IFI Café Bar, Eustace Street, Temple Bar
Helping to line the cobbled streets of Temple Bar in Dublin – you’ll find an 18th Century Quaker Meeting House at No. 6 Eustace Street. This glorious building has moved on since its Quaker days and since 1992 has been the home of the Irish Film Institute. The Irish Film Institute is one of Ireland’s most important arts organisations. It houses three cinemas, a film shop, an archive research department, exhibitions and festivals. And it’s also home to the IFI Café Bar.
A self proclaimed ‘oasis in the heart of Temple Bar’, the IFI Café Bar is just that. It’s a gem of a place that serves tasty food, from friendly staff in a chilled out ambience. It has its own outdoor terrace, perfect for those mild weather afternoons. It’s affordable, and open for lunch, brunch and dinner. It has a kids menu, for those with young families. And a full bar for those who fancy something stronger than coffee.
Late last year, I was invited to try their winter dinner menu. The invitation included a guest, so I brought Patrick. And as we had an exhibition to go to on the same evening, it was the perfect excuse for a Mammy and Daddy date – I’d like to add ‘night’ to the end of that sentence but we’ll work on that for the next little getaway.
I’m a big fan of the IFI, and had in the past visited the Café Bar, but it had been some time. So arriving in the door with fresh eyes was a great thing. It’s easy to know what places you want to write about and this was and is one of those places.
Drinks were off the menu for us on this visit, well for Patrick anyway as he was the designated driver. But I enjoyed a glass of the Le Bosq Grenache Rouge with my meal. The menu had a great selection for us both. Patrick being the meat lover that he is, and me the pescatarian – basically the veggie who eats fish.
For starters Patrick ordered and enjoyed the ‘House Made Lamb Koftas with Tzatziki‘. Often served on a stick, their lack of said stick made the meal easy for him to get stuck into. The flavours of the lamb enriched with the fresh taste of parsley, garlic and coriander satisfied his palate. And the Middle Eastern style Tzatziki dip was the perfect addition to the dish.
I chose the ‘Warm Roasted Beetroot & Feta Salad‘ that was served with pumpkin seeds and candied walnuts. And I enjoyed every bite of the dish. The juiciness of the beetroot and pomegranate seeds, the crunch of those moreish candied walnuts. Simple, effective and full of ‘super foods’.
For Patrick’s main course he chose the ‘IFI 8oz Beef Burger‘. He added bacon and cheese and the dish came with relish and chips. If you’re going to name a dish from your menu after your establishment – make it a good one. The IFI Café Bar knows this, because the burger was succulent and tasty, the chips crisp and seasoned. And at €12.95 for this main course – an absolute steal.
For my main course I chose the ‘Linguine with Garlic Chilli Prawns and Torn Basil‘. Sometimes the simplest dishes aren’t delivered, but this was not the case. The linguine was al dente just the way I love it. The prawns were meaty, and the chilli and garlic the perfect ratio. I ordered a side of garlic bread just to mop up any remaining morsels on my plate. Waste not want not as they say.
Thank you to the IFI Café Bar Team for an enjoyable dining experience. Filled with well made, cooked and presented comfort food.
The IFI Café Bar offers great value for the dishes it serves. It also has a ‘Movie & Meal‘ deal for only €19 from Sunday’s to Tuesdays this year, 2019. So keep that in mind whether you’re planning a solo cinema trip or a date.
For more information visit the IFI Café Bar Website