Last night’s Slow Food evening was the perfect introduction to Harry’s Café Bar in Dún Laoghaire. Since reading about the Polish food on offer there, especially the pierogi (dumplings), this had been a long-anticipated – but never quite realised – trip. Although there was no sign of pierogi on the menu circulated with the email about the event, the mention of dishes such as Marinated Roast Beef (Pieczen Wolowa) and Roast Pork Shank (Golonka) were more than enough to convince me.
Although I was happy with my menu choices (Clear Chicken Soup (Rosol) and Beef Goulash (Gulasz wolowy)), they paled in comparison with the Boyfriend’s choices – Herring in a Sour Cream Sauce (Sledz w smietanie) and Pan-Fried Trout (Pstrąg). The creamy dill sauce that accompanied the trout was good enough to be eaten on its own. My large helping of meaty, savoury Goulash arrived in a choux pastry basket with boiled buckwheat on the side (none of us in my corner could identify the grain – my memory was jogged by the menu this morning!) and a beetroot chutney. Large plates of multicoloured ‘slaw were scattered around the large communal table so that everyone could help themselves although, given the size of the portions, no one could do enough justice to this extra food. Although almost replete, I still managed to share Beza, a light meringue topped with whipped cream and red berries, with my neighbour. At that stage the Boyfriend had called halt and, after one forkful, laid down his cutlery.
With plenty of good substantial food at great prices, Harry’s Café Bar is well worth a trip to Dún Laoghaire. Just make sure you come with a solid appetite and definitely check out the fish dishes. Also a warning: walls pasted with letters to and from Ireland’s legendary agony aunt, Dear Frankie, may lead to bathroom trips being prolonged.
Harry’s Cafe Bar, 21 Upper Georges Street, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, 01 2808337.