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Not the biggest of menus. Three specials featured on the board and you could also choose from various quiches and other tarts. I was there at 12.30pm and picked the Meatballs Focaccia. Minutes later, it was crossed off the board.
No wonder it is popular. The full description is Toasted Focaccia bread with pork and herb meatballs, roast onion and cheese, with a chorizo and pepper tomato sauce served with mixed leaves, all for €9.95.
Loved every little bit of it. The meatballs were excellent and the sauce was a flavoursome treat and the fresh salad was much more than a few leaves tossed together. The bread was a pleasant surprise. I'm often wary where I see bread given main billing as some places use it as a filling. But not here. It was well made and, toasted, it was a tasty integral part of the dish. Recommended. Recommend you get there early also!
Ali Honour is the chef here and her declared passion is “creating tempting dishes half healthy and half naughty”. So now it was time to be bold. Gave into the temptation of her Cherry Tiffin slice (2.50) and also ordered a flat white (2.80). Both were splendid even if the cake was almost melting on the table. It was just about ten degrees outside but it must have close to thirty inside the glass, the unhindered sun making it uncomfortable. Not a bad complaint for this time of year!
I had made a late afternoon visit here a few weeks back but was disappointed to be told that the kitchens close at 3.00pm. But is was a good time to try some of those half naughty bits! Coffee, by the way, comes via the excellent, and local, Badger and Dodo.
The cafe is part of a big shop area where Meadows and Byrne (home), Farrell and Browne (knitwear), and Ballyseedy themselves (home, artisan food store and garden centre) do business.
Ballyseedy Home & Garden Centre, Fota Retail Park, Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork
It has been a bright start to 2012 on the coffee front with some brilliant stuff passing through the Cafetiere, including top cups from Sumatra, Guatemala and Ecuador.
The long established Dublin company Robert Roberts are my regular supplier, via their Coffee Connoisseur Club, and I started the year with their Sumatra Wahana. The Wahana Estate sits between 1300 and 1500 metres above sea level, higher than Carrantuohill, and Roberts say it is ideal for this type of coffee.
You get a decent amount of technical info from Roberts including the fact that this is known as a “parchment” coffee. Part of the process is carried out with the green seed with the parchment shell attached. In any event, it is an excellent drink, bold and fruity. Gareth Scully recommended it with milk. I tried it but preferred it black, as always!
Fermoy roasters Badger and Dodo have been making waves in the coffee world in recent months and you’ll find their products at some markets (including Douglas on Saturdays) and also in Curious Wines (Kinsale Road) and at Bradley’s in North Main Street,
I picked up a pack of their beans in Bradley’s and there was a tempting aroma in the kitchen as I ground down the Guatemala Finca La Perla. They source from quality single origin estates and the website is worth a visit, not just for the coffees but also for the equipment.
Must say, I was really impressed with the La Perla, a very clean cup with a delicate but satisfying mouthfeel. A tempting introduction to the range that I will explore further.
The high standard continued with the latest delivery from Robert Roberts: Ecuadorian Las Tolas, a light and sweet variety. Gareth Scully says that Ecuadorian coffees are not the most complex in the world “but they have that Central American classic cup taste profile – medium bodied with a hint of sweetness and a light floral background note”.
Must say I don’t pick of half the hints of this and notes of that that the coffee blenders talk about but I’ll also say that I am thoroughly enjoying this one. And looking forward to the next one.
Perhaps Badger and Dodo have a point that the equipment you use may help you appreciate more the finer points.