We've been meaning to try Damson Diner on South William Street ever since it's slightly delayed opening due to water problems. We'd wandered past while the building was going on and it looked like this was going to have something different to offer the Dublin restaurant scene. Finally after a last Christmas shopping mop-up on Monday afternoon we headed over to see what it was like. It works on a walk-in basis and even though it was early Monday evening, because it was so close to Christmas there were a fair few tables and benches taken. Seating is in the window, on high bench tables along the wall, at the diner counter and at tables at the rear of the restaurant. There is also some lovely booth seating upstairs.
We chose to sit towards the back of the restaurant and started with drinks; a grapefruit juice and a gin with pink grapefruit infused with warm spices from the Damson Diner spiced range. The bottles of infusing alcohol are shelved behind the bar and look very attractive. The gin was warming but fresh with the grapefruit and perfect for a winter evening.
The menu is really laid out well; Bites, In a Bowl and From the Grill and at last there are some new dishes available to the Dublin diner. There is an Asian slant to the menu complementing the traditional American diner classics. Burgers are there (I saw several delivered to surrounding tables and they looked great) as is steak, but touches like pork chops marinaded two days make seemingly normal dishes or cuts of meat special. I ordered gambas (prawns) and a side of Asian slaw with a mango and lime dressing. The prawns were full of flavour, beautifully prepared and the slaw was really fresh and zingy in the mouth.Also ordered was the ribs, with an Asian apricot and ginger glaze, with a side of fries. These were tender and falling of the bone, just as they should be.
A shared dessert of coconut ice cream and grilled pineapple skewers made a really good sweet end to a quick post-shopping supper. I hope to be back soon to try some other dishes from the menu and can see this becoming a regular dining stop-off.
Damson Diner- 52 South William Street, Dublin 2. 677-7007