We had tickets to see War Horse at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, as part of our six year anniversary celebrations, so we thought a pre-theatre meal would be in order. We selected The Brasserie at the Marker Hotel, not only for its extremely close location to the theatre, but also the head chef Gareth Mullins has a great reputation. My previous experiences at The Marker Hotel have been positive as well.
One of them was cronuts. Gareth Mullins was responsible for introducing the cronuts to Dublin. For €10 you can purchase 4 cronuts and every week there are two different flavours. To pardon the pun, they were selling like hot cakes and I had to get up reasonably early to get my hands on them. It was certainly worth it. Although I’m very much a savoury person, they were delicious and I could have easily devoured the entire contents of the box!
Another time was last summer, during the heatwave, where we had a few beers on the rooftop. On a clear and sunny day, the rooftop at The Marker is a fantastic place to take in the sights of Dublin. Now and again, we pop in to The Marker for a cocktail, as they are very well made and there always seems to be a friendly atmosphere. Understandably, I was looking forward to my pre-theatre menu!
The waitress was friendly and showed us to our table immediately upon our arrival. We were delighted to see Tom Creans lager on the drinks menu and felt it would be a refreshing beverage before our meal. Although, I would have loved to have seen a bigger selection of Irish craft beers.
As we had had a few beers beforehand, we thought it would be wise to order some bread. When it promptly arrived, it came in a funky cloth bag which made it quite endearing. The bread was lovely. It tasted freshly made and I wish there was more!
For starters, I ordered the ‘Grilled St Tola Goat’s Cheese’ and my boyfriend ordered the ‘Tartar of Clare Island Salmon.’ My goats’ cheese was served with peas, mint, rocket and a sourdough croute. The grilled goats’ cheese had a lovely creamy texture topped off with a pleasantly caramelised crust. The peas and mint were very refreshing and the little pieces of tomato gave a pleasant acidity to the dish. Also, the crunchy croute was a good contrast to the smooth goats’ cheese.The Tartar of Clare Island Salmon was served with Ponzu dressing, radish, and coriander. It was well seasoned with delicate flavours which complimented each other very well. The radish and coriander gave a welcome crunch contrasting with the succulent salmon slices. Overall, we were both very happy with our starters.
For mains I ordered the ‘Fillet of Seabream’ and my boyfriend ordered the ‘Pork Belly.’My seabream was served with a black rice salad, bean sprouts, pak choy and soy vinaigrette. The fish was very well cooked, the skin was crispy and the flesh was tasty and moist. It was the first time I tried black rice and it gave a lovely texture to the meal. It’s quite hard to go wrong with pak choy and bean sprouts, so they were absolutely fine. My only criticism of my main course is perhaps the soy sauce was a bit overpowering.
The pork belly was served with smoked potato, braised red cabbage and a cider jus. After the previous disappointing pork belly at Rhodes at the Dome, my boyfriend was hesitant to order the same again, but thankfully he decided to give it one more shot. The plate arrived with a generous serving of meat, which was juicy and intensely flavoursome. Most importantly the crackling was perfect! The cabbage and the potato worked well with the cider jus to balance the meatiness of the pork. We also ordered a side dish of crushed celeriac, which was creamy and buttery, very tasty. Overall, we both enjoyed our main courses.
For dessert I ordered the ‘Passion Fruit Parfait’ and my boyfriend ordered the ‘Chocolate Mousse.’ The parfait was served with a coconut sorbet and a raspberry tuille. The flavour of the parfait was delightful and you certainly could taste the passionfruit. However, the texture of it felt more like ice cream. It was chilled too much and perhaps if they had left it out at room temperature for a bit longer, it would have been better. The coconut sorbet was very refreshing and a perfect after-meal palate cleanser. The raspberry tuille was a lovely little addition.
The chocolate mousse was served with a cinnamon doughnut and bourbon ice cream. The mousse was very rich; almost pure chocolate heaven! The ice cream had a subtle bourbon flavour which contrasted well against the intense flavour of the mousse. The doughnut was simply an extra sugary indulgence, possibly not needed on the plate, but enjoyable nonetheless. A three course pre-theatre menu is €29; for the quality of food we received I believe that’s a pretty good price.
Overall, if you are going to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, a meal beforehand at The Brasserie would be ideal. Also, I would thoroughly recommend seeing War Horse, it is marvellous. It was a perfect evening and a lovely way to celebrate our anniversary.