Yes you read that right. Activity is a foot in the city once again. Some have been borne from the lockdown, others were already in the planning, and ain't no pandemic gonna stop them from coming to fruition. Consider these the first green shoots since March, and consider us very happy to see them.
No Messin' Bakery
The new Smithfield bakery from the guys behind Proper Order is potentially more exciting than getting our first hair appointment since March (or for some of us, December - the absolute shame). It came about at the start of lockdown when the team, growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of quality baked goods suppliers in the city, found themselves with two talented bakers ready to work and plenty of time on their hands. Over the next few weeks the idea for 'No Messin' was born, making pastries, cookies and cakes using local, Irish and homegrown produce. Proper Order reopened their doors three weeks ago, and started trialling the goods a week later, and it's fair to say that customers have been going a little bit wild for them, with a total sell out every day.
Look out for the 'Cardi B' - a cardamom bun with cardamom infused fermented brioche, cardamom butter and a cardamom infused syrup, the brown butter and Valrhona chocolate chip cookie, and the wild cherry and amaretto rustic tart, but everything we've tried is worth braving the Luas for. What they bake depends on what's available, but in the past week there's been fruit from Elmhurst Farm in Drumcondra, foraged elderflower and lavender, and wild cherries, and if you're wondering where these guys sit on the Dublin pastry tier, we're talking right up there with Scéal and Bread 41 (i.e. the God tier). For the moment catch them in Proper Order in Smithfield, but they hope to be supplying other businesses very soon. Check them out on Instagram here.
A couple of weeks ago the residents of Malahide in North County Dublin fell victim to some serious rubber-necking when a bright yellow food truck serving cheese toasties set up shop in someone's front garden along the coast. The guys behind Griolladh are Jacob Long (The Well) and Jack Brennan (Xico), who saw a lockdown-inspired opportunity to bring good, fast food to the seaside village, along pastries from Tartine, cakes from Mud Bakery and coffee from Imbibe - talk to any coffee-loving Malahidian about the irony of a village with 95 cafés and no good coffee and you will understand how significant of a development this is.
The truck's been run off their feet since opening, to the point where they initially had to ditch their daily specials as they couldn't keep up with demand, and the only options were cheese or cheese and ham, but they're getting more of a handle on things and started opening later to give them more prep time. Bread is from Tartine, cheese is a mix but the majority is Hegarty's cheddar, and when we last checked the ham was from Nolan's in Clontarf. Find them on the Coast Road in Malahide 7 days a week from 11:00, or check them out on Instagram here.
Kerala Kitchen on Baggot Street have long had an enthused fanbase for their thalis, curry bowls and masala kissed fries, so the news that they're opening site number two in the old Cowtown site in Stoneybatter was met with much excitement this week. They plan to open mid-July with a similar menu to the original as well as a new brunch menu, featuring Masala beans, an Indian omelette and plenty of their new spicy tomato jam. They'll be open for eat in brunch at the weekend and every evening, with takeaway available from 16:00 seven days a week. Follow their progress here.
Toons Bridge Dairy, George's Street
Seen as we'll be getting used to a lot more al fresco dining this summer, it's good to have some delis up your sleeve for picnics or easy take home dinners, and they don't come much better than cheesemaker Toons Bridge's new shop on George's Street. It's where you'll find a slab of almighty Parmesan for €5, herby, chillied, vinegary boquerones by the kilo, and freshly filled cannoli that taste right out of Sicily.
The olives, the caperberries, the focaccia, the tinned sardines, the pestos, we could go on, but this is a seriously impressive opening and we're struggling to think of anywhere in the city to get produce of this quality at these prices. Saturday mornings we're told you can hear more Italian spoke in the shop than English, and that some continental Europeans have almost wept at the sight of so many of their favourite foods in one place. They also do toasties and salads to go if you want maximum ease and they're open seven days a week. They're adding wine soon too. Check them out here or find them at 24 South Great George's Street, Dublin 2.
Agave is a new Mexican opening next week in the site which formerly housed Azteca on Lord Edward Street. It's run by couple Aldo and Costel, both chefs (Aldo was formerly in the kitchen at Azteca), and they say want to bring "traditional Mexican cuisine" to Dublin. They're sticking with the burritos, fajitas and tacos, but adding street food like the 'pambazo' - bread dipped in sauce then grilled and filled with potatoes, chorizo, lettuce, cheese and sour cream. Agave opens this Monday 29th June for eat in and take away. Find them on Instagram here.
And... Sambulance Ambulance (Coming Soon)
DJ/Chef/Influencer Marcus O'Laoire has found an ambulance and he's going to be bringing you sandwiches in it. Anyone who follows him on Instagram will know how much he loves food, and this has (randomly) been a dream of his for some time. The sambulance location and menu is currently TBC but they should be up and running in the next few weeks. Find them on Instagram here.