Showing posts with label Fenn's Quay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fenn's Quay. Show all posts

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fenn’s Quay's Special


Fenn’s Quay's Special
Cod
From breakfast ’til late at night Fenn’s Quay will feed you, and feed you well. Lots of menus here, including a set lunch and an Early Bird. That Early Bird is, unusually, available on Saturdays up to 6.30.

It is good value and has quite a few dishes from the A La Carte. As it happened, it was the A La Carte that we concentrated on last weekend. We noticed some dishes that are almost fixtures here, such as the O’Mahony's Feather-blade and the same O'Mahony’s Collar of Bacon.
Beetroot cured salmon
But there is no shortage of variety in Fenn’s Quay, once you factor in a packed specials board. And, conveniently, they also include a written list of the specials as well as the traditional blackboard.

We tend to make good use of the specials and we did so here as well, though neither of the starters featured on the board.

CL choose Cork Dry Gin and Beetroot cured salmon with buttermilk dillisk and cucumber pickle (€10.00), a very well judged combination, very tasty indeed. 

Braised lentils and beef tongue with pickled quail egg
I was delighted with my Braised lentils and beef tongue with pickled quail egg (€10.00). The broth or jus - I used some of their well-made bread to mop it up - was full of the flavours from the tongue and the lentils and the quail was the first of my Easter eggs. Happy out!

We had been tempted by one of special starters, a Fish Platter with O’Connell’s smoked salmon, smoked mackerel, fish croquette and beer battered cod.
Dessert

We would though have O’Connell's cod on the double as we agreed on the mains, the Fish of the Day special (19.00). Details are: Cod, spinach, cod skin and cod purée, served with roasted cauliflower florets and peas. All added up to an exquisite dish, the fish as fresh as could be and cooked perfectly and that cauliflower was excellent. 

The dessert special was another winner: Bewley's Pannacotta with dark chocolate and brandy mousse (€6.50); had an idea this was going to be delicious (and it was!) and so we left the popular Mimi’s Cork Dry Gin and Tonic Dessert behind!

They have a short but well judged list of wines here, some available by the glass and most, if not all, by the carafe and bottle. And also they had a couple of specials on the board. Unusually, they also have a list of craft beers, Blacks and Mountain Man among them, but I went for a regular favourite the Stonewell Medium Cry Cider (€6.50). Food and presentation was top notch, service too and so it was a happy if overdue return to No. 5 Fenn’s Quay. Very Highly Recommended.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Catch Your Fish at Fenn’s Quay

Catch Your Fish at Fenn’s Quay
Hake (left), salmon, croquettes. Mackerel is hidden behind the salad.
If in Cork, go catch your fish at Fenn’s Quay.


Once upon a time, Fenn’s Quay was actually that, a quay. As was nearby Cornmarket Street, as was Patrick Street (check the bend of the river!). Indeed, once upon a time, maybe in the 1970s, there was a proposal by a local businessman to concrete over the south channel of the River Lee and make a road of it. Glad to say that outrageous proposal - it got a lot of newspaper space - never off the ground.


Cork city centre still remains an island. And fish is everywhere, white, slippery, in the markets and stunningly fresh and tasty in many of the local restaurants. Kate Lawlor’s Fenn’s Quay restaurant is where we found some excellent dishes during a midweek lunch.

The fish platter, a regular feature, was an enticing option (€15.00). It was a perfect assemblage, a well judged mix of textures, flavours and colours, quality and quantity giving an elegant sufficiency on the black slate. In plain words: Fish croquettes, cured salmon, beer-battered hake, and smoked mackerel paté. Add in a perfect salad and you have a happy customer, singing a shanty on the way out the door.
Fenn's Quay hadn't been too busy when I arrived - on the early side - but when I looked up after finishing that mega-platter - I noticed it was getting close to full. It is a popular spot, just off Patrick Street and conveniently close to the Courthouse area. No doubt briefs are studied (and discussed) here, after the menu is perused of course!


CL too had made an excellent catch: Baked Hake with roast cauliflower, leek, carrot and mash (choice of salad also), all for 16 euro. Hake has become an established favourite in local restaurants - just a decade ago it was seriously under-utilised here but a successful Bord Bia campaign, improved the siutuation. The piece in Fenn’s Quay was white, moist, impeccably cooked and deliciously delicate. Vegetables could have been a touch softer.

Now, before I go any further, I'd better make clear that Fenn’s Quay is not a fish restaurant. One of the highlights on the Specials Board was a Featherblade of Beef dish, another speciality here. Lots of choice, both at lunch and in the evening.
Soup
We had started with their French Onion Soup with Gubbeen Crouton (€4.50), a magical little bowl of the stuff. The soup and the Gubbeen were a match made in heaven but there was also a little dark magic added back in the kitchen, much more back-bone to this than you get in your regular French Onion soup. Highly recommended, especially on a winter’s day.


Indeed, day or night, winter or summer, fish or otherwise, Fenn’s Quay is very highly recommended indeed. But do watch out for those fish specials!


By the way, they will be open on the 13th and 20th of December (both Sundays), serving both brunch and early dinner.


No 5 Fenn’s Quay
Sheares Street, Cork
Opening hours: 8.00am to 10.00pm, MOn-Sat
Tel: +353 21 427 9527

Friday, January 2, 2015

Ten Top Dinners. And Lunches. 2014 Highlights

2014 Highlights


Excellent for Dinner
Oysters at Au Mille Saveurs


Le Flora (onboard Pont Aven)*
Ravioli. Le Flora
Sage*  
Zuni (Kilkenny)*
Sage. The 12 Mile Plate

Amicus
An Canteen (Dingle)
Blair’s Inn
Brook Inn
Cafe Gusto
Cafe Serendipity
Church Lane (Macroom)
Club Brasserie
Cornstore
Electric F
ely Wine Bar (Dublin)
Fleming’s
Greene’s
Huguenot
Jacque’s
La Dolce Vita
Market Lane
Mitchell’s (Clifden) F
O’Connor’s (Bantry) F
Oysters F
Pier 26
Rising Tide F
Star Anise
The Square Table
Tuscany Bistro (Ballina, Tipperary)
West End (Killarney)


Excellent for Lunch
Barnabrow




Bakestone Cafe
Ballymaloe Cafe
Bramley Lodge
Bula Bus U
Castle Cafe
Greenbarn (Killeagh)
Griffin’s Spinning Wheel
Isaac’s
Iyer’s
Pie Cafe (Dingle)
Sage (Youghal)
The Workshop
Toons Bridge Dairy


Excellent Hotel Dining Rooms
Cork International Hotel
River Lee Hotel


Newcomers to Watch
Aroi
CoqBull
Heather (Gap of Dunloe)
Huguenot
Pho Bar
Square Table


* Exceptional meal on visit
F  Great for fish
U  Most unusual lunch venue (in a parked bus)


All above visited last 14 months. Lots of other good places out there. If I didn’t get to your place last year, maybe we’ll meet in 2015! Hard to keep track - might need a reminder!








Monday, September 29, 2014

Treasures of Fenn’s Quay

Treasures of Fenn’s Quay
Kate's Magic in the Kitchen
Monkfish

In a small kitchen, on the oldest terrace in Cork city, with much perspiration and no little inspiration, Head Chef Kate Lawlor works the magic for her many customers at No. 5 Fenn’s Quay. Both Kate and the building in which she operates are Cork treasures.

And what it is this exotic material that she turns to culinary gold? Nothing exotic at all, in fact. The produce comes from the local farms and seas, much of it via the familiar stalls of the nearby English and Coal Quay Markets. The magic has been acquired through years of hard work, watching and learning and doing, her long hours in the heat and steam often repetitive but sometimes brilliantly illuminated by a flash of inspiration.

There was quite a buzz there when we called in last week, happy customers by the sounds of it. The menu, quickly delivered to the table, and the Specials Blackboard on the wall, told us why, and soon we were reading our way through the offerings, the only problem being that if we choose one gem, another was to be remain untouched!


The 18th century terrace at Fenn's Quay pictured 1986.
The bookshop (far right)
is where the restaurant now stands.

There is a Fish Platter (to share) on the specials but we go for two of the regular starters. Eoin O'Mahony is one of our favourite butchers and is also a favourite at Fenn’s Quay and the  O’Mahony’s Pressed Ham Terrine, Pickled Quail Egg with Celery Salad & Lemon Aioli is a delight, every bit polished off.

The other starter is even better, perhaps the result of one of those magic moments. I absolutely enjoyed every morsel of the Chicken Liver Brûlée with Crozier Blue Cheese Ice Cream & Red Onion Compote. What a combination! It had beautiful textures and flavours, even the toasted bread was conveniently curled to hold the paté. All it lacked was a small spoon to take up the final drops of the Ice Cream.

Despite tempting chicken (O’Sullivan’s), O’Mahony’s feather blade with Ballyhoura mushrooms, and more, we both picked fish specials (from O’Connell’s) for mains.  CL loves her hake but, this being Fenn’s Quay, the dish was somewhat different: Roast Hake and Gubbeen Chorizo, chickpeas and seasonal vegetables in a mild spicy broth (15.95).

The Hake

This was a gorgeous dish and the spice, mild as stated, went well with the hake. And matched too with the wine we picked, the tingly multi-grape Claude Val blanc 2013 (Languedoc). Indeed, the wine was also suitable with my mains: Pan-fried Monkfish and potato rosti, braised leeks, celeriac and king oyster mushrooms in a delightful lemon butter sauce. I could have eaten any part of this on its own but put it all together as Kate did and it is top notch, all the ingredients (including that sauce) so well measured, so well matched.

And could she surprise us with dessert? Could she what? We went for the Mimi’s Cork Dry Gin and Tonic Dessert and the Vanilla Carrageen Moss with Seasonal Fruit. Where else would you get them? Beautiful. Terrific finalé to a very enjoyable meal.

Have to say before I finish that the service was excellent here. Our server was busy but still had time for a brief chat or two and a laugh or three. And she spotted that we were out of water before we had to ask for it. On the ball. Just like her hard-working chef-patron.

Desserts, Carrigeen Moss (left), Gin & Tonic.






Monday, February 3, 2014

Fenn’s Quay Celtic Cook-off Celebration Dinner


Fenn’s Quay Celtic Cook-off Celebration Dinner
Kate Lawlor, with Sally and John McKenna
West Cork’s well established Celtic Cook-off came to the city last Friday night to celebrate. A team of Scotch chefs visited last week and Fenn’s Quay’s Kate Lawlor, a contestant in last year’s Skibbereen showpiece, decided to join forces with the visitors and host a dinner In Celebration of the Celtic Cook-off. And weren't we lucky that she did. Great too that the West Cork Hotel and Braehead Foods came on board and joined in the fun on the night.

It was a magical meal. A terrific mix of company and a stream of fantastic food from the little kitchen at the back of the well loved restaurant on Cork’s oldest terrace. The weather outside wasn't the best but we soon warmed up with a wee dram of Scotch thanks to Neil Grant and the West Cork Hotel and a taste of Avril Allshire-Howes’ renowned black pudding bread. And then we were up and running, the chefs on song and front of house also playing a blinder.
Salsify & sauce!
Amuse Bouche
Crispy Salsify with West Cork wild Alexander dipping sauce and bacon dust (Fenn’s Quay). The high standard was set here. When the Salsify was finished, people used all kind of tools and methods to get the rest of Alexander sauce out of the bottom of the little jar!

Starter
Seared Highland venison, roasted beetroot, piccalilli dressing (Joe Queen and Jim Hood, Braehead Foods) This came on a shared plate; the venison, sliced thin and enhanced by the beetroot and dressing, was a delight.

Fish Course
West Coast scallop baked in shell with Iasc Irish Shellfish Butter (Alan, Loch Fyne) A big shell that, once opened, revealed a memorable combined flavour of fish and that delicious butter.

Beef Course
Fillet of Scotch beef, truffle parfait, cured ham, stovie fondant tattie, medley of seasonal vegetables, Madeira, shallot and Arran Mustard Essence (Joe Queen and Jim Hood, Braehead Foods) This, the biggest plate of the evening,was also a highlight. The mouth-watering hunk of top notch beef came with a whole ensemble of supporting flavours, even the humble tattie more than holding its own.

The Beef
Dessert
Carrageen moss with blood orange and Brecon Gin Sorbet and poached rhubarb (Fenn’s Quay). Sometimes a big meal is followed by a big dessert, a step too much for many. But not here. This was light delight, a superb Carrigeen the highlight.

Petit Fours
Mella’s Fudge (award-winning West Cork fudge). I have long been a fan of Mella’s West Cork fudge and I reckon she made a few more friends last night. Maybe, in some cases a day or two later, as quite a few pieces of the fudge ended up in handbags along with the whiskey miniatures. All the better to relive the memory of a lovely night in Fenn’s Quay when we were all winners as Ireland and Scotland played out a friendly in the kitchen.





Friday, December 6, 2013

Fenn’s Quay. Keeping it simple. Simply Superb.

Fenn’s Quay. Keeping it simple. Simply Superb.
Our philosophy is simple, we use only the best produce from the best local suppliers and treat them with care and attention to detail.” That’s the motto used by Kate Lawlor, the Head Chef at Fenn’s Quay. And, after a very enjoyable mid week meal at the city centre restaurant, I can verify that the place lives up to the motto and indeed extends its care and attention to its customers as well.



The overall menu has been trimmed back in recent times. The quantity of dishes available may be down but the quality is as high as ever, maybe even more so. In any event the regular menu is augmented by a tempting selection of specials: a  Mezze Platter, a Fish Platter, Beef Stroganoff with Ballyhoura Mushrooms and Pan-Fried Monkfish with Spinach all featured on the night. And, I’m told that O’Mahony’s Collar of Bacon with Savoy Cabbage, Parsnip Puree and Spiced Walnuts is one of the most popular regular dishes.

As it turned out, we never got past the Early Bird Menu, Three Courses for €23.00. This is terrific value and is available Monday to Saturday 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm. You may also have a glass of wine or beer instead of the starter or dessert.

Amazing colour on my starter: Beetroot & Cork Dry Gin Cured Salmon with Goatsbridge Trout Caviar & Mixed Leaves. Fantastic flavours and textures also. CL also got off to a terrific start with Crozier Blue Cheese Mousse, Roast Butternut Squash & Red Onion with Melba Toast. I reckon Kate has raised the bar here and thrown down a challenge to other local restaurants (and chefs!).
And that challenge, all very friendly, of course, was evident in my mains: O’Mahony’s Feather Blade of Beef with Roast Root Vegetables & Dungarvan Stout Gravy. What a gem of a dish. A few simple ingredients on an uncluttered plate but put together in a simply scrumptious way, a delightful practical illustration of the philosophy of the Fenn’s Quay motto.

And that simplicity of produce (not to mention its provenance and freshness) and presentation was also very much in evidence in CL’s main plate: Grilled plaice, with braised leeks, olive oil crushed potatoes and onion puree.
Simply written. What bit don't you understand? What bit would you not enjoy? It was, of course, aided by the Fenn’s Quay kitchen alchemy, the final result delightfully adding up to more than the sum of its parts. And, this special, even if it were not part of the Early Bird, is really good value at €15.00.

Still had room for dessert and here we went with the spirit of the season and tucked into the Fenn’s Quay Mince Pies with Cream (gorgeous buttery pastry), just one each  mind you as we shared. Drinks (a white Rioja for her, a refreshing Mountain Man Green Bullet ale for me) bought the total bill to €50.00.
Fenn’s Quay is highly recommended for breakfast, lunch and dinner and do watch out for their Christmas meals as well. You won't be disappointed.





Friday, August 2, 2013

Something Special at Fenn’s Quay

Something Special at Fenn’s Quay

Walked in out of the mid-week rain to a warm welcome in Fenn’s Quay. We were quickly seated and no delay either with the menus. But it was the Specials Board that caught the eye as we decided on what to eat for lunch at the long established city restaurant.

I spotted the O’Mahony’s Lamb and Rosscarbery Black Pudding Burger with toasted seaweed and brioche bun and rustic potatoes (14.95). My server was very enthusiastic about this one. And it was terrific, great meat as usual from O'Mahony’s in the English Market and, though I might have preferred a few more hints of the black pudding, it was a terrific dish. Also, I liked the use of the brioche here.
CL also picked from the Specials Board, going for the Baked Hake, with courgette, Ballyhoura Mushrooms with pea cream and rustic potatoes (14.95). This was a thoughtful blend, really well cooked and great to see another local product given a chance to shine.

I was delighted with my vibrant starter, the smaller size of the Fenn’s Salad with toasted seeds, chickpeas, and beetroot with honey mustard and dressing. It looked well and tasted just as well, almost juicy with lots of flavours. The soup of the day was Celeriac, a favourite of CL’s, and this was top notch also.
Service was excellent and, all in all, our lunchtime visit to Fenn’s Quay was a bright interlude in a rather miserable July day.

Fenn’s Quay
Hours: Mon - Sat: 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Phone: (021) 427 9527




Monday, June 24, 2013

Kate Lawlor's "Cork on a Fork recipe book"

Popular Cork Chef launches limited edition
 ‘Cork on a Fork’ recipe book.


Popular chef Kate Lawlor, of No. 5 Fenn’s Quay Restaurant, Sheares Street Cork, has cooked up a quirky new Cork-themed recipe book in celebration of the year of The Gathering. Entitled ‘Cork on a Fork- with a few spoonfuls from across the border’ it pays a foodie tribute to the ‘Real Capital’ with 14 interesting recipes with ingredients drawn from the best of Cork’s rich hinterland.

Kate told us:  ‘There’s something to tempt everyone, and they’ll find it surprisingly simple to recreate these delicious, locally-inspired dishes, examples of  which include ‘Farmers Market Cauliflower & Potato Spring Rolls’, ‘Ballea Carrigaline Lamb & Rosscarbery Black Pudding Burgers’ and ‘Kate’s Beetroot and Orange Blossom Fudge’.  Each recipe is described in an easy to follow step-by-step manner, accompanied by stunning food images that will have even the most stern foodies salivating!’ 

Kate Lawlor has always been inspired by fresh, local produce, and ‘Cork on a Fork’ is the result of a life-long love affair with Cork-inspired cuisine. She is known both nationally and locally for her passion and flair for food and is acclaimed by several food critics.  

Her award-winning food blog (www.fqchefess.blogspot.ie) is legendary, and she is a popular driver of foodie ‘tweet-ups’ and charity foodie events within the Cork area and elsewhere.  She’s very proud of No. 5 Fenn’s Quay’s Michelin recommended status, is on the council for the prestigious Eurotoques organisation as well as a member of the Irish Restaurants Association.

Kate says: “With ‘Cork on a Fork’, all of us at No. 5 Fenn’s Quay wanted to create a sassy take on a number of traditional homespun recipes. We wanted to showcase the fantastic quality of produce that Cork is renowned for and share our food philosophy which is simple: we only use the best produce from the best local suppliers and treat them with care and attention to detail.”

The team at No. 5 Fenn’s Quay are in a real sunny spot at present as they were nominated for ‘Best Digital Marketing’ at the Irish Restaurant Awards and are rolling out their summer menu full of light bites and fresh seasonal dishes like Ballyhoura mushrooms on toast with wild garlic & seaweed butter, Castletownbere scallops with Rosscarbery white pudding , carrot gel & bacon dust and The Fenns ice pop.
  
For more information or to make a booking call 021-427 9527, email fennsquay@gmail.com or visit www.fennsquay.net