In Dublin’s Storyboard, Ali Dunworth finds that Jamie Griffin and Laura Caulwell are going that bit extra: what’s not to like in Storyboard, like?

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Have you noticed the independent cafe look being ‘borrowed’ more and more by commercial outlets up and down the country?
Simply looking the part as a café used to guarantee something but, these days, an instagrammable interior, speciality coffee and a brunch menu don’t always equate to what you might expect.
But don’t let the fact that Storyboard has all these things put you off! They have managed to tick all the indy cafe boxes and still deliver something fresh.
The menu is short and descriptive with only 5 dishes, but there’s a real skill in producing a menu so concise, yet with so much going on. Eggs are from Wicklow; bread is sourdough from Dublin’s Le Levain bakery; there are lots of house ferments and pickles and vegetables from McNally’s Farm, in north County Dublin. (You know when a chef has McNally’s on the menu it means they’ve gone that bit extra, as this excellent local supplier does not deliver).
I ate Squash + Toast, roast McNally’s Farm Crown Prince pumpkin with dukkah, pink pickled onions, earthed by a lashing of moreish tahini nut butter spread beneath. Then I tried the Spuds + Eggs - what’s not to like here? Za’atar roast McNally baby spuds, crisped and smooth at the same time, with a divine beetroot yoghurt, house pickles, Gubbeen chorizo, chilli almonds, crumbled feta, dill. A cacophony of tastes, but so well thought out.
We didn’t need it but were so intrigued we also ordered the Rice Bowl - black rice porridge with date caramel, toasted coconut, crystallised ginger, blood orange and mint. A perfect winter breakfast dish that could make you feel like you are somewhere far more tropical than Dublin 8. The coffee was top notch but, with 3FE alumni Jamie Griffin at the helm, I had no doubt it would be.
I’d love to see more spaces like Storyboard pop up in the lesser known parts of the city, and see it edging closer to something like Melbourne, where every suburb boasts the kind of place you want to spend your money, and you know you’ll get an excellent coffee with thoughtful cooking and careful sourcing.

Photos Ali Dunworth