The Silk Road Cafe is a gem of a cafe thats hidden away in the Chester Beatty Library in the grounds of Dublin Castle. Despite being in the centre of Dublin its not a place I would ever think of going to. I only ended up visiting after a friend mentioned that our maternity leave needed a bit more culture. Five of us with our five small people went along for a Wednesday lunch time visit last week.
Food - As the name suggests the food is heavily slanted towards what you might find on the silk routes of old - think falafel, moussaka and curries. I had the falafel plate with 4 salads, my choice included tabouleh and stuffed vine leaves. My friends had moussaka and curries. All the mains are around the 9-10 Euro mark and hearty enough to keep you going for a long day of sightseeing/babyschlepping. They have an amazing selection of cakes (pictured above) which through some amazing feat of willpower were avoided on this visit!
Accessibility - The cafe is on the ground floor of the Chester Beatty Library and was no problem to access. The entrance had automatically opening electric doors as did the entrances to all the library floors
Changing facilities - Excellent. Theres a separate changing room (without loo) which has a large fixed ledge for changing.
Highchairs - Only 2 available
Space for buggy - Plenty. We, along with 5 babies and buggies, sat in the atrium area and there would have been space for a lot more.
Service - The cafe is self service style but the staff were really helpful and brought dishes to the table for a number of us that went to the counter carrying babies.
Table booking - Not needed for a weekday lunch
Overall rating - 4.5/5 - Great value for really hearty tasty food. Im marking it down a half mark only because I fancied something a little lighter today and everything was quite heavy for a lunchtime feed. I will definitely be back here again when Im a little hungrier than today.
Baby friendly rating - 5/5 - Of all the places Ive been since having thelittlefoodie I felt more comfortable here than anywhere else. It might just be me, but often I feel like a bit of a nuisance taking up space with my screamy baby. We lounged around for a few hours chatting and drinking coffees and didnt feel that we were disturbing anyone. At one point a member of staff of the library even welcomed us and the babies and asked for our opinion on the new changing room. There are quite a few of the salads and side vegetables that would be perfect for baby led weaning (all of us had food with us today though)
The damage - €13 for a large cappuccino and falafel plate with 4 salads.