Few restaurant openings garnered such enthusiasm as NEDE, the reincarnation of EDEN, a Temple Bar hot spot during Ireland's boom. The original dining room was celebrated for its pale mosaic wall, double height ceiling and large terrace overlooking Meeting House Square, and it's great to see these attractive features have all been maintained. In fact, the cool white chairs, 60s tables and leafy hanging baskets are all familiar, with a mirrored ceiling the only notable new exception.
The open kitchen has had a radical makeover too with state-of-the-art equipment added under the watchful eye of Irish chef Louise Bannon and her Belgian partner Yannick van Aeken. Former pastry chef and sous chef, respectively, at Copenhagen’s celebrated Noma, the couple aim to bring some of Noma’s natural food ethos to Dublin’s diners.
When Louise leaves the kitchen to welcome each table of guests with a mini loaf of sourdough and some half whipped creme fraiche butter you know you’re in caring hands. Ingredients are treated with absolute respect here and every dish on the menu celebrates the essence of its parts, whether it’s simple langoustines on sourdough toast or sprouting broccoli with roasted hazelnuts and a delicate hazelnut milk.
Dishes like razor clams with horseradish snow and pickled swedes or rhubarb with buttermilk sorbet and pine granite offer much excitement and a meal at NEDE will give you much to enjoy and talk about.
Lunch offers a choice of 3 starters, 3 mains and 2 desserts with dinner offering just 12 dishes in total and there’s a short but pleasing selection of wines. But it’s not quantity that matters here, it’s quality and the restraint in the kitchen allows the carefully chosen ingredients to wow.
The Guide was impressed with the quality of the cooking but would love to see the farmers, fishmongers and growers name checked on the menu.
It was early days for our visit and service was friendly but frantic and under much pressure. We expect it to settle down and make NEDE the destination dining experience it’s trying hard to be.