Monday 6 October 2014

Staple Foods, Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2

Update: Staple Foods have moved to another location on Grattan Street

So I was walking through Temple Bar the other day and a lady asked me if I wanted to see "the tourist menu". Hey, no, why the hell would I? I didn't say that, I politely declined, looked at Mr. FFID, gave my usual Gallic shrug, laughed and felt sorry for tourists. When a restaurant has a 'tourist menu' or a big sign stating 'Traditional Irish food' it is likely to be horrible. This applies to any city in the world I guess. In Paris they give you beef bourguignon from a can if you go for a tourist menu, so beware!

Anyway, for this blog post we're staying in Temple Bar and going to a little place in which I hope tourists end up in, rather than those places that try to drag them in with their tourist menu. There are good food places in Temple Bar and Staple Foods is one of them.

Staple Foods used to be in Merchant's Arch, the premises were super tiny so I was delighted to see them moving to a much bigger space on Curved street, next to the Button Factory. From 5pm the premises turns into Crowbar where you can enjoy a pint of craft beer or a cocktail.

The setting is pretty cool, with black and white checkered tiles, mismatched chairs and comfy banquettes, it works both for the cafe and pub. 

The menu features healthy food without being boring or putting off meat eaters. They serve inexpensive breakfasts option like poached egg and bacon, vegan buckwheat pancakes with roast strawberries & cashew butter. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays with refreshing not-your-usual brunch dishes: Chinese sticky pork with a pickled veg, salad, toasted cashews, coriander & chilli, Middle eastern chicken with roasted root veg tabbouleh & mixed pulses, dressed in tahini & lemon...

I visited with a friend at lunchtime on a rather damp day after my recent trip to France. It was a catch-up lunch and also I needed healthy food after overdosing on carbs and butter in my native country. The place was buzzing, the music quite loud but I could still hear my friend talking.

The lunch menu features sandwiches, salads and cold press juices. My friend had a sandwich which consisted of a massive toasted grain roll with roasted chicken, celeriac and toasted nut slaw with red pepper pesto (€7).

Even though it is on the expensive side for a sandwich, it is the type that will leave you full for hours, she didn't finish it but was asked if she wanted to take the rest home. It was good, healthy, fresh and a very generous portion.

My massive salad came on a large enamel plate, it was pulled pork (I'm not tired of it yet) served with an Asian style salad. I thought the price of €7.50 was excellent value considering the amount of it piled on my plate.

The slaw was crunchy, deliciously zingy and spicy with just the right mount of chillies and coriander while the pulled pork was tender and perfectly accompanied by a sticky BBQ sauce and toasted sesame seeds. This could have easily been shared between two hungry people, I struggled to finish it but succeeded as it was delicious.

I didn't recall seeing any desserts but I rounded-off the meal with a tea from a very decent selection of Palais des th├ęs teas.

Staple Foods is certainly somewhere to think of for a healthy meal in the heart of Temple Bar and there is no risk of being offered a tourist menu here, same tasty food for everyone.

Staple Foods
Curved Street
Temple Bar
Dublin 2

This is an independent review, I paid for my meal.