Even though I work right in the middle of Dublin’s city centre, and have the choice of a huge range of places to eat, I still find feeding myself at lunchtime to be a hassle. I’m usually looking for a lunch that balances convenience, value and nutrition; and unfortunately most cafe lunch offerings fall down badly on the last point. A bagel a day, tempting as that might be, is not really the best thing for you. I did bring lunch from home before quite a lot, but find I’m too busy at the moment to organise myself, which is counter-productive really but just the way it is.
I broke through my terrible case of lunch block recently when my lovely colleague Elisa and I went to the Hop House on Parnell Street. They have an extremely generous offer on at the moment - €5.90 for lunch. The choice includes sushi or their speciality, Korean Beef Bulgogi. I had the sushi; rolls with crab and avocado, topped with fish roe. It was a huge portion, not the best sushi I’ve ever eaten but very decent for the price. Elisa’s Bulgogi was very good indeed, garlicky and rich, and full of interesting flavours. It came with rice and kimchi, the pickled cabbage that is a Korean staple. We were both very well fed and were able to pay for the meal out of the small change in our wallets – a rare experience in Dublin.
We’ve given the Hop House’s evening meals a thumbs up here before, and their lunch is one of the best lunchtime bargains around Dublin city centre. Recommended.