‘It’s the restaurant where I’d eat my last meal,’ says Lucinda O’Sullivan as she reviews Rasam’s new menu

Delighted to be heading to one of her favourite haunts, the critic was eager to check out its culinary redesign

Lucinda O’Sullivan 

There isn’t a restaurant in the country that hasn’t been massively affected by Covid-19, but what’s been really amazing is the creativity shown by restaurateurs and chefs over the past 22 months. We’ve had gourmet food boxes, meal kits , pop-ups in extraordinary places, and we’ve sat, freezing, on busy footpaths — all for the love of food and socialising.

Restaurants have had to adapt — reducing seats and sittings, acting as cert inspectors, and monitoring the health of their staff, etc.

Nisheeth Tak’s sublime Rasam Indian restaurant in Glasthule, Co Dublin, was no different and being in a first-floor premises had no large outdoor space touse. Through the lockdowns, they provided wonderful food to go, and still do. Their regular clientele of famous faces, and the odd billionaire, wheeled up to collect their favourite dishes.

When Rasam reopened the restaurant, the staff did a super job of implementing Covid-19 safety precautions, A Top Ozone generator was installed, which is used nightly to keep the air purified, and there are large Perspex screens between tables, which customers love, as they can still see everyone from their own mini-booths.

Nisheeth was at the forefront of the modern, lighter Indian food revolution some 20 years ago and still is always ahead of the posse. During lockdowns, he and his team redesigned the menu, digging deep into their rich culinary heritage.

Starters (€7.95-€16.95) include adraki lamb chops with royal cumin, nutmeg, stone flower, garlic yoghurt and spiced tossed potato. An old favourite of mine, the Muscovy duck filo-pastry rolls with star anise, tamarind and fig, comes with roasted pepper coulis and curry-leaf gun powder.

For the mains (€19.95-€31.50), there’s a choice of some 15 dishes, five of which are vegetarian. Beetroot is good for what ails you and it’s delicious in Rasam’s wonderful beetroot chicken dish with tomato and chilli, which even has the blessing of Nigella Lawson. There are lots of gluten-free dishes too, including Dayal’s lamb with rose petals, stone flower and gram flour.

My friend kicked off with masala scallops (€14.95). They were seared on the outside and silky inside; drizzled with green apple and mint chutney and passion fruit and raspberry pearls.I always love the calamari (€9.50) at Rasam; it’s cut in chunky curls, coated in a light semolina crust, deep-fried and served with lemon chutney and avocado salsa — this visit was no different.

Changing courses, my friend chose a thali; this dish consists of a large decorative silver platter with five small bowls holding a variety of options. The mansahari thali (€31.50) is comprised of lamb, chicken, prawns, aloo podimas[potato], spinach, pulao rice, naan bread and yoghurt. However, she went with the veggie version (€27.50), which included okra, dhal, paneer cheese, palak kofta, and mushrooms with spinach, all of which she loved. Alternatively, you can pick five different vegetarian dishes from the menu.

Instead of a main, I opted for a second starter, haldi jhinga (€16.50). It was three jumbo prawns which had been marinated in mint, turmeric and chilli, then flash-cooked in the tandoor oven, and served with dill potato salad and mustard yoghurt. I also had sides of aloo podimas (€5.95) — potato tossed in asafoetida, turmeric, cumin, and coriander; and gobhi adraki (€5.95) — cauliflower in ginger, cumin, green chilli and tomato. Both were fabulous.

We finished off by sharing some malai kulfi (€7.95) — a lovely eggless Indian ice-cream, sprinkled with berries, sweet vermicelli and basil seeds.

The wine list is excellent, with something for every pocket and palate. I also like their aperitifs as they include Pineau des Charentes, Dow’s White Port and Petit Guiraud Sauternes. So, with a bottle of Terras Do Cigarrón Godello Rias Baixas 2019 (€34), our bill, with service, came to €134.50.

This newspaper once had a feature on where I’d eat my last meal — I chose Rasam then, and I still would now.

Rasam, 
18/19 Glasthule Road,
Dún Laoghaire,
Co Dublin.
Tel: (01) 230-0600,
rasam.ie

lucindaosullivan.com

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