Posted by: susanjcaldwell28 | April 18, 2014


Odessa was hip before Dublin even knew what hip was. I remember they did brunch and jazz at a time when Pizzaland seemed exotic to our underexposed tastebuds.   Many years ago,  I marveled at their couches downstairs, again ahead of their time, they were like something out of Friends before Friends hit our screens.  Today being Good Friday,  I had to go somewhere for a nice lunch and wine, the archaic laws of the country do not allow such in general on good Friday with a few loopholes like traveling on boats, trains etc.  We did the boat experience a few years ago and it was fabulous but very expensive.  Odessa were allowing people to come in for lunch today with BYOB.

The restaurant is lovely and has retained its hipness without ever dating, their upstairs bar is also lovely and my daughters have been at parties in their rooftop bar.  We arrived there today and perused the menu.  I had phoned ahead and told them we were vegan (warning, aliens are about to enter the building, weirdos who do not believe in cruelty to animals, how crazy is that!!!).  On their menu, 2 out of their 4 main courses are actually vegi, this restaurant always reminds me a little of 102 Talbot in its imaginative descriptions and presentation of food, you are salvating on the paper long before the plates arrive.  Whoever devised the menu obviously has a strong imagination and a love of food, it reads a lot more expensive than it actually is.

When we arrived, the waiter, with a glint in his eye, said “ah the vegans”.  We do like to make an entrance!.  He sat us at the window seat and informed us that the chef could do a vegan tagine. I know tagine to be a type of Morrocan stew. I assume the nutburger had cheese in it and the vegetarian tortillas has quorn in them, which thus far is not vegan, but I do believe they are going to omit the egg from quorn.  Just to give you an idea, here are the two vegi options:

The Odessa Vegetarian Nut Burger, Homemade Tomato Relish, Ilcheser Smoked Applewood Chese, Dill Pickle, Beef Tomatoes, Fries

Lightly Smoked Quesadilla, Sour Ceam, Hakaoenos, Guacamole, Salsa, Tequila Dressing.

Our tagine duly arrived with pitta bread on the side and a side order of steamed long stemmed broccoli, green beans and asparagus.  The tagine was absolutely delicious, so aromatic with wonderful flavours of cumin and corriander, a wonderful array of vegetables and apricots, very Morrocan, with cous cous infused with veg, spices and sultanas.  It was amazing.  Sitting in a window seat looking out on the Stags Head where I used to drink with my friends in my teens and twenties, I marvelled, yet again, at how amazing Dublin City is.  For all the wonderful places I have been and there have been many, there are still loads more to try (which reminds me must check my lotto numbers!).  My only gripe and its a small one is that the tagine on the menu was priced at 10 but it was actually 11 and the side orders priced at 3 but were actually 3.50, I think its time to change the prices on their menu.

I suggested to the waitress that the chef should put this tagine on the actual menu cos nobody wants to have to ask for something specially prepared and draw attention to themselves.  I was very impressed by their vegi options and it would be lovely if they stepped up to the mark with the vegan options. A wonderful restaurant and bar that has only gone from hip to hipper.  Odessa will always have a strong place in Dublin’s heart and I for one cannot wait to return.



  1. I totally trust your reviews Susan and Odessa sounds very good. Dublin must be a buzz for vegans and yes it sounds like the Tagine deserved a place on the menu so non vegans can try something tasty with textures and aromas.

    • Jonathan is just trying to be funny, not realising that its actually counter-productive cos I know he is joking but it does not carry across on a review. He is vegan too. Yes Phil, it was so amazing, as a chef, you would certainly have appreciated it, was simply divine. Yes, so many vegan options in Dublin Phil. I am proud of my city, they have stepped up to the mark and vegan cooking has gone up a considerable few notches. Bring it on. Im hoping to go to Clonskeagh Castle soon where they only cook vegan, a castle, vegan cooking, music nights and a 5 minute walk from my house, I could not have dreamed that up!!!

  2. It would be so great if they were to include this Tagine on the menu. After all, the dish is not just suitable for vegans – it is suitable for everyone!! C’mon Odessa, we know you can do it! 😉

    • Yes totally agree Bronwyn and it was fab. Its a great restaurant and the fact that they have 2 out of 4 of their dishes vegi, Im sure they will put some vegan options on. The tagine was stunning.

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