Meal Ticket: The Greenery, Dublin 8

A delicious brunch soured by bad service

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The Greenery

The food at The Greenery in Donnybrook has long been getting favourable reviews, and its younger sister in Portobello (in the old Lennox Café premises) got off to a bright start for a recent Saturday brunch. It has a brighter feel than the lovely Lennox Café, with a good brunch menu from 9.30am on the weekends (it’s nice to find an early bird for those of us who wake up hungry).

Dishes at The Greenery are reasonably priced (it’s hard to swallow anything above €15 for a brunch main) and portions are very generous. Eggs Benedict, an easy brunch yard stick, is excellent: fresh eggs on thick, crumbling, slow-cooked ham with crisp muffins and hollandaise (€9.50). A large Belfast scone comes fresh from the oven, served with homemade jam (€2.80). There’s a portion of porridge for €7.50, which is a preposterous price, despite its size and generous toppings of Manuka honey, banana and blueberries. It’s difficult to see the reason for such a mark-up.

Our favourite dish was the warm chicken salad (€12) - a loaded salad of baby gem, avocado and sun blush tomatoes, jewelled with kalamata olives, pine nuts and topped with very good slivers of chicken breast with pesto and parmesan.

Service was sweet but shambolic, which is easy to overlook at the weekend. Forgotten items, plus a 20-minute wait for our order to be sent to the kitchen, were forgiven - however the subsequent brusque arrival of the bill an hour after we sat down (and with full coffees on the table), immediately followed by two very loud assurances by the manager to people waiting that we would be leaving right away soured the experience. It was a customer service failure that good food could not salvage, which is a real shame.