Opened this January, Granthams in Aungier Street is a truly delicious addition to Dublin’s coffee scene. With the award-winning barista Dave Regan in charge, you know this coffee house will pack a wallop with their attention to coffee and delish food. During my first visit, I had a chance to meet a few other members of the team: Austin Quinlan and Anthony Cheung. You can’t stop smiling when you are talking to these two.
Although modest in size, the coffee house works each nook and cranny of its space. The decor is rather minimalistic and focuses on creating an airy, bright room. The cafe seems to emanate light, reminding me of a quirky lightbox. The front of Granthams pairs white walls with ivory ceramic tiles, which makes the cafe look much bigger.
The cosy sit-in section is slightly lifted and separated with a flight of stairs from the barista station and food counter. This not only gives the cafe a nice layout but also offers an extra layer of intimacy, which can be challenging to achieve in small places. The result: bright interiors, warm ambiance and a great vibe. Not to mention Lord Grantham who gracefully welcomes visitors from its goldfish bowl on the shelf.
Granthams is the only cafe in Ireland serving beans from Dark Arts Coffee, a London-based micro-roastery. The guys serve it as the house roaster. When asking for my caffeinated fix, I was offered two single origin options: Lost Highway and Two Headed Dog.
Originating from Brasil, Two Headed Dog brings the taste of Narino, the region in Colombia, naturally sweet with hazelnutty. Lost Highway tickles your taste buds with hints of chocolate and orange undertones, a perfect choice for my flat white. The team at the helm of the barista station knew their craft and it showed. The texture of my flat white was great: creamy and smooth. Milk married well with citrus zestiness and a chocolate mouthfeel. Absolutely a must!
Next on the checklist: food. Granthams serves sandwiches made in-house on Arun Bakery sourdough bread. Though the savoury menu is simple, food is prepared with love and care. I grabbed a Gaza, a grilled veggie option with falafel, Sriracha, hummus and rocket salad, plus a tasty tomato relish on the side. The sambo was toothsome, with ingredients complementing each other. There was a good dose of crunchiness, which I love in sandwiches.
Who can say no to a dessert? Not this gal! From ginormous croissants to caramelised custard tarts, there were too many pastries to try in one go. Bakes come from the Birdcage Bakery and Arun Bakery. Finally a white chocolate and matcha brownie, my favourite, and a slice of the raspberry and dark chocolate cake ended up on my plate. Matcha toned down white chocolate, and that created a mouth-watering treat to complement my coffee.
Regardless of being a new kid on the block, Granthams delivers without any doubt. Verdict: a friendly spot with good food, great coffee and an epic team. I cant wait to see what else the team whips out this year.