Living up to our name, this summer we’re going to ‘enjoy’ a season of Friday afternoon lunch outings in Malahide. We’ll take some pictures and let you know what we find. In the meantime, please let us know other places where you recommend we should visit….
Read Week 1: La Sirena
In the second of our weekly series we visited Leaf & Bean on Old Street. The weather couldn’t dampen our spirits in Malahide’s Secret Garden, at first glance when you walk through the door you see a bright and cheery traditional tea rooms, patterned table cloths, potted flowers and china teapots adorn every table. As you follow out to the back you discover one of Malahide’s best kept secrets, a spacious deck (complete with a canopy when needed) and a landscaped walled garden generously scattered with toys to keep the kids busy. Its clear that Leaf & Bean is the epitome of kid friendly, yet still stylish and chic in its decor and presentation. The cafe was nice and busy at lunchtime, but there’s plenty of tables to go round. There’s quite a bit of banter going around between staff and customers. So we’re guessing there are regulars who lunch here, which is always a good sign. Parents chatted comfortably safe in the knowledge that the kids were nicely contained, and occupied on the grass with the toys.
Not knowing what was on the menu prior to our visit, we were pleasantly surprised to discover a concise but nicely varied choice, with a hearty house breakfast, generous toasted sandwiches, wraps, exciting salads, tartlets, sensational potato cakes and homemade quiche. Everything is great value, with Sandwiches starting at €4.50 being the cheapest to the Pan-Seared Fillet of Sea Bass Salad for €9.50 being the most expensive. They also have a black board highlighting daily specials, which true to their word is updated everyday. The service was excellent, considered and attentive, and at one point when a neigbouring diner dropped their knife on the floor and it was noticed by the waitress and promptly replaced without fuss, a very good sign.
From what we were served and what we saw on neighbouring tables everything in Leaf & Bean is clearly home made, hearty and well presented. Smiles were clearly evident on peoples faces when they saw their food arrived, and we were no different. The vegetable soup came quick and was big, and most importantly, it was hot. The chunky homemade bread that came with it was delicious, and it all tasted like we were eating something that was undoubtedly good for us.
For mains we had the House Breakfast (there is a mini one available too) and the Leaf & Bean Club Sandwich, the portions were great, not crazy american size, but perfectly generous. I’ll admit I was feeling in need of some TLC after a friends birthday celebration last night, and the Breakfast took very good care of me. With 2 sausages, 2 bacon, 2 black pudding & 2 white, lots of grilled mushrooms, a grilled tomato and a perfectly cooked fried egg, topped off with a plate full of toast, I was always onto a winner. The club sandwich was equally well-endowed packed with Chicken, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, and melted cheese in the traditional 3 layers of toast and a good pile of crinkle cut crisps on the side.
My tea came in a traditional bone china teapot, accompanied by a china milk jug and cup, the coffee in a good sized mug, and the butter and sauces were served in nice little ramakens, every thing came with a nice attention to detail, with top-up’s offered through the course of the meal.
The cakes were the proverbial cherry on top, homemade, fluffy, and flavorsome with delicious layers of icing on top and throughout, their fame is truly well deserved. Leaf & Bean has a sister cafe in Newbridge House in Donabate where people come from far and wide to try the homemade cakes, scones and cookies, and the great news is that they’re all here now on Old Street too.
Our meal in full:
Soup of the Day, €4.50 – served with homemade brown bread. Today’s soup was lovely thick vegetable, piping hot and just the ticket for a day like today.
House Breakfast, €7.95 – Bacon, Egg, Sausage, Black & White Pudding, Grilled tomato and Mushrooms. Served with homemade brown bread or toast and teat or coffee.
Leaf & Bean Club Sandwich, €6.50 – Chicken, Bacon, lettuce, Tomato, and melted cheese in layers and toasted.
Homemade Hummingbird Cake, €4.50 – similar to a Carrot Cake but with banana & pineapple.
We thoroughly recommend a trip to Leaf & Bean for lunch. Next Friday July 1st we’re off to The Scotch Bonnet on Church Road.
Leaf & Bean Coffee Shop
Address: 10 Old Street, Malahide, Co.Dublin, Ireland
Telephone: +353 (0)1 816 8772
Leaf & Bean Opening Hours:
- Monday to Saturday: 9am – 5.30pm
- Sunday: 10am – 6pm