SE­LECT

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS | EATING OUT - – Lau­rence Mackin

DANCE FLAVOURS

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

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