January is a time for temperance and torture at the table, right? Hearty indulgence takes a back seat to austere eating and at least in theory, tightening the belts we burst over Christmas becomes the order of the day. But does “healthy” food have to be hellacious? Surely not.
Opening Eathos just over two years ago, the Murrin family behind Taste Catering, with the new generation headed up by Lisa at the helm, tapped in to the then-fledgling demand for more nutritious lunchtime options. Pretty as a picture in all-white, the canopied window front of Eathos could easily be mistaken for an ultra stylish boutique, only the temptations in the window are more Pierre Hermé than Hermés.
A devilishly tempting patisserie selection teases the eye, draws you in the door and could well unravel the best laid virtuous brunch intentions, which I was full to the brim with on a recent visit.
There’s not a soggy sambo in sight but rather a buffet style line up of salads, piled high and proudly on display, the very picture of abundance. It has been well documented that Eathos is more than a little Ottolenghi-Esque, with more than a few nods to his minimalist white wash decor, Middle Eastern cuisine and eye-poppingly colourful dish displays.
However, the menu here is far from an imposter and is grounded firmly in provenance. An extensive suppliers list is displayed proudly on the wall, anchoring Eathos in Irishness. The prices reflect this sourcing, but the value of this is there on the plate and brunch classics are brought bang up to date.
Your typical Eggs Benny is pimped up with extras like beef cheek, served with a cocoa and lime hollandaise and sticky Bovril glaze (€15.50) and Buckwheat Pancakes are dairy and gluten-free, stacked and adorned with coconut yoghurt, white mulberries (my favourite exotic berry) and bee pollen. Narrowing my options down proved to be more arduous a task than I had imagined, a fantastic dilemma.
Celebrating this seasons veggie of the moment in a tempting way, I couldn’t resist sampling Sesame Coated Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Cakes(€12.50). A rainbow of ravishing plant-based goodies arrived, beautifully plated, with a touch of indulgent Toonsbridge halloumi – feta would have tipped me over the edge here but sautéed mushrooms and beet hummus added the creaminess I craved.
Even the leaves, lightly dressed and ostensibly a garnish, are vibrant and flavour packed. A potato cake and Rosti hybrid with the best bits of both, was subtly spiced, sweet and filling enough to ensure I had leftovers to box up. The dish that keeps on giving.
Saving room for a little something sweet, there was good eating and drinking in the cornucopic Acai Bowl (€9.50), and you’ll feel like you’re getting your five a day just looking at it. Acai, the Amazonian berry packed with antioxidants and immunity boosting properties, has a welcome sharpness which saves this brunch beauty from being cloying.
Overflowing with cacao nibs, shards of coconut and goji berries, all it was missing was a dollop of nut butter for me, but I’m sure the troupe of young smiling staff would have obliged had I requested.
This dish proved that superfoods can be super indulgent and felt almost like a dessert I could be smug about – like a Millenial McFlurry. My bowl of goodness was so satisfying that I managed to slide past the aforementioned patisserie peril unscathed – the ultimate result.
I loved my brunch and both composed dishes I sampled but there were certainly yet more tempting options when you consider the build your own plate options – blushing seared tuna, hand-crafted falafel, slaws and salads all merit a return lunchtime visit.
Finishing up with a stellar 3FE almond milk flat white (€3), I notice Deliveroo drivers whizzing in and out and realise those unlucky not to nab a table or keen to stay in their PJ’s are having their goodies delivered – genius. My next breakfast in bed will be left to the Eathos experts.
Eathos is like your Instagram life – aspirational and styled to the hilt but I’m pleased to say, its not all filters and falsity. This place can back it up with plenty of bold flavour, refreshing takes on dishes which have been done to death and food which actually stands out from the typical brunch brigade. The fact that there are myriad nutritious options is a bonus rather than a bore.
The bill, including two brunch dishes, a flat white and a matcha latte came to €28.
13a Baggot Street Upper
Growing up with the name Darina, I was constantly asked if I could cook like my namesake. I am the only person to have contested both Masterchef and the Great Irish Bake Off and am passionate about discovering and creating delicious things – I can sometimes be caught in the act on TV3’s Six O’Clock Show or RTE Today. Working with TheTaste allows me to satisfy this craving and marries my food fascination with my love of writing and ranting. Follow me on my pursuit of deliciousness.