Following on from a jam packed Bank Holiday weekend working a four day week is a gift from God, made all the easier by glorious coffee. In an effort to revive myself from the weekend I popped into Fuel Café in Clontarf to get my caffeine fix. Fuel focus on freshly cooked to order meals, full of flavour that will make you feel fantastic.
Like so many of us a cup of freshly roasted coffee is essential to start my day and with Dublin’s ever growing coffee culture we are spoilt for choice. Something of a coffee fiend, I have befriended baristas all over Dublin with my regular visits – admittedly sometimes multiple visits per day.
Fuel serve breakfast and lunch daily, along with a delicious healthy brunch every weekend. The interior is laid back with a edgy vibe, an open plan kitchen and exposed shelves filled with fresh vegetables give the café a cool modern twist.
The menu is small but perfectly formed, with dishes designed to fuel your body with tasty nutrients. In particular the Avocado Smash on Sourdough with Fried Egg and Feta sounds heavenly. Homemade porridge with your choice of Berry Compote, Seeds, Honey or Maple is perfect for those looking for a filling and comforting breakfast – protein can also be added for those who want an extra healthy kick.
On the menu there are the usual suspects; Americano, Double Espresso, Cappuccino, Flat White and Mocha along with a Bulletproof coffee. Not always found on menus, Bulletproof coffee will certainly be the most energising cup you’ll try – ideal for when you need an energy boost.
Fuel has great dairy free options too – oat milk, almond and coconut. Personally I love an oat milk latte, but it’s often hard to find in cafés – most offer the usual dairy alternatives of soya and almond, so I snapped up the chance to indulge myself with my beloved oat milk latte(€3.30).
Oat milk is notoriously hard to froth up, so it can be difficult to get that lovely foam most people are used to with dairy milk. However my latte was lovely and frothy and the latte art (again more difficult with non dairy milk) was on point. The coffee had a soft roast flavour with a subtle hint of fruit and the oat milk gives a lovely creamy texture without being too heavy.
The Cappuccino (€2.80) was a little work of art, perfectly poured with a sprinkling of cocoa on top. It had a bright sweet aroma and was the perfect pick me up.
Cakes in the café are supplied by Sher’Bakes. Tempting options of Banana & Walnut Bread and Coconut & Raspberry Muffins lined the counter and it was too hard to resist picking a treat to pair with our coffee. We chose the Apple Caramel Slice (€3.50) and the Chocolate Fudge Slice (€3.50).
All the baked goods are made with a healthy spin; using ingredients like wheat flour and agave syrup. The Fudge Slice (vegan friendly and dairy free) was rich with chocolate with a light texture that left me satisfied without the guilt. The Apple Caramel Slice was sinfully moist with a beautiful sweetness from the caramel contrasting with the sharp apple flavour.
No matter how busy the café became the staff welcomed every person who came through the door, with many regulars coming in for their daily delights. It was lovely to see the staff recall the past orders of the regulars, asking how their day was going or passing on hello’s to their families – giving the service a personal touch. The smells coming from the kitchen were delicious, with vibrantly coloured plates of food being served around us.
Our friendly barista was giving us some tips on making healthy smoothies while swiftly clearing away plates and was telling us about the freshly made smoothies they offer at Fuel. In total for two coffees and two cakes the bill came to an acceptable €13.10.
With more and more people becoming health conscious it is refreshing to see a café that is supplying the community with healthy food without cutting back on the flavour. With a loyal following in the community Fuel is set to go from strength to strength.
Service with a smile truly goes a long way and can hugely impact your experience in a café or restaurant. Fuel gives prompt and friendly service with some truly tasty treats and coffee, along with the freshly cooked to order food Fuel will definitely be a regular spot on my list.
10 Vernon Avenue
REVIEW BY SINÉAD SMYTH