As I strolled through the sunny streets of Dublin I couldn’t but smile thinking of where I was heading to for a well-deserved Saturday Brunch. A staple of my college life for coffees, lunches and mid-day treats, The Pepper Pot, nestled into the first floor of the Powerscourt Centre on South William Street has never let me down and I’m happy to report, six months since my last visit, it’s as good as ever!
With its main bar and kitchen settled into the brick covered walls that once formed the internal rooms of the historic Georgian building, this rustic café, that wouldn’t go amiss on a country estate, sits flooded in natural light, overlooking Powerscourt’s internal epicentre. The hustle and bustle of shoppers, staff and fellow customers passing me by gave the Pepper Pot a busy homely feel that relaxes you the minute you sit down. The mismatched plates, bowls and jugs, the different type of chairs at every table, the efficient and friendly staff throughout and the guarantee that you are not going to leave hungry or unsatisfied makes a trip to the Pepper Pot a bit like visiting your grans house… but with table service.
While the food menu is small in comparison to some other Dublin eateries, it makes up for it with the sheer quality of its options. I love to try new food but on this occasion I really fancied one of my old favourites; Creamy scrambled eggs on crusty white toast with Burren Smokehouse Salmon, it’s too good not to and it didn’t disappoint! The sort of good quality food you expect when you walk in is exactly what you get, simple yet delicious. Some have said the Pepper Pot’s eggs are the best in Dublin and to be honest I’d find it tough to disagree. With a velvety texture and packed with flavour, the scrambled eggs melt in your mouth and each forkful leaves you yearning for the next bite. The crusty white sourdough toast provides a great contrast to the eggs, giving it that crunch you need while remaining light and fluffy. This was all topped off with one of my favourite breakfast additions, their smokehouse salmon. The salmon was fresh, flavoursome and complimented the crusty bread and hot eggs to make it a truly mouth-watering dish. I would add only one thing to this dish and that would be a wedge of lemon to drizzle over your salmon. While not for everyone, it would enhance the salmon’s flavour and give it that acidic kick it needs to truly put this dish up there as possibly my favourite Dublin breakfast.
The food menu is reasonably priced and consists of everything from an all-day breakfast menu that has something for everyone to a fine selection of sandwiches and bagels. Those of you who know the Pepper Pot must be asking why I didn’t go for the famed Roast Pear, Bacon & Fifteen Fields Cheddar sandwich. I don’t like bacon…. I know I know, how can I not like bacon you ask? Well, it’s just not for me. Sorry! Give me extra anything instead of bacon and I’m a happy man and I know I’m not the only one who thinks this way.
Along with good food must come good coffee. The Pepper Pot serves the speciality micro roasting company, Ariosa coffee, which is locally roasted in Ireland. I ordered a cappuccino and even though it came late, when I took my first sip I was pleasantly surprised. The coffee was not too hot, not too strong and not too sweet. A Goldilocks of coffee if I may. Served in one of the Pepper Pot’s signature china teacups with a hint of chocolate powder to be found at its edge, the Pepper Pot’s baristas clearly put a lot of care and love into their coffee and understand how their blend tastes best. If you would rather something a little heartier the Pepper Pot provides a fine selection of wines or should you want something a little more refreshing, their selection of cold drinks has something for everyone.
As I queued to pay, I was met by a large swathe of people both waiting for tables and looking to pay. Never quiet, the Pepper Pot emanates good food, friendly service and quality coffee. When I did get to pay I found myself surrounded by their delicious desserts selection and but for the fact my breakfast had been so filling, I would have dived straight in. If the food and coffee hadn’t done enough already, the desserts have left a permanent mark in the back of my brain to come back here sooner rather than later.
The bill came to a total of €14.20 excluding service and you can find this eatery’s kitchen open Monday – Friday 10am-4pm, Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 11pm-4pm. The Pepper Pot is always busy so make sure to give yourself plenty of time as you may not get a seat straight away.
REVIEW BY GREG MURPHY