Already gaining a serious reputation for its brunch and lunch offering after opening back in November, One Society has added another string to its bow in the form of the pizza oven they've shipped over to their Gardiner Street café, all the way from Naples via Milan.
“We actually had to remove the entire window and bring it in that way, it wouldn’t fit through the door,” owner Will Monaghan tells us.
Another matter was finding the right pizza chef – it took several trials with around 10 different chefs to find Alan, a Croatian pizza pro who’s been making them since he was 15 with his dad, who’s also a chef.
Will explains, “One of my brunch chefs was also a pizza chef for years so together, the three of us sat down and we kind of planned what tastes good, what’s a little bit different, what would add to the menu.
"Originally, I just wanted to get the pizzas off the ground, make sure that every single pizza is perfect, I didn’t want to over-complicate it by having too many options.”
Now that they’ve got the dough just right, they’re experimenting a bit more with topping combinations.
Like their distinctive new Sizzling Garlic Prawn white pizza with Parma ham, cherry tomatoes, fresh chilli and rocket, that we tried along with their Diavola pizza with spicy salami and chorizo.
The Diavola had the ideal amount of spice for me (my tolerance for this is fairly good), and while I'm not usually a big fan of white pizzas, the Sizzling Garlic Prawn really hit the spot. There's no such thing as too much garlic in my eyes (and its addition is arguably the best thing about this pizza) but you might want to avoid it if you're coming here on a date.
Almost all of their ingredients are locally sourced, from the bread that comes from the fantastic Le Levain bakery down the road in Ballybough, right down to the mozzarella that comes from Toonsbridge in Co Cork.
There’e also smoked black pudding from Higgins Butchers in Sutton that’s apparently so good they were actually sold out the day that I came in, and the beef comes from his sister’s beef farm, Coogan Meats, in Trim. He’s even boldly named a pizza after her (The Farmer’s Wife) that features slow cooked pulled brisket and is a must-try on the menu for meat-lovers.
“A lot of it’s mostly Irish sourced but we just focus on who produces the best and go directly to them. Because it’s all well and good designing a menu that sounds good but if it doesn’t taste good, you’ve a problem. When you source really good ingredients, generally the taste will follow,” Will says.
He’s not wrong; the pizzas tasted really fresh, with dough that’s deliciously thin and crispy and won't leave you feeling crap afterwards.
But the star on the pizza menu is definitely their sweet pizza, topped with Nutella and seasonal berries.
It’s one that’s been a huge hit with customers so far and we’d have to agree. It’s simple and decadent – and a steal at €6.50, especially since it’s big enough that you’d definitely share this one between a few mates.
And while their pizza is good, their real strength lies in their specialty coffee and brunch - and they do a roaring trade in it. The most popular item on their menu by far is the vanilla pancakes that come with either maple syrup or lemon juice and sugar (they'll definitely be next on my list when I come back here).
One of the other great things about One Society is that breakfast, brunch and lunch is served all day, which makes deciding on where to eat with your mates so much easier. Will assures us, “You can get breakfast at 2.30pm and you can get brunch and lunch at 7.30am in the morning if you want.”
After giving up a successful career in sales to follow his dream of opening his own restaurant, there were a couple of false starts along the way before Will found success with One Society.
Once, he got as far as securing a location for a burger and wing place but unfortunately, it fell through at the last minute. He says, “It was just a matter of taking the keys and signing the contract but that fell through and I just stuck it out in sales for another year until I realised: I really can’t do it.”
It's something we've heard a lot of in Dublin recently - just this week, the much-loved Fat Fox café on Camden Street shared an open letter with us, detailing how their search for a new location turned into their worst nightmare.
Luckily for the One Society team, their current location came onto the market late last year and just three weeks later, Will had put down the deposit and started planning the finer details.
And as of last week, they’ve also started delivering pizza on Just Eat if you’re not up for making the journey down to them. Though I absolutely recommend that you do, if even just to try that unbelievable Nutella pizza.
One Society opens Tuesday to Friday from 7.30am-3pm for breakfast, brunch and lunch, and evenings from 4pm to 9pm for pizza, wine and beer. Open on weekends from 9.30am.