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Chez Max

Bite-Size: what's happening in the food and drinks world

This week's news round up features an award-winning whiskey and some great new at-home dining options


This week, our news round-up features the latest at-home dining options from two Dublin restaurants and an award-winning whiskey that's worth checking out.

If you’re a cocktail fan you’re going to want to know about a new Irish mixers brand, while there's also some good news from a big name on a move towards more eco-friendly packaging. Read on for all the info.

Special F.X. 
If you live close to either of Dublin’s F.X. Buckley restaurants you can now enjoy its steakhouse experience at home. The two-course meal kit (€60) features the award-winning Porterhouse for two. This double cut T-bone consists of sirloin steak on one side and fillet on the other and comes with pepper sauce, caramelised onions, sautéed chestnut mushrooms, creamed spinach with parmesan cream and oven baked chips. Dessert is chocolate fondant with homemade honeycomb and clotted cream and you can add a bottle of F.X.Buckley South African Webersburg Cabernet Sauvignon for an additional €28. Pre-order 24-hours in advance for collection from either restaurant between 1pm-6pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Delivery within 10km is also available for a €5 fee. fxbuckley.ie

Vegan feast
Irish meatless meat brand Thanks Plants has launched a great alternative to a classic roast. The vegan Everyday Roast serves two to three people and, as the name suggests, it’s perfect for a mid-week dinner. It’s made with wheat gluten and stuffed with wild rice and apricots. Aisling Cullen, Thanks Plants founder recommends serving it with veg and all the trimmings – and any leftover roast works well in sandwiches the next day. Priced at €8.95 it’s available from select SuperValu stores, Fresh supermarkets, and independent stores. You’ll find a full list of stockists on thanksplants.co.

Going for gold
The drinks section of Aldi continues to scoop up awards, winning two golds and a silver at the recent World Spirit Awards 2021. Its partnership with Blackwater Distillery proved to be a success yet again with the Púca Irish Whiskey Small Batch by Blackwater Distillery (€24.99) picking up gold and Boyle’s Raspberry Blush Gin by Blackwater Distillery (€24.99) taking a silver. Another winner was Day Star Premium Bourbon by West Cork Distiller (€19.99) which is launching exclusively with Aldi on 13 June.

To the Max
Chez Max, one of Dublin’s best-loved French restaurants has expanded its at home offering to include a new crêpes galette Bretonne menu of savoury and sweet dessert crêpes. The savoury options include la compléte – two fried eggs, ham and Emmenthal cheese, and la Morocaine – two Merguez sausages, chickpea ratatouille and a spicy harissa tomato sauce. And for those with a sweet tooth, there is la banana – banana with homemade salted caramel sauce and praline hazelnut, and the classic la Suzette – butter, sugar and lemon. Delivery is within a 3km radius of the Palace Street restaurant but ‘call and collect’ is available by contacting the restaurant on (01) 633 7215. chezmax.ie

In the mix
When Covid-19 put a stop to Daria Caffrey‘s job as a wedding photographer she looked closer to home, or more specifically her garden, for a new project. The result is Dacha Drinks a range of premium syrups made with natural ingredients that can be added to cocktails. Currently available in three flavours, Raspberry & Thyme, Rhubarb and Orange & Basil, the 200ml bottles – each one makes as many as five cocktails - are sold in packs of two (€42.99), three (€49.69), and six (€97.99). You can buy them online from dachadrinks.com and delivery is free to anywhere in Ireland.

Good move
Nestlé has redesigned the packaging used in its sharing bags and the move will take 83 tonnes of virgin plastic out of the supply chain every year. It’s the latest step in the company’s plan to make all its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. The new bags use about 15 per cent less packaging so Nestlé can ship more at a time, resulting in fewer lorries on the road every year which equals a reduction of 130 tonnes of CO2 emissions. So that bag of Munchies, Aero Bubbles or Smarties is having more of an impact than you might think. Alongside the likes of Ella’s Kitchen and Mars, the company has also joined the Flexible Packaging Consortium, which works with SUEZ recycling experts.