Meal Ticket: Mad Hatter Café, Kildare

A mix of traditional and modern delights are on show in this cosy café

   
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Mad Hatter Café

  • Unit 1, Keenan’s Lane, Castledermot, Co Kildare
  • 085-7148085
  • Fusion

A pleasant surprise on a dark, stormy Sunday afternoon, this cosy café open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week. There’s a range of sandwiches, soups and wraps, plus shelves of goodies to take home, including breads, cakes, preserves, oils and coffees - there’s a table of freshly potted jars of homemade chutney awaiting labels when we pop in.

The menu, which feels a little dated, but obviously works as the place is jammed, includes an all-day breakfast (variations on a full Irish, from €6.50 to €8.75 with juice, tea or coffee) and homemade granola with yoghurt and coulis (€4.95). The panini, which has quietly skulked out the back door of many lunchtime establishments, lives on here, named after characters in Alice in Wonderland (the motif is carried through to the menu and décor). The Tweedledum (€7.25) has goat’s cheese, house-roasted vegetables, sun dried tomato and pesto.

A ciabatta special of turkey, brie, stuffing and cranberry sauce (in March?) is declared excellent, despite its unseasonable ingredients. My toasted club sandwich (€6.75) is very good - a triple decker of thick granary bread with tender chicken breast, bacon, slices of cheese, lettuce and a very good homemade relish.

A very modern touch is the raw chocolate smoothie (€4.50) made from raw cacao powder, banana, almond milk and honey. Served in a jam jar, it’s a rich, tasty imposter on the otherwise traditional menu.