Gourmet Food Parlour is situated about a half mile outside Malahide as you head along the coast towards Portmarnock. It shares occupancy with the MU Gym building which has an elevated spot looking out over the bay across towards Skerries. On a summers day this is a really beautiful backdrop, and a lunch with my daughter Abigail finds us there on one of the best days of the summer, with the sun beating down and reflecting off the sea outside.
The building is an open plan affair is glass walls and high ceiling, which is cleverly broken up by the use of cloth partitions printed to resemble shelves of books. Four feature light fittings run the length of the room just inside the front glass wall, and while they are superfluous today, they are nonetheless striking and very pretty.
Tables are well spaced, while the back wall is given over to a selection of oils and condiment, and a selection of Jamie Oliver’s gadgets and books. Owners Lorraine Heskin and Lorraine Byrne have managed to keep a sense of individuality with each of their creations, and this one is no different, it’s quirky and spacious, but design touches like the lowered ceiling over the coffee bar area, hung with a selection of traditional china tea cups add a welcome personal touch.
GFP is aiming to be an upmarket stylish café and wine bar, serving a selection of homemade and artisan products. Expect freshly made sandwiches, interesting salads such as a classic Caesar, tuna salad or a warm Clonakilty black pudding ensemble.
There are daily lunches including a choice of quiche, a warm Spanish tortilla with crème fraiche, steak sandwich and a special, which on our visit was a chicken fajita which we shared, along with the steak sandwich. Both of these dishes were very good, with the fajitas being especially tasty. Shoe string fries were a good accompaniment, and we finished with a sinful lemon meringue cake to share and a couple of coffees.
GFP is consistently good, and each time we eat there it is something different. They open in the evenings as well, with a very good tapas menu that the girls change regularly after doing hard research in the cafes of Madrid and Barcelona. Tough job, but someone’s got to do it. GFP, perfect spot to meet the VBF’s.