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No shortage of restaurants in Kinsale but Bastion, the latest, seems to have found a niche of its own. You’ll find it on the corner of Market Street and Main Street in the town centre and inside you’ll find great local produce, cooked and presented with some style. Bastion may not be out of the way but it is certainly out of the usual.
You walk into the first room, with tall tables and seats, and here you can sip some of their fine wines and nibble on tasty Bar Bites including Marinated Olives and Serrano Ham. The interior room, normal level tables, is where the serious eating takes places and here you may choose from selections of Small Plates and Large Plates.
We were there at the weekend, celebrating a significant birthday (they are all significant at this stage!) and didn't get any further than the Small Plates. The selection was right up our alley and we shared no less than six of the plates before moving on to dessert.
Our choices - they were brought to the table in pairs - were Wild Mushroom Orzo (7.50), Charred Quail (9.00), Ham Hock Croquettes (7.50), Char-grilled Scallops (12.00), Tuna and Apple (12.00), and Smoked Salmon and Beetroot “Cannelloni” (7.00). All were excellent, well cooked, well presented and made for a very exciting meal indeed.
Wild Mushroom Orzo
My favourite was the Scallops, with cauliflower purée, chorizo, panagratta and parsley. CL was thrilled with the Tuna & Apple, charred, tartare, saffron pickled fennel, apple variations and blueberries. And another that really excited the taste buds - we both agreed - was the Wild Mushroom Orzo: Forest Mushrooms, caramelised onions, chive butter sauce and truffle.
The same high standard prevailed when the desserts arrived. My delightful bowl contained their Irish Coffee Crème brûlée (6.75), a clever (the brûlée was hidden half-way down) and lovely combination of whiskey jelly and anglaise foam. The other dessert, Toasted Apple (6.50), may not sound great but it too was a delightful mix of textures and sweet flavours with Burned caramel mousse, pain d'epices, apple and ginger custard.
A couple of cups of the excellent Badger & Dodo Coffee finished off the evening. Earlier we had been sipping two of their white wines, the Butterfly Ridge Riesling Gewurztraminer (5.50) from Oz and the Senorio de Ayud Chardonnay (6.50) from Spain. Very Highly Recommended.