When I think of Lahinch, I picture myself surfing, camping and eating a 99, even though it's windy AF.
The last thing I would have ever imagined myself doing would be tucking into a top-notch brunch in a lil' hipster café.
Down the main street of Lahinch, that looks just the same as it did when I was a kid, lies an unexpected Middle-Eastern inspired brunch haven. Even from the outside, I could tell this place was going to be good - Mostly because there was a large queue to get in, but still... You get my drift.
This lil' beaut of a place is called DODI.
What's the vibe?
DODI is like nothing else in Lahinch, or anywhere near there for that matter. It's a small venue with about six or seven tables but there is a serious buzz in there from the moment you walk in.
From the inside, it's pretty simple decor but it still manages to hold character. The staff were buzzing around, super bubbly and chatty with customers even though it was super busy, which I loved. You could tell they just wanted you to enjoy your meal.
There's a coffee counter for anyone who wants to pay a flying visit and it's laced in decadent, freshly baked treats.
As soon as I sat down I looked across and saw the table next to me had ordered delicious, thick and sweet pancakes, the smell of the cinnamon from it set my stomach rumbling and I excitedly glued my eyes down the the menu.
What's on the menu?
The café specialises in local, fresh and seasonal dishes.
One of the first things I noticed when I sat down at my table, was a tiny blue card that listed all of the café's suppliers. I thought this added a really nice touch to the experience as I knew exactly where my food had come from.
The menu has about five or six options. It's a small choice but it still covers for whatever you're in the mood for - sweet or savoury, spicy or saucy.
It's all inspired by the Middle-East, as owner Doria spent a lot of time travelling there as a child. It's ideal for veggies and even has a vegan option.
I was with my friend who wanted a classic brunch dish - Avocado, egg, sourdough and bacon. As soon as he laid eyes on the Breakfast Bap, he was sold - It had all of the above. Sorted.
Being the great friend he is, he let me try some before devouring his dish in a few bites. The streaky bacon was some of the best I've had in a long time, it had so much flavour.
I wanted to try something a little out of the ordinary, so I opted for Sweet Potato Fritters. I didn't think sweet potato could taste any better until I tried this dish.
It was fried and seasoned with spices and then drizzled with lemon yoghurt and OMG, it was fan-f*cking-tastic.
The poached egg, sourdough and salad blended nicely with the flavour of the fritters and aided to the kick from the spices. I'm a big fan of sauces and dressing so I would have liked a little sprinkle of something on my side salad but hey, that's only a minor thing.
This was a fab step away from a conventional brunch, which is exactly what I had hoped for. It was super filling and bloody delish.
The café are one of the few over the Western seaboard to stock Roasted Brown coffee. If you like your coffee strong and bitter - This is the one for you.
Flat white goals.
Myself and my friend indulged in a top quality meal and we each had a fancy coffee. At the end of the meal we had the usual spat over paying for the each other's meals.
Finally, I gave in and as we queued up I almost felt guilty letting him pay. I dragged him away from the beach, made him wait in a queue for about 15/20 minutes and picked the most extravagant thing on the menu.
"That'll be €23 please!"
We looked at each other almost in shock. For the quality of the meal, the service and the general brunch experience, we expected it to be so much more.
We both left with a big smile on our face and I definitely didn't feel guilty anymore, sure look we will 100% be going back and I'll get the next one plus I had chosen a deadly spot for us - What a success!
DODI has impressed me to no end. It has given Lahinch a deadly spot for foodies to indulge and to hang out and it's raised the bar with an amazing menu and deadly coffee.
The ideal spot to fill up after a swim in the sea!