A Breakfast of Champions – Balfes BodyByrne Breakfast Review
According to your Instagram feed, in addition to a dedicated fitness regime the only way to ‘make gains’ is to tote tupperware with you where ever you go, filled strictly with eggs, chicken breasts and broccoli, all of which must be boiled. Though sharing pictures of an entire week’s worth of perfectly ‘macro’ balanced meals, with hastags like #mealprep and #absaremadeinthekitchen, might connect you to others in the ‘fitfam’, in reality #tupplife must get a bit lonely and repetitive.
Husband and wife team Paul and Siobhan Byrne of BodyByrne Fitness definitely don’t discourage meal planning and healthy eating. Though with over 27 years experience in the fitness industry they know that adding variety and treating yourself every once in a while are the secrets to making your clean eating efforts a part of a balanced lifestyle, rather than an intense, but fleeting diet-plan.
Pairing this experience with the culinary expertise of Clarendon Street neighbours Balfes seemed a logical step then. Together they have created a range of breakfast dishes that are BodyByrne approved, served in chic, monochrome, New York eatery-style surroundings. “You can’t out train a bad diet, people can work out 6-7 days a week but if their nutrition is poor they will never see any results. It is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise; abs really are made in the kitchen”, Paul Byrne comments. Though, enjoying your healthy breakfast with linen napkins and silver cutlery definitely makes a big change from tupperware and a plastic fork.
Arriving at the Balfe Street entrance, alongside The Westbury Hotel, on a bitingly chilly January morning we were quickly shown to our black, studded leather corner couch, against a wall of windows looking out onto Clarendon Street. To begin the thawing process of our extremities we ordered a round of herbal teas; fresh mint leaf and camomille flower, €4.50 each. Though for those whose day cannot start without a caffeine shot, a BulletByrne Coffee is guaranteed to jumpstart your day.
Officially launched on January 20th, the six BodyByrne choices, all priced between €7 and €8.50, are available 7 days a week, included across Balfes weekday breakfast and weekend brunch menus along with many other breakfast menu choices. Included in the menu is a small selection of juices and smoothies. My flu-smothered colleague commenced the counter attack against her symptoms with an antioxidant-rich Mixed Berries & Banana Smoothie, and I slurped on the scarily green, though surprisingly creamy Apple, Celery, Spinach, Avocado & Lime Juice.
The Bodybyrne Oat Pancakes come with three choices of toppings; berries and agave nectar, eggs and avocado or organic almond butter and banana, I chose the latter. With all the nutritional benefits of your usual bowl of porridge, this stack of three dense, nourishing pancakes, browned in coconut oil, will keep you fueled until lunchtime.
The chive-sprinkled poached egg of the Bodybyrne Eggs Florentine cracked open satisfactorily; it’s ochre yolk drizzling over sautéed spinach, with a sea-salt flake crunch, and toasted brown yeast bread. This healthy twist on the French classic appeared wholly angelic, though the accompanying yoghurt dressing packed an unexpected fiery kick.
Granola is almost an obligatory breakfast menu offering; rarely noteworthy, often over sweetened. The Bodybyrne Turbo Energy Granola though was an unexpected, unanimous favourite. A bowl of oat clusters, nuts, seeds and raisins, with a crown of walnuts, was naturally sweetened and had wickedly, moreish toasted flavour. Boosting the health factor it was served with a generous portion of Greek yoghurt, strained to up the protein content and reduce the fat, and mixed berries. Despite already having finished our fair share of breakfast we couldn’t help but wrestle our spoons to finish this off. It’s all healthy, right?
To extend the leisurely loveliness, we lingered a little longer over the morning papers, soaking up the atmosphere, watching the other diners, a mix of families, couples and business people, huddle over marble topped tables. The BodyByrne Menu at Balfes is not littered with the superfoods du-jour, but instead offers wholesome, tasty dishes, backed up with nutritional knowledge, all served in a sophisticated dining space; proving that there is life beyond the tupperware.
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Erica grew up with a baker and confectioner for a father, and a mother with an instinct and love for good food. It is little wonder then that, after a brief dalliance with law, she completed a Masters degree in Food Business at UCC. With a consuming passion for all things food, nutrition and wellness, working with TheTaste is a perfect fit for Erica; allowing her to learn and experience every aspect of the food world meeting its characters and influencers along the way.