Irish hospitality is famous the world over and the first law of Irish hospitality is to eat what is placed before you. As you will soon discover this was not an issue for us here at FACT as we ate our way through Irish Village, Block 338. Jayne Houghton delves in…

Geniality is intrinsic and seemingly congenital within Gaelic society and as we entered Irish Village, we felt a wave of warmth welcoming us. The interior is spacious and the décor blends rustic staircases, the joints bound with rope, cross sections of tree trunks and branches forming a feature wall and homely touches such as vintage photographs and crockery proudly displayed as they would be in the The Emerald Isle. Injections of colour in the form of floral fabrics and lighting add a contemporary vogueishness. A series of spaces, spread across different floors creates a relaxed atmosphere as groups gather, perched on stools around tables formed from barrels. An array of objects suspended on ropes and raffia from the ceiling further enhance the curiosity of each space. The epitome of good ‘craic’.

Hearty, homely, tasty and satisfying are some of the qualities one might associate with Irish Fayre. They complement perfectly the traditional brews and beverages which are also immediately identifiable and familiar, and in abundance here. However, variety is the spice of life and is a principle that seems to have guided those who devised the menu. Should you crave something more spicy, healthy or from the smokehouse you won’t be disappointed.

The chicken wings with chunky blue cheese dip were succulent and made the palate tingle. The crudites which accompanied the wings were a welcome addition providing freshness and an alternate vessel for the indulgent cheese dip. The Cobb Salad was a combination of lettuce, bell pepper, beans and corn all topped with sour cream and guacamole. Colourful, vibrant and gratifying. Both were a taste of Americana whereas the Chicken Tikka Flatbread which we also opted for brought us firmly back to Asia. Delicately spiced and garnished and perfect for those wishing to share and dine more convivial

The traditional Irish Stew with tender pieces of lamb, root vegetables and soda bread has traditional, humble origins but the team at Irish Village have elevated it to a level which is both show and substance. Genuinely a taste of Ireland. For those wishing to stay with the theme of homely and satisfying the Smoked Pork Ribs presented on Lard Mash and accompanied by charred corn cobs is the obvious choice. Cooked to perfection so that the meat could be teased away from the bone without falling apart. Succulent and smoky. The chicken breast stuffed with bacon, sage and bread crumbs were elegantly presented, straddling honey glazed carrots, parsnips and garlic potatoes. Pan seared salmon with caper sauce and olive crushed potatoes provided a healthier, lighter option. Each retained elements of authenticity yet were drizzled and seasoned with sophistication. And so to dessert…

Chocolate fondant, simple yet effective. We’re all about that additional carb life.

Irish Village sits amidst varied and esteemed company on Block 338 although its unassuming confidence and homely, relaxed vibe makes it an attractive alternative to the other usual and established haunts. The menu typifies all things which are honest and outstandingly Irish as well as representing the best of the rest. A breath of fresh air, all the way from Eire. ✤