Daffodil Mulligan: a touch of Dublin in the heart of London
At first sight kale toast appears to be the only vegetarian option at Richard Corrigan’s new restaurant Daffodil Mulligan. Then I spot beetroot but still no mains. The veggie member of our party, having scanned the menu in advance is unimpressed. We’re worried - the other three of us, having heard good things about the restaurant which is named after the daughter of a famous Irish street seller, are gagging to go.
I contact the restaurant and turns out they do in fact have a veggie menu. It just isn’t up on the website which doesn’t come as a huge surprise. A bluff Irishman, Corrigan isn’t the type to have much truck with vegetarians.
I’m actually so preoccupied with deciding which of the many things I want I actually fail to notice what our resident veggie orders other than that the kale toast is much sexier than it sounds with 3 different types of kale, (curly, Russian and cavolo nero drenched in parmesan and truffle). Presumably Corrigan doesn’t do vegan.
The rest of us are meanwhile tucking into the most perfect beef tartare with oyster cream which I shall insist on every time I eat tartare in future and crubeens (Ireland’s answer to croquetas) and English mustard - bliss with the absolutely excellent Gibney's stout which is streets ahead of Guinness. There’s also a crab and dashi pear salad and fried chicken with which the member of the party who orders it is well pleased. Stealing a forkful it’s good but but doesn’t seem quite Corrigan's natural register. The langoustine and pumpkin bisque on the other hand which arrives at the table as an unbidden extra, is sheer heaven - silky smooth, with a deep shellfish flavour. We have to order a glass of Radford Dale chardonnay to go with it.
We’ve eaten more than enough for most people by now but we move on to our mains for which hearty seems an inadequate description. Two of us go for game: my partridge comes with mangalitza pork and apple - now, come on, why wouldn’t you have added pork with your partridge or, indeed, bone marrow crumb on your mash? (I can see that our veggie is cringing.) Even the heartiest trencherman among us struggles to finish his game pie which is showily served as a Wellington. Oh, and there’s Pete Hannan’s sublime sugar pit pork which comes kitschly with roast pineapple. You can see that becoming a bit of trend.
We have no intention of ordering pud but Corrigan, who is surprisingly on the pass himself, has other ideas. A loaded plate of pavlova, a 'crème pot' with poached rhubarb, an almond and bergamot 'sandwich' (a sort of mille-feuille) with pink grapefruit granita and a luscious little baked apple arrive, along with a glass of Jurançon, I seem to remember, but then again maybe not. I'd rather lost the plot by this stage. (I forgot to mention the delicious TWR pinot noir - a great choice from a surprisingly naturally-inclined wine list. Well, we are on the borders of Shoreditch).
Frankly I’d go back just for the tartare but there’s a lot to love about Daffodil Mulligan whether you're an carnivore or not.
Like the man himself it’s big, noisy and generous - a little touch of Dublin in London…
Daffodil Mulligan is at 70-74 City Road (just by Old Street tube), London EC1Y 2BJ. At the time of writing there are - amazingly - still tables for St Patrick's Day.
Disclosure We paid for our meal but were given a glass of champagne on arrival and a number of extra courses including dessert.
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