Originally in Belfast, Mourne Seafood Bar also has venues in Dundrum (the other Dundrum, not the one in south Dublin) and at Grand Canal Dock close to the Liffey. Considering the size, importance and location of Dublin there are very few seafood restaurants here, so this is a welcome addition.
Mourne also has an excellent wine list, with plenty of red wines which might surprise some. My review will concentrate on the liquids and then my friend Jayne will give an account of her visit.
A Wino’s View
I’m not very adventurous when it comes to seafood – fish and chips will do me just fine most of the time. As it happens Mourne do the best fish and chips that I’ve tasted in any restaurant in Dublin, and the portions are fantastic, so I tend to stick to what I know and like.
On a recent visit I did venture slightly off piste and tried the Chowder (excellent) and the Moules Provençales (excellent and filling). If you like seafood you owe it to yourself to give it a try.
So now I will move onto some of the wines I’ve tried and loved:
Sartarelli Verdicchio Spumante, Marche, Italy
In the April edition of TheTaste.ie I reviewed the still Verdicchio from this producer as it was poured at the Ely BIG Tasting in March, and it was a winner. By happenstance the still wine was only there by accident, it was this Spumante which was supposed to be shown.
Not to miss out I tried it at Mourne and was very impressed. It’s a proper wine, with plenty of zippy acidity and citrus flavour to serve as an aperitif, with seafood (makes sense!) or on its own.
La Piuma “Terre di Chieti” Pecorino, Marche, Italy
As a renowned cheese hater I was obviously wary of something with “Pecorino” on the label, but the beauty of wines-by-the-glass means you don’t have to take a chance on a whole bottle. There’s flowers, soft stone fruit and racy acidity, plus a little more texture and interest than you get from everyday Italian whites.
I would be interested to see how this ages. Take the plunge and try this wine!
Soalheiro “Allo”Alvarinho & Loureiro, Vinho Regional Minho, Portugal
To be clear: this is nothing to do with Michelle from the Resistance, Réné or the Fallen Madonna with the…erm…you know whats.
This is a delicious white wine from the Vinho Verde area of northern Portugal, close to the border with Galicia. The main difference from the Vinho Verde DOC and Minho VR is that the latter may contain non indigenous grapes – often Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon.
This bottle is a blend of two local varieties, Alvarinho (better known as Albariño in Rias Baixas and Loureiro, and for my palate it knocks spots off many more expensive wines. This does well with seafood but has enough fruity characters to be quaffed on its own.
The same crowd do a fantastic sparkling Alvarinho which I reviewed here
Domaine Octavie, Sauvignon Blanc, Touraine, France
Touraine is a reliable, easy-drinking and food-friendly wine from the area around the city of Tours in the Loire Valley. It comes in red, rosé and white versions and can be made from a dozen permitted grapes. Helpfully, those made from Sauvignon Blanc usually display it on the front label, still quite unusual for French wines.
Although reliable, Sauvignon de Touraine can be a bit sharp and acidic at times. This, however, has a depth of flavour rarely encountered in the area – it could easily pass for a more expensive neighbour from Sancerre. It’s possibly the best Touraine I’ve ever tasted.
Given my lack of adventure with seafood, I was delighted when my Twitter friend Jayne agreed to contribute to this post after she had visited Mourne earlier in the year!
A Foodie’s View
Well, well, well. On a rugby weekend to Dublin I had the most fantastic find of Mourne Seafood. Set by the waterside, the setting was almost as perfect as the food. Being a self confessed seafood and wine junkie, Mourne Seafood did not disappoint! The only challenge was what to choose from the delights on offer.
Starting with the Pil Pil prawns with smoked paprika, chilli and garlic, they tasted as good as they looked and warmed me up as it sleeted outside.
After washing it down with a fresh Sauvignon Blanc, I enjoyed the delectable seared Irish scallops linguine. Cooked to perfection.
I could see all the diners thoroughly enjoying the food and atmosphere as I left to watch Ireland unashamedly beat England. If you’re looking for a meal for 2 or group get together Mourne Seafood is a great choice.