Where: 9-10 South Richmond St, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin
From Taiwanese bao to falafel, if you haven’t already been to Eatyard – for some unearthly reason – you’ve got to get yourself down there. Located beside The Bernard Shaw, the same location where Eatyard becomes Beatyard, this small outdoor area is packed with various food vendors offering a plethora of international street food.
If you’re anything like me you’ll want to sample the food from vendors who aren’t already known in the Dublin food scene; for that reason I avoided Pitt Bros. & Umi Falafel and impressed by the unusual flavour combinations, I made a beeline for No Bones Chicken Cones when I visited. No Bones offers deep fried morsels of battered chicken and fries served in a paper cone with unique toppings. Mango and fried chicken anyone?
Of course, I couldn’t resist the BBQ and dark chocolate combo, which surprisingly, work in unison. The pretzels were an unnecessary touch, with saltiness already be obtained from the fries and crunch from the chicken, however, I’ll definitely be pairing chocolate and barbecue sauce together in the future. No Bones were unquestionably one of the better vendors at Eatyard, albeit expensive costing a €8 a cone.
Pow Bao was another favourite. This is a domineering food truck primarily serving Bao – a steamed, filled bun popular in various Asian cuisines. I had been really impressed last time I tried these guys in November, so naturally I made a return visit. Again, this is another expensive vendor, 3 baozi (which you’ll know if you’ve ever eaten them, are small in size) cost €18… not a filling €18 either. We ordered 2 different chicken bao as well as a fried cod bao.
A rotisserie chicken bao served cold, tasted great with the addition of a peanut sauce, the dough itself steamed perfectly. The other fried chicken bao contained kimchi and would have been errorless if it weren’t for the Parmesan, an ingredient too many. Kimchi from Korea and a cheese from Italy? Some food fusions aren’t meant to be and this is one of them. The final bao ‘A Bao called Wanda’ (pictured below) was a panko fried piece of Cod with pickles, chives, mayo and a mysterious ‘XO’ sauce, a perfect combination you would assume. Wrong. The XO sauce consisted entirely of fermented baby shrimp which completely overpowered the beautifully delicate cod with a salty blast. Nothing more beyond the flavour of salt could then be distinguished in the bao. That said, despite a few flaws I still recommend Pow Bao, especially as an introduction to baozi. I wouldn’t write them off just yet, but there are a couple menu items to avoid.
With my absolute love for anything fried, we decided to test out the arancini – a traditional Sicilian dish of fried stuffed rice balls – on offer at Lapa; an arancini and cannoli vendor. We both ordered the most basic arancini filled with mozzarella, basil and tomato at €4 each. We were served 2 giant radio-active golden balls, unnatural in colour, filled in molten hot mozzarella. Unfortunately the entire thing was utterly bland and tasteless, and on a whole would’ve been a complete waste of calories, so went uneaten after a couple of bites.
More could be said for their cannoli, of which I could’ve eaten at least 10. The fried pastry dough of the cannolo was beautifully crisp while the ricotta filling was slightly sweet and entirely luxurious. This was by far one of the best cannolo I had eaten.
Finally, by way of a second and completely unnecessary dessert after all that was consumed, we headed to Bubble Waffle Factory to try out a sweet Hong Kong speciality. While the bubble waffle itself is totally instagram worthy, they’re nothing special. It’s basically pancake batter placed into a special “bubble” mold to create the waffle. It’s then shaped and it’s innards filled with copious amounts of canned whipped cream, nutella, sprinkles, M&Ms, strawberries etc. Nothing unique that you haven’t tried already, but if you’re into instagramming the shit out of everything you’ve eaten… this makes for a pretty picture so, why not.
While not on the cheap side, Eatyard is decidedly a great little addition to the Dublin food scene and certainly has a couple of unmissable food vendors to check out. Before you visit, remember to bring cash as the vendors don’t accept credit cards, there are ATMs a short stroll away. Eatyard is open Thursday – Sunday from 12pm, make a trip before Beatyard arrives!