A leisurely midweek lunch at McGettingan’s Irish Pub can really boost your spirits, says Melissa Nazareth.

Before I say anything else, let me put this out there – if there were one type of food that I could eat all my life, it would be pub grub. I think it’s because the dishes are comforting, moreish even, and there’s a relaxed yet high-spirited vibe attached to spaces that serve them.

My companions and I headed to McGettigan’s Irish Pub on a weekday afternoon. It was just the pick-me-up we needed to power through until the weekend. The restaurant offers a modern Irish bar feel. There are TV screens airing matches and some sports-inspired décor. You can enjoy live musical entertainment by the resident band and DJ in the evening. The main seating area where the bar is has booth and barstool seating. There’s also a private dining area with some tables, which is where we sat.

Our gastronomic adventure kicked off with the Warm Quinoa Salad. Now, a salad is not something you usually order at a place like this but this dish is an exception to the norm. It was a medley of fresh ingredients such as creamy avocado, sweet and acidic mango and cherry tomato, and earthy kale, all combined in a light citrus dressing. The temperature contrast between the quinoa and other ingredients made this dish a hit, not to forget the pop of pomegranate seeds every so often.

Burrata, a straightforward creation of the creamiest cheese ever and red, yellow and green Heirloom tomato slices, was a saviour. It cut through the richness of the fare that was to follow. The pistachio slices offered a surprise bite and the balsamic glaze, sweet and tart, was irresistible.

Our starters included Arancini Di Riso, light risotto balls cooked with juicy wild mushroom. Delightful spheres with warm, gooey insides and a crunchy breaded exterior, they went perfectly well with the tangy tomato sauce they were sat on and the aromatic basil drizzle. We also ate Loaded Potato Skins with a Mexican twist. The filling included a subtly spiced, juicy Wagyu beef chilli topped with citrusy pico de gallo, a dollop of sour cream and aged cheddar. I liked the fusion of flavours, and the spud, seared on the edges and soft and mushy on the inside, offered the perfect stage.

We asked the bar tender for a selection of drinks to wash down this moreish feast. My favourite was the grapefruit one – refreshing with sweet, sour and bitter notes. I decided to check out the outdoor dining area while we waited for our mains. This was my first time at McGettigan’s and I must say, they have a spacious, impressive al fresco set up – can’t wait for the temperature to drop! You can’t go to an Irish pub and not eat sausages! I was looking forward to trying their Bangers & Mash especially since my Irish colleague was impressed with this dish. She was right – I now know what the real deal tastes like! Savoury and meaty, they had so much flavour, which was further intensified by a really tasty gravy. The Colcannon mash – potatoes with greens – was a new one on me and it was buttery and fluffy like a cloud.

The bar was raised high now but the smart people at McGettigan’s left their best for last. The 250gm Prime Rib-Eye was presented to us. Cooked to medium, it still had the juices flowing out of it. The protein, seasoned right, was succulent and delicious on its own but my Indian palate craved something more, which the salty, thick mushroom gravy satisfied. You could opt for peppercorn sauce or chimichurri too. The onion jam was the ‘icing on the steak’ – I mean, is there anything better than caramelised onions! Served with a side of chunky chips, this dish was a hero.

Adding a touch of variety was Prawn A La Plancha, linguini dressed with a silken parmesan and cream sauce and rendered flavourful by fresh prawns grilled to perfection. The rocket garnish was drizzled with premium truffle oil, which added a certain je ne sais quoi.

We took breaks between our mains, sometimes to cleanse our palates with that creamy burrata and at other times to share some laughs as we sipped on our drinks. That’s what I love about spaces like McGettigan’s – you can unwind with loved ones over good food and drinks. Plus, the dishes are big enough to share.

Our midweek indulgence ended on the sweet note that was Sticky Toffee Pudding. A moist, gooey square topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with the most decadent caramel sauce – the crunchy toffee bits were a pleasant surprise! I truly look forward to returning with my family and friends, perhaps for an evening experience with the live band. ✤