There is not a lot of actual cooking at Counter Culture, but it’s still delicious
First off, I should say I have no problems with all that vegan, paleo, raw food malarkey.
And I do love my salads, especially those big fecking green jobbies with added roughage for fine-tuning my pipes and tubes.
But ‘clean food’?
I mean, we all expect our waiters to be clean, and ditto with the plates and cutlery.
The hysteria behind this latest fad is evangelised by the queen of cobblers herself, Gwyneth Paltrow – which speaks volumes about where it’s all ultimately heading.
But, I hear you ask, what’s wrong with less sugar, carbs, gluten and salt?
The answer is absolutely nothing; it’s all perfectly healthy, virtuous, and worthwhile. It’s just that word ‘clean’ that gives me the pip.
It reeks of puffed-up self-importance and ‘ohhh, I’m so much more superior than you lot’.
It implies that people who don’t eat ‘clean food’ are somehow less than respectable and don’t really care about themselves.
So, with my angry-pussiness firmly in place and my pencil sharpened in prejudicial readiness, I ascend the lofty heights of the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre. But hold the front page – this place doesn’t look half bad.
A nice view from the second floor of the landmark building, a hint of Brahms in the ether, and a menu that’s short and concise – always appealing to busy lunchers - Counter Culture was born earlier this year when former model Pamela Flood and her husband, Ronan, decided to bring clean eating to the masses.
There’s seared swordfish, vegan crunch salads, salads with cod, salmon, red cabbage, grapes and feta. There’s even a chargrilled loin of pork with apple and sweet potato mash.
I go for the salad with chunks of moist chicken breast, flaked organic salmon, baby spinach and kale, and a scattering of sweetly pickled cucumber and tomatoes. The dressing is fresh and sprightly and delivers just the right level of lustrous punch.
As soon as the fragrant, almost grassy flavours whack the back of the old taste buds, my munching comes to a momentary halt. This is delicious – it embodies everything I love about top quality eating-out grub.
There’s not a lot of actual cooking going on, but no matter, it’s still a gorgeous midday meal.
There’s a small selection of organic beers, wine and cider - along with spritzy-sounding juices and protein-packed smoothies - but I decide to stick to ultra clean water.
I wouldn’t normally be enticed by a dessert calling itself Raw Protein Balls with Yoghurt. But after the salad success, I decide to take a risk. They look awful; a pair of little brown nodules with a side dish of sour fermented milk. Thing is though, they taste OK.
Maybe even better than OK. My opinion on ‘clean’ will never be altered; my opinion on Counter Culture however, is. Well worth a visit.
It’s healthy, wholesome, tasty food made to order that will make you feel all virtious inside and, most importantly, satisfied. Meals can also be devlivered to your home through Deliveroo.
Centre, 59 South William
Street, Dublin 2
Ph: (01) 476 0125
by Jean Sumllen
2013 Santa Digna Cabernet Rosé €13.99
This Chiliean rosé is made by the famous Spanish winemaking family, Torres. A lovely rich pink wine, it has the cranberry and redcurrant summer flavours you’d expect. Great with the difficult-to-match sweet-and-sour Chinese food, as the flavours compliment the sweetness of the dish. For wine events see www.jeansmullen.