Not every takeaway has to be a curry

Serving Dublin 2, 6 and 8, Piply is the healthy takeaway we’ve all been waiting for

 

I’m a fairly good cook at this stage but even I – yes, even I, readers – still rely on a takeaway or a quick fix about once a week, or more if my deadlines tip the balance of work and life. The vicious circle of not having the energy to feed yourself, then having no choice but to feed yourself something that drains your energy, particularly when ordered in, is a trap that many a tired worker bee has been ensnared in.

Though there are some exceptions in the takeaway game, they are mostly heavy curries, stodgy fried foods or lukewarm dinners that leave a guilt-riddled dent in your wallet and a bad taste in your mouth.

And then along came Piply. Currently serving Dublin 2, 6 and 8, with plans to expand to other parts of the city, this is the delivery service I’ve been waiting for – and you probably have been too. Eamon Lynch is a young, talented chef who has worked in kitchens such as L’Gueleton and, for the last year or so, in the Brother Hubbard and Sister Sadie family. His partner Alex Gartland worked in the tech industry and between both of their demanding jobs, they found it hard to eat well in the evening. “I’d come home from working with food all day,” says Lynch, “and just couldn’t find the energy to actually cook for myself.”

Alex’s background in tech informed their website, which not only looks well but the practicalities of ordering through it are streamlined and simple. When they first opened in late July, they set up a pop-up takeaway in Sister Sadie’s on Harrington St, which is where the Piply kitchen is based, but Piply is strictly a delivery service. The duo teamed up with Garrett Fitzgerald, the owner and proprietor of Brother Hubbard and Sister Sadie, to create Piply, a genuinely healthy delivery service, with no hidden calories and a big emphasis on nutrients, essential for a mid-week (or weekend) recovery.

For the science bit, they brought in Clare Gray MSc, RD (registered dietician), a nutritionist Lynch and Gartland had come across while attending Ballymaloe Lit Fest, and she helped Piply craft their carefully considered meals.

Their first week of opening coincides with a particularly intense work week for me, where a banana becomes elevated to the status of “dinner”. A friend tips me off about Piply and I can’t believe my luck. A huge box of hummus (€5.95) arrives to my door, complete with a sweet swirl of beetroot puree and crispy roasted chickpeas, and crunchy, vibrant sticks of celery, carrot and capsicums. There are tender skewers of marinated lamb, charcoaled black on the outside and succulently bright pink on the inside. On the side, I go for truly tasty turmeric roasted cauliflower (€3.95), and a side of quinoa salad with roasted carrots (€4.45), caramelised to reach peak sweetness. This bounty also sees me sorted for lunch the following day.

Another full-on work day a few days later is officially deemed closed when my second Piply order arrives. Their outstanding lamb tagine (above, €13.95) is slow-cooked and tender, and the balance of sweet and spice is just right. I would have enjoyed my side of sweet potato falafels (€3.95) if they were a little crispier but they’re baked as opposed to fried to stay true to Piply’s healthy ethos. The dipping sauces are mostly yogurt based, and they’re delicious.

To me, Piply is summed up by their Summer Rolls (€6.49), and it feels like their care and attention is wrapped up in these translucent rice paper. They’re bursting with health and goodness, yet there’s a cheeky peanut sauce on the side that bridges the gap between virtuous and downright tasty.

Along with their plans to expand their delivery service into other parts of Dublin city, they also plan to add more homemade drinks such as kombucha to their offering, which currently includes their Mylk, an almond milk they serve as part of their Mylk & Cookies dessert (€5.95) with vegan sweet bites.

Piply will be changing up the menu as they figure out what works and what doesn’t work. I for one will be depending on them to get me through those tougher times when I simply can’t muster the energy to cook something healthy for myself. Luckily for me, Lynch, Gartland and Fitzgerald are on the case. 

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