Tuesday 11 November 2014

Avoca Food Market and Salt Café, Monkstown, Dublin

Avoca Food Market

A crisp sunny day was a great excuse to get on the Dart and head off to Monkstown for lunch before a long afternoon walk.

When Mr. FFID and I got to Avoca Monkstown it was absolutely packed. It's divided into two parts: the food market and the café. Surprisingly, unlike the other Avoca stores it's all about food and nothing else, I won't complain about that at all.

There are vegetables and fruits, artisan food products, a bakery section, a deli counter, a craft butcher (James Whelan) and Poulet Bonne Femme Rotisserie.

Oh my god and they have a cheese and charcuterie room. Yes you heard right, ever since I visited I've been dreaming of having my very own cheese room if I ever buy a house. A girl can dream, right?

We stood in the queue to get a table at Salt Café and Mr. FFID whispered in my ears "Are we the only people without children?". I looked around and it looked like it. Everyone I could see had children with them. A stylish gentleman brought us to the back of the restaurant to our table. We were now surrounded by couples or groups of friends. "See Mr. FFID we're not the only one without children now!".

The café is spacious and elegant with white retro wooden chairs and some tables with marble tops. There are long blue banquettes at some tables and shabby chic chandeliers.

The breakfast menu includes items such as granola, mushroom on toast, bacon sandwich, scones and other delicious fare. The lunch menu is the kind of menu I like, nothing fancy but lots of different wholesome options using quality Irish products. There is a half-chicken with caesar salad (€16.95), confit duck salad (€16.95), superfood salad (€14.95) and so many tempting options that it took me a while to decide.

I went for a vegetarian dish for once, the butternut squash fritters and falafel (€15.95). I had three big fritters on a wooden board, golden brown and crisp on the outside. The filling was soft and included delicious feta cheese. The falafel, there was only one, was delicious too.

It was served with little bowls filled with dips of caramelised onion hummus, tzatziki, baba ghanoush and romesco. Everything went down a treat along with the salad and pita bread but where was the couscous mentioned on the menu? Not a big deal I was more than full, it was massive.

Mr. FFID had the James Whelan smoked beef brisket (€16.95). For once it's refreshing to get brisket served on a real plate and not a wooden board. The meat was melt in the mouth tender and flavoursome, he loved it.

The dish was elegant with the brisket lying on a bead of sweet corn and black eyed peas, topped with super thin onion rings. On the side there was grilled corn bread and a delicious slaw and romero sauce.

Lunch in Avoca was satisfying and I liked the relaxed atmosphere. You could tell it was full of locals enjoying a Sunday lunch with their friends or family, genuinely having a good time. That day I felt a bit like a tourist, I always do when I get to the seaside and I was happy to have found another place in Dublin that celebrates great food.

Avoca Food Market and Salt Café
Monkstown Crescent

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