Precise and painstaking attention to detail is the secret of the success of chef-patron Neal Magee's cooking in 101 Talbot, and it’s the secret ingredient of the lovely dishes he creates in one of Dublin’s most venerable dining rooms. That attention to detail it is the thing that lifts his cooking into the memorable, into the definitive. Mr Magee has an artist’s touch with cooking and arranging, so the food is always attractively plated, whilst his fundamental ethos tends towards comfort – a dish of venison chilli with sour cream and basmati rice has a hit of heat, but the cream and rice cool the fire of the chilli, giving your taste buds balance, and satisfaction, comfort tickled with heat. He will do the same with a dish of lamb tagine, crafting an intricate couscous that balances the spicing, so each forkful sets off little tastebombs in your mouth. The 101 dining room itself is an ageless Dublin classic, a Northside classic, and walking up the stairs is always tinged with both expectation, and promise, whilst the staff and the cooking over-deliver on that promise, that expectation, every time.
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