On a wet, wild and blustery Saturday a friend and I battled Storm Abigail and flimsy umbrellas to make our way to The Meeting House, in the heart of Temple Bar’s creative quarter. The previous weekend The Meeting House had created a storm of their own, of the media variety, at the launch of their new brunch offering. Now that the dust had settled we were here to try it out for ourselves.
Since opening in late 2014, The Meeting House has become known for its bohemian atmosphere, creative cocktails and Burmese inspired cuisine; their kitchen having trained with internationally acclaimed Burmese chef, Bawmra Jap. With a tagline ‘Eat, Drink, Music, Art’, art is just as much apart of TMH ethic. With storm coloured slate walls, stone pillars, exposed steel-work and dark wood flooring, the vibe is rugged and reminiscent of a downtown Manhattan warehouse. The walls and tables have been finished with striking artwork commissioned by a Dublin based Spanish artist whose work reflects the diverse cultural aspects of the area. Arriving early it was eerily quiet, but as the afternoon went on, tables filled, soulful music played and the room soon assumed the buzz you would usually associate with the venue.
Similarly to their dinner menu the brunch menu features an array of dishes with a Burmese influence designed as tapas sharing plates, each priced at either €6.66 or €9.99. Dazzled by the range of tantalizing menu offerings, to compose ourselves we ordered cocktails from the bespoke brunch cocktail menu. Although the Breakfast Martini, with a swirl of marmalade, and the Bacon and Egg Martini did peak our interests, the tropical Brunch Colada, with coconut water and fresh muddled pineapple, and Passionfruit Bellini were effective in transporting us to sunnier climates.
Our enthusiastic server Luis suggested two to three dishes per person to share and we followed his recommendation, ordering from the mains section of the menu; although the selection of TMH Bao Buns on toasted buns also seemed popular with other diners. Soon after ordering, our table became a patchwork of intersecting turquoise rectangular plates. Art it is not constrained to the tables and walls here, each plate was delicately arranged with an array of colourful, fresh and exotic ingredients.
Since salads are the shining glory of Burmese cuisine I began our tropical affair with TMH Brunch Salad, the dish least suited to sharing, but I wasn’t complaining about that. A poached egg perched on top of crunchy raw vegetables, spinach, tofu, toasted nuts and sesame seeds. Although not specified in the menu, the egg was drizzled in TMH Smoked Hollandaise Sauce, which along with the runny egg yolk made for a rich, silky dressing that contrasted perfectly with the light and fresh Asian-inspired salad. The tofu was not given the usual deep-fried treatment and instead was delicately pan seared, giving it a lightly crisp coat and fluffy interior. On the other side of the table my friend sampled the dainty Mini Asian Chicken Burgers, tender chicken fillets served on steamed coconut buns with pickled cucumber, lettuce, coriander and crispy onions. She was enthused about the hint of coconut in the toasted buns which, along with a BBQ style relish, gave the burgers a taste of the tropics.
In between mouthfuls of these dishes we shared a plate of Tuna Tacos. This dish was a unanimous favourite; three crispy taco shells filled with yellow fin tuna marinaded in ginger, lime and chilli with crunchy lettuce and cucumber quickly disappeared. The fish was so delicate it melted in our mouths. With every eatery now offering their version of Sweet Potato Fries, we felt obliged to see how TMH measured up. These were unexpectedly sliced wafer thin, with crispy edges and soft, gooey centres and served with a citrus ponzu dipping sauce.
Next, now deeply immersed in our tropical illusion, we shared the Blueberry Pancakes that burst with pockets of warm blueberry and were served with strawberries, an infused syrup and coconut soy yoghurt. Beginning to dread stepping back out into dismal weather we took our time over the Fresh Exotic Fruit Salad; dragon fruit, pineapple, kiwi and berries scattered with pomegranate seeds, mint and fresh coconut shavings. Dipped in more coconut yoghurt this was a perfectly refreshing, fruity finish to our meal.
With three dishes for €27 or €49 for six this is an affordable and fun weekend feast, available every Saturday and Sunday from noon. I thoroughly recommend supplementing your weekly brunch ritual with a taste a Burma, a little soulful music and, of course, some breakfast cocktails and let your own tropical affair begin.
The Meeting House,
Meeting House Square,
T: 01 670 3330
Erica grew up with a baker and confectioner for a father, and a mother with an instinct and love for good food. It is little wonder then that, after a brief dalliance with law, she completed a Masters degree in Food Business at UCC. With a consuming passion for all things food, nutrition and wellness, working with TheTaste is a perfect fit for Erica; allowing her to learn and experience every aspect of the food world meeting its characters and influencers along the way.