Friday, 9 October 2015

#FFIDOCT15 Instagram Challenge: Week 1

I'm over the moon with the engagement I've received during the first week of my Instagram challenge. To be honest I didn't expect that many people to take part and I've so enjoyed looking at everyone's pics, thanks to everyone who took the time to take part so far!

I've chosen my favourite daily entry for week 1 of the challenge. Unfortunately I can't feature every picture but I'd suggest you have a look at the #FFIDOCT15 hashtag to follow some great accounts. I put the username of each person under each picture if you fancy giving them a follow.

Day 1: Breakfast

Day 2: Art


Day 3: Sweet


Day 4: Looking up

Day 5: Dinner

Day 6: Favourite quote


Day 7: Brunch


Special kudos to the following people who have also been posting some wonderful pictures each day:


I hope you will keep posting or join us for week 2 using #FFIDOCT15 and @frenchfoodieindublin.

Happy snapping!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Middle East Feast at Brother Hubbard

Brother Hubbard Dublin

I have a bit of a love affair with Brother Hubbard. I reviewed the café exactly one month after I started the blog; my pictures were really bad and didn’t do justice to the food. I still remember the owners Garrett and James being on their own on a quiet Saturday afternoon and thinking they were the sweetest people ever.

Over 3 years have passed and it happens that they now have two cafes and over 40 staff.  They recently started opening in the evening from Wednesday to Saturday to serve diners a Middle Eastern Feast. I suggested to two friends that we meet there for a catch up and some food, let’s call them Italian Mamma and Dutch Mammy for the purpose of this review.

The way the Middle East Feasting menu works is you decide if you want the two courses (€22.95) or three courses (€27.95) and you can also order wine. If you’re having the three courses including starter, you begin with a mezze platter to share. For mains you choose from six dishes on their menu and if having dessert, this is also brought as a platter to share. It was a bit daunting to decide what to choose, at first we wanted to order a la carte but because everything sounded good we went for three courses each for the experience.

Brother Hubbard Dublin

The mezze platter came on a beautiful tray and in pretty bowls. The Moroccan harira soup was a little fiery and the wonderful beetroot hummus was sprinkled with dukkah and came with a soft fresh flatbread covered with za’atar. 

Brother Hubbard Dublin

The sweet potato coriander and chickpea falafel was nice and crunchy, smeared with a pepper and tahini lemon sauce. The cauliflower florets were nicely spiced and lovely to eat with some pickles. We happily shared everything while chatting away, it was a promising start.

Brother Hubbard Dublin

My main of lamb cutlets with salsa verde was deliciously pink, accompanied by a chargrilled red onion with sumac and sprinkled with pomegranate jewels and rose petals, served with salad leaves. Dutch Mammy went for the spiced beef kofta with feta, mint and lots of tomato and red pepper sauce. 

Brother Hubbard Dublin

Italian Mamma was the happiest vegetarian with her stuffed aubergine with spiced tomato, spinach, dukkah and caramelized garlic with chickpeas. 

Brother Hubbard Dublin

We shared a dish of couscous and crunchy charred stem broccoli and yellow beans with spiced butter.

Brother Hubbard Dublin

We were full but we fancied the look of the dessert platter at a nearby table, so went for it. The highlight was the indulgent walnut and orange baklava and the chocolate ice cream with hazelnut, praline and rose was just the right portion size.

Brother Hubbard Dublin

The figs and spiced orange slices with mint and pomegranate syrup refreshed our palate at the end of this feast. There was also a Turkish lokum which Italian Mamma wasn’t a big fan of, too sweet for her tastes.

Brother Hubbard Dublin

The Middle East Feasting menu was one of my most satisfying meals out in a long time, probably because I love this kind of cuisine and flavours but it really exceeded my expectations. Before the meal I was a bit worried that the setting of the café wouldn’t be comfortable for an evening meal but it actually works out cosy with the candles and the covered heated patio at the back. It was a little quiet which we thought it was perfect for a chat. BH is sometimes insanely busy during the day and it was interesting to see it under a different light. If this side of the Liffey doesn’t appeal to you for an evening meal, you’ll be glad to know that Brother Hubbard’s sibling, Sister Sadie is also open for dinners.

153 Capel Street
Dublin 1 

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

FFID Instagram Challenge #FFIDOCT15

French Foodie in Dublin - Instagram challenge

Hello lovelies! I'm a big fan of Instagram which has become my favourite social platform in the last few months. I find it much more positive than Facebook and Twitter in general and a great way to interact with other foodies. That's why I've decided to run a 15 day FFID Instagram challenge in October to have a bit of fun!

First of all if you aren't following me on Instagram already you can find me here. The challenge will start on Thursday 1st of October and will end on Thursday 15th of October. All you have to do is to post a picture a day according to the 15 prompts above and use #FFIDOCT15 and tag @frenchfoodieindublin on each photo to join the challenge. Of course there is a lot of food related prompts but other themes too, just to spice it up a bit.

The challenge is just for fun and not for winning anything, it's just a great way to interact with other people. You will discover new accounts and make new Instagram connections (by following the hashtag and commenting on people's photos), maybe gain followers and challenge your Instagram skills at the same time. Also I will make a round up for each week and feature my favourite photos on the blog.

I hope you will take part and share all your pictures, I'm looking forward to interacting with you all and don't forget to invite your pals too!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

My Top 5 Blogging Tips + Blogging Workshop on Saturday 7th of November

Top 5 Blogging Tips - Blogging for beginners workshop

Blogging is a great hobby and a fantastic outlet for sharing your passion, it's something I've loved doing for the last three years. If you're thinking of starting a blog or you are already blogging, here are five of my top tips to make your blogging life a little easier.

1. Find your niche
In a sea of blogs it can be difficult to set yourself apart, but if you do find your niche you are likely to find your readership growing and have a successful blog. Being unique can be your best asset. Fiona Uyema from Fiona's Japanese Cooking is an excellent example of someone who found a niche and thanks to her blog she has now become an authority in terms of Japanese food in Ireland.

2. Know your readers
Once you've found your niche it's likely that you will know your readers too and this will help you to know what content works or not. With the stats and Facebook insights you will know the demographic and which posts get the most reads or clicks. It's quite handy for you to decide what to write about in the future and make sure that people are kept interested.

3. Post regularly
It's not easy but if you want people to keep reading you, you have to update your blog regularly. I had moments where I lacked the inspiration or motivation and could see the numbers of readers decreasing during those times. Blogging can be time consuming but the secret is to schedule it. Create an editorial calendar and plan your posts ahead, this can help you to keep a routine. An updated blog is more likely to be successful one but always keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity!

4. Don't compare yourself to others
Each blogging journey is different and of course when you start you might feel like you will never get as many followers as some other bloggers, you might even think that no one will read you. Focusing on blogging about what you love and connecting with your readers if far more important than looking at what the others are doing or comparing numbers.

5. Use social media
If you have a blog it's pretty much mandatory to use as many social media platforms as you can. Get on Twitter, create a Facebook page for your blog, use Instagram or even snapchat... This will help you to reach out and promote your posts as well as interacting with the blogging community.

I hope these five tips will help you with your own blog, or that blog you've been threatening to start for ages. If you are new to the blogging world, or you feel like starting a blog soon I will be running a Blogging for Beginners Workshop on Saturday 7th of November at 2.30pm in Brooks hotel.

You can book your space here.

Do you have any blogging tips you'd like to share? Please do in the comments below.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Keeping Things Simple: Fish Shop, Smithfield

Fish Shop Dublin - French Foodie in Dublin

After the first of our seafood dates in Klaw, Ms. L and I decided to visit Fish Shop next. Fish Shop is owned by the couple who ran Fish Shop in Blackrock which I enjoyed and reviewed a while back, so I was pretty sure their venture in Smithfield would be a good one too. I was a bit anxious though as Ms. L is from Normandy and very particular when it comes to fish. I remember her telling me how she dislikes how people in Ireland always tend to batter everything. I had to warn her that Fish Shop was no exception but better at battering fish than most of the other places in Dublin.

We visited on a weekday and the restaurant which can only sit 16 people was packed full, so I left my number and we went for a drink across the road in Dice Bar. It didn't take long to get the call from Fish Shop to let me know a table had just become available.

Fish Shop Dublin - French Foodie in Dublin

Fish Shop is tiny and they kept the decor simple with bare bricked walls, hanging exposed bulbs, school chairs and white tiles on one of the walls where they write their specials. There are a few stools for sitting by the large window, a few tables very close to each other and a large open kitchen.

Fried oysters - Fish Shop Dublin - French Foodie in Dublin

The short menu changes regularly but it's good to know that they post it on their Twitter feed . We started with fried oysters (€7.50) to share. Three oysters on a white plate were brought to us, coated in a very light crispy batter and dressed with a zingy salsa including chilli, coriander and lime. Even Ms. L who isn't fan of battered seafood enjoyed it.

Fish burger at Fish Shop Dublin - French Foodie in Dublin

Next I went for the fish burger (€10) with consisted of a delicious brioche bun filled with a crisp battered fillet of fleshy hake, garlic mayo and a crunchy fennel and apple slaw with subtle hints of mint. It could have probably done with a little be more salt but overall was a good fish burger, mainly thanks to the quality of the bun and of course the fish, not greasy or soggy at all.

Slip Sole - Fish Shop Dublin - French Foodie in Dublin

Ms. L  had the slip sole (€13) which was beautiful cooked and served with a sherry vinaigrette and a wedge of lemon on the side. She was very happy to finally see a fresh fish cooked and served simply. We shared a portion of good chips (€3.50) as the mains don't come with anything else on the plate and drank a can of Metalman's Equinox wheat beer which I can't get enough of at the moment. We didn't have room for dessert but the choice looked pretty limited anyway in terms of pudding.

Metalman - Irish craft beer -Fish Shop Dublin - French Foodie in Dublin

Overall a lovely little spot but not the place for an intimate conversation or for getting too cosy. It's a bit like a hybrid of a chipper and a casual restaurant; you kind of feel that you have to rush out because of their waiting list and the staff are standing quite close to you. That said, it's nice to see Irish people finally embracing their beautiful fish and seafood and seeing more places celebrating them.

Fish Shop
6 Queen Street
Dublin 7