There's the tiniest ripple of energy coursing through the city, can you feel it? Little green shoots here and there, whispers of plans being worked on for when lockdown's lifted, existing businesses adapting to changing times. We're not going to say we're out of the woods yet, but things are looking every so slightly up. Here's what's opened in the last few weeks as well as more to look forward to...
Allta Bakery, City Centre
Unless you've been taking an Instagram detox for the past fortnight you're probably aware of Allta's new Bakery, and the fact that people have been happily queuing for up to 90 minutes to get their hands on rhubarb and sheep's yoghurt doughnuts, matcha and pistachio croissants and kouign-amann with salted caramel namelaka. It's open Saturdays from 10am until sold out which has generally only been taking an hour or two, and they're working on ways to make the queue move quicker. We are really hoping this extends past-lockdown and into a permanent Dublin fixture, and that the hype dies down so we can attempt to brave that queue. Check out last week's menu here.
DEADLY Bagel, Churchtown/Terenure
Chef Ciarán Hyland started DEADLY Bagel last month and they're already struggling to keep up with demand. He graduated from Culinary Arts in DIT in 2016, and worked in kitchens in Dublin, Melbourne and Auckland, but after two trips to New York he couldn't shake the idea of bringing NY-style bagels to Dublin.
They're handmade the traditional way with an overnight proof, before being hand-shaped, boiled, topped and baked, and they're using Irish ingredients like Glenstal butter, Olly's Farm Raw Honey and Hegarty's Templegall cheese, both in the bagels and in the whips they sell to go with them - nduja whip on a cheesy bagel FTW. They have a small team of bakers working out of Churchtown with collection from Terenure and limited southside delivery on Saturdays, but they've been so busy that they're hoping to expand to more areas in the next few weeks. Order here.
Puck Lane, Whitehall
After decades of nothing but bad deli push-button coffee, Whitehall in Dublin 9 finally has a quality coffee destination in the form of "coffee and grub barn" Puck Lane, in Whitehall GAA club. They're serving Silverskin coffee, hot and cold breakfasts and sandwiches, and say they're all about stories, both from their suppliers and their customers. They asked for submissions for their first cup design, which they'll change three times a year, and the first one they've picked is from a local couple who devastatingly lost their duck-loving 13-month-old to cancer a few months ago (read the full story about baby Zack here). They're determined to keep his memory alive, so the drawing of him and his ducks will feature on all of Puck Lane's cups for the next few months. Follow them on Instagram here.
Gurj Sandhu grew up in a family who owned Indian restaurants in Dublin (Kohinoor on the NCR, Crown of India in Bray, Akash in Blackrock), but decided to go down the accountancy route instead. A few years later, after constantly listening to his friends complain about how hard it was to find great Indian food at a good price, he did an about-turn back to food and has opened up take-away Dabbawala in Churchtown, with he and his father in the kitchen. They call Dabbawalla their "humble attempt at providing good quality, comfort food that doesn’t break the bank", and you'll find lots of the West-meets-India greatest hits, like chicken tikka masala, butter chicken and chicken jalfrezi (chicken is the only meat currently), as well as starters like samosas and pakoras. Dabbawala is currently open from 18:00 - 21:30, Friday to Sunday, but hope to expand if the appetite is there. Check them out here.