This iconic Dun Laoghaire pub has a fab new menu and interior

    0
    155
    The Purty Kitchen Dun Laoghaire Easy Food
    Photo by Freddie Stevens

    The Purty Kitchen is a vibrant restaurant, bar and live event space housed in Dun Laoghaire’s oldest surviving premises, offering restaurant-quality food and drinks in the comfort and conviviality of a pub steeped in 300 years of history. Reopened under new ownership on 1st September this year, the premises has undergone a full refurbishment. The iconic building also includes an event space, The Loft, for live events, family celebrations, weddings or conferences.

    The Purty Kitchen Dun Laoghaire Easy Food

    The Purty Kitchen offers restaurant quality food with a focus on high-quality ingredients from local suppliers, serving up dishes that are comforting, homely and delicious, with great service to match.
    Our visit

    We were lucky enough to be invited to The Purty Kitchen this week to experience it for ourselves. We stepped into a welcoming space, reasonably large and with a high ceiling, yet with enough warm wood tones and dividers to make it feel cosy. Not being out and about much these days by any stretch of the imagination, we were instantly reassured by being asked for both covid vaccination certs and matching IDs. We were led to our table — nicely spaced from those on either side — and started things off with a very well-made vodka martini while we tried to make a choice from a menu full of temptation.

    The Purty Kitchen Dun Laoghaire Easy Food
    Photo by Freddie Stevens

    Stuck between prawns pil pil and the salt and pepper calamari, I asked our server for her recommendation and went with the latter, on her advice. I was very glad I did; not only was the calamari tender and golden, but it was cut into long pieces rather than the ubiquitous rings, making for a very different textural experience. Generous on the salt and pepper, the dish benefited greatly from the added lime wedge for squeezing, a nice kick from sliced fresh chillies and a gently flavoured roasted garlic mayo.

    The Purty Kitchen Dun Laoghaire Easy Food

    The other starter at our table was a bowl of chicken wings in a house-made Buffalo sauce, served with the classic blue cheese mayo and celery. My companion could have done with a finger bowl, but everything else was as it should be.

    The Purty Kitchen Dun Laoghaire Easy Food
    Photo by Freddie Stevens

    For the main course, I couldn’t help but order the Purty Kitchen Fish Pie, having been staring at it creepily on Instagram for days. With fat pieces of salmon, smoked haddock, plaice and prawns in a silky saffron velouté, topped with the smoothest of mashed potatoes, I highly recommend you do the same. What really made the dish was the pickled vegetable salad, with baby greens, cauliflower and ribbons of cucumber and carrot —  a fantastic way to balance out the luxurious pie with a hit of acid and crunch. In a world where side salads are too often a sad afterthought, it was a real joy to be offered one that actively worked to make the main better as a whole.

    The Purty Kitchen Dun Laoghaire Easy Food

    Meanwhile, my partner enjoyed a very good beef burger with crisp, skin-on chips, despite a mild case of buyer’s remorse after ordering meat in a restaurant clearly designed to celebrate fresh Irish seafood. On our next visit, the fish and chips will be calling his name; mine, too, perhaps, since you almost never see battered plaice on a menu, and a good tempura batter is a thing of beauty. I’ll also be sure to sample the Kilmore Quay chowder, which both looks and sounds excellent.

    Stuffed to the gills (pun intended), we shared the chocolate brownie, pleasantly light and airy with tiny flecks of almond. A glossy chocolate sauce and a scoop of salted caramel ice cream finished the plate. Rubbing our bellies, we washed everything down with a whiskey sour, made with a nice, thick egg white foam — as it should be — before we dragged ourselves back out of the warm pub into the cold, dark November evening.

    The Purty Kitchen Dun Laoghaire Easy Food

    It’s also worth noting that the calamari, fish pie and brownie are all gluten-free, and there’s a decent choice amongst other options; vegans as well and vegetarians are catered to, too, with not a boring dish in sight. On a non-food note, we were also impressed to see free sanitary supplies in the ladies’ bathroom, a thoughtful touch that really stood out; it’s also worth mentioning that every staff member who served us was friendly, professional and a bit of craic. It’s safe to say we’ll be back.

    The Purty Kitchen Dun Laoghaire Easy Food
    Photo by Freddie Stevens
    History of The Purty Kitchen
    First established in 1728, The Purty Kitchen began life as a thatched roof makeshift edifice constructed of clay, straw and wood, and housed coach travellers overnight providing food, warmth and potent ales and wines. There was a large livery yard to the rear where horses were fed, rested and exchanged. Common to other coaching inns, the innkeepers would have kept many farm animals: pigs, hens, ducks, geese and cattle, which were then slaughtered for consumption. For the first 40 years of its existence, this house was known at different times as the Old Dunleary Inn and The Mariner’s Inn.
    There is speculation about how the bar acquired its current name ‘The Purty Kitchen’. The local narrative is that an American visitor who had disembarked at Kingstown Port walked up to the door of No.4 and said to the proprietress, “Say Ma’am, you sure have a mighty purty kitchen”. Whatever the origin of the name, the premises established a very viable food and drinks business attracting custom from voyagers, visitors, commercial travellers and local residents alike.
    For more information, visit The Purty Kitchen website.