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Restaurant Review - 9 Asian Lunches

Restaurant Review - 9 Asian Lunches

Wednesday 18 March 2020

It's easy to see why Asian street-food staples like dumplings, bao, ramen, or indeed Japan's beloved bento boxes, are sweeping the board when it comes to lunchtime fillers. They're quick, cheap, incredibly tasty, and put sambos firmly in the shade. From simple food trucks or stalls, to designated dumpling houses and even posh restaurants, Lucinda O'Sullivan gives her verdict on an eclectic array of Dublin's Asian eateries.

This Chinese street-food hotspot on Little Mary Street is an absolute humdinger. It's named for the bullet-shaped ovens, in which duck (plus pork and chicken) is cooked, hanging upright, delivering a delicious crispy skin and succulent, moist meat. A sibling of Little Dumpling next door, it also has six types of hand-made dumplings at €10; plus roasted meats - char siu, duck, pork, free-range chicken - served with steamed jasmine rice, also at €10. A whole duck is €26; a half duck is €15; a whole chicken is €18; a half chicken is €10; while 'meat only' pork - char siu, ribs or belly - is €13. Real low-carb carnivores will love the double or triple meat combos at €16/€18. We shared three dishes - all superb: Har Gau prawn dumplings, €10; a quarter roast duck with pancakes and hoi sin sauce, €10; and delicious fingers of succulent pork belly (€10) with noodles (€2.50 surcharge). To drink, we had an alcohol-free beer (€5) and delicious iced lemon tea (€3.50). This bullet definitely hit the mark.

Ranked No 12 in Europe's top Chinese restaurants, China Sichuan is Ireland's finest Chinese restaurant, and is in business for over 40 years. Kevin Hui moved the family business to a sleek, luxurious space in the Sandyford Industrial Estate a while back - it was originally in Stillorgan. The food, which is exquisitely presented and served, has captains of industry and rock stars regularly rocking up for a fix of their favourite dish, be it Man & Wife beef slices (€9); or soft shell crab (€12.50). Fresh Irish lobster is available all year round via the XO seafood special at €32; black sole with ginger and scallion is €42.50; while Sichuan aromatic half-duck is €25. However, the tip of the year is the China Sichuan's fantastic two-course (starter and main course) lunch, at only €17.

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First Published In The Sunday Independent