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This week we got to meet our new IFY students.

After the tour of the campus, we all went to the canteen for some cake and tea and I got chatting to some future doctors. Considering our surroundings the conversation turned to food and I was surprised to discover quite a few vegetarians. As a vegetarian myself, I told them that Ireland is quite an easy country in which to be a vegetarian. There are lots of restaurants that are specifically for vegetarians and lots of meat free substitute products.

However, this got me thinking about one of the big challenges many of our students face which we don’t often think about because it is not academic. Adjusting to new food and (for many people) cooking for the first time.

In the old days, college meals meant beans on toast and too frequent trips to the chipper. Fortunately, the canteen on campus has a much better (and healthier) range of food and with the internet you can find easy recipes so that you don’t have to be telephoning your mother to ask how to boil an egg.

To make things a bit easier, I thought I’d include some recommendations on Dublin restaurants for all our new students.

  1. Arthur’s Restaurant – this is the canteen on campus. They do breakfasts and lunches. I’ve started using the salad bar a lot lately as it is pretty cheap and a lot healthier than a dodgy tuna sandwich from a corner shop.
  2. Noshington – our neighbours. They do really nice coffee and cakes and their lunches are great if you fancy a less student-y type dining experience.
  3. Camden street – this is less than 10 minutes from the college and there are so many nice places to eat. Zaytoons do delicious Persian food, the Cracked Nut has loads of delicious organic sandwiches and the Camden Kitchen has nice brunches.
  4. Govindas on Aungier street do lovely vegetarian food at a good price. You just ask for a small plate and a bit of everything.
  5. Recipes – if you want to save money and do a bit of home cooking just go to BBC recipes – all their recipes are really simple and easy to follow (and they explain everything – even scrambled eggs).
  6. If you would like to try making cakes or biscuits then odlums has a great website as well. But the rule is – if you make a cake, you have to bring some into class!

Happy eating.

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