Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Hundred-Foot Journey & Green Saffron Giveaway

If you follow this blog you probably know that I love food movies. So much so that I run the Foodie Movie Club every month. A few weeks ago I was invited to the press screening of The Hundred-Foot Journey in the Lighthouse cinema and watched it before its official release in Ireland (September 5th) and I really enjoyed it.

From the award-winning director of Chocolat, The Hundred-Foot Journey tells the story of an Indian family that moves to a beautiful village in the South of France and opens an Indian restaurant just across from a Michelin-starred restaurant. Starring Oscar winner Helen Mirren and Om Puri, the film is produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey and is based on the best-selling book by Richard Morais. I won't tell you too much about the plot but all I can say is that it's a lovely food movie that definitely makes you hungry for both French and Indian cuisine. Helen Mirren does a great job at pretending to be French and made me laugh a lot. They also have some lovely French actors in it, beautiful cooking scenes and food close-ups: this movie was right up my alley, as you can imagine!

To celebrate the release of The Hundred-Foot Journey I'm offering you the chance to win a fabulous hamper from Green Saffron

'Green Saffron is a multi-award winning family business based in Midleton, Co. Cork. Green Saffron began at farmers’ markets, selling the highest grade, fresh and authentic spice blends that Arun created from whole spices sourced by family members in Moradabad, India direct from farms there'. 

To be honest I'm very tempted to keep it for myself as I love their products but I guess sharing is caring, right? 

All you have to do is to enter the competition via rafflecopter below. 

The winner will be announced on Friday 5th of September and must be able to collect the hamper in Dublin city centre (Sorry, I can't post it as it's a big box). No cash alternative available. Bonne chance!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was a guest at the screening of the Hundred-Foot Journey and happily accepted this Green Saffron hamper to giveaway to one of my readers. I was not paid to write this post and the opinions above are my own.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Umi Falafel, Dame Street, Dublin 2

After a trip to France back in July, during which I overindulged like a 'petit cochon' (little pig), I couldn't look at meat anymore (well for a few days only). So when I met a friend for a catch-up lunch I suggested we go to Umi Falafel for a healthy meal... well, healthier than my usual meals.

Umi Falafel is different to your usual Middle Eastern joints in Dublin, much more contemporary looking and specialises in falafels. The word 'Umi' means 'mother' in Arabic and I wonder if the woman on the illustration on the wall isn't supposed to be someone's mammy, if so she looks pretty hipster to me.

There is a long counter at the entrance where food can be ordered to take away or to be eaten in their seating area at the very back of the restaurant. The space is sleek and modern, a little dark with a few tables close to the back window: it's an hybrid between fast-food and a restaurant with table service.

Five sandwiches are available on the menu (The Palestinian, The Lebanese, Hummus, Grilled Halloumi cheese or your own way), many salads (fatoush, tabouleh, Moroccan...) as well as mezze dishes including baba ganoush or stuffed vine leaves, everything is priced well under a tenner.

I ordered the falafel plate which is part of their lunch meal deal and includes a drink for €7.50 (until 5pm). The food came on a large wooden board and was nicely presented in small bowls and even a deep-frying basket. The falafel plate consisted of 4 falafels, a salad of my choice, hummus, 2 dips and bread.

I went for the Fatoush salad which was fresh, with big chunks of crunchy cucumbers, peppers and plenty of tomatoes. The seasoning was perfect, however it was a little heavy on the onions for my taste.

The falafels were golden brown, very crispy on the outside while still quite soft on the inside. Delicious indeed.

I liked dipping the falafels and fluffy bread in the hummus, however the other two dips lacked a bit of a punch somehow. The chili dip wasn't quite spicy enough for my tastes and the tahini dip seemed a bit bland.

My friend had the other lunch deal, the falafel sandwich with potato wedges and a drink for €7.50.

Her Palestinian pita bread was filled with falafels, hummus, tomato, cucumber, pickles, fried aubergine and chili sauce. I think she made the right decision as it's easier to get all the flavours when everything is packed into a sandwich.

The spicy potato wedges served on the side were good, perfectly cooked and not too greasy with lovely garlic, citrus and coriander flavours.

Food in Umi Falafel is good value and pretty decent, also the enthusiasm and friendliness of the lady working there added value to our lunch experience. The portions were big and left me full for the rest of the day, I'd go back to try more dishes for sure. This place is a great spot for vegetarians or people looking for a quick meat free lunch.

Umi Falafel
13 Dame Street
Dublin 2

Friday, 22 August 2014 Blog Awards: Vote for FFID!

French Foodie in Dublin has been shortlisted in the food blog category for the IMAGE.IE Blog Awards. Thanks to whoever nominated me and to the judges for shortlisting me, I'm chuffed!

It's now down to public vote and I have serious competition here including some of my favourite Irish food blogs but I believe in the power of your clicks, dear reader.

Yes, you who read my blog and never comment but may have gone to one of the cafes or restaurants I recommend. You, that I've never met and maybe wonder what Mr. FFID looks like. You, that I may have met during my tours, workshops or movie clubs.

I rarely ask for a favour, but if you enjoy reading this blog it would be lovely if you could vote for me, it only takes a few seconds through the link below:

(only one vote per category per person will be counted. Voting closes at midnight on the 12th of September 2014)

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!

Merci x


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Funkiest Pâtisserie in Paris: Colorova (75006)

If fancy Parisian tearooms aren't your cup of tea and you prefer laid-back cafés with funky décor then Colorova is a great little spot. Located in the 6th district, it isn't on the tourist trail and is seriously worth a visit for a change from more traditional pastry shops or bakeries.

I got fridge envy right away when I spotted their mint SMEG fridge in the corner. Colorova is a modern and colourful place, you almost feel like it was designed for the cover of an Interior design magazine.

The cakes are a feast for the eyes, contemporary looking and include classics that have been given a modern touch.

We were sitting at the low table by the window in a corner with a little oriental touch and ordered hot drinks and a delectable little cake for elevenses.

We shared a tartlet which consisted of a shortcrust pastry, caramel mousse, speculoos biscuits and peanut cream (€5.80). Divine and such a pity we had to demolish it to eat it (said no one ever).

Colorova is mainly a pastry shop but also serves meals during the day. Lunch prices are reasonable enough at €14.90 for 2 courses or €19 for 3 courses. Brunches in Paris are pricy as they come in different courses but if you feel like treating yourself they have decent options at the weekend for around €30.

47 rue de l'Abbé Grégoire
75006 Paris

Monday, 18 August 2014

Your not-so-secret neighbourhood café: Bibi’s Café

After some street-art spotting and schizophrenic Irish weather along the way, Mr. FFID and I found ourselves in Bibi’s Café on a Sunday afternoon. Bibi’s is a neighbourhood café located in Dublin 8, just off the South Circular Road.

I wish I was giving away a well-kept secret by writing about Bibi’s but judging by how jam-packed it was when we arrived it seems that the secret is out and it’s already a popular brunch spot.

There are two separate rooms in Bibi’s, a large and bright one and then a smaller, slightly cramped room with tables extremely close to each other (where we were sitting). 

The place is cute looking with a homely décor and the food is served in beautiful earthenware. The little outside seating area looks like the place where you’d want to spend your morning catching up with a good friend or even sitting by yourself on a sunny day, reading the Sunday papers over a cup of coffee.

The compact menu includes simple fares such as homemade scones, granola, beans on toast, salad plates, poached eggs with bacon or salmon and sandwiches. They also have homemade cakes on display at the counter. We had to wait at the entrance for a few minutes (not too long though) before we got a table, as the place was extremely busy.

Mr. FFID settled on the French toast (€10), which consisted of two eggy buttery, golden brown slices of brioche toasts and a few slices of delicious Gubbeen bacon served on and between them. Simple but good.

I happily ordered the butternut squash eggs (€10). There was a bed of smooth garlic yoghurt at the bottom of my plate with slices of perfectly roasted butternut squash, two poached eggs, chilli butter and coriander sprinkled on top. 

The chilli butter was deliciously rich and didn’t lack a punch, the dish was quite spicy which I loved and slices of excellent, toasted sourdough bread and butter were served on the side. I almost licked the plate, almost.

We finished with a slice of peanut butter chocolate brownie (€3.95) between the two of us which was definitely too small (for us) and too good to share.

Bibi’s is a charming little café serving well-cooked uncomplicated brunch dishes. The food came quick enough however the staff were a little forgetful on a few occasions but it wouldn’t stop me from coming back. The portions were sensible (don’t go if you have a massive hangover and want something huge and greasy) and the atmosphere was pleasant. I’ll be back for more.

And now I leave you with some pictures I took before and after going to the café…

Bibi’s Café
14A Emorville Café
Dublin 8