Located in the attic above his mid-range venture Rustic Stone, Dylan McGrath’s upmarket restaurant Taste at Rustic combines Japanese cuisine with seasonal Irish produce and South American influences.
The flashy bar area extends into the open kitchen, where copper accents glisten from the yellow-tinted light. Wooden tables and exposed brick walls give the place an industrial look, made glamorous by the mirage-like mirrored ceilings and winding royal blue banquettes.
Taste at Rustic does what it says on the tin, setting its sights (and tongues) on exploring the five tastes: sweet, bitter, sour, salt and umami. Smoked mackerel, eel, and tuna headline the nigiri-dedicated menu, presented on marble slabs and ceramic stoneware. The à la carte offers more filling classics of braised umami beef pot, and roasted salmon sukiyaki.
The restaurant is proud to bestow four grades of wagyu beef upon its guests but vegetarians aren’t left to one side, with a dish in each section of the menu catering to their dietary requirements – think broccoli tempura and slow-cooked egg with miso-glazed soba noodles. The star of the show is the hibachi grill – mains of glazed sticky pork or wagyu beef, brushed with miso and sesame powder, arrive at the table on hot coals, encouraging diners to cook the meats to their desire.
Japanese-inspired cocktails overwhelm the drinks list, with a selection designed to harmonise with the meal – imagine an Absolut Asian and Cocorriander – and another list of dessert cocktails for a post-dinner nightcap – sip on a Sakura Blossom, a gin and rose saké blend, or the non-alcoholic lychee-based Usagi. Pair the latter with a green tea crème brûlée, with white chocolate and yuzu ice cream. The rest of the drinks menu doesn't shy away from the Japanese theme, with a long list of sakés and whiskies alongside European wines.