Grub Spy: Bean machine

Healthy and scrumptious? Yes, it’s possible — a trip to the tech haven of Citywest yields an unexpected meat-free feast, writes Grub Spy Alan Kelly

The Beet Box and Cauli Power Box

The colourful entrance

Clean Curry

Sunday World

Great food is probably not the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the words Riverwalk Plaza on Lake Drive in Citywest Business Campus. In fact, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the address of an Ivy League college on the edge of some American city.

LEAN BEAN Unit 3, 8 Riverwalk, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24 4.5 Stars Food: €20.70; Drinks: €5.90

Having experienced a semester in a US college, that’s pretty much what hit me when I ventured through a maze of roads in Citywest recently. In reality, though, it’s a hugely successful and cleverly designed business park a few miles from Dublin.

It screams high-end high-tech, but in terms of food, it wouldn’t be a destination I’d usually be lured to for an interesting meal — which was the situation until a friend suggested I check out a particular place. And I have to say when we discovered that counting calories could prove tasty rather than tedious, while also thoroughly enjoying an especially healthy brunch, Lean Bean took us completely by surprise.

The colourful entrance

It’s a small but perfectly formed little cafe with a wall-mounted menu that is short and very much to the point. There are four meat-free calorie-counted meal offerings, with a separate menu for protein additions — lean chicken and turkey or vegan falafels.

I have the Korean Box with a serving of impeccable noodles, super-fresh Asian slaw, and hunks of crunchy al dente broccoli tossed in a banging, almost mustardy dressing.

For protein, I have three gorgeously nutty sesame seed-speckled falafels and (for 80c extra) a sprinkling of crumpled goats’ cheese. This is a meat-free all-day feast to file under delightful. The Boss tries the Clean Curry option.

It comes with a docile yet temptingly good curry sauce spun through with hints of clove, cumin and maybe a pinch of nutmeg. There is also a bed of nutty brown rice, chunks of red pepper and roasted sweet potato, tomato slices, chopped spring onion and fresh spinach leaves. Three more of those super falafels and a scattering of toasted sesame seeds complete this spicy treat.

Vegans, veggies and carnivores — all would do serious damage to food this good. You won’t go far wrong with the coffee either, or with the smoothies and overnight oats, cookies or cake-y goodies.

Clean Curry

I’ve been driving past Citywest for years and never had the remotest urge to check it out. Now I have a new regular stop-off, and a reminder of how delicious so-called “healthy” food can be. I am usually cautious about describing any restaurant, especially small eateries like this, as a find — but a find it truly is, and I am mightily pleased to have come across it. It’s not Michelin-starred, nor does it pretend to be. But I can easily understand the lengthy queues and the number of take-outs for the 30 minutes or so we are here.

If, like me, you happen to be speeding along the N7 towards Dublin (or even if you live nearby) and your hunger pangs demand you veer towards a big bowl of scrumptious goodness with tasty dressings, or a deliciously healthy mash-up salad, Lean Bean has it all covered.

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