A recent sunny weekend meant a mandatory hike (yes, we’re calling it a hike) from Bray to Greystones, tempted only by the promise of a huge meal at the end of it.
Trudging along the cliff in the baking heat I had one thought on my mind: FOOD. Now, anyone who’s been in Greystones on a sunny day will know what I mean when I say the queues outside The Happy Pear were beyond mental.
But that’s not where we were heading… Oh no. I was making my way towards Daata, a locally loved Indian restaurant that was serving brunch for the very first weekend. Despite a sign being placed outside tempting people in, the restaurant was pretty much empty.
Once inside and chowing down for one of the most exciting brunches I’ve had in ages, I couldn’t understand why there weren’t queues out the door for this spot too.
The decor is Bollywood meets rustic chic with enough objects to keep your eyes busy for the whole brunch
Little trinkets dotted around the room, colourful poster collages on the walls and a Tuk-Tuk in the middle of the floor makes Daata seriously stand out.
But the real excitement is the menu itself… Indian for brunch? Ohh YES
Banish all thoughts of curry on a Sunday evening out of your head. Daata’s brunch menu has been “forever” in the making, owner Waseem tells me.
A fab-u-lis menu is made up of lighter brunch options such as a Tandoori Fruit Salad with mint yoghurt, the Daata Porridge with almonds, pistachio, sultanas and lightly spiced tandoori fruit or two fried eggs with saffron.
The heavy hitters are packed full of flavour. There’s a Pakistani street food dish, Pav Bajee, of spiced veg griddled with butter on a brioche bun or a potato and egg curry with masala beans and grilled tomatoes.
Not an Eggs Benedict in sight, and I have to say I’m pretty thrilled about that.
Drinks to start bring me back to hot sticky days in Rajasthan – a mango lassi and a Lassini
I spent a few weeks in India and quickly developed an addiction to lassis. The sweet yoghurt drink is surprisingly refreshing for something so thick and I’ve yet to find somewhere in Dublin that comes close.
Overends Kitchen in Airfield in Dundrum comes close (their cardamom one is life) but Daata’s mango lassi beats it, no doubt about it.
The lassini is a passionfruit lassi spiked with rum. Basically, my dream drink.
We went for the Taktak Naan Roll and the Daata Chilli Cheese Naan
As a little snack to start we got the Daata Ka-Bomb, a crispy pastry stuffed with spiced potatoes and coriander. A juicy tamarind dip arrives in shot glasses – pour it into the pastry ball and pop into your mouth in one go for a taste explosion. Yum.
We’d ordered the Full Nashta in a fit of greedy madness, and luckily it never arrived because there was no way we’d have been able to tackle it along with our other two dishes.
We shared the cheese naan which was a freshly baked naan bread topped with crunchy potatoes, fried egg and grilled cheese. It sounds rich but was actually light and sooo delicious. We also got the spiced lamb and tikka chicken on a warm naan.
The chilli cheese naan won the comp of best brunch dish for sure.
Not only are the punchy flavours a welcome change from boring pancakes, the prices are a treat as well, with the most expensive item coming in at €14 and most things going for a tenner.
Completely stuffed and 100% satisfied, a chai tea finished off the meal
Chai tea, I L.O.V.E you. Daata’s version is lightly spiced and sweet and comes in the most ornate teapot you’ll ever see.
Practically rolling out of the place, we saw that people were still queuing for The Happy Pear.
Here’s hoping the word spreads that just across the street is an option just as show-stopping.
We’ll be back for the forgotten Full Nashta soon, ‘cos a brunch as good as this is too hard to stay away from for long.