Small Plates at Ubh
It’s a miserable September evening in Newbridge. A light, hazy rain has been falling all day but I’ve been looking forward to the evening. Ubh has had a few tapas/small plates nights at this stage but I’ve never been able to attend – working in theatre means that a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night off is like gold dust. This time I’ve no such problems.
We’re the first ones through the door of the cafe on George’s Street. The staff are in great form and we’re led upstairs – it’s warm and cosy with fairy lights and candles, a nice foil for the weather outside. The menu reads like a list of some of my favourite things and we take our time to settle on four dishes between the two of us. We’re hungry.
Flex Your Mussels
First out is the Flex Your Mussels – Chorizo and White Wine served with a couple of slices of soft, sweet bread. I go for the broth first and it’s wonderful. Perfectly seasoned and with a nice hit of paprika from the chorizo, it has imparted all of it’s flavour into the juicy, tender shellfish. I end up slurping the broth from a soup spoon once the bread and mussels are gone – not willing to leave a single millilitre. Just as I’m taking my final slurp the next dish arrives – Flatbread and Dips – Tzatziki, Hummus, Fermented Garlic. The flatbreads are soft and light but it’s the dips that really steal the show here. I take one big scoop from the bowl and it is heaven. The sharpness of the yoghurt cutting through the rich hummus with the heat of the garlic and sweetness from some pickled cauliflower – it’s a flavour explosion and I’m loving it.
As Blunt as a Spoon
I’m feeling rather full at this stage but just as I’m polishing off my first glass of wine, the Duck Breast – Romanesco Cauliflower and Fluffed Quinoa arrives. I wait for another glass of wine before diving in. At first I’m a little apprehensive – I’m having a difficult time cutting the meat and fear it may be tough. My fears are put to rest once I bite in however – the knife is just as blunt as a spoon. The duck breast is as tender as you could want it. Served pink, it is accompanied by a beautiful cauliflower puree, florets of romanesco cauliflower and a light jus. At this stage I’m struggling to eat anymore and, as an apology for the delay with the quinoa, we are brought a portion of potato gratin with the quinoa following soon after. I just taste both items, knowing that there is still a final dish to come.
The final dish arrives just a few minutes later and I’m in a bad way. I know that I will explode if I eat much more but a taste is mandatory. It is delicious – the star of the evening for me. Roast Carrots – Over Grown Carrot, Dukkah and Whipped Feta. The sweet carrot paired with the aromatic crunch of toasted coriander seeds with creamy feta cheese. I love it. I love it but I’m full – too full to eat very much of it.
Dessert or even coffee is out of the equation for us tonight – we have ordered and eaten too much food but I don’t regret a thing. It has been a taste explosion from start to finish and I can’t wait for the next one – although it may be awhile before I get a weekend evening off again!
Very Highly Recommended
2 George’s Street
085 766 7911
Review of Ubh Café from 2017: http://kinneaghkitchen.com/2017/03/09/ubh-cafe-newbridge/