My first food memory?

I spend a few childhood years in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where I was exposed to a plethora of culinary experiences from around the globe. The stand out memory has to be going for brunch. Friday was the sabbath, and all of us ‘westerners’ would convene in our compound. I can remember how excited I got as I stood on my tip toes to peer into each of the hot trays. everything from eggs Benedict to fried rice, curries and ethnic dishes too. My eyes were of course to big for my childhood stomach as I shuffled back to my table to commence gorging on a plate filled higher than it should be.
Hang Tough10

Rubio in his shop, located in South Richmond Street./All rights reserved

Best local area for restaurants?

Ranelagh is closest to me as I live there, but there’s a collection of fine eateries not too far from me on Upper Leeson Street. These include The Sussex, Forest Avenue, The Canal Bank Cafe and The Farm.
Ranelagh Dublin

All rights reserved

Most recent enjoyable dining experience?

Forest Avenue by a mile. Everything about the experience was top notch. My fiance brought me here for my 30th birthday / our 7 year anniversary. From the minute we walked in I knew this place was special. Excellent interior, with a great view of the kitchen where you can see the magic created. The food was Michelin Star quality and when paired with chosen wine I have never been so impressed. The service was impeccable.

Hugh Higgings, the Head-Chef of the Forest Avenue./ Photograph by Catherine Karnow

Most visited restaurant?

Sakura on Wexford St. If your ever looking for me, I’ll be in there chowing down a veggie bento or inhaling one of their ramens.

Favourite celebrity chef?

Heston. He’s a nutter.
Heston Blumenthal

Heston Blumenthal is a famous English Chef./All rights reserved

Favourite Food TV programme?

Chefs Table on Netflix is great viewing. Interesting insights on a wide range of culinary experiences from around the globe and the people behind the ideas.

The restaurant I would recommend to a visitor to your home city/town?

I’d send them out to Greystones on the DART. Suggest building up their appetite by taking a walk on the beach or going for a swim and re-fueling in The Happy Pear. The twins have really nailed their product and brand sourcing local ingredients and produce.

The Happy Pear is an organic shop and Restaurant of Greystones./All rights reserved

Restaurant/café hidden gem?

Mulberry Garden, in Donnybrook. It’s concealed from view down a lane beside Kielys.

Favourite Bar/Pub?

IMO Sett food in The South William do the best burger in town. Good bar vibes there too.

The food I dislike the most?

Chinese, just not in to it.

Favourite for weekend brunch?

If I can get a seat, The Butcher Grill, their eggs benny are great but I go back for their Bloody Marys. Also a fan of Peperina as it’s dog friendly with a sunny terrace out the back.

Favourite healthy meal?

T/A from Blazing Salads. Green Beards on Dunville Ave deserve a mention too for their cold pressed juices.
Blazing Salad Dublin

My guilty pleasure?

The “Rubio Special” from Aussie BBQ. BBQd chicken fillets, bacon and melted cheese. Reserved for hungover days in work. Or a cheeky Maccers.

The meal I make to impress my friends?

Sushi or Ramen.
Rubio in his shop

Rubio in his Framing shop./All rights reserved

Favourite food brand?

Michie Sushi. You’ll find them in all of the Avoca venues now. They have nifty loyalty APP too.

If I owned a restaurant I would name it?

Large Portion! Ha, nah it would depend on the premises and the fare we were offering.
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More about Rubio and his work: Official website of Hang Tough Framing
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