It was an early doors Friday visit to 777 for me, so what better way to kick off the weekend than with a cocktail while perusing the menu - a Pie Magico (gin, cucumber, lime and ginger liquor) was sharp and refreshing.
My first thoughts on the menu was how flexible it was – great for people who like to share (me) as there are small plates that you can order to get lots of different flavours – tostados, taquitos, ceviche, soups and sides. You can also go for the more traditional starter, main option if that’s your thing and you don’t want to share (my man!). My man won out on this occasion and starters/mains it was.
I went with crabmeat tostado with mango and chipotle mayonnaise (€11). Two small crisp tortillas arrived piled high with crabmeat mix – really light and fresh, although you did have to look a bit hard to find any mango. My man went for one of the specials of the day – a tongue filled taquito (€9). The tongue was a totally new texture for me – almost slightly foam like. Quite delicious – three soft tortillas filled bursting with the soft tongue mix and laden with pickled red onion.
On to our mains – there are four meat dishes on the mains, a fish and a veggie. Spicy guava pork ribs hit the spot, and I contentedly got very, very messy. The ribs came with a chipotle slaw with peanuts adding a solid crunch and some pickled red onions helped somewhat to cut through the richness. I couldn’t resist the corn side dish as well, and it was fine but nothing to write home about.
My man had a pork belly with corn pudding. Considering he doesn’t like corn I though it may have been a choice her regretted but apparently not – he was pretty happy. It also came with picked carrots and the obligatory pickled red onion – which was nice the first time, but not sure if needed to come with every dish.
Overall we had a great time – the food was good quality, a bit different and exciting. It was buzzing even when we arrived and it was only 6pm. I think the restaurant thinks it a bit cooler than maybe the clientele that it seems to have attracted (including us). I wonder if it might be down to the price – our bill was €98 for two people – starters/mains and two drinks each. I’ve subsequently been to Bear (review to come!), a similarly casual restaurant, and for the same meal structure paid only €66 – quite a difference. My final thought, which still nags at me was the service – it was prompt, everything arrived on time, but it just was not friendly enough. Especially the bar staff – you’re sitting at the bar, so when you order a drink etc. you might anticipate to engage in a bit of chat – no chance, any attempt at chat was met with a mild indifference. Fine.