Showing posts with label Cork. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cork. Show all posts

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Joup. Sisters Together.

Joup.
Sisters Together
Joup. John and Craig (right)
There is a little cafe near the city end of the Ballinlough Road called Joup. Its modest entrance hides a hive of activity, an Irish family business “big on passion when it comes to handmade food, our environment, and well being”. It is run by two entrepreneurial sisters: Richael is a full time mum with 3 kids and Odharnait has her own massage therapy business as well as the cafe. 

Craig Guiney is one of the enthusiastic chefs here and we met him for a coffee in the tiny restaurant. They also have a little outdoor area which, hopefully, will be getting plenty of use as the good weather comes.

Daily bread
 “Everything here is done fresh everyday. All the baking is done here - it is a warm place in the morning! We do our own sourdough, flatbread and so on. We are doing our own kimchi also.”


Richael: “The Joup menu is unique as it embraces our Irish food heritage. We believe you need to go no further than to our shore line to find the most nourishing super food - seaweed. We use seaweed throughout our salads and soups to provide natural nourishment and great taste.” 
Sweet Stuff, above and below
 Craig too loves the seaweed contribution. They even use it to make their Irish Hummus. It is gently pickled and mixed with carrot, a great base for vegetable sandwiches (as we would find out later).


Lifestyle dictates people’s food options nowadays and “we look after foodies and vegetarians”, he told me. “We do a great gluten free Lasagne where the there is no pasta, instead we substitute sweet potato”.


Joup has gone from an award winning university developed business to farmers’ markets to the English market to their own premises and now an online shop. In 10 years they have gone through tough economical times and come through the other side, which is testament to their hard work, loyal customers and good wholesome food.

And the farmers markets, especially Mahon and Midleton, still play a big role here as the chefs are regular visitors, buying good local produce for Joup. “Everything is local. If we can't get it locally, we don't use it, no messing.” And, as a result, everything is seasonal too.


 Richael again: “Our handmade soups and stews are naturally gluten free. we bake our own  in-house sourdough focaccia. And we are embracing local Irish food through our Irish style hummus, chowders, stews and colcannon”.


The website, joup.ie, is not only an online shop where you can purchase catering, a takeaway meal or lunch box delivery but also a resource, where Richael blogs about: all things delicious, healthy and handmade; her own recipes; life as a working mum; and how to keep kids eating healthy.


Rainbow

The proof of the pudding is in the eating of course and we left with two really big sandwiches from that day’s list. One was the Ploughman’s Sandwich:  Irish Mature Cheddar Cheese, House Relish and Piccalilli, all packed in Ciabatta. This was a superb combination, great bread, great contents including that lively relish and piccalilli.

The other was their Rainbow Salad Flatbread with Irish Style Hummus, Beetroot creme fraiche and piccalilli. That Flatbread was not hard, not soft either, just a lovely easy crunch and that hummus is ideal for sandwiches. Both sandwiches were easy to eat and prove that healthy sandwiches don’t have to be dull. And I'm quite certain that would have been the case with any of the others on the board that morning.
Merry Ploughman
So, if you're in the neighbourhood pop by and enjoy their sandwiches, homemade meals, salads, bakery and confectionary selection. Or give them a call for catering information and they can deliver. If that office meeting overruns, if your group can't quit a rehearsal, if you have a communion or confirmation group at home, or any occasion where good food is needed, then Joup, local and very good, is the place to contact.

Joup
Ballinlough Road
Cork
(021) 432 2626
Facebook: @joupcafe
Twitter: @joupcafe

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Deadly Dinner Deal at Electric Fish Bar


Deadly Dinner Deal at Electric Fish Bar
 Always partial to a good value Early Bird, especially if it’s in a favourite place such as the Electric Fish Bar on the South Mall. Spotted this one the other day and we were in that very evening for Two Fish Specials and Two Sides, thirty euro the lot, and available from 5.00pm to 6.30pm.

We had a choice of four specials to pick from, including Pan fried Cod fillet with smoked salmon and herb crust, saffron beurre blanc (normal price 13.00) and Whole White Sole with almond butter and parsley (1600). As it happened, the sole wasn't available and the sub was Sea Bass.

We selected and shared the other two. One was the Satay Prawns, spicy peanut sauce, chargrilled pak choi, mango and pepper salad (13.00). And the other was Salmon, Mussel and Hake Bouillabaisse, herb croutons, rouille and parmesan (15.00).

 The Prawns were fine, the pak choi a delicious crunchy addition. But the Bouillabaisse was the star of the show, full of flavour and texture. Salmon wasn't available but they added extra white fish and it went down a treat. 

Five sides to choose from, including sautéed green beans, crushed baby potatoes, and baked sweet potato. All tempting but we were very happy with our picks, the Electric Fries with aioli and especially with the Winter Greens with butternut squash and pomegranate.

Total for the two specials and two sides, just 30 euro. Their wine list is described as simple but its is quite extensive. The whites for example cover everything from a Bosco Pinot Grigio (25.00) to the more sophisticated Pouilly Fumé Vincent Vatan (40.00). A few are available by the glass and I enjoyed my Jean de Roche Sauvignon blanc at 7.30 a glass. This also comes by the carafe (18.30) and the bottle (28.00).
All in all, a very enjoyable early evening meal at a good price with friendly service and, as you are upstairs, an interesting view over the south channel of the River Lee, Trinity Church to the left, St Fin Barre’s to the right (and we won’t mention the government block in the middle). 

41 South Mall,
Cork City,
Ireland

Tel: 0214222990

Email: Book@ElectricCork.com

GPS Co-ordinates: 51.896204, -8.473414

Monday, February 13, 2017

Cork Indie Coffee Trail. A Guide by Dermot O’Sullivan

Cork Indie Coffee Trail
A Guide by Dermot O’Sullivan
So (seems to be the word to start with these days), you’re in Cork, looking for a cup of real coffee. You know there are some terrific indie cafés around the city. But do you know where they are? Where is ORSO? Where is Nectar Coffee?

Just mentioned this pair as they feature in the first page of the Indie Coffee Trail, a new guide (with directions) by local chef Dermot O’Sullivan, perhaps best known to many of you as @GasMarkSeven on Twitter. ORSO, by the way, is in Pembroke Street, close to the GPO while Nectar sits on the junction of Maylor Street and Parnell Place.

Dermot’s selection showcases “the best of what Cork city’s coffee scene has to offer”.  The cafés have added “another element to the cultural dimension of the city, forgotten buildings have been brought back to life… All the while, locals and visitors alike are becoming more knowledgeable and discerning with their coffee of choice”.

Other coffee haunts listed by Dermot included Dukes Coffeehouse, Filter Espresso & Brew Bar and its new little sister Portafilter, Union Grind, The Bookshelf, Idaho, Warren Allen, Alchemy, Cork Coffee Roasters (at two venues), Ali’s Kitchen, Rocket Man and Rocket Man East, Farmgate, Three Fools and Café Gusto (also two locations)

And there is a map of the city centre indicating where each can be found. A brief description of each café and the type of coffee available and also opening hours is included in the handy pocket sized booklet. And you are also told whether Wifi is available!

What are you waiting for? Hit the streets and discover Cork City’s coffee with Dermot’s help. You can get his guide in all tourist spots like tourist offices, hotels, most cafes listed, art galleries including UCC. Student centres too.

For further info, contact Dermot at CorkCoffeeTrail@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @gas_mark_seven. Check his blog www.gasmarkseven.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Salt Wine & Food on Victoria Road. A Winning Docket!

Salt Wine & Food on Victoria Road

A Winning Docket!

On the “vee" between Monahan Road and Victoria Road, there is an undistinguished low level building, close to a tool hire operation. It once housed a bookie’s office where you could lose your money on a nag without getting a run for it. At least nowadays, you’ll get value for your hard-earned cash as the modest building (maybe it looks better by day!) is now home to Salt, a wine bar and café with quite a distinguished menu of food and drink. I certainly felt like a winner as I left after a recent visit.
Tacos
It was a cold night and we were glad of the warm welcome inside. In no time at all we were seated and going through the evening menu of tapas (they also do breakfast and lunch, and brunch at weekends). The evening's specials were pointed out to us and they all looked tempting.

And speaking of temptation, the wine list is full of it, quite a selection of new and old world bottles and bubbles too. Some excellent gins too, Bertha’s Revenge and Dingle among them, and craft beers (both local, Eight Degrees, and imported, Brewdog). We settled on a glass each of the refreshing Real Compania Verdejo Tiera De Castilla (Spain) and of the aromatic Butterfly Ridge Riesling Gewurtz (South Australia), both very enjoyable indeed.

Watch out too for their occasional music nights (Flamenco during the Jazz Fest) and Wine Tasting Events (they included Italian and New Zealand nights last autumn) and they also held a Dine in the Dark Night. So lots happening here on the Victoria Road.


Coco Catalan
We ordered three different tapas to share. Now, as in most Irish cafes and restaurants, these are the bigger tapas (known as Racions in Spain), not the small ones that you devour with a bite or two. The three dishes, all excellent, and the two glasses of wine came to a few cent over forty euro.

We found each enjoyable but my top one was the Coco Catalan: Roast butternut squash and onion, confit garlic, nuts (can vary), raisins and pecorino on a lovely flat bread. This looked great and tasted every bit as good, quite a substantial dish too, bigger than your average starter.

CL was delighted with the Crispy Fish Tacos, cod served with fresh tacos, kimchi slaw, mango salsa, guacamole. She loved the colour, the texture, the flavours. Just goes to show, we don't always agree! Though I gave the nod to the Coco Catalan, I too was very happy with my half (well, almost half) of the Tacos!

We always enjoy Spanish tarts so the Tortilla del Sol was on our order. This Spanish omelette cooked with roast potatoes, confit onions, Espelette pimentos and garlic served with avocado, was served in four large pieces, ideal for sharing as indeed were all three tapas that we had. Ideally, a group of three or four is required here and then you can taste quite a few, including specials such as the three that were on offer the other night (see pic).

Service was top notch, friendly, chatty, helpful.

Mini Burgers. Pic by Salt
Salt
Victoria Road, Cork
Phone: (021) 239 0430
website: www.saltcork.ie 
Facebook: @saltcork
Twitter @saltcork

Opening Times (seasonal)
Mon-Tue 9.00-5.00
Wed-Fri 9.00-11.00
Sat 10.00-11.00
Sun 10.00-5.00

Directions here 


Monday, January 2, 2017

Best Hotel Dining Rooms 2016

2106: Best Hotel Dining Rooms 2016
Duck at Bellini's

Bellini's, Marlborough Hotel, Cork City
Scallops at Cahernane

Herbert Room, Cahernane House Hotel, Killarney
Baked Alaska (for table!) at Samphire

Samphire, Garryvoe Hotel, East Cork
Steak in The Pembroke

The Pembroke, Imperial Hotel, Cork City

2016 Reviews - see also
Cafes by the side of the road.
Best Places to Stay
Meals with a difference

Best Steaks & 3 Best non-Cork Restaurants 2016

2016: Best Places to Stay

Best Places to Stay 2016

Stayed in quite a few places this year. From Kerry to Meath, from Donegal to Dublin, from Limerick to Waterford,  from West Cork to Wexford. These were the best. Suggestions for 2017 welcome! 

 Screebe House, Connemara

Killiane Castle, Co. Wexford
Anyone for croquet at Killiane?

Cahernane House Hotel, Killarney.
Cahernane
Cork Recommendations
East Cork
Garryvoe Hotel, East Cork
Samphire Restaurant, Garryvoe Hotel
West Cork
 Celtic Ross Hotel, West Cork
Warren Beach, Rosscarbery


2016 Reviews - see also
Cafes by the side of the road.
Best Hotel Dining Rooms
Meals with a difference

Best Steaks & 3 Best non-Cork Restaurants 2016

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Game Time at the Square Table. Cronin Sisters in Top Form

Game Time at the Square Table
Cronin Sisters in Top Form
Visited Blarney’s Square Table during the week and delighted to see venison on the menu - it is that time of year! And it would be hard to get a better dish than that served up by Chef Martina Cronin. 

The full description was Roast Loin of Venison (braised venison, parsnip purée, chestnut, smoked bacon, Brussels sprouts). The meat was tender and delicious and the vegetables and jus were also brilliant. Not to mention the sides, especially that creamy puréed turnip. Cost €26.95.
Sisters, Chef Martina (left) and Tricia

It is a small restaurant but one with a big heart and they manage to pack so many good things into a short menu list. We were warmly greeted by Tricia, Martina's sister, and she soon had us seated and studying the menus. And she also took us through the specials which was where the venison popped up.

CL started with a special. The sisters support local producers and the salad special was based on leaves from Annabella’s Farm: the leaves came with roasted and pickled carrots,  artichoke, chervil root, butternut squash, pickled Ballyhoura mushrooms, Crozier Blue cheese and Velvet Cloud yogurt (8.95). Quite a combination and a delicious one.

Crispy egg, Ballyhoura mushroom, smoked bacon and Hollandaise sauce (€8.95) all featured in my excellent starter. 

On then to my venison while CL picked the fish dish: Pan-fried fresh Hake, Jerusalem artichoke and mussel velouté, Gubbeen Chorizo (22.50). The fish was perfect and the chorizo added an extra and very tasty dimension. Superb.

They have quite a good, if shortish, list of wines here, ranging from €22.95 for the house wines to over 40 in the whites and reds. Some tempting Albarinos and Rieslings along with an organic Tempranillo and a Croze Hermitage caught the eye. 

But, with another call to be made later on, we confined ourselves to a glass each of the house. I very much enjoyed my Domaine de Bosquet (France) blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc while CL was more than content with the Valle Andino Chardonnay from Chile. 

If you want to get an excellent idea of the top class food on offer here, why not try their Early Bird menu where you can get two courses for €24.95, three for €28.95.

* The Cronins support local and number Annabella Farm, Ballyhoura Mushrooms, Tom Durcan, Old Millbank, O'Connell's Fish, Ardsallagh Goats, The English Market, Gubbeen, Michael Twomey Butchers, East Ferry Free Range, Carrigcleena Poultry Farm, Hegarty's Cheddar, McCarthy's of Kanturk, Coolea Cheese, Macroom Mills, and more, among their suppliers.

The Square Table
5 The Square
Blarney
County Cork
Tel: (021) 438 2825
Twitter: @TheSquareTable5
Hours
Wed & Thurs: 6.00-9.00pm
Fri & Sat: 6.00-10.00pm
Sun: 12.30-4.30pm


Monday, December 12, 2016

ChilliShaker. New Indian Restaurant in Douglas

ChilliShaker
New Indian Restaurant in Douglas


I, and quite a few other guests, enjoyed a delicious meal as the new Indian restaurant, ChilliShaker, announced itself in Douglas last week. 

In a lovely room, hospitality was generously extended, no shortage of food or wine and no shortage of friendly faces either as ChilliShaker added to their restaurants in Swords (Dublin) and Letterkenny (Donegal).
Starters

Fine Indian Dining, they proclaim on the menu and that was exactly what we got. No sooner were we treated than a glass of bubbles was offered. And accepted! We sipped, sat back in comfort and took in the decor. 

A plate containing a selection of starters was next on the table and the chefs certainly showed their paces with different renditions of chicken, prawn and lamb.

By now, we were on to the wine and really enjoying the evening. Then we headed for the buffet where five bowls and nearly as many chefs awaited. The choices were Malabari Lamb, Three Pepper Chicken, Butter Chicken, Vegetable Hazari and Peas Pullao.

The Pullao was the rice, to go with everything else. And indeed, as far as I could see, everybody was choosing to take a little of everything. I followed suit and enjoyed the lot, especially the lamb and the Butter Chicken. But they were all excellent, even the Hazari which is a West Indian lentil and vegetable curry cooked in a tomato based sauce and finished with fresh coriander.
Jill and Aidan Foley

And as we finished the dish, seconds were offered. This time, I concentrated on that butter chicken, with rice of course. 

And what about all those chillies? No need to worry on that score, as the dishes on the menu are rated according to heat, going from nil chillis to three (for the hottest). Almost all the appetisers and many of the main courses are unmarked. 
Sandra Martin(left), Paul Woodage, Mary Rossiter

There are very few rated three. If you fancy the heat, then the Chicken Chettinad is one for you: a festive dish of the Chettiyar Clan in Tamil Nadu, it is a fiery dish made with black peppercorns, chillis, coconut ad fennel in a rich brown delicately spiced sauce!

That dish by the way costs €9.95, the same as many others. Quite a few too at €10.95. Some specials, such as Tandoori Jumbo Prawn and Jumbo Prawn Balti will cost you €14.50. Most of the appetisers are €3.95. The Hazari is one of over a dozen vegetable dishes. No shortage of sundries (sides) either, including rice, nan, popadom, even chips!
Renee and Albert Roser and Russel (R)

Watch out too for Early Bird offer, 5-7pm most evenings. And then there’s the Shaker Delight, a meal for two with mixer starters, mixed mains, rice and Nan Bread, and two beers, all for €28.99.

And if you haven't time to eat in the restaurant, they also provide a takeaway and delivery service. Delivery Times are: Mon-Thurs 6-10.30; Fri & Sat 6-11, Sun 6-10.

ChilliShaker
Douglas Village (opposite front of cinema, behind filling station)
Cork
Tel: 021 4366690
Facebook: @chillishaker
Web: http://www.chillishaker.com
Fergus and Sarah Callinan, Marie and Sean Clarke

Monday, November 28, 2016

Franciscan Well's Shane Long: Now, we can!

Franciscan Well's Shane Long: Now, we can!


Shane Long at the launch

No shortage of craic in the Franciscan Well pub on the North Mall last week when the local brewer officially launched their new can range in Cork. Three of their favourites, all tried and tested, are available in the new format: Friar Weisse, Chieftain Pale Ale and Ireland’s number one* craft beer Franciscan Well Rebel Red

The announcement marks the first time Franciscan Well, which is brewed in Cork, has canned any of its beers and also the first time that Friar Weisse or Chieftain IPA will be available for purchase in off-licenses.

Founder of Franciscan Well, Shane Long (right): "The decision to move to a canned format reflects the growing trend internationally, whereby more and more craft beers are sold in 330ml can format. This is something that has been prevalent in the U.S. and has proven extremely popular. We are confident this will be the case as we roll out craft in a can for beer-lovers here in Ireland, making our award-winning range of beers even more accessible and readily available.” The new cans also chill quickly and are recyclable.

All brewing and canning will take place at Franciscan Well’s new brewery in Cork City. The brewery opened last year, allowing for operational growth and further expansion for Ireland’s leading craft beer brand, while staying true to Franciscan Well’s proud history and identity as one of Ireland and Cork’s favourite craft beers. The nearby North Mall brew-pub and home of Franciscan Well will be used an innovation centre, while remaining a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

There was a pre-Christmas feel to the bar as we walked in to be welcomed with a choice of cans, of course. Must admit we both picked the Chieftain, a favourite here since it was launched. And later, I switched to draught and again couldn't resist that Chieftain! Next time, though I renewed acquaintance with the wheat beer, Friar Weisse, with is distinctive colour, aroma and flavour. The Friar (left) was one of my early Well favourites and, after the other night, it is going back on my short list.

It wasn't just beer on the night. The place was packed and there was music galore and no shortage of pizza either. Pompeii Pizza have a permanent place here and I saw why when I ordered one of their offerings, with  Chorizo and Mushroom toppings (€11.00). Enjoyed every little bit.

Check out the pizza, the music (including trad sessions), the tours and tastings on the website here. The new cans also chill quickly and are recyclable. And keep up to date on their Facebook place.




*AC Nielsen ROI On-Trade MAT to end August 2016