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The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS | EATING OUT - - Rachel Collins

VEG­E­TAR­IAN FOOD

Na­tional Veg­e­tar­ian Week be­gins on Mon­day – a week where we’re all en­cour­aged to forgo our car­niv­o­rous ten­den­cies and to lean to­wards eat­ing green, so we’ve dug up some of the coun­try’s best veg­e­tar­ian and ve­gan restau­rants.

Start­ing in the south with one of the coun­try’s best known veg­gie cafes: De­nis Cot­ter’s

Café Par­adiso (16 Lan­caster Quay, Cork, tel: 021-427 7939, cafepar­adiso.ie). This lovely, re­laxed café sources much of its pro­duce from Gort na Nain farm in nearby No­ho­val and the menu re­flects what’s in sea­son in the fields. Open for din­ner Mon-Sat, the menu of­fers two cour­ses for ¤33, three for ¤40 and two with ice cream for ¤36. Dishes in­clude co­conut con­fit of cau­li­flower with pump­kin rasam dip, sesame spinach and baked pa­neer cheese; or Gort na Nain as­para­gus and nameko mush­rooms with car­rot, hazelnut crumb, tar­ragon oil and potato-pea cakes; the par­adiso chips with truf­fled aioli (¤5) are a must. You can also stay up­stairs, where there are two comfy rooms and you’re treated the next morn­ing to a de­li­cious break­fast (¤100pp for din­ner, B&B). For some­thing a lit­tle spicier,

Iyer’s (38 Pope’s Quay, Cork, tel: 087 640 9079) is a tiny spot serv­ing South In­dian food such as masala dosa, ¤6.95 (rice flour crepes stuffed with potato, fried onions and spices and served with co­conut chut­ney and spicy sam­bar), street food such as samosa chaat, ¤6.50 (a mix of chick­peas, onions, co­rian­der, herbs, spices, dried sesame noodles and chillis) and thali meals, ¤12.50 – a tra­di­tional tray with bas­mati rice, a lentil stew (sam­bar), sea­sonal sauces and dishes such as a chick­pea curry (chole), mut­ter pa­neer (pa­neer cheese with pease and tomato), a pap­padam and salad. Owner Gautham Iyer also makes kulfi, ¤2.50 – an In­dian take on ice cream– which he in­fuses with Ir­ish flavours such as gorse and clover. You can get au­then­tic In­dian chai tea (¤2)and creamy chilled las­sis (¤2.50) to drink. Open for lunch Wed-Sat and din­ner, Thurs-Fri. There’s a supper club on the first Satur­day of the month.

In Gal­way, the Light House (8 Up­per Abbey­gate Street, Gal­way, tel: 087 921 3003) is a cute lit­tle tea house that serves veg­e­tar­ian lunches such as thai curry with mung bean noodles (¤10), chick­pea burg­ers (¤10 or ¤11 with salad), quiches and stews – the burger is par­tic­u­larly good. They make an or­ganic raw caramel slice (¤5), plus ve­gan op­tions for drinks such as ve­gan lat­tes (¤2.80)and soy milk with tea.

Also in Gal­way, Wa Café (13 New Dock Street, Gal­way, 091-895850, wa­cafe.net) is a good sushi joint that serves fresh veg­gie and ve­gan sushi. The nori maki rolls are great value – ¤4.50 for turnip, spinach, car­rot, mush­room and dried tofu maki. A veg­e­tar­ian bento box (¤10) in­cludes rice, a fried tofu and veg­etable patty with grated gin­ger, and pan fried lo­tus root with spicy sauce and Brie. Veg­e­tar­ian sides in­clude edamame (¤2), the ad­dic­tive steamed soy beans, and kim­chi (¤3), spicy Korean pick­led cab­bage. In Lim­er­ick, Grove Veg­gie

Kitchen (11 Up­per Ce­cil Street, Lim­er­ick, tel: 061-410084, groveveg­giek­itchen.com) is a fam­ily-owned restau­rant, run by Kay Whe­lan and her daugh­ter Sue Has­sett, serv­ing or­ganic and lo­cally sourced veg­e­tar­ian food for nearly 35 years. The menu in­cludes items such as falafel and roasted veg­etable piz­zas (both ¤9 with a se­lec­tion of sal­ads), daily soups, casseroles and cur­ries, such as pui lentil and sweet potato (¤9 large, ¤6.50 medium) and trays of take­away sal­ads for ¤6. Try the Bal­ly­houra Brew, a lo­cal kom­bucha tea (¤2), to help with di­ges­tion and to boost your im­mune sys­tem.

In the cap­i­tal, Cor­nu­copia (19-20 Wick­low Street, Dublin 2, tel: 01-677 7583, cor­nu­copia.ie) serves a wide range of veg­e­tar­ian, ve­gan and raw food. Open from 8am to 9pm (Mon & Tues) and 8.30am to 10.15pm (Wed-Sat) and 12-9pm Sun­days, it serves break­fasts such as veg­e­tar­ian sausages with roasted chilli mush­rooms, home­made break­fast beans and roasted red onion (¤9.25) or piper­ade, a Basque red pep­per and tomato stew with scram­bled eggs (¤7.55) – both in­clude tea/cof­fee, bread/ toast and ve­gan spread, jam and ketchup. The af­ter­noon and evening menu has a great se­lec­tion of sal­ads sold by plate size (¤4.95, ¤8.95, ¤10.95) and a ro­tat­ing menu of mains (¤12.50-¤13.95, in­clud­ing two sal­ads) such as a but­ter­nut squash and cashew can­nel­loni with Gran Mo­ravia, or cashew-baked aubergine with smoked pa­prika mash and pea sauce.

Blaz­ing Sal­ads (42 Drury St, Dublin 2, tel: 01-671 9552, blaz­ingsal­ads.com) is a whole­food veg­e­tar­ian deli with a take­away salad bar. You pay by weight (ex­pect ¤7-¤8 per box), but in­gre­di­ents are fresh and very healthy and they have a great se­lec­tion of dress­ings. There are lots of su­per­food sal­ads, some very tasty ar­ti­choke hearts and roasted tofu with gin­ger and shoyu (a type of soy sauce). Hot spe­cials in­clude spiced broc­coli and roasted potato with Blaz­ing Sal­ads pa­neer, plus savoury dishes such as pizza slices and spring rolls at the counter, and sugar-free cakes and or­ganic sour­dough made on site. Fi­nally there are two good falafel places fac­ing each other on Dame Street: Umi Falafel (13 Dame Street, Dublin 2, tel: 01- 670 6866, umi­falafel.ie) and Falafel Lounge (68 Dame Street, Dublin 2, 01-670 8244) of­fer good value in healthy, veg­gie fast food. Try Umi’s Le­banese falafel (¤6): warm Le­banese bread stuffed with tasty falafel, tomato, cu­cum­ber, pickles, pars­ley and tahini. Over in the Falafel Lounge, they serve Le­banese piz­zas (made on flat­breads). Try the half ‘n’ half (¤7) with one half a cheese combo, the other dried herbs and olive oil.

If that piques your in­ter­est, there’s also World Veg­e­tar­ian Day on Oc­to­ber 1st this year – see veg­e­tar­ian.ie and for more places to eat, see hap­py­cow.net/europe/ire­land

Eat your greens

Cor­nu­copia, Wick­low

Street, Dublin

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