Well, we did it. We ventured out to Union 8 on Sunday, very much looking forward to a tasty brunch.
Lesson number one: book a table in advance. If you’re the kind of person who wakes up late on a Sunday and thinks, “ooh let’s go and have brunch somewhere”, then Union 8 is not the place for you. If you are super organised and can plan your brunch outing in advance, then you’ll probably be ok. Granted, we arrived at about 11.45am – peak brunch time, I would say. We had intended to be there about 11am, which probably would have been ok. But you know how it goes; things always take longer than you think. And of course, Baba had to have a crucial nappy change, Husband couldn’t find his wallet/keys/glasses/left shoe (delete as appropriate). So naturally, we were always going to be a bit later than planned, and it was our own fault that when we arrived at the door the hostess looked worriedly at her iPad and mumbled about not having any availability until 1.30pm.
To her absolute credit she wouldn’t let us be turned away. Never one for being pushy I was all set to turn around and try again another day, but she insisted on us staying and made space for us in what, I can only assume, is normally the waiting area. And I did notice there is plenty of space for buggies and quite a few high chairs available. First gold star for Union 8.
The menu included some tempting dishes but I decided to go for a classic – Ham Hock Benedict. Husband opted for the Artisan breakfast and neither of us were disappointed. At first taste the hollandaise sauce seemed quite heavy on vinegar but actually, it went very well with the salty ham hock and yummy smoky tomato smushed into the toasted muffin. Husband’s breakfast looked delicious and he was particularly impressed with the sausage on the plate: large and herby and tasty.
We both got black coffees which were also excellent, and if I hadn’t felt like we’d disrupted their seating plan, I would happily have stayed for another coffee. In no way at all did they make us feel like we were rushed or in the way, but I didn’t want to outstay my welcome, given that this is our local neighbourhood eatery and we might be back here quite a bit!
The bill came to €32, which in my opinion is pretty steep. However, it was great food and a comfortable welcoming atmosphere so I would definitely be willing to spend that again on a special occasion or a “treat”. I’d like to go back when we’ve booked a table so that we can take our time and avail of the other delights on offer like a Bloody Mary or some Rhubarb Crumble. I’d also like to try out their dinner menu, so I might start dropping some hints at home. Maybe the Early Bird would be an acceptable option for the purse strings holder!
As we walked out Baba, who had charmed all the staff there, waved a cheery goodbye to everyone she saw, and Husband exclaimed, “That. Was. A. Del-icious. Breakfast.” Pleased punters all round then.
So, on the whole, a very positive experience. Not for the more spontaneous types but I’ve always loved having a plan.
Is it unb-eat-able? Maybe not entirely unbeatable compared with some of the places around town these days, but in the Kilmainham-Inchiore area? Yes. By miles.