“Running a restaurant is not just about cooking and the menu!” We talk to Michael Sabik, owner and Head Chef at Girl and The Goose.
What are the origins of Girl and the Goose?
I know the name is a little unusual, but there is a story behind it. I wanted to dedicate this restaurant to my little daughter Lea, and we couldn’t find the right name until my friend Ruth came up with a logo, based on my daughter’s toy; a wooden goose.
The logo combined Lea and her Goose, under the name ‘Lea’s Little Goose’. Coincidently, on the same night I was speaking Peter, a great customer of our restaurant in Terenure. When I mentioned this to him, he pointed me towards the Brother’s Grimm fairy tale The Goose Girl – and that was it – Girl and the Goose was born!
What did you learn leading up to opening Girl and the Goose from your experiences in other restaurants?
I learned most of my cooking skills from chef Olivier Quenett of La Maison, then fine-tuned my skills while practising in other places. During my time working in the kitchen in Vaughan’s Eatery I had a great opportunity to test many new techniques and ingredients.
Running a restaurant is not just about cooking and the menu! In order to run a successful restaurant, you need to know the business side of it, so I also had to do a lot of management courses to get the experience and knowledge I needed to open Girl and the Goose.
Where does Girl and the Goose position itself within the restaurant scene in the city?
Well, we are in heart of Dublin, so our concept is to cook hearty homemade food. We are focusing on Irish traditional dishes and adding a bit of twist to it. There are many pubs and many fine-dining restaurants near us, so I am trying to fit right in the middle – offering high quality ingredients and presentation at reasonable value.
Can you talk a little about your most popular dish and seasonality on the menu?
Where possible, we try to use seasonal, local produce, but this is not always possible as in Ireland we have only one season ☺)) LOL. Our most popular dishes from the current menu are Lamb Shank as it is very unique dish, and then Hake with homemade pumpkin gnocchi, lemon and basil – an interesting combination.
What is the secret to a happy customer?
Well, we have a lot of different types of clients here between business people, locals, lots of tourists and sports fans on match days. To make all these groups happy is very difficult, but we are trying! We have different set-ups for the restaurant, with different menus and of course great service ☺. But the main key to a happy customer is that you like what you are doing and have happy staff.
What was the most impactful dining trend of 2019?
Definitely healthy eating and vegan friendly food. I think this is a big change compared to before when you could find only one vegetarian option for each course and no vegan choices. We are now running a separate vegetarian menu with some tasty vegan options.
What are your predictions for 2020?
Food wise I predict the further rise of vegan eating and I hope healthy food will continue to grow too. Business wise, I am bit alarmed with all this Brexiting…
We use local meat and fish, so it may affect the prices of my suppliers, but we will see and no doubt we will cope with it when it comes!
Girl and the Goose would like to wish Totally Dublin readers a Merry Christmas and successful year in 2020!
10 Merrion Road