Sip & Slurp, Charlemont Street.
Sip & Slurp is a cute new cafe that’s bringing a home-cooked flair with a hint of cool to a bleak enough location, across from the flats on Charlemont Street (it’s around the corner from the Harcourt Street Luas stop, and within 5-10 minutes walk from both Ranelagh and Rathmines).
I popped in to check it out for a takeaway coffee, but ended up getting lured in by the display of 4 blackboards on the wall behind the counter, which offer a selection of fresh soups, sambos, salads and wraps – everything keenly priced at under a fiver. I decided to eat in and try their Vietnamese chicken salad (€4.90) with a flat white (€2.30) to test out their coffee credentials, all in the name of research of course…
I took a seat at a bench and had a look around while I waited. It’s a high-ceilinged echo-y space which has clearly been fitted out on a budget, but has some nice design touches too – such as the bench seating, soup cauldrons with hand-written labels (the soups are a big focus here), and the cafe logo stencilled on the wall. I’d heard that the cafe has been started up by a few friends in their 20’s, which would explain the super-friendly attentive people behind the counter and checking in with customers on the floor. There was also a seriously tempting display of baked goodies including scones, caramel squares, banana chocolate cupcakes and home-made granola.
You can combine a soup and a sambo for between €6.90 and €7.50, which I spotted being delivered to tables on wooden boards. What is it about wooden boards replacing plates in Dublin restaurants these days? Anyway…again, a really well-priced, hearty lunch option compared to the coffee chains.
No doubt Sip & Slurp is hoping to benefit from the nearby Harcourt Street coffee and lunchtime office trade. A promotion earlier this week on Twitter offered all coffees for just €1 and was cleverly tweeted @ all the nearby offices and businesses (they’re @sipandslurp on Twitter, by the way).
My chicken salad was zingy, with plenty of chicken, coriander, peppers and chili, maybe lacking a definitively Vietnamese flavour which could be sorted with a few cashew nuts or nuoc cham dressing perhaps (I’d choose these extras over the 2 slices of bread which came on the side), but for €4.90 it was fresh, healthy and filling. My flat white was creamy perfection, clearly made with TLC by someone who knows their coffee. I enjoyed it so much that I ordered another to take out as I was leaving, ensuring an over-excited bounce in my step for the rest of the day.
So if you’re working or living in the area, pop in for a coffee or a sambo and give these guys your support. I’ll be strolling down some weekend soon to try the brunch menu, once that’s up and running.
Sip & Slurp, 67 Charlemont St., Dublin 2.