Saba, Baggot Street was on our radar for a leisurely lunch after reading about the newly opened Saba Secret Garden. The creative minds behind Saba have converted what was once a carpark into a stunning al fresco dining sun trap in the heart Dublin 4.
Living in Kildare we are regular visitors at Saba to Go in Kildare Village. Hitting the road on a sunny afternoon for the 50 minute drive to Baggot Street gave us plenty of time to ponder what we would order once we arrived. Viewing the menu online meant we arrived knowing exactly what we wanted to order, making sure not to waste any of our allotted dining time.
Arriving just on time for our 1pm booking, we were greeted warmly by the visor clad front of house and led to our outdoor table. You have the option of indoor or outdoor and both are extremely well laid out with all ample sanitiser stations, every member of staff is wearing either a visor or mask. The entire restaurant is immaculately clean and fresh.
The option to dine in the statement graffiti walled secret garden is fun. It is somewhat hard to believe that this was, until recent times a carpark! Such a brilliant use of space and no better time to have additional seating.
Kicking off with Tiger Prawn Mieng Kam €10.95. Four beautifully plated cashew nut topped chargrilled tiger prawns. Nestled on a bed of shredded roasted coconut atop betel leaves. Wonderfully aromatic flavours of ginger and lime mixed with touches of heat from birds eye chillis. The distinctly peppery Betel Leaves are the ideal mode of transport for these tasty little parcels.
Across the table a very vibrant Mango and Pomegranate Salad €8.95 was representative of summer sunshine on a plate. A scrumptious mix of slivers of sweet mango, baby leaves, ginger, coriander and grilled sweet potato topped with pomegranate and sunflower seeds. The balance of sweet and savoury delivered beautifully in every bite. Washing this down with a Cucumber & Elderflower Collins €11.95 whilst sitting in the sunshine was pretty idyllic.
Moving on to our main courses, first up was the Caveman with Chicken €14.50 with a side of Steamed Jasmine Rice €3.00. Slices of chicken, chunks of tender butternut squash and sweet potato along with bok choy, carrots, broccoli, peppers, chinese leaves and mushrooms swimming buoyantly in a spicy red curry sauce. A dish overflowing with texture and terrific tang.
For our second main we chose the Steamed Fillet of Seabass €16.95 with a side of Steamed Jasmine Rice €3.00. This seabass fillet was cooked ever so lightly, retaining all of its naturally mild, sweet flavour and worked in perfect unison with its piquant plate mate, a ginger, soy sauce and xao shing wine dressing. This delectable dish has firmly placed itself high in our bank of fantastic food memories.
A glass of Soalheiro ‘Allo’: Alvarinho and Loureiro, Minho, Portugal, 2019 €8 was the recommended pairing for the seabass. Brilliant yellow in colour, with a vibrant citrus flavour and elegant mineral profile, a prefect pairing indeed.
The food experience we had in the Saba Secret Garden was as vibrant as the stunning surroundings. A throughly enjoyable treat that we are looking forward to repeating. Al fresco dining in a fun space with the warmest staff and incredible food. What are you waiting for? Book your visit, you will not be disappointed.
WRITTEN BY KEITH MAHON & OLIVIA BYRNE