31 March 2023

A new kosher deli opens
in Rathmines in time
for Passover in Dublin

Deli613 opened last in the former Zen Chinese restaurant on Upper Rathmines Road Upper (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2023)

Patrick Comerford

Pesach 5783 begins on Wednesday evening (5 April 2023), and the feast of Passover continues until the following week, on the evening of Thursday 13 April. Shabbat HaGadol (Great Shabbat, שבת הגדול), the Shabbat immediately before Passover, begins this evening.

Traditionally, the Seder dinner is held on the first and second night of Passover and includes several specific dishes and ingredients, like matzah – an unleavened, cracker-like bread – bitter herbs, wine, and charoset—a wine, fruit, and nut paste.

When I was in Dublin last week, I found how many of these dishes and ingredients can be found this year in Deli613, the latest eatery in Rathmines and the first Jewish deli in Dublin.

I walked into Deli613 last week to be told by Rifky Lent that Dublin’s newest foodie hot spot opened the weekend before. Chabad of Ireland has opened Deli613 in the former Zen Chinese restaurant at 89 Rathmines Road Upper, and is kosher-certified by Chabad.

Deli613 is on the ground floor of the new Chabad House, and offers a wide selection of dishes and has a well-stocked grocery with kosher snacks, wine, and more. I had a quick double espresso and a tasty bun as I browsed a menu that includes salt beef and smoked salmon sandwiches, potato latkes, salt-beef sandwiches on rye or bagels and pastrami, chopped herring and liver, as well as hummus, pitta falafel, and sabich.

The kosher grocery is open from Monday to Friday and is fully stocked with kosher breads, cold cuts, sausage, wine, bamba, bissli and much more.

Deli613 takes its name from the traditional 613 mitzvot or commandments in Judaism. They are based on a list in the Mishneh Torah compiled by one of the greatest mediaeval Jewish scholars, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, known in Jewish tradition by the acronym Rambam and to the wider world as Maimonides.

This new deli in Dublin aims to grow the number of Kosher food options available to the local Jewish community at an affordable price. The bread has been specially created by a local sourdough baker with lovers of rye and multi-grain loves in mind.

Anyone with a sweet tooth can, like me, indulge themselves with some cake over coffee. A brunch option includes pastries and potentially a Sunday breakfast is being offered in the coming month. Deli 631 is also promising a full dining experience on Sunday nights.

Rifky Lent also told me in our brief conversation how a full range of communal programmes and classes are also planned. She and her husband Rabbi Zalman Lent and their children have lived in Ireland since 2000, working with the Jewish community, first as youth rabbi and rebbetzin, and then as the Rabbi and rebbetzin of the Dublin Hebrew Congregation in Terenure Synagogue on Rathfarnham Road. During that time they were also the representatives in Ireland of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.

They are now expanding their roles with the opening of the new Chabad centre in Rathmines, offering a friendly community space, educational classes, Shabbat dinners, a mitzva project, or even just a cup of coffee and a chat. For students and young professionals away from family and friends they promise a home away from home. Friday night dinners promise delicious food and a warm ambience, and visitors and newcomers are being invited too to holiday meals and shabbat lunch.

Reports of the planned sale of the site of Terenure Synagogue on Rathfarnham Road have been gloomy news from the Jewish community in Dublin. But visiting Deli613 in Rathmines last week I realised that that there is plenty of good news for the Jewish community in Dublin too.

חַג פֵּסַח שַׂמֵחַ Chag Pesach Sameach

Shabbat Shalom

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