We caught the rising tide and went along to Ebb & Flo on Camden Street, to check out a cafe that's badly needed along that strip of town.
Why make a reservation?
It's a cafe that defies its location, Ebb & Flo is a calming and relaxing cafe. The staff are bang on, the menu is a manageable mix of brunch classics and buzzy specials, capable of satiating even the most awkward of eaters.
Set the scene
Set in Camden Street Lower, Ebb & Flo is a welcome entry to the street which heaves with restaurants and bars. It's a high-ceilinged spot that's surprisingly big when you walk in. There's a standard coffee shop set up when you first come in, with seating along the wall, through the mid-century wet dream wall divider- there's more seats.
The site on 71 Camden Street Lower was once home to a different cafe, Cn Coffee Brunch. A husband and wife team in the form of Dave and Louise Smyth have taken over the spot, creating their second Ebb & Flo in Dublin. The first one operates in Clontarf, and the Smyths also run Full Circle Coffee Roasters and Milligram Coffee in Sligo.
A lot of thought, time and no doubt money have been put into this space and it shows. The style is mid-century with a nod to the sparsity that the Nordics hold so dear. It's got a real airy feel to it, no doubt helped by the 13ft ceilings and the verdant colour scheme. The finish on the place is great, with "Wegner inspired" furniture custom made by Conleth and Niall McKernan in Benmore Studies, while the rest of the interior was crafted by Dave's brother Patrick, a bespoke cabinet maker.
Some people despise A4 printer paper menus, but personally I like them. Mainly because they show that the menu changes, that the specials are actually adapted to the seasons, that the chef is agile and adaptive. The brunch menu at Ebb & Flo certainly cements this theory. It has all standard brunch options squared off (the kind of dishes that some people might have a strop if they didn't see on the menu) alongside some really progressive and exciting dishes.
We recommend ordering
The Avo Toast is normally thrown around as the butt of the typical foodie joke, and or/ the reason why no Millennial can own property in their lifetimes. BUT Ebb & Flo have grabbed avo toast back from the jaws of ridicule. Two slices of soft bread (not the filling defying sourdough that's normally used), guacamole aaaand slices of avocado on the side, two perfectly cooked poached eggs, crumbles of feta cheese, chilli jam and topped with smokey pumpkin seeds. There's no skimping on ingredients here, bit for a dish of its heft it doesn't leave you feeling god awful afterwards. There's also a pleasant hum to it from the heat in the chilli jam, making it anything but the basic b*tch brunch option.
Was the poached eggs, which will now be entering the perfectly cooked poached egg hall of fame.
What we also wanted to order
The Forager, the full Irish (called the Ebb Irish) and the sweet potato and sweetcorn fritters
Listen, you are dealing with the people who run Full Circle Coffee Roasters, so you are going to get some quality joe here. They opt for espresso-based drinks with a line up of rotating seasonal harvests. We had the oat-milk latte, which packed a lot of coffee flavour without getting obscured by the sometimes "oaty" taste that goes with the milk.
The staff at Ebb & Flo are all bang on and good craic. Nothing is a problem and everything is completely chill and relaxed. Especially considering this is a new enough opener, the service was fluid, quick and efficient.
Some of the tables are definitely suitable for families, didn't see a kids menu but check with the team ahead of booking.
The cafe and bathroom are both on the ground floor and are accessible.
The kitchens use locally sourced seasonal ingredients, they stock locally roasted coffee and have an in-house baker.
The team are only running walk-ins at the moment. They also have an in-house baker who is producing some unreal looking pastries and cakes.
Where is it?
Ebb & Flo is in Dublin 2's 71 Camden Street Lower
How to keep up with them?
Instagram is probably best
Roughly €11-14 for a brunch (at the time of writing)