Excellent, relaxed modern European food with a strong Spanish accent

This review is the second among a set of two and a part of the Turned Tables series. You may find the first review in this set on Instagram.

With a selection of restaurants that are so hard to pick from, Aungier Street is really showing the rest of Dublin how it’s done. Considering the wide range that includes everything from relaxed excellence to trendier spots, there’s little to complain about. 

So yes, make a reservation at Uno Mas, but at the risk of having recurrent dreams about the photos on their Instagram page and the 12-page wine list on their website. It’s one of very few places I felt impatient about walking into, and the fact that it’s mentioned at least thrice in response to posts seeking Dublin restaurant recommendations didn’t help. 

Despite being a firm favourite within Ireland’s food-focused community, the restaurant hasn’t let its popularity get to its head. A long shelf displays wines, staff are affable and happy to help, and diners find it easy to start conversations with others seated at neighbouring tables. 

The family at the table next to ours understood this well and I was excited to have a lengthy chat with them: we started by marvelling at gilda (prompted by their cognisance of a second one being delivered to our table), and ended with mulling over the glorious regional variety within Spanish cuisine.

It’s unlikely that I’d find padrón peppers on a menu and not order them, and was pleased to discover that Uno Mas makes them as well as any other Dublin spots dedicated to Spanish fare. The ones here seem larger and cooked with a bit more care, though.

A generous blob of soft burrata sitting in a neat pool of salmorejo arrived next. The toppings included fresh watermelon cubes and black olive smithereens, which added to the layers of flavour, but without any one ingredient overpowering another. 

“Red mullet rice, saffron and basil” is listed under starters but fit to eat as a main, especially if you order a side of fried potatoes with garlic butter and flecks of marjoram to go with it. Lightly charred pieces of red mullet came arranged thoughtfully on a bed of plump rice doused in a tomato-based broth, with a big spoonful of saffron cream — and ended up being my favourite of the lot. 

The flan at Uno Mas is a celebrity in its own right, and the status is richly deserved. Mine arrived with a candle glued to the plate (because it was my birthday) and hence felt doubly special. A traditional dessert spoon cuts through the lightly sweetened flan more smoothly than a knife does through soft butter, making it one of my top three desserts in the city.

Kitchen expertise here is at a level higher than most other restaurants that identify with the modern European tag. It’s an intelligent mix of varied ingredients and impressive technique that doesn’t feel the need to gussy itself up. Restaurants with the aptitude to dish out food of this kind being the norm rather than an anomaly may seem utopian right now, but it’s comforting to know that everything inspired is often aspirational.

Uno Mas
Bill for two 
Gilda (2)€8
Padrón peppers€9
Burrata, salmorejo, black olive and watermelon€13
Red mullet rice, saffron and basil€15
Fried maris piper potatoes€6
Flan de queso€8
6 Aungier Street
D02 WN47