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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 10 July, 2020
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Chicken fillet roll delivery and brunch to your door: The Irish cafés changing up your Sunday morning

Too tired to leave the house? Let your Sunday come to you.

OVER THE PAST few years, Ireland has wholeheartedly embraced the idea of brunch.

Where it was once regarded as the height of notions or a sign you had been living in Dublin for too long, leisurely brunches are now a weekend morning ritual.

The appeal of brunch is simple. It’s a relatively inexpensive way of eating out and socialising with friends. But what if you just can’t summon the energy to wait for a table or if you can’t leave the house for whatever reason?

Welcome to the age of brunch delivery. Forget pizza or a veggie korma, you can now have avocado toast and Prosecco delivered straight to your door without having to leave your pyjamas.

The Cake Café, a beloved eatery in the heart of Dublin 8, started delivering breakfast and lunch a few years ago.

“Originally it was just for office meetings and corporate functions but in the last couple of years we’ve started delivering individual orders to both homes and businesses,” explains owner Ray O’Neill.

Customers can choose from the café’s all-day brunch menu and have meals delivered between 9am and 5pm. Popular orders include sausage scramble made with Merguez sausage, scrambled eggs, avocado, slow roast tomatoes, coriander and creme fraiche.

“We have recently added our carrot and walnut pancakes topped with stewed fruit or citrus curd and banana,” adds O’Neill.

So who exactly is making use of the delivery service?

From our experience there seems to be a lot of hungover people ordering brunch to their house as it is just so easy for them to order from their phone while sitting on the couch.

Another café that has embraced this new frontier is Cocu, a health café with two branches in Dublin city centre.

“It took us a while to actually commit to delivering brunch, testing out the quality when it arrived and making sure it was as tasty and fresh as you get it in store,” explains founder Emilia Rowan.

Rowan and the team spent time perfecting the process and landed on a system whereby they time the cooking with how the far the Deliveroo rider is from the shop.

“We package everything carefully so it arrives well presented to the customer,” she adds.

The most popular item is the aptly titled Breakfast Box, which consists of baby spinach, roasted sweet potatoes, turned eggs, homemade baked beans, Gubbeen chorizo, bacon, avocado and fresh parsley.

“This would be our hangover special or for after the gym,” she notes.

On that note, Rowan has identified two types of customers likely to order brunch for delivery.

I would say Cocu brunch delivered is either for the healthy hungover person or for when you’re in between going for brunch and cooking yourself.

“Most of the good brunch places in town require a booking to be made so for the more spontaneous people, the options are limited.”

Deliveroo has been instrumental in bringing brunch to the masses. The service now works with many of the city’s leading cafés to deliver breakfast and brunch items from 8am.

A spokesperson confirmed that the most popular breakfasts in Ireland were the Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich from Doughboys; avocado and eggs from Brother Hubbard South; the breakfast sandwich from Grove Road; buckwheat pancakes from Eathos; and avocado toast from Sprout & Co.

But there is also another ap that specialises in all things breakfast. BreakfastMe is the brainchild of Kevin McGovern. It bills itself as ‘Dublin’s morning hero’ and delivers everything from brunch to morning essentials. As McGovern explains:

We noticed through experience that while there were other companies offering food delivery in Dublin, the industry lacked a service that was there for you when you needed it the most: morning times.

“We decided to offer delivery from as early as 7am, while traditionally delivery companies would start much later.”

The company now delivers brunch in Dublin 1, Dublin 2, Dublin 4, Dublin 6, Dublin 6W and Dublin 8, and is hoping to expand to other locations soon.

“So far we’ve teamed up with ten of the best brunch places in town such as Farmer Browns, Herbstreet and Pot Bellied Pig,” says McGovern. “The guys we have online so far have been great. They’ve created some amazing menus on BreakfastMe and are happy to support a local Dublin business.”

The app also includes a ‘morning essentials’ option, which allows customers to order everything from newspapers to toilet paper. Anything that makes the mornings that little bit more bearable.

“I think people are looking for more and more ways to make their lives easier, whether it’s ordering a taxi via an app or doing their shopping online,” says McGovern.

So are pancakes transported to your door the way of the future? Perhaps. But there are certain components of the brunch experience that just can’t be replicated at home, say café owners.

“For me the missing element would be a good coffee,” says Emilia Rowan of Cocu. “We can’t deliver coffees.”

Ray O’Neill of The Cake Café agrees:

“You can’t beat going out for brunch with a mimosa or some sort of fizz to enjoy with the food,” he says.

It’s a great way for people to catch up with pals which you just don’t get from a delivered brunch.

More: ‘It’s disruptive, but in a good way’: Meet the Irish families whose homes double as festival venues

More: 7 top Irish chefs share the meals they cook when nobody’s watching

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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