Dublin Dining Guide: Adam Dunn – Head Chef at Hang Dai


Posted 11 months ago in Food & Drink Features

We talk spring menus and meaty barbecues with chef Adam Dunn who has been hitting the ground running over at Hang Dai and Hawker, following a ten month lockdown in Australia.

“I am going to put some new salads on the menu and and really try and utilise the produce that’s coming in, get some beautiful peaches and nectarines and apricots, focus on seasonality. “ Adam Dunn, Hang Dai

Can you tell us about your involvement with the restaurant scene here and Hang Dai?

I’ve been here for 24 years but had to go back home to Australia as my father was sick. That was just before Covid hit and I ended up getting trapped there for ten months. At some stage, I got a call from Will (Dempsey, owner) who asked when I was coming back. It worked out perfectly as I went straight into work doing takeaways with Hawker (a HD off-shoot).

I take my hat off to all the restaurants and small businesses who evolved what they were doing and adapted. They didn’t do that in Australia, here they were re-opening as green grocers, doing wine and takeaway boxes. To see what people did here to keep staff employed and trading was pretty inspiring.

 

What can people expect off with the new menu you are planning this spring?

I want to focus on barbecuing meats and fish. We have this beautiful duck oven here. I am going to put some new salads on the menu and and really try and utilise the produce that’s coming in, get some beautiful peaches and nectarines and apricots, focus on seasonality. Of course, you have to honour the popular dishes too but there’s areas you can play around it.

 

Has staffing proven an issue for you?

Last year, we found staffing really tough. Now I have two young lads who have joined us but we’ve always been lucky in having a steady crew. Everyone is really close in hospitality here. People move, they want to evolve their skill or their palette, that’s part of the trade.

 

Where are looking forward to checking out?

My Sunday roast in the Butcher Grill is my go to. There’s heaps of restaurants I hope to get to if I get the time. I’m dying to go to Allta, Spitalfields, Variety Jones

 

Can you talk us through the two dishes you have prepared for us?

We have suckling pig put in a brine, cook at seven degrees for 12 hours and then basically clean off the bone and roasted it in a pan, really quick and simple.

These are Chicharróns with some chilli salt on them, we have some pickled mustard greens to cut the acidity, we have apple ginger puree, ginger shallot and strange sauce which comes from the Sichuan region but, instead, we use Indonesian ingredients – sweet soya, black vinegar, ginger and garlic and tahini.

 

You also have whole sea bass fried finished off in a wok with this Lap cheong pork sausage.

I like the combinations of pork and fish and the fattiness and there’s this sweet fermented chilli sauce.

It’s served with fried garlic, white sesame seeds and chilli. 

20 Lower Camden Street, Dublin 2

hangdaichinese.com

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