Dylan McGrath Unveils New Japanese-Inspired Cocktail Lounge Bonsai Bar

Bonsai Bar – a new venture by chef and restaurateur Dylan McGrath – has opened on the corner of South Great George’s Street and Exchequer Street in the heart of Dublin, introducing a new concept in high-end Japanese-influenced food and drinks to the capital.

Bonsai Bar carries an unrivalled list of luxury Japanese whiskeys, authentic Japanese beers and world-renowned saké. However, it’s the sophistication of the Japanese-inspired bespoke cocktails and exquisite, gourmet bar bites, as well as the evocative ambience, that gives Bonsai Bar an edge for glamour-tinged, evening-time socialising.

Dylan McGrath said, “We work very hard bringing to Dublin new and unique experiences that are focused on quality and customer first.  I love the idea of creating something that makes people feel they could be anywhere in the world. Watching the cocktail market grow globally, customers are beginning to show a real appreciation for not only great tasting and unique cocktails, but the complete experience, with food, atmosphere and service. The Bonsai Bar is the perfect accompaniment for my love and passion for Japanese cuisine. My hope is that, as challenging as designing a menu like this can be to us chefs, it will be as equally rewarding to our customers who enjoy the finer things. We have invested in trying to take you out of the city for one night, in a theme that I think Dublin is ready for.”

The bar bites menu is on the same level as refined, fine food. You can expect Black Cod with In-House Japanese Tare Sauce; Wagyu Beef brushed in Sweet Miso Crispy Onion Flakes and Bonito; Octopus with Pickled Radish and Fresh Wasabi; Nashi Pear pressed in Ponzu and Honey with Umeboshi; Crab Claws bound in Ponzo in a Cracker with Roe-Soaked Teriyaki; and Akame Yellow Fin Tuna on a Kimchi Croquette.

Dylan collaborated with two Japanese mixologists to perfect the cocktail menu. A Kanto Old Fashioned is composed of Nikka “From The Barrel” Japanese whiskey, palm sugar and grapefruit zest. A Tokyo Fizz is made with pear vodka, spiced rum and pear purée. A Plum and Marzipan Sour is a mix of saké and Italian marzipan liqueur. A Shibuya is perfect for the Martini lover made with lime-infused gin and a spritz of umeboshi salted plum.

Dylan and his team have transformed the first-floor space, formerly occupied by Bar at Rustic, into a seductive, urban-luxe cocktail bar. Fitted out with luxury leather seating, low-lit with Tokyo-style red neon signs and with the walls a mix of red brick and sleek wooden panelling, Bonsai Bar is a stylish and comfortable spot for experiencing Dylan McGrath’s passion for Japanese flavours in both food and drinks. The venue is fully seated to accommodate a limited clientéle.

Bonsai Bar is located at First Floor, 17 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2 (below Taste at Bonsai and above STONE at Rustic).

The opening hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 5pm-10.30pm, Friday and Saturday 5.30pm-11pm. Booking in advance is advised.

Follow Bonsai Bar on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at @bonsaibardublin for regular news.