“Slow food and fast service” is the admirable aim at this popular little ingredients-led café on the aptly-named steep street up the hill from Main Street in Dingle.
Mainly a daytime place, it is open every day from breakfast onwards and discerning locals in the know head straight here for the lovely simple, zesty food, including delicious sandwiches (also available to take away), or simply to chill out and ease into the day over a cup of coffee. It’s a laid-back spot to relax with the day’s papers and enjoy the local artwork and photographs on display (and for sale).
The plain, brightly coloured shopfront and café style décor may be a little misleading as, although the basic things are certainly done right – seasonal local produce is carefully sourced and organic if possible, and the excellent brown bread and desserts are homemade on the premises every day – this is far from being a basic restaurant.
The breakfast menu sets the tone for the day with treats like Smoked salmon and scrambled egg on rye toast or a Grilled croissant with melted cheddar and crispy bacon on offer and, although the menu is short, lunchtime brings such a variety of good light dishes that choices are hard to make.
The homemade seafood chowder is the classic meal in a soup bowl and just the thing to cheer up a chilly day, and another favourite is a delicious Smoked salmon and feta cheese frittata served with salad. Other hot dishes include a Thai green curry served with basmati rice, which can be made with or without chicken – vegetarians fare especially well here and there will probably be three or four strong vegetarian choices.
In the evening, the atmosphere is softened with pretty lighting and the menu moves up a gear. Fresh fish from the harbour is a speciality, naturally enough, and prices are a little higher, but everything served here is extremely good value for the quality of the food, careful cooking and friendly service.