In French we use the word 'boui-boui' to describe a little cafe, restaurant or even cabaret place that is quite average. I suppose the closest English equivalent would be 'greasy spoon', although a French 'boui-boui' would not really serve fried foods.
When I passed by Assassination Custard toward the end of the year 2015, the 'Little Cafe' sign caught my eye, but I thought it was a 'boui-boui' and just ignored it. I forgot about it and one day read a review written by Aoife which convinced me to give this place a go. Aoife is the first food writer who mentioned my blog in an Irish newspaper back when I started blogging and she's also half of the talented duo from Forkful. She's a food writer for several different publications and the one I trust the most in terms of recommendations. From stalking her on social media I feel like we have similar tastes!
I visited Assassination Custard with fellow blogger Yolene on a weekday at lunch time. I opened the door and got a bit of a surprise when I saw the size of the place, it's teeny tiny. There are only two tables and six seats if I recall correctly. The owner asked us if we wanted to eat in and kindly went through the menu with us. There were six dishes with prices ranging from €2.50 to €6.50 and everything sounded nice. We ordered most of them to share as we were told they were small sized. The menu changes regularly and is posted on their Facebook page.
The cafe is very cute, there was a bunch of parsley in a vase on the biggest table, the furniture looked like it had been picked up at the Dublin Flea market. It's very simple and as it's so small you feel like you're sitting in this Irish couple's kitchen. Dishes were brought to our table as they were ready so it felt a bit like we were eating tapas.
We started with the beetroot moutabel (€3.50), a beetroot dip topped with a fried beetroot leaf and serve with delicious fresh homemade bread. The dip was nice but lacked a bit of seasoning, making it my least favourite dish.
Now the nduja roll, served with ricotta on the side (€4) was totally moorish and I even regretted having to share it. This certainly had a kick to it; nduja being a fiery smooth Italian salami. We both loved it.
I have never seen freekeh on a menu in a cafe in Dublin before and the first time I came across it was when I was in Ballymaloe last year. In Assassination Custard it was simply served with toasted pine nuts and mixed with herbs. Very simple but the earthiness and slightly smokiness of freekeh was sastifying.
The second best dish for us was the panelle (€4.50), some fluffy square fritters made of chickpea flour. They were absolutely delicious.
Because we didn't want to leave the place too soon we ordered a slice of olive oil and blood orange cake. It couldn't have been more simple and it reminded us of the homemade cakes we used to make as a child in France. No icing and no cream, just a slice of cake.
Assassination Custard certainly don't serve your usual cafe fare. When you're sitting there you don't feel like you're in Ireland as there is definitely a Mediterranean influence to it. I have to admit our clothes totally smelled like fried foods afterwards but the place is so tiny you're pretty much eating in the kitchen. It's not a 'boui-boui' or a 'greasy spoon' though, it's a true little gem that is almost painful to share!
19 Kevin Street
Assassination Custard's Facebook page
This is an independent review, I paid for my meal.