The Dublin Dance Festival is pirouetting its way around Dublin at the moment (see Pick of the Week panel on p14). So here are some restaurants with menus that are healthy enough to keep even a dancer or dance fan light on their feet.
Honest to Goodness (12 Dame Court, Dublin 2, tel: 01-6337727, honesttogoodness.ie) is an old hand at great, healthy meals. Their selection is straightforward, but the ingredients are top-notch with plenty of healthy smoothie options to wash it all down. Our only quibble is that the portions are sometimes on the light side, though the daily specials are good value.
Things get a little more, eh, relaxed on the Sunday brunch menu (buffalo balls are chicken wings without the bony bits), but we all need a little time off from being pure as the driven snow.
Brother Hubbard (Capel Street, tel: 01-4411112, brotherhubbard.ie) is probably bored with the mentions at this stage, but they deserve a shout-out for the healthy breakfasts alone.
Their home-made granola, yoghurt and compote is a small, virtuous feast for ¤5.95, while their winter bircher bowl has rolled oats and dried fruits, soaked in organic apple juice with banana, warm spices of cinnamon and nutmeg, crème fraiche, and maple syrup, topped with toasted nuts, pomegranate seeds and fresh mint for ¤6.50.
Their menus change frequently so don’t be surprised to see something else entirely when you drop in.
Vegetarian restaurants are few and far between in Dublin, even if vegetarian options in those catering to omnivores have improved. Still our favourite of the former is
Govindas (various outlets, govindas.ie). Sure, the dining rooms leave a lot to be desired, but that’s balanced out by their massive portions, low prices and the fact that much like our mother’s house we can “have a little bit of everything”. You can take the boy out of the country... We’ve heard great things about Borlottie (Unit 4A Excise Walk, IFSC, Dublin 1, tel: 01-6054000, borlottie.ie), but it’s strictly a day-time affair. Cracking crisp salads, with clever menu options based on whether you want low carb, eat clean or protein rich.
They also deliver to offices and have paleo options. Award yourself full marks for smugness then. For years now, we’ve assumed that sushi is the healthiest food there is, and we are refusing to read any scientific evidence to the contrary in order to keep our appetite for raw fish as voracious as possible. It’ll come as no secret that
Musashi (various outlets, musashidublin.com) is probably the best in the business, and also manages the trick of being good value for money (though it’s made us late for more than one show thanks to the extensive menu). On the south side of the city,
Michie Sushi (various outlets, michiesushi.com ) is also a long standing favourite, with an excellent delivery menu. We often order the ¤30 large set, and find it’s enough for two greedy people.
Cocu (9 Baggot Street, cocu.ie) is a newish healthy option joint on Baggot Street. It’s breakfast and lunch only, and has got dietician Orla Walsh to nutritionally assess all its meals so you can count your calories with confidence. The Middle Eastern chicken with roasted red peppers, avocado, feta and pine nuts with sumac dressing sounds terrific (¤7.50), and of course we’re going to add a baked sweet potato for ¤1.
The other option of course is just to spend a few hours dancing in a club and get a kebab on the way home, which we’re sure balances out perfectly.
Lunch from above
Cocu on Baggot St, Dublin