People who know me well know my passion for Berlin. It's a no bullshit sort of place with a great tech scene and work friendly cafes. My ambition is to make Dublin more like Berlin one day and get rid of all the poncey bullshit like licensing laws that say no selling booze after 10.30, no drinking in parks, no pets on public transport and all the other anal laws our gobshite politicians force us to live with. Cafes are a huge part of Berlin culture and I've finally found one in Dublin that ticks all the boxes. Full of hipsters, check. Reasonably priced, check. Healthy food and drink, check. In a dodgy area, check. People with macbooks everywhere working on start-up type stuff, check. Friends in the know had been telling me about The Fumbally for ages but I've never been in that part of town and hungry until recently. I'd heard that it was run by people who used to organize festivals but what I didn't realize was that it was like walking in to a fucking never ending Electric Picnic...
The festival type experience starts when you queue up to order the food with no table service available. You can watch the hippies cooking your food right in front of your eyes and by the looks of them they have each been given enough of a scrub that morning to pass their hygiene tests. Just. The focus is on salads with a small and healthy menu but I couldn't ignore the porchetta roll with caper mayo. The pork probably wasn't as crispy as it should have been but it was one of the better and most original sandwiches I've had in Dublin.
It was served with fresh salads which were oozing flavor and an fresh OJ which was anything but fresh. Although there were big bowls of oranges all over the place the juice had clearly been squeezed well before the busy lunch service. You have to squeeze in at communal tables during lunch but there is plenty of place to work with a laptop outside of peak hours. There is a chaotic madness about the place but it runs just on the right side of smooth and it feels like sitting in a nice cozy living room. My mate Pat from Cork said in a way only Cork people can "Sure the cunts didn't even have to pay for the furniture, sure me mam would have thrown that out years ago. Didn't even bother to sand it down". Thats a compliment from a Cork person BTW.
New York, Berlin, Melbourne and lately London are full of these sorts of places. Life stripped back and non of the poncey bullshit we all once thought was good living. Call it hipster or whatever the fuck you want but this is a proper cafe. My parents, aunts, grandparents or young hip teenagers would all feel welcome here. High stools for babies as well. Hippies don't seem to want to pigeon hole their customers and all are welcome.
My only gripe is the location and not from The Fumbally's point of view. They've stuck it in a great spot. Lovely room and all that. Getting here is a nightmare. Parking is tough to find. Leaving the bike outside was a no no given some of the local scumbags eyeing it up before I even got off it. It's kinda far to walk from where I live and public transport stops a good bit away. See in Berlin, New York or London the underground or tram would stop within 50 meters. Instead in this country we have a grand total of 2 trams which the fucking idiots couldn't even decide to link together in one network when constructed. So while this cafe is the first true sign that I have seen that Dublin could become like Berlin it is only a tiny step forward in the right direction. There is much work still to be done. Get down and check it out because it is a Hipster's paradise.
The View From Others
I am only one person eating in the place on one day so here are a selection of reviews from other blogs to give a more balanced opinion...
House and home
Eat for a fiver
I Bloody Love Food