Kilmainham is a great destination for many reasons, be it a stroll through IMMA‘s galleries, a few pints at the Royal Oak, or to explore Kilmainham Gaol. Kilmainham has never really been known as a dining destination, however – until now.
Union8 opened this year and, judging by the full tables on the weeknight my friends and I visited, the neighbourhood needed it. I’m a sucker for small design details, and from the cool, clean lines of the brick walls and concrete floors, to the warm, atmospheric lighting over high tables, to the waiting staff clad in stylish grey aprons over crisp white shirts, I knew I liked Union8 before eating a thing.
I think I won the starter round, opting for wild garlic soup, topped with crème fraîche and a delicious dollop of nduja. One friend opted for seared scallops with black pudding, the other for sheep’s cheese and roasted beets. I sampled both for research purposes, of course.
Our mains were roast duck breast, roast lamb rump and belly, and beef fillet. All were works of art on a plate, all meat was cooked perfectly, and all came with exotic accompaniments ranging from blood orange to duck-fat chips.
Sharing a cheeseboard, and chocolate fondant with pistachio ice-cream was a perfect blend of sweet and savoury to end the meal.
Union8 is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week, so I plan to mix with Kilmainham’s locals again soon. Until then I’ll officially be jealous of them!