Sunday, May 17, 2015

WINTOUR&GUINNESS ON PIPPA HOLT'S INSIDERS GUIDE TO DUBLIN AND VISITING BIBI'S CAFE IN PORTOBELLO


A few weeks back, I was invited to the Marker Hotel by Image Magazine to listen to Bodyism founder James Duigan. The Australian personal trainer, author and Entrepreneur was in town to speak exclusively to Editor-in-chief Melanie Morris about his journey from being a young Aussie boy, growing up in Adelaide to being an international personal trainer to the stars and one of the leading voices in the world of health and nutrition. The evening was sensational and one of the best moments of the night, personally for me; was the opportunity to meet Pippa Holt.

Originally from Melbourne, Pippa began her career in publishing at Vogue Australia before packing her bags and making the move to London in her early twenties. She initially worked in fashion PR before moving to a stylist role at The Times and now spending the majority of her time living in Dublin, she is currently a contributing editor at British Vogue and also a fashion consultant. After speaking to Pippa briefly at the event, where I divulged my undying love for Vogue Australia and the various pieces she has written over the years - I remembered a piece that Pippa had written for Australian Gourmet Traveller about Dublin.


Now living back in Dublin after four years living in Melbourne, Pippa's piece in Australian Gourmet Traveller was the perfect thing I needed to get me excited about being back. An insiders guide to Dublin, I've decided to go through the entire list of places recommended and this weekend saw me visit spot number one, Bibi's cafe in Portobello.

The cafe, which was originally a corner newsagents was transformed into the perfect neighbourhood cafe and sits perfectly among the Victorian terraces which line the streets. Whilst Pippa recommended the Turkish eggs in her piece, I opted for poached eggs with spinach, bacon and hollandaise sauce. The dish originally came with English muffins however I asked for sourdough instead, which was the perfect choice as English muffins to me are a bit doughy, devoid of any real flavour and I just love the crunchiness of a really good piece of sourdough toast.

The next morning, after a few too many mimosas the night before - I decided to grab my MacBook and headed to Bibi's again. Having spoken about this "new" find of mine with my friends the night prior, I was told by those that knew the place, to check out their toasted sandwiches the next time I ventured over. Walking down Ovoca Road I thought to myself once again that this cafe was positioned in one of the most attractive parts of the city and you couldn't help but think this place was miles out of the city as the peacefulness of the area was incredible.


I took my friends advice and ordered the toasted sandwich for brunch. It was filled with Gubbeen chorizo, manchego cheese, sundried tomato and served on the side was a little dish of delicious chilli mayo. What differentiates Bibi's toasted sandwich, lets say from one you might find in Fallon & Byrne for example is that these guys toast theirs on a pan. Soaking up all the juices and creating a delicious crust on the outside, this sandwich felt like the most extravagant treat for 11am in the morning.

I, ever the awkward foodie decided to fill my toastie just that little bit more with the green salad leaves on the plate and whilst it might have made for a messy experience - they perfectly cut through the richness of the chorizo and cheese.



Feeling ever so gluttonous, I decided to treat myself to a slice of peanut butter and chocolate brownie alongside my coffee. Sometimes brownies can be a real let down when you order them, 3FE's brownie is dense and really chewy, whilst some of the others I have tried around town are dry and a bit one dimensional in terms of flavour. Just the other day I finally got the chance to taste the cheesecake brownie from KC Peaches and boy that was a major let down. None of them blew me away.

Bibi's peanut butter and chocolate brownie was incredible. It was fudgy, tasted of actual chocolate  rather than being overpowered by that chalky taste of cocoa powder and once you reached the bits of peanut butter - well you were in heaven.

Overall Bibi's has been the best cafe I've visited to date since moving back to Ireland. I would highly recommend giving it a go and if you are heading there and the party is bigger than two I would strongly encourage you to ring in advance. Check with the staff beforehand; for the wait time for a table can be pretty long. But when the food is as good as Bibi's, it really is worth the wait.

Bibi's
14a Emorville Avenue
Dublin 8
Website: www.bibis.ie

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