endless cones for tourists may have gone unmentioned). Neon brought this all on themselves of course, with their clever idea of giving you a free, empty cone with every meal and letting you loose on their ice-cream machine. Gimmicky, yes. But free ice creams do not a Thai restaurant make, so just as well their food is as much fun. Fast, spicy Asian favourites of noodles, curries, soups and wok-fried dishes, plus an excellent, explosive duck larb salad for just ¤6.50 (the ice cream comes in handy afterwards).
SCIENCENCE GAGALLERY FLUX CAFÉ
Science Gallery, Naughton Institute, Pearse Street, Trinity College, Dublin 2, 01 896 4091, sciencegallery.com ¤ An excellent pick for lunch or early dinner, the ground floor of the ever-evolving Science Gallery is a buzzy, vibrant spot. Many of the exhibitions spill over into the café, which you reach by passing through the gift shop – avert your eyes or prepare to spend. Instead, you can opt for a variety of sambos, platters, salads and soups. Best option is the stewp (no we’re not stewp-id, that’s how they spell it), a hearty hybrid of stew and soup – and only ¤6.
TERRA MADRE CAFE
13, Bachelor’s Walk, Dublin 1, (01) 873 5300 terramadre.ie, ¤ Food – and machismo – flown direct from Italy, Terre Madre calls itself a café, but it’s a lot more than that. In a blink-andyou-miss-it tiny basement room on the quays, it serves authentic Italian dishes made with Lardo di Colonnata, Campofilone egg pasta, Porchetta carpaccio and Terena Ascolana olive oil. We may once have ordered the Sicilian caper sprout bruschetta for starters and then again for dessert …
7 Poolbeg Street, Dublin 2, 01-6798705, thevintagekitchen.ie ¤