The Alternative Christmas Dinner Party

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It’s December, you have Christmas party nights coming out of your ears – the usual four course meal, tacky band and entertainment, seated into long tables beside twenty other groups where it’s a military operation to get to the bathroom and you may forget about the bar. You try change things up this year, reserve a restaurant instead and still end up with the typical “Christmas Menu” (there’ll be enough turkey on the 25th – do you really need to be eating it in the run up to the big day?). My Mam does the best Christmas dinner ever so there’s no point in even trying to recreate such a plate in a restaurant as it just will never be the same!

So, instead I’ve decided this year to give my house a quick hoover, set the kitchen table, light a few candles, invite over some of my closest friends, tell them to bring their favourite booze and simply order a festive feast online. You’re going to order them pizza and chips…that’s very festive isn’t it?? Think again, online takeaway food isn’t just all about fast food and there is a wide choice of restaurants also available so read on and you’ll be re-scheduling your Christmas dinner party in no time!the-alternative-christmas

Starters: There’s something about seafood and in particular shell-fish that signifies Christmas and a touch of luxury for me. Crabshack dining is how Klaw like to describe themselves but a shack is far from the standard of food they deliver. They have a wide variety of seafood on offer from oysters, crab, smoked salmon to whole lobster – they are also famed for their lobster rolls so I decided to create a sharing platter for starters. I included Klaw’s Signature Smoked Salmon served with melt in your mouth buttered toast, Atlantic Prawns served with a brandy spiked Marie Rose sauce and of course the Lobster Rolls. I think the picture speaks for itself and of course it didn’t stay looking that way for long, the festive feast was off to a flying start.
Mains: Now I am a farmer’s daughter so the The Farm restaurant is obviously something that pulls on my emotions whilst the food will leave you longing for more. The Farm’s menu is perfect for a Christmas feast as it is filled with plenty of warming, hearty, comfort food incorporating locally sourced and organic ingredients. The restaurant is collection only but it ensures you get the freshest food as they literally cook any protein right there whilst you wait to collect your order. They also carefully separate hot from cold food allowing you to re-assemble your dish which means you don’t have a soggy mess on your hands by the time it reaches your guests. I decided on the Organic Beef Burger, Grilled Organic Irish Salmon served with baby potatoes and a light green pea and pancetta sauce and Organic Chickpea and Quinoa Cakes served with julienned vegetables. Believe it or not the chickpea and quinoa Cakes were the winners among my festive guests with the salmon a close second.img_7182

A relative new kid on the Dublin restaurant scene is Platform 61, self-described as “one of Dublin’s best kept secrets” and I can see why! They have a large menu to choose from and as I had a few vegetarians amongst my diners, I chose the Konnyaku Noodles with wild mushrooms, spinach and toasted hazelnuts – it mightn’t sound like much but it was ravaged within seconds (I just about got a picture before my Christmas guests dived in!). It’s a very generous portion too so I’d recommend the regular size unless you want to feed three!! xmas-mains-1They also have a large choice of sides – as it wouldn’t be a Christmas feast without some type of spud, I chose the Roast Baby Potatoes with Chorizo and the Buttered Greens – a perfectly cooked mix of asparagus and tender-stem broccoli.img_7185

Dessert: After all that food, a time-out was called for in true Christmas dinner style and the kettle was put on to boil!! But by the time the kettle started to whistle, the question came “So, what’s for dessert?”. Each of the aforementioned restaurants have plenty of dessert offerings but instead I opted for a Berry Cheesecake from Bread & Bones which was a very adequate portion after all those delights.xmas-dessertI selected a  Cheese Board again from Platform 61, which included a selection of blue, Brie and cheddar with a delicious pear chutney. Similar to the seafood platter, it added a little touch of luxury and a festive feel.xmas-cheese

If you want a bit more of a blow-out Christmas feast or just want some comfort hangover food after your festive night out then I would highly recommend the Monster Kimchi Fries from Bread & Bones. It incorporates french fries, seared steak, BBQ pulled pork, a fried egg and kimchi – a traditional fermented Korean vegetable dish which is sure to help your immune system after all the late Christmas nights.xmas-hangover

As you can see there are plenty of options available online in Ireland for an alternative Christmas party; so get ordering! Be sure and let me know what you think in the comments section below and I hope you all have a very Happy Christmas!

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