New menus, a church changes its religion and Dublin gets saucy

Food File: The Seagull lands in Dunmore East as the search for the best toastie begins

Clanbrassil House’s new kitchen team

A new kitchen team has been assembled at Clanbrassil House, the Dublin restaurant owned by Barry FitzGerald and Clairemarie Thomas, where Gráinne O’Keefe was head chef until leaving in May to open her restaurant, Mae.

James Dobson, previously sous chef at Potager in Skerries, and before that at Dinner by Heston in London, is now leading the kitchen. He is joined by David Bradshaw, who recently moved on from Michelin one-star Lyles in London, where he spent the past three years.

“We have launched a brand new menu, gotten rid of our higher tables in favour of all regular height ones and freshened up the interiors. Beginning with dinners only from Thursdays to Saturdays, with Wednesdays to follow later this year, we offer a concise set menu of two or three courses, with several options to choose from at each course. A tasting menu of five to six courses will be on offer shortly too,” Fitzgerald says.

His picks of the new menu are: “A starter of roasted onion tortellini with braised shiitake and tarragon and a main of glazed pork jowl with turnip, broad beans and mustard. Desserts include strawberry meringue with sheep yoghurt mousse and fig leaf oil.”


Coffee religion

Bear Market coffee company has transformed a former Catholic church in Stillorgan, Co Dublin into a roastery, espresso bar and retail outlet. The roastery, on the former altar of the 150-year-old church on Lower Kilmacud Road, is part of a visitor experience, as well as supplying freshly roasted beans to the company’s eight stores across Dublin. Visitors will learn about the roasting process, cupping and tasting, from master roasters and baristas.

Stephen and Ruth Deasy, the husband and wife team who founded the company in 2013 and are its chief executive and chief operations officer, have invested €400,000 in the project, which will employ 12 full-time staff members.

The company, which aims to be carbon neutral by 2025, purchased low-emission roasting equipment from the US, and to ensure freshness has installed a climate-controlled green bean store room for its single-origin beans, which are sourced in Africa and Central and South America. The freshly roasted beans will be delivered to Bear Market coffee shops weekly, and will also be available to buy in store and at

Toastie combo

How strong is your toastie game? Your favourite combination to put between two slices of sourdough bread toasted could win you an invitation to eat free for a month at Dublin cafe Meltdown, which has branches on Montague Street and Leeson Street.

One winner will be chosen each month and their Meltdown Masterpiece will go on sale for four weeks. The inaugural winner, Thomas MacGiol, created the Hawaiian Spicer, with honey glazed ham, pineapple with Swiss and red Cheddar cheeses, jalapenos, caramelised onions, and Meltdown Hot Stuff sauce, which is on sale now.

To enter, see @meltdowndublin on Instagram and comment on the competition post or email with your sandwich ingredients and its name.

Seagull lands in Dunmore East

The popular Seagull Bakery in Tramore has opened a branch in Dunmore East, following on from its Waterford city opening earlier this year. To meet demand for their sourdough, owners Sarah Richards and Conor Naughton have also expanded their bakery in Tramore, taking on a new space at Riverstown Business Park.

“The move is good news for our loyal customers in Tramore as it allows us to expand the range on offer at Broad Street by freeing up kitchen space. We will now be able to add a new selection of bio-dynamic and organic natural wines, vegan and fermented foods, artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, and more to the shop,” says Richards. “Starting out baking nearly 20 years ago with my toddler at my feet in my home kitchen, I never imagined that Seagull would today provide jobs to 25 people.”

Scarlet sauce

Is there a better name on the planet for a hot sauce than Scarlet For Yer Ma? Brian O’Neill founded the Dublin Hot Sauce Co in 2018 and the firm now makes five varieties of the condiment – original, chipotle, raspberry chipotle, mango pineapple, and whiskey.

Having lived in California for 20 years, eight of which he spent in Los Angeles, making reality TV programmes for MTV, O’Neill says hot sauce became something the crew bonded over, and “the eternal hunt was on for the best hot sauce we could find with each new state or city”.

Back in Dublin, he took on the challenge himself and "spent a year learning how to start a business, import bottles, branding, labelling, dealing with fruit and veg markets and supply chains from overseas, and eventually sold our first bottle in 2019." Scarlet For Yer Ma is available in more than 60 independent retailers nationwide and online at, where there is also a full list of stockists.