DUBLIN

Ur­bun Cafe

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS | GOING OUT -

Old Bray Road, Cabin­teely Dublin 18 01-2848872 ur­bun.ie

Cabin­teely has the feel of a ru­ral vil­lage, com­plete with the stone walls of the beau­ti­ful Cabin­teely Park lead­ing into the vil­lage and a quaint Garda sta­tion at its cross­roads. De­spite its sleepy and pleas­antly pro­vin­cial feel, it’s just off the N11 and a mere 25-minute drive from Dublin’s city cen­tre. It’s a de­cep­tively ur­ban spot.

Ur­bun Cafe opened its doors in Cabin­teely vil­lage in Fe­bru­ary 2011. It’s housed in a re­tail space be­low a mod­ern block of apart­ments just a cou­ple storeys high, a typ­i­cal tail-end Celtic Tiger de­vel­op­ment that lay empty for a few years af­ter the crash. “It had been empty for two years when we found it,” says Katie Gil­roy, founder and owner of Ur­bun Cafe.

Gil­roy opened Ur­bun with her then busi­ness part­ner Ni­amh Browne. They had al­ready been trad­ing un­der the Ur­bun name in their mar­ket stall, sell­ing baked goods at farm­ers’ mar­kets around the city. They jumped at the chance to move into the space, which was an empty shell at the time. “We did the bare min­i­mum to the decor,” Gil­roy re­calls. “We pol­ished the con­crete floor and our bud­get only al­lowed us to build very min­i­mal­ist wooden ta­bles. It turns out that the aes­thetic was kind of trendy, but that was un­in­ten­tional.”

It’s busy on the au­tum­nal Sun­day I visit, with plates piled high with pan­cakes, eggs and break­fast baps (pic­tured) leav­ing the kitchen to soothe the heads of gath­ered lo­cals. “The food is sim­ple but we are dis­cern­ing about good qual­ity in­gre­di­ents and us­ing lo­cal sup­pli­ers,” says Gil­roy.

Chef Olga Tka­cova leads the kitchen team in mak­ing their own soda bread, brown­ies and lemon driz­zle cakes, which line the cake bar. Their fluffy, crusty white bread is from Gran Clarke’s Bak­ery in Kil­coole, Co Wick­low, while their sour­dough is from Arun Bak­ery in Smith­field, Co Dublin. Their eggs are from free-range chick­ens in north Wick­low, and they sell them by the half dozen in the cafe. Their sausages are from Donal Hick in Dalkey and their free-range chicken is from John’s Meat Co. in Monkstown.

That free-range chicken is put to good use in their Chicken Sambo of the MoMo (¤6.50), a sand­wich that changes weekly. This week, it’s a take on the clas­sic Plough­man’s, with shred­ded pieces of roast chicken paired with pick­les, cheese and rel­ish sand­wiched be­tween two thickly cut, heav­enly soft slices of white bread.

The same mar­vel­lous bread is used in the clas­sic BLT (¤6.50), and all the el­e­ments are brought to­gether to cre­ate a deeply com­fort­ing ver­sion of this old favourite. A but­ter­nut squash soup (¤5.50) is el­e­vated with some fra­grant curry spices, ward­ing off the au­tum­nal chill.

Ur­bun care about their cof­fee, and their re­la­tion­ship with Cork-based cof­fee roast­ers Badger & Dodo dates back to their days on the farm­ers’ mar­ket cir­cuit, when they were stall neigh­bours with Brock Lewin of Badger & Dodo. Ur­bun’s barista Ciaran McCarthy knows what he’s at, and our flat whites (¤2.70 each) are tran­scen­dent.

The sea­sonal berry on top of Ur­bun Cafe is Cabin­teely Park, and we grab our sand­wiches and soup to go. The Park is just a few min­utes walk from Ur­bun, and its 45 hectares in­cludes vast lawns speck­led with con­tem­po­rary sculp­tures and tree-lined trails wind­ing along the walls at the out­skirts. There’s a beau­ti­ful L-shaped Ge­or­gian house at the heart of it, built in the 1760s for Robert Nu­gent, also known as Lord Clare. Dún Laoghaire Rath­down County Coun­cil’s youth art cen­tre, The Grain­store (dl­r­grain­store.ie), is lo­cated at the back of the house.

Ur­bun Cafe is about a 20minute walk from the Laugh­anstown Luas stop, and the 84 and 145 buses get you close to Cabin­teely Vil­lage. Even without mak­ing a visit to the park, it’s worth the trip. AMcE

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