Just look at that beautiful seafood platter. The colours, the textures…the butter.
What a perfect dish to finish the year with!
I’m happy to say I had one of my most memorable meals of 2013 at Nautilus. This isn’t simply due to the fact that I went there for the first time a mere two weeks ago, because obviously the experience is going to come to memory far easier than some of my other dining affairs throughout the past 11 months. The real reason this restaurant truly impressed me was down to the unique and completely new combination of flavours in the dishes I tried, which for me made the whole thing flawless.
Nautilus overlooks the lovely Malahide marina, in the very spot where the Italian restaurant Ciao once resided. Surprisingly (to myself, anyway!) I have never tried the predecessor either, and Malahide isn’t exactly a million miles away from me. For shame. Friends tell me Ciao was pretty great too. Rambling aside, I’m happy to know you, Nautilus.
It’s really my Dad I have to thank, who suggested dinner after a few hours spent perusing the city during the post Christmas pre New Year’s sales rush. He hates going to the city, so most likely felt he needed to be rewarded for his efforts (no harm) and since he hadn’t been down the marina way in a while, suggested dinner at Nautilus. He informed me without any hesitation or doubt that I would love it. He knows me very well.
Isn’t it nice? The atmosphere is gorgeous, the view is beautiful and I’ve never seen clearer or neater handwriting on a specials board, let alone in real life. That’s talent.
With fish on the menu, white wine is an obvious winner. We ordered a bottle of Waterford Estate, a chardonnay from South Africa I’ve enjoyed quite a lot lately. It has a crisp and oaky flavour and it’s in no way acidic like so many other whites.
Shortly after, our waitress brought us small salmon and curry tasters sent over by the chef. I thought was a really nice touch. Two flavours you wouldn’t think would go together actually did, and very well too.
For starters I had the deep fried Ardsallagh goat’s cheese, with goat’s mousse cigar, candied walnuts, butternut squash and grapes. The goat’s cheese was perfect – soft, creamy and slightly tart. The grapes and walnuts were the perfect amount of the sweetness and the sauce was strange and totally new to me. I loved it all.
My Mam had the mushroom ravioli with truffle & tarragon bearnaise, leeks and potato. She also loved hers. My Dad ordered mussels. No need to photograph those, you know what they look like.
The main event. The seafood platter. I really liked that no two things were the same – along with the selection of seafood there was also a varied selection of vegetables (brussel sprouts, scallions, potato, carrots.) The butter sauce was delicious with a tiny hint of lemon. According to their menu, the fish included are monkfish, sea trout, sea bass, crab claw, prawn, scallop, mussels and clams. The only issue with this was the scallop. I saved it for last but really should have eaten it first, as it had turned cold and rubbery. So in fairness, that was my fault.
My sister ordered the Silverhill duck breast with duck fat potatoes and both parents went for steak, which they all loved. The presentation of the (delicious) vegetables and (amazing) mashed potato in small silver pots was another nice touch.
Although suitably satisfied with the starter and platter, with the innovative flavours like the previous courses available on the menu, dessert wasn’t something I was willing to pass up.
This dessert was incredibly original in both taste and presentation – it looks more like a work of art, don’t you think?
It’s a juxtaposition of bee pollen, honeycomb, lemon curd, shortbread, crème brûlée and ginger glass. The natural flavours came through so well, this dessert wasn’t very sweet at all which I found incredible – I have never tasted anything like it and if I’m being honest, it made me a little giddy.
My sister had this iced white chocolate cheesecake. Her face alone told the tale. Just look at it…another work of art. It even looks like it’s smiling. It reminds me a little of the man himself. Do you remember that movie?
We left satiated and very impressed. The marina was quiet and serene, just like this empty street beside the restaurant.
Nautilus isn’t the cheapest restaurant but the prices are very afforable. The quality is excellent, you won’t leave hungry and it’s worth a visit to experience the chef’s exciting creations. The staff are very friendly, chatty but professional and very attentive. They also offer a very good Early Bird menu, from 5pm every Sunday-Thursday. I’m looking forward to going back to try something completely different, the menu has a lot to offer.
Call ahead to reserve a table by the window so you can enjoy both the wonderful view and food to make things extra special.
♥ ♥ ♥