Okay, I’ll get the bad stuff out of the way first: I really don’t like the name.
But I’ll put my very subjective opinion on that to one side. Before I left for my world tour, I took my mum out for a sayonara lunch to UrBun cafe in Cabinteely, south county Dublin.
Last year, when we organised a CheapEats cake sale for Barnardos, UrBun very kindly got in touch with us and donated a whackload of freshly made cake. Their chocolate cherry brownies were delicious and proved very popular on the day. A visit was long overdue.
UrBun is an unusual space for a suburban cafe just off the N11. It’s big – the type of building that probably presented a rather odious challenge to the designer, but they did an excellent job of transforming it. UrBun is airy and minimal, with long wooden tables and plenty of seats. There’s a bookcase in the corner, and a selection of delicious and lovely groceries for sale.
The cafe serves breakfast, which includes sausage and bacon sandwiches, tea and toast, porridge, granola, and scrambled eggs on toast. Lunches are mainly soup, salad, and sandwiches.
At first glance, it doesn’t appear to be the most astonishly cheap lunch you’ll get. A big bowl of soup is €5, a Ploughman’s sandwich is €6. But it’s not overpriced. Far from it. What we got was one of the tastiest, freshest, well-considered, ingredient-led lunches you’ll find around Dublin.
Mum went for the lemon and harissa salad with cous cous, organic baby leaves, and mint yoghurt dressing (€8.95). We both complimented the chef, who informed us that the chickens are roasted fresh on the premises. You can tell.
Much as I didn’t like the name, I couldn’t resist the “Urbunny”, which consisted of homemade hummus served with sourdough toast, tomatoes, pickles, and organic green leaves (€6). Not a lot to this dish, really: it all hangs on ingredients. And these ingredients were top-class, well-chosen, and well-matched, easily outclassing any local competition.
I also had a teacup of nettle and garlic soup (€2.50), which was faultless, particularly considering how garlic can often go wrong in soups.
There was a large and tempting selection of cakes, but I had nothing more than a raspberry macaroon (€1.50) with my latte (€2.50). I’m a big fan of smaller dessert options with a coffee – too many places charge €6 for a huge dessert when you only want a little sweet nibble – and the macaroon hit the spot.
We left feeling delighted with the delicious food, the great service, and the very rare feeling of being completely satisfied but not stuffed and bloated.
There’s not an enormous amount of competition in the area: a small cafe in a housing estate on one end, some so-so cafes in Cabinteely village, and the over-rated and over-priced behemoth that is Avoca at the other end. Too many people in this area drive past Cabinteely village, heading straight to Avoca in Kilmacanogue for coffee mornings, lunches, and Sunday dinner. UrBun deserves a chunk of this trade and more. I hope they take some of Avoca’s customers and give them a much needed and long overdue run for their money in the process.
We were in UrBun on a Thursday afternoon and the place was lively and buzzing, with most tables occupied at around 1.30-2pm. UrBun also do a very appealing looking brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, and I’ll definitely be back when I hit Irish shores again.
- Old Bray Road, Cabinteely, D 18. Phone: 012848872