Brunch in a pub has never been this good
What’s the story?
Last December, the team behind Lucky's on Meath Street opened a new multi-purpose venue in a neighbourhood that really needed it - Rialto. The Circular is the pub part, serving craft beer and pizza from Coke Lane with a "beer yard" out the back (yet to be seen), and at the front is Daddy's - the bright, vintage style pink-toned café. Daddy's serves breakfast, lunch and 'early dinner' during the week, with brunch on weekends, and very quickly locals (and those from farther afield) were singing the praises of their Turkish Eggs, savoury tarts and the nostalgia inducing 'mashed eggs in a cup'.
The suppliers list is impressive, with O'Neill's bacon, Annascaul black and white pudding, organic free-range eggs and Tartine bread and pastries, and there's a cabinet in front where you can buy many of the same ingredients to take home. If you're planning on rocking up to do a bit of work, be aware that they only allow laptops in the café part at the front, and on a separate visit, another member of the ATF team felt staff were a bit snippy when she asked if she could move into the main room with hers. Sounds like it's a bit of a sore spot.
What else is around?
If you're in this neck of the woods you've got to pay a visit to The Bakery by The Cupcake Bloke, to stock up on almond and honey, lemon and raspberry and oreo cupcakes, their award-winning Earl Grey, cranberry and orange tea brack, and if you're lucky a giant mikado or a jambon. You're also a 10 minute walk from Kilmainham Gaol if it's somewhere you've been meaning to tick off your bucket list (guilty), and a 20 minute walk to Teelings Distillery if you're in the mood for some whiskey tasting.
Where should we sit?
Although Daddy's is technically only the front part with high stools, high tables and counters, there are three seating areas in the venue, so plenty of room whatever the size or needs of your group. The front has the best light but you need to be okay with a bit of leg dangling. Then in the main pub there's "the good room", an annexed section with red booths and blue wall panelling, then into the main pub with round booths, counter seating and regular tables for two or four.
If you don't want to be in the café at the front, the "good room" is definitely where it's at, feeling cosy yet bright at the same time thanks to the high windows. Because the main pub is so big, and they only fill a few tables for brunch, it's somewhat lacking in atmosphere in comparison to the other areas, but if you want peace, space, or just to have a private conversation it'll do the job.
What's good to eat?
This is one of those brunch menus that you immediately know is a cut above most, due to twists on some classics and the produce being used. The counter is filled with Tartine pastries, scones, bakes and tarts, and if you can avoid ordering one while waiting for your food you have more self-control than us. We opted for a pain au chocolat which was exactly how it should be, with the coveted two rows of chocolate and crispy strips on the outside for extra crunch.
Clearly we couldn't come here without trying the Turkish eggs (why don't we see more Turkish eggs on menus here!?) and they were very good with a generous amount of sourdough, but we'd argue that the bowl they were served in wasn't ideal. The spiced oil had risen to the top with the garlic and herb yoghurt sitting at the bottom, and it took a lot of digging to get down and get a decent amount of it on the bread. We prefer Turkish eggs in a wider, more shallow bowl where both oil and yoghurt are easy to scoop up. Saying that the flavours were excellent and the eggs perfectly poached. Next time we'd probably just gently empty the bowl out onto the plate.
Next up the impossibly perfect 'organic mashed eggs in a cup" with Annascaul black and white pudding, kale and toast. It's hard to imagine mashed eggs tasting this delicious (we're guessing lots of butter), but our parents certainly never made 'em like this. Both the black and white pudding have to be some of the best in the country, soft and spreadable, and the kale was beautifully seasoned with crispy edges. A really perfect breakfast plate, barring the single wrapped butter pats which in this day and age are pretty unforgiveable.
We also couldn't resist the double baked croissant pudding with vanilla custard, O'Neill's smoked, streaky bacon and honey, and if sweet breakfasts are your thing, this is a triumph. Like the best bread and butter pudding, which could only be made better by chucking a load of salty, streaky bacon on top, from one of our favourite bacon producers.
We wanted to try pretty much everything on the menu (a rare occurrence), but sadly stomach space is limited. On the list for next time are the boxty with kale, poached eggs and garlic herb yoghurt, and the fried egg sandwich with bacon and brown sauce, with a slice of seasonal fruit tart for afters.
What about the drinks?
Coffee is by Two-Fifty Square and is excellent - special shout out for the decaf which is among the best we've tasted. Tea is from Clement & Pekoe and they also do freshly squeezed orange juice and Bloody Marys if you're feeling delicate (or just like booze with brunch).
And the service?
Everyone was bright, warm and welcoming, and the food arrived in good time.
We loved Daddy's and think Rialto is very lucky to have it. There's no doubt it's going to be packed with weekend brunch crowds, and the word's probably not fully out yet so now is as good a time as any to get in there and try it for yourself. You can't go wrong with the menu, the vibe is ideal for some weekend chill time, and despite Dublin's brilliant brunch scene, Daddy's feels unique and different to the rest. Now if only they'd take over a big pub on the Northside and do the same.
538 South Circular Road, Rialto, Dublin 8 www.instagram.com/daddysdub