Geisha Asian restaurant is the latest addition to the dining scene in Malahide on Dublin’s northside. Situated right on the water in the marina, this two-storey building includes a reception, bar and multiple dining areas. We were given the option of a quiet corner or livelier mezzanine area. Drawn to the marina views, we opted for a table beside the window in the mezzanine. A weekday winter night, the place was very quiet with only 5-6 tables in use throughout the entire evening. Given the size of the place, this could be an issue in terms of atmosphere; it would need a lot more dining bodies to avoid an airport lounge-type feeling.

The menu is extensive, taking influences from Chinese, Japanese and Thai cooking. We were looking forward to sampling some sushi as part of our meal: an entire page of the menu is given over to various types of seafood and vegetarian sashimi and sushi ranging from €5 to €12. It was very disappointing to be informed at the ordering stage that sushi was not available that night due to the chef being ill.

We swiftly changed tack and opted instead to share the Gyoza Japanese pan-fried chicken dumplings (€8.50) served with a soy based dipping sauce and Duck Wraps (€9.50) – shredded duck and Asian salad wrapped in rice pancakes with hoisin sauce. Both of these dishes were delicately and expertly done. The thin rice pancake allowed the tender duck to shine through. Similarly, a well-made dumpling delivered a nicely seasoned interior.

My companion opted for the intriguingly named Volcano Prawns (€23.50), billed as king prawns and mixed vegetables wok fried with red wine sauce. Not being the vindaloo kind, I wondered at his choice but my concern was soon abated. The volcanic element here referred to some flames rather than any chili heat. A tinfoil parcel anointed with Sambucca arrived in full flame to the table! Once extinguished, the tinfoil was pierced to allow the remaining Sambuca trickle onto the prawn dish adding a fennel note to the sweet and sour style sauce. The prawns were excellent – meaty and substantial.

I went for the Organic Clare Island Salmon (€22) wrapped in a banana leaf served with spicy Thai curry sauce and Asian greens. More refined in its appearance than the volcanic main, this was the star of the show. It’s been a while since I had salmon that was this fresh. Its pale pink colour belied its deep, lasting flavour. It came tucked into a banana leaf with a light drizzle of spicy coconut-based curry sauce. The accompanying pak choi worked well with the fish.

We enjoyed the food here, despite our sushi disappointment. The fish and seafood were beautifully fresh and were respectfully prepared with Asian flavours.

In addition, the setting is picturesque and the sea view definitely an advantage, which should draw crowds as the days get brighter.

LORRAINE GRIFFIN

 

We loved Thai-style organic salmon and fiery prawns

We spent Two starters, two mains, two desserts, a bottle of wine, hot chocolate and tea plus tip for €128.30

Geisha Restaurant
Marina Village,
Malahide,
Co. Dublin.
Tel: +353 (0) 1 845 0060;
www.geishamalahide.ie