I tend to stick to themes like a broken record here on the blog. Like the Northside being a culinary wasteland and the serious lack of good seafood on our little island. Another theme is the fact that Portobello is without doubt the new hip area in Dublin that is about to explode in popularity. The first clue when seeking out an emerging area to buy property or to spot a movement happening I find is in the local cafes and restaurants. There'll be a special buzz and a few unwashed hipsters hanging around and that is starting to happen in Portobello and I have absolutely no doubt it will become the "new Ranelagh". It feels like a cross between Williamsberg in New York and Camden in London but the main transition in the area has yet to happen. This is the start of the movement and it still feels very grungy. Dirty even.
The good news about an area like this is that it is close to town and rents would be cheap enough. Situations like that breed a fuck load of creativity. Wall & Keogh personifies what is happening around here perfectly. It is essentially a tea shop with dozens of varieties available but they also serve lunch and some tasty cakes. I love the quirkiness of the place though. It's like nothing you see in Dublin and stepping outside in to the covered area or into their funky downstairs is like walking in to a dive bar in Berlin. This is the polar opposite of the dreaded celtic tiger and thank fuck for that.
Lets not beat around the bush. The Sushi I had here for lunch was a rubbish. It tasted like a wet bag of shit. See the key to good sushi is the rice and if you fuck that up (which they did) then you don't stand a chance. I might have just been unlucky but it doesn't strike me as the sort of place that is going to win awards for the sushi. Stick to the sambos which are awesome or stop in for a cup of tea seeing as that is what they do best.
The tuna melt I had was savage. It tasted warm, cheese melting everywhere and the bread was super crusty and just as it should be. Sandwiches don't often taste this good and it was a meal in itself. It isn't especially cheap (that was the dreaded sushi bumping up the price in fairness) but you don't mind that because you know this place is been made with love.
I love the whole feel of the place though and as you can see from the picture above walking in to the room feels like you are walking on to an album cover. It's hipster trashy chic. If I tried to do this at home though it would look like a dump and there is a serious art in making shit furniture look this stylish. Myself and Emma instantly agreed we should move our office there for the day and work remotely one day soon.
Last but not least are the cakes. A simple selection in a basket that are all delicious and which cater for that most recent of trends... the gluten free crowd. Every fucker and their dog seem to shun gluten these days so the masses will be happy here. Combine these with one of the teas on the counter and you'll have a lovely experience in here. Dublin is slowly getting cooler by the day. I'll be a regular here. More places like this and less champagne mojitos please.
The View From Others
I am only one person eating there on one day so to give a little balance to the review here are some other reviews from people who have eaten there...