I had never been to Taste of Dublin before but was tempted to visit earlier today in what is now the festival's eighth year. It takes place each year in the really pretty Iveagh Gardens off Harcourt Street, a nice 15 minute stroll for me.
It's not a cheap day out with standard tickets on the gate costing €28.50 and VIP tickets a massive €52.50, the only advantages of which appear to be access to the VIP tent (including canapes), a free glass of fizz and a cocktail.
I wasn't naive enough to think there would be freely available food but I was genuinely surprised how little was included in the ticket price. I saw some cubes of Dubliner Cheese, one tray of Pink Lady Apple slices and some Kehoe's crisps. That was it. Everything else had to be purchased with 'florians', the Taste currency (cash is not accepted).
And, though the very nice lad on the gate told us that "most things" were about a fiver, in fact almost all the starter sized tasting plates were seven florians (or euros). From the Dylan Restaurant we tried this little lamb cutlet with approximately 1tablespoon of buttermilk mash which was fine.
We were much happier with our subsequent choices. This steak, chips and bernaise sauce from the Chophouse was beautiful and the portion size very decent.
From Jaipur's stall I ordered this Goan Prawn Curry from who I assumed was the owner, one of the most unpleasant individuals I have encountered in a long time. The curry itself was faultless. I really must try to make it soon.
We spent our final few florians on some Movenpick ice-cream - Pannacotta and Pistachio for me and Chocolate and Vanilla for him.
We left after an hour, well fed but strangely deflated.