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Warehouse Food Market & Café review: Hidden down a side street, this is a great place for lunch or just a snack

Whether you stop for a pocket-rocket breakfast bap or a truly joyous lunch, you’ll get surprisingly smart service for such a casual environment

Warehouse Food Market & Café
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Address: Greenmount Avenue, Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6
Telephone: 01-5880558
Cuisine: Irish
Cost: €€

I lived in Harold’s Cross many years ago, before it got way cooler than the likes of me, and before Bastible, Clanbrassil House, Gaillot et Grey and the wonderful stretch of Middle Eastern shops made Leonard’s Corner their home. I loved it for what it was then – and, like a proud parent, have watched it grow into a new kind of neighbourhood, without actually losing a sense of itself.

Well, not too much anyway, although the developers have it well in their sights, and some stretches look worryingly threatened. The lovely Chestnut Bazaar may have closed, but you’ll still find warehouses populated by creatives hidden down some of the side streets as you head out of town over Harold’s Cross Bridge. The aptly named Warehouse Food Market & Café is one of these.

The person behind it is Chris Chapman, who in 2019 launched, a food business designed to take the hassle out of shopping for quality produce, bringing the butcher, the baker, the fishmonger and top producers together in an online market, promising same day delivery. Clearly, he was one of the few people with foresight; a huge increase in trade during the pandemic meant a larger warehouse was needed.

It now operates as a shop, cafe and event space, immersed in the community, with the sort of vibe also found at the Fumbally. The bright orange door is gleaming in the sunlight as I arrive relatively early for lunch, although there’s already a couple sitting at a high table close to the open kitchen. You order from the kitchen counter, from a simple menu that includes an all-day breakfast (overnight oats and a breakfast bap rather than the full-Irish approach) and a selection of sandwiches, hot lunch dishes and salads.

We sit down at one of the side tables – the long communal table in the middle soon starts to fill up with regulars – where a carafe of water with lemon and mint, glasses and paper napkins are brought to us. It is pretty smart service for such a casual environment. You can wander around the store as you wait for your food, and there is plenty to tempt, from dried pasta, large jars of anchovies and sea spaghetti to organic vegetables, McLoughlin’s meat and natural wine.

The soup of the day is leek and potato (€5), a bowl of wholesome deliciousness that is incredibly light. It is well doused with freshly ground black pepper, which, even though it is a simple touch, seems to make the dish. I know it’s a dish that is easily made at home, but it is lovely to have it served to you with a generous amount of brown bread. You could fill up nicely with just soup and a salad. The salad bowl (€8.50), loaded with the rainbow colours of beetroot hummus, spinach, carrots, red cabbage, sunflower seeds, celeriac, sesame seeds, red peppers and quinoa, is dressed with a little bit of lemon juice and oil; all goodness, but thankfully none of the work.

We’ve also ordered a cheese toastie (€7.50) and a breakfast bap (€8), because there is clearly a good reason why the all-day breakfast features just two things, this sandwich and overnight oats.

A brioche bap, I soon discover, is a most wonderful vehicle for a perfectly fried egg that oozes a golden stream over an admirably thick slice of Crowe’s Farm streaky bacon. A dollop of Dijon mayo brings the whole thing together – not like it needed much help, just another way to have eggs and add even more flavour.

The cheese toastie, with molten Gruyère, Comté and Parmesan on rye sourdough, is delicious, if not quite a match for the pocket-rocket breakfast bap. I don’t check around the room to see how many of these are being ordered, but I’ve no doubt they must be popular.

Cakes are simple, a carrot cake with little bits of candied fruit and cranberries on top, and a Claudia Roden-style gluten-free orange and almond cake.

Warehouse is the sort of place you could while away your time quite happily, for coffee, a snack or lunch. Alice Mellon, who heads up the kitchen, is a competent force. Having worked at Hang Dai and Green Bench Café, she brings a sense of both places with her, and there are plans for a menu featuring pies. I have not yet heard what type of pies, but I will certainly be back to check them out.

Lunch for two, with two lemonades, was €43.80.

THE VERDICT: A truly joyous lunch using the best of Irish produce

Music: Barely discernible

Food provenance: McLoughlin’s Craft Butchers, Glenmar Seafoods, Pigs on the Green, Ring’s Farm, Ballymakenny Heritage Potatoes, The Patch, Garden Gnomes, Cordelia

Vegetarian options: Plentiful, including roast vegetable and hummus toastie; breakfast brioche with egg, avocado and house relish; soups, salads and vegan hot pot.

Wheelchair access: Accessible, with no accessible toilet

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