Off The Beaten Track - Simple Delicious Kurdish Food In Dublin 8
The Kurds as a people have had a pretty tough time over the years. Their population is split between Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey which aren't exactly parts of the world you'd want to be going for a two week package holiday these days. With huge turmoil in those areas, vast swathes of the population from those areas have been forced to emigrate over the years, bringing their culture and vibrant food to new parts of the world. And now Dublin 8 has a proper Kurdish café where you can enjoy the best of Kurdish food.
Most people probably don't spend much time down around where Clanbrassil Street meets South Circular road. For years it has been a bit of a dead area where people just sit in bad traffic commuting in and out of town, but why wouldn't you want to live in an area with cheap rent that is only 5 minutes from St Stephen's Green? If you ask me, with Harold's Cross on the up and Dublin 8 in general popping onto the map as a cool young area, this area will be in the heart of the action in about 5 years time.
There also happens to be plenty of cheap retail space in the area which has seen loads of new shops, butchers and cafes spring up. The Kurdish cafe is as simple as it gets. Their interior decor consists of an IKEA mirror thats costs a tenner (I know because I had the same one) and a carpet with a weird kid who looks like a grown man on it. Lets just say they won't be winning any interior design awards anytime soon. They also broke rule one for me which is don't print any pictures of the food on your menu. I ordered a Mezza plate which came with traditional flat bread. It was absolutely outstanding and the best tenner I have spent on food in Dublin in a very long time. It came with Fatosh salad (fresh and crunchy), Humus, Baba Ganouge (seems to be how they spell it), Kebeh (lovely little meat parcels) and the stunning Arayes. I'd never had them before but they were basically lamb mince spread into the bread and fried with a delicious sauce.
The whole plate was absolutely incredible and better than anything I ate when I was actually in the Middle East last week. This is a family joint with the wife and son bringing in bags of food and the father cooking it up. You'll probably go there and wonder what the fuck I was talking about because it doesn't fit the normal stereotype of a great restaurant in Dublin but I loved it. Sadly I was the only person there while the Fumbally, who are serving the exact same food down the road with a European slant, has a queue out the door. It's probably more of an evening place because when I passed later in the day there were old men eating there and smoking the sheesha.
The beauty of all these new immigrants coming to Dublin is what it will do to our food culture. It is already happening but give it a decade or so and the food scene will start to resemble New York. Check out the Kurdish cafe for something very different and a unique Dublin 8 experience.