The best time to have lunch is never lunchtime.
I adore the wonderful, bumbled, disarray of having meals the wrong way round, or at the punctuation points of day when the world, and everyone else, are busy. Everything tastes sweeter when you are having something at the cheekiest times of day. Like the first sip of a beer or bubbles on holidays, far too early, far too irresistible. Or leftover cake at breakfast, far too sweet, far too delicious.
Lunch in Brother Hubbard’s on Dublin’s Capel Street was in the heavenly part of late afternoon. And it was supposed to be just a coffee. The long room has cleverly got what I call its lipstick on properly with waist level displays of cakes, salads, scones and delicious treats upon entering. Even though it was a very late lunch, the long and narrow room was full, but we managed to get a table outside in their sweet and sunny little back terrace.
A talented friend, Kevin Powell, had told me about this little café, so it was appropriate that he was my fellow diner.
One of my favourite hobbies, after reading cookbooks, is reading menus. It’s like looking at someone’s shoes, you can tell a lot. This was short, simple and sincere. None of your Mano-louboutins here. It was soup, sandwiches, salads and cake. All of which read well, and comfortingly honest. The scone with orange blossom butter was my biggest temptation. But soup described as:
‘a light soup of chickpea & lemon with a coriander and garlic dressing (served with Arun sourdough bread and our spread roast beetroot and chickpea hummus with za’atar) ……..it had me.
Kevin ordered the homemade orange and lemon barley water which was cool and perfectly zingy.
We both went for the soup. It was light in flavour in the chickpea, but a coarse texture. It was balanced with the coriander and citrus dressing. Nourishing summery soup. The Arun bread was fresh sourdough and looked fantastic with a thick smear of their bright pinky purple beetroot and chickpea hummus.
Then the rain came down and the staff quickly activated an incredible Wimbledon-chic rain cover. Saving our soup, and making us feel special. We finished with some fine coffees, which was Has Bean Coffee that day. They work closely with Colin Harmon of 3fe Coffee, and you can tell. It’s good coffee, that tastes like coffee. I left convinced the orange blossom butter tastes even better for an inappropriately timed breakfast.