Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub on Main
Located only a block away from Main Street-Science World Station, Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub is right on the border of the neighbourhoods of Mount Pleasant and Olympic Village, and also only a walking distance from the historic Chinatown.
I happened to visit their Whistler location 3 years ago on a skiing trip. It was one of my most memorable experiences during that trip. Besides enjoying a hearty Irish inspired brunch and some great pints, I quite admired the genuine architectural characters of the public house, which was crafted in pieces, shipped from Ireland, and assembled in the Whistler mountains in 1997.
The new Dubh Linn Gate has promised to expand the accomplishment from the original pub, and continue the tradition of bringing friends, old or new, all together over tasty pints and scrumptious food.
The Beer Pairing Menu
Besides traditional Irish favourites like Guiness and Kilkenny, at Dubh Linn Gate you can find craft beers from 6-7 local breweries and 4 rotating specially picked tap options. Every month, the pub teams up with a local brewery, and design a tasting menu based on their selected brews. It is such a great way for them to connect with the local communities and businesses. I was honoured to be invited to taste this month’s beer pairing menu, their collaboration with Steel & Oak, a local brewery based in New Westminster.
The Food and the Beers
First came the Beef Carpaccio, pair with the Steel & Oak Royal City Ale . This beer is light, crisp, and very drinkable, and it’s what I would call a conversation beer. The beef carpaccio, along with dubliner cheese, is quite delicate. The bits of sauerkraut and horseradish sauce on the bottom were very subtle as well. I wish there were a bit more seasoning on the beef.
The second course featured a whisky-cured Steelhead Graveadlax, with marinated shaved asparagus, sautéed fiddleheads, and garnished with baby dill and radish sprouts. The pairing beer was the Steel & Oak Smoked Hefeweizen. The cured salmon was succulent and luscious, although could use a little bit of freshly ground black pepper for a little brightening up, it was complemented pretty well by all the green components. The smokiness from the beer was subtle but detectable. I wonder how the beer would work with smoked salmon instead. Would it make it a ‘smokier’ pairing?
The Steel & Oak Red Pilsner seems to have a fuller body, with hints of spices and fruitiness, and definitely works well pairing with pork, which is the story behind the next dish, Pork and Pierogis. While the Pierogis could be a little warmer and use a little more seasoning, the piece of Crispy Pork was definitely the star of the dish. The flavourful braised pulled pork was pressed and formed a small rectangular cube, breaded, and deep fried. The crispy exterior added a extra fun layer of texture to the dish. I had never tasted anything like this and found it kind of brilliant.
The final course turned out to be my most favourite of the evening. A cylinder-shaped Chocolate Cake on on top of a caramel sauce and crushed hazel nuts. This is one of the most refined chocolate desserts I have ever had, which is quite unexpected at an Irish pub. Besides the satisfying flavours, I loved the chocolate ganache crust of the cake, and the whimsy of cracking into the cake with a spoon, reminding me the fun of eating a chocolate-coated Haagan Daaz ice cream bar. The dessert was paired with the Steel & Oak Dark Lager, a dark, malty, and slightly nutty brew that went very well with the chocolate flavour.
The young chef’s passion and potential are definitely shown on this food-beer pairing menu. With a little more fine tuning, this format of dining could find a great popularity among food or beer lovers. Personally I would like to have a smaller glass of beer to go with each course, as there was a lot of beer to drink. But if you are a beer lover, maybe that wouldn’t be an issue. Besides the food, I also enjoyed the ambience and the energy of Dubh Linn Pub, where it seems a lot brighter inside than most of the Irish pubs, and the service was attentive, making you feel truly welcome in the neighbourhood.
* All food and beverages in this review were complimentary. Opinions are on the reviewer’s own. *