Thursday, 5 June 2014

Wuff, Benburb Street

Inside Wuff, the diner on Benburb Street in Dublin

The real-life diner Wuff made its literary debut in my second 'Moss Reid' novel, Black Marigolds...

"[There's] a nice tidy sum but there’s a messy bit."

"Isn’t there always?"

Alan was standing me breakfast. While I’m not usually a breakfast meetings kind of person, this one was civilised. We were in Wuff, a fairly new diner down our way. It used to be a post office on the corner of Benburb Street and Blackhall Place; now it was one large room, open-plan with an industrial feel. Grey banquettes and seats, walls with long mirrors and painted mugshots of dogs. The winter sun streamed in the lattices of square windows.

"It’s messy," Alan continued, "because Jimmy Bermingham …"

"The car mechanic?"
"Yeah yeah, so Jimmy B is due this nice inheritance."

Alan’s knife and fork ambled back to his Eggs Benedict while I was tucking into the Truffle Infused Poached Eggs Topped with Unpasteurised Gruyère Cheese on Sourdough Toast. With lashings of strong coffee while watching the Luas trams glide by, clanging their electronic bells. See? Civilised ...

Front door of Wuff in Benburb Street, DublinI'm not sure if my prose - or my photo above - does full justice to those wonderful windows and all that winter light. And there's no mention either of its splendid entrance with those (Victorian redbrick?) columns.

And could someone ever remind me what the place used to be before Ken Byrne and Peter Tarrant turned it into a trendy eaterie? Something to do with sound systems for cars? Or did it have something to do with Kelly's Plastics next door?

Some restaurant reviewers think Wuff is in Smithfield but it is just west of Blackhall Place, putting it firmly in Stoneybatter.

It's open during the daytime seven days a week (from around 7.30am on weekdays, 10am on Saturdays and Sundays); open during the evening too on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

As Tom Doorley put it in his food column in the Irish Daily Mail last November, "I like its simplicity, its cosiness, its down-to-earthness ... a place to which I'd like to return."

Can't say fairer than that.

Earlier again, he wrote: "I think I’m right in saying that this friendly, corner restaurant was the first to kick off the transformation of Dublin 7 into a place to eat. Wuff is a crowd pleaser and I have to say that they do a fine burger of the sort that is impossible to eat in the fingers with any sense of decorum. They also do good little dishes for sharing (not quite tapas, but you get the idea). It’s a lovely room and almost always busy."

23 Benburb Street
Dublin 7
Twitter: @wuffd7