Dublin's hottest pop-up is heading to one of the city's best restaurants this month and we have an exclusive first look at the delicious menu.
Filipino food is finally getting the attention it deserves. Around the world, Filipino restaurants and chefs are receiving accolades and Michelin stars, with bright purple ube, native to the Philippines, the hot new thing on everyone's minds.
Here on our little island, Bahay has been a Filipino force to be reckoned with. Helmed by Richie Castillo, formerly of Bastible, Host and Clanbrassil House, with partner Alex O'Neill running a tight ship front of house, Bahay started as a side project during the pandemic. Since then, O'Neill and Castillo have appeared at events and pop-ups around the country, most recently with a stellar presence at Taste of Dublin under their belts with O'Neill netting the Compass Group Best Front of House award at the event.
Their food, which O'Neill describes as "an amalgamation of a lot of different food influences", is full of flavour and life. Experimentation is the name of the game here and Castillo constantly changes his menu options - his punchy banana ketchup is one of the only constants and is a serious fan favourite.
Although Bahay might not have a permanent home - yet - Riggz and Castillo are set to pop up in another Dublin favourite later this month: Mae in Ballsbridge.
Owned and operated by Gráinne O'Keefe, our Young Chef of the Year 2021, Mae opened last year to much acclaim. O'Keefe has been a longtime mentor and friend to Castillo and the pair have collaborated in the past, but there is a twist this time: O'Keefe is handing over control of her beloved Dublin 4 eatery for a whole week.
Running from June 29 until July 3, this new Bahay pop-up will follow the ethos of Mae with local producers and seasonal ingredients at the forefront but with a Filipino twist from Castillo. The set tasting menu, which costs €64 per person via Eventbrite, will offer a more refined and elegant take on Castillo's food with wine pairing options available from the stellar team at The French Paradox, while O'Neill will manage front of house operations alongside the team at Mae.
Wondering what will be on the menu? You're in luck, as we have a sneak peek here for you. The menu will start with delicious-sounding smoked lamb adobo ribs, tempura maitake with banana sauce glaze, and grilled leek with inasal butter.
Roasted scallops will follow, paired with palapa - which is a sort of dressing made with scallions, ginger, turmeric, labuyo chili and toasted coconut - beurre blanc and kampot pepper. Goatsbridge trout will then make an appearance, prepared as traditional raw seafood ceviche-style dish kinilaw, then finished with cherry and trout roe.
For mains, Iberico pork presa will be paired with Mang Tomas jus gras, fried puto rice cakes, and green beans with bagoong butter. Known primarily for its lechon sauce, Mang Tomas is hugely popular in Asia and should provide some real depth to this wonderful pork. Fermentation has won our hearts over the past few years so we imagine the bagoong butter, which is made with fermented seafood, will be a real winner here.
To finish off the evening, guests will enjoy shakoy doughnuts, also known as lubid-lubid, with calamansi curd and toasted coconut sugar.
Sounds like Castillo and O'Neill have planned an incredibly delicious evening for guests to enjoy, and we imagine tickets will disappear quickly - get yours here now.