At the start of the month we posted that the two of us have made a huge decision to wave goodbye to Dublin and pave a road to a brand new adventure in London. For various reasons since that date, we have been very silent – as you may have noticed. The main reason is that for the first week we were living out of suitcases, trying to get the basics established from a new base. That included the usual errands of organising bank accounts, National Insurance numbers, phones, and most importantly scouting a brand new home in this big city.
You may have noticed lately that we have been quieter than we are usually. There has been a very good reason for this. All is well with us GastroGays, don’t you worry. Things have just changed.
When we began this blog, we had made our long bucket list of places to eat in Dublin, and thoroughly enjoyed eating our way through the city. Who wouldn’t? However, career paths, life, finances and other things began to change and we decided together that maybe our next move was not to be within Dublin, but instead to another city.
Luckily for us, we both knew where we wanted to go. So from now on, GastroGays will not be just about Dublin, but London too!
Bread making is an activity which firmly its place in the history books of cuisines around the world. Every country has their own versions, their own flavours and even their own methods of production. Every person has their personal preference too; white or brown; soda or wheaten; wrap or pitta. Most chefs and cooks have their own way of making it too. Considering all these variables, I don’t understand why I decided to take it upon myself to make my own bread. Over the course of the last month, I have been baking non-stop. Kneading has become my new favourite past time, replacing staying in bed and clock watching. It all stems back from watching The Fabulous Baker Brothers, shown on Channel 4.
THIS RESTAURANT HAS UNFORTUNATELY CEASED TRADING, FOR MORE OF OUR DUBLIN REVIEWS CLICK HERE
[EDIT July 2014 – this establishment is now trading as ‘Saint’, and has undergone a transformation in the year since we’ve eaten there. Still some of the wonderful sandwiches and brunch on offer that we talk about below though!]
Sandwiches are a firm favourite of the people of Ireland, spanning the 32 counties. And what isn’t to love about them? It is a blank canvas to create a mouthwatering snack conjured up in your wildest dreams, wedged between a fluffy frame.
Dublin is awash with bog standard corner shop delis who will do the work you should’ve done at home for double the cost. But thankfully there are some great glutenous gems cropping up – one in particular which you must try.
You would never expect to find such exceptional quality just off Camden Street. The areas of Camden and Harcourt Street hold somewhat of a bad rep as a rough area, which is party-focused on the weekends. Though not littered with late night eateries like Grafton or O’Connell Street, it does leave a little to be desired quality-wise.
In saying that, as new tenants in the D8 area, we have had some exceptional meals on Camden Street during 2012. Special mentions go to Green Nineteen who serve international dishes, in a home cooked style paired with a great tipple selection. We chose some craft beers which were on offer – delicious! Another mention goes to Bobo’s Burger joint who prepare sinful, ultra indulgent burgers using the freshest Irish beef.
Now let’s move a few steps towards the end of the street to a completely otherworldly establishment – Camden Kitchen. Nestled just off Camden on Grantham Street, this little bistro looks like it has been teleported from Paris itself. A large window at the front allows walkers-by to glance in and diners inside to peer out in ultra French bistro style.
But don’t be fooled – you won’t find oeufs en cocette or coq au vin in this restaurant. What’s served is organic and seasonal Irish fare on a wholly Irish menu.
The thing that attracted us both to Goose on the Loose was the striking sign; a bold blue background is emblazoned with an unusual decorative script. It’s always intriguing when a bright new business opens in your locality, especially one that you are new to and constantly exploring. We lived in Dublin 8 for a year, so this lay locally to us when it popped up. The distinct and different name of this place helped too in enticing us inside…
If you’ve landed on this page, well done. Great decision. You won’t be disappointed.
This blog arose out of a love for Dublin and a complete under appreciation of the great gastronomic delights that lie mere moments from our doorstep. As somewhat of a New Year’s Resolution we decided that we needed to sample some of the excellent restaurants that are dotted around Dublin, which we have completely ignored or not made much of an effort to sample and support.
As a bit of a bucket list, we wrote down 50 restaurants, cafés and bars that we wanted to try throughout 2013. This blog was dedicated to our trials throughout the city eating and drinking our way to a better 2013; supporting local business, embracing the strong Irish food community and playing our part in making it something really worthwhile. When we unexpectedly moved to London mid-2013 it throw the blog a curveball, but we leaned into the upheaval and then the blog absolutely flourished. So now, living between London and Dublin, we document our recipes, restaurant trips, interviews, videos, travel features and personal posts in one great big ball of food, travel (and a lot of Eurovision!)
We hope to encourage others to try out the excellent eateries out and to engage with the fledgling food community that is so important in both Ireland and the UK right now. We write from a place of passion and we hope to pass that on to reader and fan alike.
A little disclaimer. Though we may review, rate and recommend eateries we do not strive to be known as or proclaim ourselves to be food critics. We are simply divulging our honest experiences of the places we try and the people we meet – whether they be positive, negative or anything between. More about our policies here.
A little bit about us
We are Russell James Alford and Patrick Hanlon. Extreme foodophiles by nature, not necessarily by profession. Though both in our early twenties, you will most likely find us tucking into a full-bodied red and some night cheese as opposed to stumbling out of a nightclub on a weeknight.
We met while studying in university and have been embarking on a life together for the past five years, first in Dublin and now in London.
So what more do you need to know about Gastrogays? Well, Russell works in TV production and radio and Patrick is a freelance writer, blogger and social media manager (his website here). That’s us by day, but by night we’re either checking out a new restaurant, writing up about somewhere brilliant we’ve just travelled to or spreading ourselves across social media in constant conversation about food!