Our first dinner in the Dublin apartment, just over a month ago: duck and fried rice from the late-night take-away place across the road, washed down with some good, cheap Chilean Merlot. It was perfect, but after two weeks’ worth of take out and pub food during our apartment hunt, we were in dire need of fresh produce. Exhibit A:
When we first moved in, we were happy to find a mini-grocery store on our block… Happy until our first foray into stocking the kitchen, that is: somehow, the bill was close to 200 euro. The sharp-eyed-and-cheekboned Polish cashier eyed us with a mix of pity and disapproval. “This isn’t the best place to shop” he offered, “Too expensive”. But that was only half the problem: the vegetables survived but a couple of days in the fridge, the meat was wan, the plastic wrap, limp. Yelp’s farmers’ market listings offered little help, and we were lost.
It was our cellphone clerk (and, now, friend), Michael, who saved us. Upon hearing our dietary laments and seeing that we were neighbors when we filled out phone forms, he offered to take us to the Temple Bar organic market, which goes down every Sunday. Que Beethoven’s 9th.
We made out like bandits, with two IKEA bags filled to the brim.
That’s goat cheese, not nanogoats. Temple Bar is Dublin’s party-zone by night, which I’d managed to avoid until we learned about the market. Now we make our way down there on Sunday mornings for everything from seasonal fruit and vegetables to fresh eggs, yoghurt, cheese, meat and, mercifully, decent coffee beans. Look at all the bounty:
We’ve been putting our weekly loot to good use:
Crepes with sweet and savory topping options. Sweet: Nutella and fresh fruit, salty: avocado and pickled herring (Mhm, still Russian. Turns out there are also tons of various Eastern-European markets around my neighborhood).
Fuhhh, those portobello mushrooms killed me. And a couple of days later, I found this faux-borsch with dumplings recipe online and decided to recreate it with portobellos, too.
And, la pièce de résistance: shabu shabu at home. I haven’t seen a shab-zone here yet, and when we found a pan-Asian grocery store selling paper-thin shabumeats, it was ON. Our beautiful table-top heat rig wasn’t all that effective at keeping the soup boiling, though, so we had to set up camp around our stove after this was taken. It may be time for a hotplate.
Though I imagine there is plenty more to discover, we’ve got the feeding situation under control. It’s a multi-step process consisting of the organic market, the Asian grocer and Marks & Spencer for certain fancy-ish essentials. Fortunately, all these places are within walking distance of each other, and easily-accessible from our place. We still frequent that nearby store, though – for wine, mostly.
You can read more about my move to Dublin by clicking the Operation I tag.