Friday 23 February 2018

French Style Cakes in a Dublin Institution: Bewley's, Grafton Street

The day Bewley's reopened I passed by and saw people queueing outside like it was some trendy temporary pop-up café that would disappear any minute. I guess this is what happens when a Dublin institution closes for so many years.
The truth is, having lived in Dublin for the past 13 years, I've never been tempted to eat there. However when I learnt that a French pastry chef called Ludo Lantier would be in charge of the cakes I had to plan a little visit, you know, just in the name of research.

I visited on a Saturday afternoon when the place was jam packed. It was like stepping into a beehive full of people of all ages but luckily the wait to get a table wasn't too long. The food displays were full to the brim with elegant pastries, mountains of croissants and sandwiches; enough carbs or gluten to put off any gluten intolerant or healthy food aficionado.

We were seated at a table in a dark corner but with the advantage of being just besides a small open fireplace which adds a little bit of cosiness to this huge room. With its beautiful stained glass windows, bistro chairs and staff wearing stripy tops, Bewley's feels very continental Europe and maybe even a little French.

I'll be honest and say I didn't even look at the regular food menu as all I wanted was cake. One thing I noticed though was that prices were steep with a hot chocolate costing €5.50 and a pain au chocolat at €3.50. I was delighted to see a 'café gourmand' on the menu though, a very French thing which consists of a coffee served with mini sweet treats (€6.50).

I went for the heart-shaped dark chocolate mousse (€6.50). It had a mixed berries filling and was coated with a glossy berry glaze and topped with a white chocolate decoration. The mousse was light with just the right balance of chocolate and slightly sweet-tart berries. The mousse sat on top of what was described as a tuile biscuit but which seemed more like a sablé, which was a little hard to the point that it was difficult to break it with the spoon.

Mr. FFID order a rather fine looking apple baba (€6.50) which came with a pipette of Calvados and a generous mascarpone chantilly. The sponge cake was perfectly light and moist and the treat received the thumbs up from both of us.

I had a look at the cakes and it seems that they have French éclairs (as in with chocolate creme patissière and not whipped cream inside) and the fanciest looking carrot cake in Dublin as well as other treats.

As someone who would love to see a French bakery/pastry shop in Dublin, Bewley's is a good option for cake cravings. I'll be definitely back to try the café gourmand or pains au chocolat. Bien joué Bewley's!

Bewley's Grafton Street
78-79 Grafton Street
Dublin 2
Bewley's website

Disclaimer: This is an independent review, I paid for my food and drinks.