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Clockwise from top left: Duck, Terrine, Turbot, Apple trio.
Six plates presented. Six sent back without a scrap on them. A vote of confidence or what? It is always the same high standard at Star Anise, one of the very best restaurants in Cork. Don't know how Virginie and her team come up with winners all the time. Long may the magic last.
The temptations, for Bridge Street passers-by, start with the lovingly decorated window and the display on the sill. The inside too is full of charm, including art works for sale. And, a warm welcome, of course.
Soon you are at your table, with menus, water and bread and any aperitif you fancy. The A La Carte has about seven starters to consider. On the night, CL choose the Terrine of Chicken and Jack McCarthy’s Black Pudding with Piccalilli and Crostini, a perfect combination of flavours and textures and it didn't look too bad either. Cool on a cold night, but a warmly received winner.
My pick was the nicely presented Irish Venison Sausage and, with the classic roasted beetroots and mustard jus, it was a flavoursome delight, intense and delicious. Virginie herself was keeping the tables going on quite a busy Tuesday night but she still had time for a chat now and then and told us the sausages came from O’Flynn’s in Marlboro Street and you know they make them good there!
Now for the main event. I went for the first on a list of seven: Barbary Duck Breast with carrot and cardamom puree, duck risotto croquettes with roast potato and jus. Cooked to perfection, this was another five star dish and those tasty croquettes were a bonus.
Our other mains was the evening’s fish special: Pan Fried Turbot with a saffron cream sauce, crisped potatoes, glazed carrots, parsnips, broccoli and roast potato. Bring out the superlatives again, sublime, divine…. And those potatoes caught the eye and better still kept the taste buds very happy as well. Terrific dish.
Time for dessert now and the eye catcher here was the Trio of Apples (Tarte Tatin, Apple posset and Apple Sorbet). A delight on the palate also. Stylish as well and a great alternative to the ubiquitous apple tart. A lovely sorbet also featured on my special: the Strawberry cheesecake served with a mix of juicy black and red currants. Happy out!