Barry Sun Jian brought a mighty CV with him when he opened Volpe Nera, in the ’burbs between Blackrock and Foxrock. Mr Jian was head chef at Etto when he won the RAI chef of the year award, so no one doubted that the cooking in Volpe Nera was going to be good. What is surprising is how quickly the team here pulled everything together, and how quickly Jian’s cooking had its own svelte personality and power – Niall Toner’s emotional reaction to a starter dish of cep dumplings was to feel he had been kidnapped by tree fairies and spirited off into the Wicklow woods, such was the earthy power of the dish. Indeed, it is the pin-point precision of the cooking, from the oysters with pickled apple, to flawless malfatti, to insta-ready classics like malt panna cotta, that announce the arrival of a major talent in BlackFox.
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