Younger sister to one of Dublin’s most popular restaurants, Eden Bar & Grill is a hipper, more laid back version of the original Eden (now Nede). The décor takes itself less seriously than the Temple Bar stalwart, yet manages to reflect the zeitgeist obsession for mismatched seating, quirky art and a smattering of urban edginess.
The South William Street space is long and bright with white walls, leafy hanging baskets and lovely bright pendulum lights that accentuate the high ceilings and create a conservatory feel that’s reminiscent of the Temple Bar restaurant. Dark wood floors, comfy red seats, an oversized recycled dining table – perfect for groups – and a cool bar mark this contemporary space out as a casual and sociable hang out.
This Dublin restaurants pleasant setting is matched by welcoming staff who work the floor with that perfect mix of efficiency and charm. Jugs of water are discreetly replenished as you dine and staff are up to date with nuances of the menu.
There’s an exciting cocktail menu and you can watch the bar man whip up your order. Likewise the kitchen is open, so you can see your dishes under construction.
Menus offer a slice of modern bistro cooking with plenty of cheffy touches. Duck leg confit may come with lentils, cauliflower, artichokes and morteau sausage or lighter dishes like sprouting broccoli with crispy duck egg, parmesan and black olive oil.
There are plenty of exciting ingredients on the menu although, in the Guide’s experience the cooking is a little uneven, with some dishes stronger than others; double cooked duck breast with sweet chicory and butternut squash was a hit on a recent visit – nicely seasoned, with lovely presentation – and almond orange and polenta cake with chocolate ice cream was a delicious rendition of the Mediterranean classic.
The mostly European wine list is concise with several pocket-friendly choices, although it would be good to see more choice by the glass. Something of a chamaeleon, this is a place that constantly re-invents itself, by the day and by the hour.
We suspect Eden comes into its own at the weekend, yet jazz and other live performances most evenings ensures the vibe is always lively and fun - and an exciting mid-day menu and chilled out atmosphere provide the ideal combination for a relaxed and lively brunch.