Orla Murphy visits small Dublin café - Meet Me In the Morning
Despite its tucked-away location off Dublin’s Camden Street, Meet me in the Morning’s reputation ensures that a seat in the cosy premises in never guaranteed. For our first trip there, we made sure to arrive early to beat the lunchtime rush. I imagine that the recently opened to-go option next door also helps cut down the bustle. As we took our seats in the unassuming premises indoors, several other punters were enjoying the last of the September sunshine at the tables outside. An open window affords a glance into the kitchen, but the chefs are not confined there, as the job of bringing the various green-filled bowls of food to diners appears to be a communal one.
Between the two of us, we easily covered the three-item menu, enjoying a refreshing glass of David Llewellyn apple juice (€3.50) and Luscombe Raspberry Crush (€4) as we waited.
The McNally lunch hash (€12) was my kind of dish (really, anything with potatoes will do it). Morsels of softly cooked baby potatoes were hidden amongst a colourful concoction of mustard greens, sliced and puréed beets, Gubbeen smoked ham and a perfectly poached egg. It was a joyful marriage of fresh, complementary flavours, where no element outshone the other, that had the added advantage of making you feel like you’re having a healthy, ‘five-a-day’ type lunch without sacrificing on taste or pleasure.
The equally delicious second dish of eggs and greens (€10) had a more earthy, smoked flavour imparted by both the chargrilled black and red kale and the toasted rustic bread. Another two perfectly poached eggs were topped off with garlic yoghurt and paprika oil, culminating in a homely bowl of goodness.
The only disappointment lay with the third dish of the day – a colourful looking brown rice dish mixed through with a sorrel and kale pesto and topped with more of McNally’s vegetables (€10), but this time they were lightly fried in a delicate tempura. The tempura was good and a few slivers of pickled beets, tomatoes and more of those lovely greens got things off to a promising start, but once they were gone you were left with a rather flavourless mound of rice that lacked both seasoning and texture. It was a dull dish in contrast to the other two.
A selection of baked goods is made in-house and, given the size of the premises and restrictive lunchtime menu, there was a surprisingly decent selection of homemade donuts and brownies on offer. We chose a butterscotch donut (€3.50) and peanut butter and raspberry chocolate brownie (€3) to accompany our expertly made coffees (€3 each). The donut had a delightfully light texture, and mercifully the sauce wasn’t too sweet. The peanut butter element of the brownie was subtle in flavour but added moisture and a welcome crunch from some chopped up nuts, while the raspberry jam served to cut through the dark chocolate. Both were nicely done.
Service was warm and efficient throughout, and I can see why this place has become such a hit with returning clientele. I’d be curious to learn how often the menu changes given its limited offering, but, for the most part, what they do do, they do well.
We loved: the excellent sourcing of produce, the colourful greens and veg and the well-executed and subtle flavours
We spent: €52 on three dishes, two desserts, two drinks and two coffees
Meet me in the Morning
50 Pleasants St, Saint Kevin's, Dublin 8.
Open: Mon – Fri, 8am – 4pm; Sat & Sun 9am – 4pm.