Daffodil Mulligan | Irish food on Old Street
(Last Updated 18th November, 2019)
Irish food in London hasn’t had the luck of, well… you know.
With the occasional exception, it’s been broadly restricted to oyster bars or pubs, frequently without the scope to show off the nation’s culinary inventiveness & soul. But then along comes someone like Richard Corrigan. For those who don’t know him, he’s one of the Emerald Isle’s most successful chefs in recent decades, having scored Michelin Stars at three different restaurants, won Great British Menu three times, and been awarded London Restaurant of the Year four times in a career littered with culinary accomplishments.
And now he’s opened Daffodil Mulligan.
You’ll find it just off the Old Street roundabout, in a sizeable space wrapped with equally sizeable windows, which throw light onto the simple wood & wicker furnishings. There are a few dashes of green and the occasional photo on the wall of an Irish historical figure, but for the most part it’s kept quite low-key. The real heart of the restaurant is the charcoal grill sitting in the centre of the open kitchen, which itself is abutted by a 10-seater oyster bar (they are delicious, after all).
The food coming out of that kitchen is all modern Irish, using mostly Irish produce (some of which comes from Corrigan’s own estate) and frequently embracing international flavours. The starters include the likes of crab with lovage & pickled pear; or a beef tartare with cherry clams & oysters. The main courses coming off the grill include an inventive pork belly with roasted pineapple, lychee & mint; some of Corrigan’s estate prime sirloin dressed in anchovy, parsley, and capers; and a ‘back of sole’ with Jerusalem artichokes & hazelnuts.
The ground floor is mirrored below with a huge subterranean bar space, filled with inviting little snug booths, a long pub-style bar, and a small stage for live music. The drinks menu here is divided up into starters (an Irish stout, or a highball of Cork dry gin & tonic, perhaps); mains (wine, mostly from the continent); and ‘afters’ with include Irish apple brandy, or the likes of a potent plum eau de vie aged in chestnut barrels.
And as for the name? It’s a reference to a real person, Daffodil Mulligan, who was the daughter of street seller Biddy Mulligan, both of whom have been immortalised in folk songs over the years.
You know, just FYI.
NOTE: Daffodil Mulligan is open for lunch and dinner Tues-Sat, and lunch on Sundays (12-3.30pm) – you can reserve a table, if you’d like to, HERE.
Daffodil Mulligan | 70-74 City Road, EC1 2BJ
While you’re there… you can check out Passo right next door.