One day recently while walking along St. Andrew Street we looked across the road and saw a big blue and white hoarding, looking pretty Portugese. What was this now... A snap and a story later and you guys were all a fluster at the promise of Dublin's first dedicated pasteis de nata shop. We went looking for them on social media and found accounts for not only @lisboadublin but also @cafelisboa_dublin. We were hardly getting two were we!? Yes reader, we were...
Lisboa Pasteleria, St. Andrew's Street
After some digging we found out that Lisboa Pasteleria is owned by the people behind The Port House Tapas Bars (we knew that branding looked profesh), and it's going to be for takeaway only, serving coffee, pasteis de nata, breads and sandwiches. There's also going to be Francesinha - The Porto classic ‘hangover’ sandwich with steak, ham, sausage, chorizo and cheese topped with a rich secret Port sauce) and breakfast, lunch and dinner options to take away. They're promising their pasteis de nata will be the best in Dublin, which are BIG WORDS.
They say it all started with a trip to Lisbon, where they decided that the city's best foods deserved to be enjoyed in the Irish capital. Both chefs have come from The Port House, who say they have spent over 16 years sourcing and importing Spanish and Portugese produce for their restaurants, and that this is a natural progression from their night time brand. Lisboa Pasteleria is due to open in September and we'll be first in line to tell you if it's the real deal.
Café Lisboa, Little Mary Street
So what about the other one? There's no expensive branding or a high footfall location here, but there is a Portugese owner who travelled home to Lisbon to train in making those magical custard tarts. Café Lisboa is just off Capel Street (in the former Little Dumpling site), and are currently making only pasteis de nata (oh we love a bit of specialisation), alongside Portugese roasted coffee and tea, coming from the only tea plantation in Europe in the Azores. In a couple of weeks breakfast and lunch will start, and by the middle of October they hope to be serving wine and tapas in the evening.
Owner Sergio Fernandes owns a small Portugese wine company here, as well as being employed as a hotel manager (he's currently on holidays to get the café up and running - if you want something done ask a busy person), and bakes the tarts himself each morning. He says he opened Café Lisboa because Irish people love Portugal but there was no good food offering here, and the plan is to move into the café full time in the next few months - the more pasteis de nata we can all eat the sooner he'll be able to do this. Café Lisboa is open now, and the race for the best custard tart in the city is on...