Bonsai Bar, Dylan McGrath's latest venture has opened in the centre of Dublin, on the corner of South Great George’s Street and Exchequer Street.
Bonsai Bar is a new concept that focuses on high end Japanese influenced cuisine and drinks, and boasts the largest list of Japanese whiskys, beers and saké in Ireland.
The bar bites menu includes such dishes as black cod with in-house Japanese tare sauce; Wagyu beef brushed in sweet miso crispy onion flakes and bonito; octopus with pickled radish and fresh wasabi; nashi pear pressed in ponzu and honey with umeboshi; crab claws bound in ponzo in a cracker with roe-soaked teriyaki; and Akame yellow fin tuna on a kimchi croquette.
Dylan collaborated with two Japanese mixologists to perfect the cocktail menu. A Kanto old fashioned is composed of Nikka From The Barrel Japanese whiskey, palm sugar and grapefruit zest. A Tokyo fizz is made with pear vodka, spiced rum and pear purée. A plum and marzipan sour is a mix of saké and Italian marzipan liqueur. A Shibuya is perfect for the Martini lover made with lime-infused gin and a spritz of umeboshi salted plum.
Dylan and his team have transformed the first floor space, formerly occupied by Bar at Rustic, into an urban-luxe cocktail bar. The space is fitted out with leather seating, low-lit with Tokyo-style red neon signs and the walls are a mix of red brick and wooden panelling. The venue is fully seated.
Dylan McGrath said: “We work very hard bringing to Dublin new and unique experiences that are focused on quality and customer first. I love the idea of creating something that makes people feel they could be anywhere in the world. Watching the cocktail market grow globally, customers are beginning to show a real appreciation for not only great tasting and unique cocktails, but the complete experience, with food, atmosphere and service.
“The Bonsai Bar is the perfect accompaniment for my love and passion for Japanese cuisine. My hope is that, as challenging as designing a menu like this can be to us chefs, it will be as equally rewarding to our customers who enjoy the finer things. We have invested in trying to take you out of the city for one night, in a theme that I think Dublin is ready for.”
The opening hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 5pm-10.30pm, Friday and Saturday 5.30pm-11pm. Booking in advance is advised.