I’m fed up with goodbyes.
In the last year I’ve had some very dear friends move to a country or continent that ends with the letter ‘A’, has seven star hotels in aggressive heat or somewhere you can’t get ‘proper Tayto.’
The destination was London for the latest parting friend. His talent hasn’t had the chance to be rewarded here, so he has made the brave and, in his mind, necessary decision to leave. The day before he left we decided to meet for lunch.
Lunch is easy for goodbyes. You can’t cry over soup and sandwiches.
He suggested a new cafe called ‘The Fumbally’ in Dublin 8. Dublin 8 has always fascinated me. Since moving to Dublin from Donegal 10 years ago, it’s still a postcode that seems to go on forever with places within that are equally hip and horrific. Perhaps that’s the trick of it, and I always get lost there, even when I lived there.
The Fumbally, just off New Street, is a place I knew I would get lost trying to reach so chose to meet my soon to be London friend nearby.
London friend had to dash to an ATM so I stepped in and got coffee.
It was aching of hipster, but with something utterly charming. It’s got a smack of stripped New York warehouse, a little hint of charity shop that’s rounded off with ‘we aren’t quite finished renovating yet.’ It’s all high ceilings, washed white walls and ‘fallen idol’ furniture. I loved the art work, lush vegetable boxes and the enormous blackboard with a quote to ease the lunch.
The coffee was very good with a nice little crema. It was Italian, obviously. London friend ordered the porchetta sandwich at the counter, while I decided whether to have eggs or falafel.
He sat back and told me of his packing woes. He was leaving on the ferry the next morning. When someone emigrates, I always seem to feel the same things. Joy that they are taking a leap, sad to be losing them and questioning if I am clever or foolish to continue to stay like a loyal lover to a tempestuous Dublin.
In the midst of his excited chatter, I lost my appetite. This rare thing was quite overwhelming and I joked it was my last farewell gift to him. ‘See I must be going to miss you, I can’t even eat.’
The porchetta looked delicious, torn soft shoulder of pig on a crisp ciabatta and adequately dressed. He was pleased and it disappeared quickly.
I eyed up the delights leaving their ‘pass’ on the open kitchen. There were eggs, buttery, wobbly and scrambled with glossy red tomatoes on brioche. They also do a falafel which I have been ordered to go back to try. And I will have to as the appetite didn’t come back for this visit, even watching London friend devour the succulent pork sandwich.
The pastries looked fresh, and crisp and sugary but could have been a little better presented. ‘Rustic’ only gets you so far.
The menu is comfortingly good value, with everything in around the 5 euro to 6.50 mark. They aren’t open in the evening or at weekends, when the owners, Luca D’Alfonso and Aisling Rogerson, run their weekend Food Co-op nearby.
We left. One starving, one full. One cried. That night I ate seven courses.
The Fumbally, Fumbally Lane, Dublin 8.