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Matt the Thresher Seafood Restraurant, Pembroke Street, D2.

Thresher 03

Pembroke Street Dublin 2.

+353 1 676 2980

Price: € 0-60 (for two with wine)

Hours: Breakfast from 9am, lunch and dinner seven days.


Matt the Thresher seafood restaurant and bar has been around for the best part of a decade now. It is still one of the few places in the city that takes fish seriously. They serve a varied menu, with up to half a dozen fish specials daily in rather sumptuous surroundings.

It's famously the spot Michelle Obama brought the girls for a casual bite, and the decor is the epitome of gastro pub chic. The massive chandelier is worth a look all by itself, but it's the food that takes centre stage here. It still puzzles us that on an island surrounded by close by sea, Dublin lacks good fish restaurants. Go figure, at least Matt is doing his bit.

The menu features seafood favourites as well as some dishes from the turf end of things, so committed carnivores will find a welcome here too. There are daily specials on a blackboard, and it wasn't long before we had decided.

I find it hard to pass a good prawn cocktail, and their version is on steroids; jumbo shrimp and lobster with homemade Marie Rose sauce. It was very indulgent, and worth the trip on its own. Deirdre is more abstemious, and her low cal crab and salmon tian was light and delicate.

Main courses brought the better, prettier half a steaming shellfish pot of cockles and mussels alive alive o, with clams and prawns in a tomato and chorizo broth, served with tasted garlic bread. This is a kind of fish stew you'd get in Spain, with the spicy chorizo lending it's flavours to the sweet shellfish and making the whole more than the sum of its parts. Very good indeed.

I had a slip sole, pan fried with caper butter and served on the bone, so I had the fun of de boning my fillets. Perfectly cooked sole and the tangy butter were wonderful, and I was reminded how good a simply well cooked piece of fish can be.

I gave in to temptation and accompanied it with truffle and Parmesan chips, which were admittedly delicious, but put a spoke in my healthy fishy kick. 

We managed a dessert, a shared not too sweet sticky toffee pudding, which finished off the meal nicely, Tea and a good Americano and we rambled off into the warm evening, feeling like we had visited an old firend, and were glad to make the re-acquiatance.

Matt the Thresher is filling a much needed gap in the Dublin culinary scene. For fresh fish supper, it's on it's own, and a light lunch of crab or open smoked salmon always hits the spot. Service throughout was faultless, and the staff were friendly and knowledgeable. We'll be back again soon.


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