The original and well-loved Bang Café may have been a victim of Ireland's recession, but a new team of five partners reopened it in 2010 as Bang Restaurant and this Dublin restaurants reincarnation is just as popular as its old self.
Situated over three floors, the atmosphere is classy and sophisticated while still being relaxed and informal, with heavy white tablecloths, plush seating and black and white still life photos upstairs. Recent refurbishment has seen the walls redone in a subtle oyster grey, which adds now to the more muted, elegant ambience.
Details of provenance abound, with delicious Clare Island salmon, Castletownbere scallops, Wicklow game, Fivemiletown goats cheese and Kilkeel Harbour hake all likely to feature. But, in keeping with the philosophy of head chef and partner Phil Yeung (formerly of Town Bar and Grill), the main focus is on seasonality. And in winter there's a welcome an emphasis on game, along with other seasonal produce - roast squash soup with sage dumplings and hazelnuts, a Jerusalem artichoke risotto, and crushed swede as a side dish.
Sweet Castletownbere scallops contrast nicely with briny capers in the dressing, while Wicklow venison, cooked medium rare at the chef's suggestion, is beautifully tender and may be classically paired with blackberries, parsnip purée and a deeply savoury jus. Serving sizes are perfectly judged to leave you wishing for just one more delicious bite and the menu is inventive enough to make the meal feel like a special occasion.
The service at Bang is exceptional. Warmly welcoming staff - who are attentive without being obtrusive and genuinely friendly - have excellent knowledge of the menu, including the wine list (wide ranging and helpfully organised by style) when asked for suggestions. At Bang, you feel both well fed and well looked after.
Confident, inventive and seasonal cooking, impeccable service and an atmosphere that strikes a perfect balance between casualness and elegance make Bang an excellent choice for everything from a midweek meal to a special occasion.