good so we decided to order the Char Sui Bun, a steamed bun filled with barbeque pork, and the Prawn Har Gau, steamed prawn dumplings. The steamed bun was really tasty and the flavours from the BBQ pork were just incredible, I just wish there was a little less of the bun as it was a bit too doughy for me. I was really glad to see it on the menu though, steamed pork buns are only of my favourite Dim Sum dishes. The steamed dumplings were very generously filled with prawns, but again if there was a little less pastry it would have been perfect. Having said that, they were still two really tasty dishes and we very happily finished every last bit!
The last dish we ordered was the Beef Black Bean with steamed rice. It was definitely the nicest black been dish I've ever had, the beef was incredibly tender and the flavour from the smokey and sweet black bean sauce was incredible. Even the rice was amazing, so sticky and delicious. We were very close to licking the plates before leaving!
I'm so glad I checked this place out, I'll definitely be heading back again and trying more of the pot stickers and dumplings. Their roast cantonese duck and cashew chicken dishes sounded pretty epic too, so I have a few more things I'm dying to try out there. Despite being a really big restaurant, it was busy enough and there was a lovely atmosphere. They also have an impressive cocktail menu to work your way through. The whole thing came to €56 including two drinks, which I think is really good value considering the variety and quality of the dishes. It's definitely somewhere to check out this weekend if you fancy something different.