Tiller + Grain, a new café from ex-Ottolenghi chef Clair Dowling, opens on South Frederick Street today, with slow cooked meats, whole baked fish and lots of salads. Dowling, who previously worked as a surveyor before chucking it in to become a chef, spent the last five years in London working for Ottolenghi, Richard Corrigan and Spring by Skye Gynell. She moved home to Dublin six months ago and managed to secure a city centre site in record time.
The name comes from the people who farm the land and what they reap from it, and all of the food is Irish where possible, including all meats and seasonal fruits and vegetables. The menu will change depending on the time of year, but in Winter breakfast will include blood orange and cardomom porridge, apple and vanilla overnight oats and Bread Nation pastries, and lunch will have hot dishes including slow-cooked ox shin, whole poached salmon and borlotti bean curry, as well as salads like farro, olives, tarragon, radicchio and preserved lemon, and roasted onion and butternut squash with mint and herb yoghurt, nigella seeds and pickled chillies.
They're also doing sandwiches like slow-cooked pork with kewpie mayo and pickled cucumber, and slow-cooked lamb with harissa mayo and pickled red onions, both on Bread Nation sourdough.
All of their packaging is compostible and they're taking a hard line with suppliers to avoid the use of any single use plastic. Coffee is coming in cans from Imbibe, all delivery containers are returned to be reused, and much of it is coming in glass or paper. To ensure that remains the case they have no waste bin, only recycling and composting. There's also a discount for keep cup users and a drinking water tap for people to fill their own containers.
Dowling says she wants to serve "feel-good food" that nourishes people and makes them feel great, and is always looking for ways to get more nutrition into dishes. Once up and running they plan to expand to an early evening take away service, for people wanting to bring dinner home with them.
Tiller + Grain is open from Monday to Saturday from 07:30. Closing times currently TBC.
Tiller + Grain
23 Frederick Street South, Dublin 2
Mon - Sat 07:30 - TBC.