If, like me, you’ve been to Portugal, you will have no doubt come back with more than a tan. Yes, we’re talking about a craving for custardy gorgeousness – Pastéis de Nata. What’s that you say? Pastéis de Nata is a Portuguese egg tart pastry dusted with cinnamon and available on every street corner in Lisbon and every other Portugese town. They’re also made in Brazil and other countries with significant Portuguese immigrant populations. Given the large Brazilian population in Dublin, it’s no wonder they’re popping up everywhere. If you’re feeling all domestic goddessy, you can whip some up yourself courtesy of this Paul Hollywood Portugues Tart recipe. Alternatively, if you lack the baking motivation, but still got the craving, here’s were you can get your fix:
Excluding the airport, there are 15 cafes around town, so you’re never far from one. At €2.20, they’re more expensive than what you’ll pay in Portugal, but they’re a good compromise, although they’re a tad too sweet, the custard is a bit too tense, and the pastry isn’t flaky enough, but A for effort.
Yup, such is the popularity of these beauties, even Dunnes has got in on the act. The cheapest in town at 1 euro each or 4 for €3. They’re not as good as the Butler’s ones, (or could it just be a false perception that the Butler’s ones should be better?), and still suffer the same issue of being too sweet, too dense, and not flaky enough, but warmed up slightly, you’ll wolf down a few of these babies nonetheless.
Situated in Rathgar Village, Bijou Deli offers up a whole heap of great pastries, and also some lovely Pastéis de Nata. Costing €2, these rank #2 in terms of the flakiness of the pastry and give a nice crunch but again fail somewhat on the custard being too dense and much too sweet. A very worthy effort, though.
THE BAKERY BY THE CUPCAKE BLOKE
Newly opened in Rialto village, you’ll know the Cupcake Bloke from his weekly stand on Coppinger Row. It is not by accident that I’ve left this one ’till last, it being the best on show. I had tried a couple of times to get my mitts on these, but sadly they were always sold out whenever I got there. But a quick phone call and I secured the last six (best to play it safe) All the elements are there – flaky pastry, creamy custard, and not too sweet, and perhaps even a slightly lemony hint.
UPDATE: AVOCA, SUFFOLK STREET
The new winner! After many of you contacted me to suggest I try out one of these babies, I finally got my hands on one, and they didn’t disappoint. Definitely the winner in terms of the crunchiness and flakiness of the pastry. The custard is good and with the added bonus of a strawberry and blueberry on top. Buy one in the restaurant upstairs and they’ll serve it with a side portion of cream (not authentic, but they love a bit of cream in Avcoa!). A tiny bit smaller than the others tested (I think), and priced fairly at €1.95.
If you know of anywhere else in Dublin, just let me know. I see it as one of my life’s purposes to taste each and every one 🙂 De nada, as they say.