Rathmines has an odd mix of cheap fast-food outlets, mediocre cafes, and excellent eateries. Zen, Sweet Basil Thai, and Jo’Burger, all located in this town at the edge of Dublin’s south city, fall into the latter category. And so does The Village Cafe.
Recently reopened under new management, myself and a friend popped in for a quick lunch on Wednesday. Everything looked instantly tempting. The display counter had a great choice of sandwiches, beautiful breads, and fresh salads. A daily menu featured Mediterranean Beef Stews and Spanish Tortilla, served with salads and all in or around €7.95.
The chef is behind the counter, in full regalia, and he’s both serving and cooking. I asked him what Chicken Basquaise (Basque Chicken) was, and he explained that he’d looked at his box of ingredients and whipped it up. A waitress brought it to my table: a juicy and succulent leg, marinaded in white wine, herbs, mustard and more, and served with sweet peppers. A pretty little tower of lemon couscous was the perfect accompaniment.
My friend got a large plate of salads, including Chorizo and Spinach, Lemon Couscous, Tomatoes and Feta Cheese, and a generous slice of bread. The chorizo came in large, generous slices, and the salads were fresh and lively with quality ingredients.
The Village Cafe is a well-designed, thoughtful space with additional seating outside. The staff are friendly and helpful, while the creative, hands-on chef is clearly passionate about good food and excited about the opportunities presented by running this cafe.
Our bill, for two big lunches and an airy and light Blueberry Muffin, came to €18.40. From next Monday, The Village Cafe will begin opening till 8.30pm. A little gem – definitely worth checking out for lunch or dinner.
- The Village Cafe, 170 Rathmines Road Lower, Rathmines. Tel: 014975130