Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Perfect Sunday Lunch Experience at Ballymaloe

Perfect Sunday Lunch
 Experience at Ballymaloe 

Ballymaloe seem always to get it just right. The balance is always so perfect. Did you ever try the relaxed Sunday lunch there? You should. The warm welcome, understated class and under bottom comfort, the perfect easy going service, and, of course, the most natural seasonal foods served up with care and love, ensuring that the quality from the farm and garden is carried through to the table.

They do, however, make sure that you arrive on time. This is a buffet and they want you to enjoy it at its best. So do yourself a favour and arrive a few minutes before 1.00pm, the appointed time. That is the end of the “pressure”, the beginning of a relaxing dining experience.

And you never know who you might meet. A family, kids and all, out for a quite celebration, other groups and couples. And I was lucky enough to meet up with Paulo Tullio. Had a nice chat. He told me he had enjoyed his meal in town on the previous evening and was very impressed with the amount of fish on offer in Cork restaurants saying they don’t get it as much on the East Coast.

After the warm welcome, we were guided to our reserved table. Two adjoining high ceilinged rooms, each comfortable with plenty of space between the tables, serves as the dining area with a long table in an adjoining room carrying the buffet.

But first came the soup course. We had a choice of two. One was Pea and Chill while the other, the chosen one, was the Celeriac. This was a superb creamy tasty warming blend, a promising start indeed.

Then we were invited to fill our plates at the long table. Choices, so many I can hardly remember. Salads, pizza slices, quiche slices, cheese croquets, gorgeous temping vegetables, a fish dish and no shortage of seafood (mussels, calamari, etc), roast potatoes (well it was Sunday) and juicy joints of meat.

I made the lamb the centrepiece of my plate but couldn’t resist adding a little bit of the bacon and its special sauce (lots of sauces). The lamb was juicy and tender and indeed the whole plateful was spot on, all helped on the way by a glass of Pena Roble (Ribero del Duero, Spain). If you didn’t get enough food first time, don’t worry, you are welcome to visit that long table again!
But I was happy enough with my amount and relaxed for a while before the dessert trolley was rolled out. Now I was on full alert again! Quite a few choices but settled for some of the Lemon Roulade and the Apple and Blackberry Tart. Quite a contrast here with the sophisticated mix of the roulade and the rustic crusty tart. Both brilliant!

Time then for a coffee or two before heading out into the Autumn sunshine, weak but welcome!

Sunday lunch at Ballymaloe costs €38.00 per person. 

No comments: