The Bookshelf Coffee House
THE last few years has seen a resurgence of stylish-looking restaurants and cafes in town.
The Roast House led the way with cool decor, chilled out background music, impeccable coffee and delicious dishes, No.4 On The Square is perhaps the town’s most hip and stylish restaurant with good food to back it up and Yummy Cafe caters for cool kids and their parents.
Now there’s a coffee house out in Manor attempting to replicate the success of its sister cafe in the South Mall, Cork City.
The Bookshelf (located where The Streat Cafe operated) which was opened in early December with mother and son Anne and Paul O’Carroll from Asdee at the helm, so on Saturday morning I – with wife and daughter in tow – popped over to sample the food and the stylish surroundings.
As you enter you wait to be seated and luckily we were there early, as while eating I saw a family of four choose to leave as they couldn’t be seated, while a few others had to wait a very short time for a table.
The cafe was serving an all-day brunch menu and the menu looked amazing. Some of the dishes were smashed avocado with poached eggs and cherry tomatoes on sourdough bread; eggs royale with smoked salmon; warm goats cheese with toasted walnuts, beetroot, mixed leaves and French vinaigrette dressing.
There was also granola, pancakes and porridge on the menu.
It all sounds ‘very foncy like’ as we say in Kerry and you’d be right. The Bookshelf is a cool spot, the type of place you’d find in Dublin, Galway and of course, Cork with the clientele mostly consisting of fashionably dressed couples, young families and small groups of well-dressed women.
I went for Eggs Benedict with baked ham served on stout bread with Hollandaise sauce (€9) while herself went for the breakfast bap with black pudding, fried egg, bacon, relish and cheddar (€8.50).
The one quibble is that our six year old had no truck with the menu and – like the doctor in that Fawlty Towers episode – ordered “just sausages”. With not a sausage to be seen, she had to settle for scrambled eggs and bacon but only picked at it.
The grown-ups fared much better. Both dishes were very good with my wife raving about the bap. My eggs were delicious, the ham was amazing and with the crumbly stout bread and hollandaise sauce, it worked a treat.
The bill with two teas came to €24. Next time I’ll try their famous coffee.