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The Two Minute Review: Una

What should we know about Una?

The lack of an artisan neighbourhood bakery in Ranelagh has always seemed a big gap in the market - sourdough and this slice of the southside surely belong hand-in-hand? But finally comes Una, the latest venture from the folks behind Forest Avenue with some involvement from the guys behind Bunsen. The early buzz about the loaves and laminate pastries here has seen rain-soaked 8am queues patiently waiting their turn, so we had to find out if it was worth it.

What should we have?

Don't you dare skip the almond croissant, with laminated layers of flaky pastry shattering into sweet shards to reveal the frangipane within. Calorie counters are not welcome here - butter and plenty of it is front-and-centre, bringing a rich counterpoint to a light, airy interior. Absolutely top-tier. The chocolate chip cookie hit more of an old reliable beat with an in-between crisp-chewy texture that seemed eager to please but unlikely to amaze. It’s good, but it’s really not going to be what you think back on.


That’d be the kouign amann, an extremely indulgent Breton invention with layers of sugar that caramelise in the oven between the butter-enriched yeast dough, finished off with a wholly unnecessary yet wholly welcome drizzle of caramel. This is superb baking, no notes.


“Bakewell” might be a controversial name for the next pick, with its laminate nest taking the place of shortcrust, but we’re going to allow it, not least for the tangy treat of rhubarb jam buried beneath frangipane and crème diplomat. Inspired, if oddly named.

The custard tart comes in a much more sizeable portion than the lesser versions you'll have seen all over town. This is one you could easily share, if you like anyone enough to forfeit a bite. At a fiver, it ties with the croissant and bakewell as the most expensive pastry we tried, but it's a strong price showing against the much less slick competitors out there.

We weren’t convinced by the bacon jam escargot, a cheesy bechamel twist (literally) on that layered pastry style, and one of just two savoury items on the counter – the other, a mushroom and Gubbeen quiche, we almost wept to learn wasn’t on that day. There’s not a bum note in the flavour mix, but we felt a lot of its appeal got lost in the flaky layers.


After all that, it was a while before we felt up to taking on some of the signature sourdough we’d brought home – they also offer a sandwich bread and focaccia. Look at that loaf - the scale of expansion down that centre slash and the elusive ear it’s modestly showing off is a mark of the real talent Una is playing with behind that glass window. This is superb bread - we'd expect nothing less from Forest Avenue's John Wyer.

Why should I go?

Whether you’re a lucky local looking for a new stop in your morning routine – coffee, by Imbibe hits all the right notes – or just keen to know if this buzzy spot is worth the journey, Una is yet another feather in the cap of Dublin’s booming bakery scene. If they can keep the counter treats rotating and the queue moving swiftly, we can see this becoming a routine weekend visit for many near and far.



116 Ranelagh, Dublin 6


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