Showing posts with label Goatsbridge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Goatsbridge. Show all posts

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Kernel Kilkenny. Maria’s Up and Running

Kernel Kilkenny

Maria’s Up and Running
Salmon
So here you are in the kitchen with this lot in front of you: Salmon, sugar snaps, mint, new potatoes, Toonsbridge feta, butternut squash, lime dressing. What to do? Well, check with Maria Raftery, the owner-chef at Kernel, Kilkenny’s newest restaurant. She grilled the salmon and put all the other ingredients together in a magical manner to produce one of the best salmon dishes you're likely to come across.

It is one of the main dishes on the new menu at the restaurant which has taken up most of the front of the Kilkenny Inn on Vicar Street. And the dish, and others, amply illustrate that Maria has lost none of her innovative qualities that shone through over 17 years at Zuni, also in Kilkenny.
Goatsbridge trout
 Kernel Restaurant and Bar, to give it its full title, will be running hand in hand with the hotel and is providing the breakfast for the lucky patrons. Brunch and dinner is also available, even afternoon teas for both ladies and gents!


Back to our visit. While CL was finishing off the salmon and singing its praises, I was tucking into something a little less complicated: the Kernel Angus Beef Burger, smoked Gubbeen, burger sauce, pickle-slaw, house fries. Less complicated maybe but still a perfect combination of textures and flavours.
Ham Hock Scotch Egg
CL had started the meal with Goatsbridge Trout Ceviche, Nori Seaweed, Smoked Trout Mousse, Roe Dressing. Hard to beat that. You’ll notice that Kernel has started by supporting local producers and Goatsbridge Trout Farm is one of the best.

I didn't do too badly either with my Ham Hock Scotch Egg, Piccalilli. Lacked nothing in either quantity or quality, full of good flavour and a really satisfying opening to my visit to Kernel.
 The dessert list is short but still left us puzzled, a puzzle we solved by ordering the Assiette of Desserts, a sweet solution.


They’ve got a pretty good wine list, three suppliers contributing to a good balance overall. We made a bit of a compromise, an enjoyable one, on the Cantina Frentana, Montepulciano D’Abbruzo, fruity and smooth, and twenty five euro the bottle.
Dessert - for sharing!
Had noticed a few (quite a few actually) craft beers on the list including Franciscan Well, Costello’s, O’Hara’s, Free Bird and Hop Adventure (both from Carlow) and Falling Apple Cider (also Carlow). The taps on the bar heralded the three variations of Smithwick's (Red Ale, Pale Ale and the Blonde) but I'm sorry I missed out on the tap for O’Sullivan’s Malted Red Ale, a local beer (now revived) that was produced before Smithwick started in 1710. Next time!
See also

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Greene’s Lunch. Three Great Courses. Two Tell-tale Candles!

Greene’s Lunch.
Three Great Courses. Two Tell-tale Candles!

Looking for a lunch that will please both the stomach and the wallet? Stop under the waterfall and call to Greene’s in McCurtain Street. 

That’s what I did last Sunday for a birthday treat. Well, it had been arranged well in advance as we had quite a group, mainly family. 

The amazing set lunch menu comes in at €21.50 for two courses, €24.50 for three. And you are guaranteed a terrific meal, cooked and served up by top chef Bryan McCarthy and his colleagues in the kitchen and front of house. I know quite a few guests from last Sunday will be going back again.

There was a little cake at the end for yours truly but I can't guarantee you’ll get one of those!

I was in a fishy mood on Sunday so my starter was the Goatsbridge Trout and Crab, with cucumber, seaweed, squid ink, nasturtium and radish. The Curtins raise delicious trout on their long established Kilkenny farm and in Greene's kitchen the fish was in good hands and they produced a dish to delight. Other choices included Goat’s Cheese, Pork Belly, and the Chef’s Soup with seasonal Garnish.
Trout

Bryan’s trademark Braised Feather Blade Beef, enhanced with Mushroom, Carrot purée, black cabbage, pickled wild garlic stems, was a popular choice as was the Free Range English Market Chicken. 

I continued with the fish theme, and enjoyed every tasty bit of the Hake Fillet with sea vegetables, seaweed, smoked sausage and dashi cream. Also on the mains menu and enjoyed by a few at my table was the Ballyhoura Mushroom Risotto with Coolea cheese, potato crisp, pepper dulse and kale.
Hake. Note the crispy skin!

Time then for the dessert, and another great choice. I didn't get to sample the Chocolate Pecan Cremeux Tart nor the Red Wine Organic Poached Pear. But I did steal a bit of CL’s lovely Rose Cottage Fruit Farm Blueberry Tart. Meanwhile, my own Woodruff Set Cream Pudding, with elderberry and pistachio, was sliding down smoothly.

Lots of chat then as the relaxing afternoon came to an end. But soon I was called back to my place as that cake, complete with candles, a modest two (but they added up correctly!), appeared. Just about managed to blow them out.
Woodruff Set Cream Pudding


48 MacCurtain Street, Cork, Ireland
 021 455 2279
 Open Sunday to Wednesday, 12:15-14:15 & 17:30-21:00
 & Thursday to Saturday, 12:15-14:15 & 17:30-21:30

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Granary’s Waterford Brunch. And more from the harvest streets

The Granary’s Waterford Brunch
And more from the harvest streets
Goatsbridge trout

Peter Fowler, owner of The Granary, was in great form as he welcomed guests to the bright and spacious cafe. The guests came in numbers for the Producers Brunch, one of the highlights of the annual Waterford Harvest Festival. It was a sell-out, with part of the proceeds going to the local Samaritans.


The Granary put on a fantastic spread last Sunday morning for guests that included Gay Byrne. “This is the first time for The Granary,” said the enthusiastic Peter. I don't think it will be the last time. “We have met the best suppliers, suppliers that we wouldn't otherwise have met. Events like these put ideas in your head.” He had praise too for his staff “the best in Waterford”.

Anyone for porridge?
 The event was sponsored by John Flahavan; Flahavan's are long time supporters of the festival. For over 200 years Flahavan’s has been operating its oatmill beside the River Mahon in Kilmacthomas, John reminded us as we sampled their Bircher muesli with Deise honey, fruit compote and cinnamon!

John then handed the mike over to another John, John McKenna. “What an unbelievable spread,” enthused McKenna. “This would not have been possible in the years when Sally (who was in the audience) and I were starting out”. He went on to list the advantages that Waterford food enjoys and can enjoy into the future, “unique food, including the blaa”. “You have everything here to stake a claim to be food capital of Ireland's Ancient East”.

Dessert?

The choices on the groaning tables were eye-catching, everything from Hot and Cold Choices, salads, cheeses, desserts, and drinks. Hard to list them all but here’s a few highlights:

Cod from Jim Doherty with a Metalman Pale Batter;

Baked fillets of Goatsbridge Trout;

Broccoli, tomato and Dungarvan Cheese Salad;
Blaas by Walsh's Bakery, sourdough by Seagull Bakery;
Cheese selection by the Little Milk Company;
Granary desserts, especially that massive Blackberry Pavlova;
And brunch drinks from Clodagh Davis and Cahir's Apple Farm.


Smoke on the street
 We had arrived in Waterford around lunchtime on Saturday and, having found parking (not easy, but we got lucky!), we started looking at the hot food stalls. Quite a few around, lots of smoke rising but as soon as we reached the Irish Piedmontese stand, we stopped and ordered a pair of their delicious burgers. Tasty stuff. Enjoyed them sitting on the sun as the band played on the Thin Gin stage.


Barry John was sampling his award winning flavoured sausages. How about Bacon and Cabbage? Maybe Cheddar Cheese and Chilli? No shortage of pizzas. There was a taste of Portugal. Stuff to bring home too, honey from Knockmealdown, trout from Mag of Goatsbridge and jams from Wexford Preserves both in the SuperValu area. There were Cocktail Classes, Whiskey Tastings, Iyer’s Pop Up and so much more.


Here be friendly dragon.
There was a massive dragon under the Bishop’s Palace and he, multicolored against Saturday’s blue sky, was dominating the Mall but no one worried - he looked a friendly fellow. All kinds of art all over over the place, on the streets, on the quays. The larger than life size tables and chairs, there was even a deck-chair, attracted kids of all ages. Tango dancers entertained us too. There was a Tapas River Tour also and we heard it was great.


And we would return to the streets again on Sunday to enjoy the fun of the Market, The Fit & Wellness Area, The Food Heroes Exhibition, Farm to Fork at Ballybricken, The Viking Rocks Craft Beer Fest, The Festival Fair, the SuperValu Food Academy. We didn't get to them all. Looks like we’ll have to go back next year!



Haute cuisine. Have you got the bottle?
See also:

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Bellini’s at the Maryborough. Just one look. Hooked.

Bellini’s at the Maryborough
Just one look. Hooked.
Just one look at the list of their suppliers and I'm encouraged as I take my comfortable seat in Bellini’s Restaurant in the Maryborough Hotel. Two hours later, having seen and tasted what Head Chef Gemma Murphy can so with that very produce and I’m full, full of delight. The dishes on this new menu are tempting to look at and all you have to do is yield. I'm not the only one impressed. The Cork city hotel has just been awarded a second AA Rosette.

Quite a few starters to choose from including Warm Chicken Salad, House Cured Salmon with Goatsbridge Roe, Textures of Bluebell Falls Goat cheese, Pan seared Fresh Atlantic Scallops and Soup of the Day.

CL picked the Melon Soup (Compressed Melon, Peach Schnapps and Grapefruit Jelly with Feta Snow). Quite a display here as the liquid was added to the other ingredients at the table. An outstanding starter.
And so was my Boneless Roasted Baby Quail, soft herb mousseline, caramelised peaches and Micro Basil. Beautifully presented and so tender, a marvellous combination of flavours and textures. At this stage we were really settling in, feeling very much at home. Excellent food so far and great service too.

And that’s the way the evening continued. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the breads, the lovely amuse bouche (based on a mackerel pate) and the Mango and Passionfruit Sorbet.

The white wines cover a broad range; you may have anything from an Argentinian Torrontes to a Pouilly Fuisse. The reds range includes Club Privado Rioja (my choice) to a Walnut Block Pinot Noir (one of the Collectibles). No shortage of drinks here, everything from beer to the best of bubbles, as the bar is just alongside.
Melon soup
So on to the mains. Again plenty to choose from including Hereford Steak, Slaney Valley Lamb, Chicken Supreme, Wild Atlantic Hake, Orzo pasta. And check out that list of sides, including a Rocket and Parmesan Salad with Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes. Indeed, the advice is to go beyond the headline and check out the details in each dish.

Take CL’s choice: Pan Seared Sea Bass Fillets. You’ll see that heading in lots of places but here it is served with Broccoli and Yuzu Purée, Steamed Prawn Dumpling and a Prawn Bisque. Magnifique!

I went for a favourite meat, the Skeaghanore West Cork Duck Breast, and got another amazing plateful. The duck, cooked to  perfection, came with a Rhubarb Purée, Walnut Granola, Carrot Textures, Braised Beluga Lentils, Five spice and Balsamic Jus. Another five star dish, every element on the plate playing a role. My side here was the Steamed Market Greens, soy, sesame and Mirin Glaze. Could have eaten a bowl of that on its own, particularly the mange tout and sugar snaps!
Quail
After all that we knew the desserts were going to be good too so there was no hesitation, no talk about sharing one this time. I finished off in style with the Dark Chocolate Cremeux with Griotte Cherries (the one they soak in booze!) and Pistachio Ice-cream while CL enjoyed her Strawberry baked Alaska with Prosecco Foam (more booze) Strawberry and Basil Salsa. Superb.

What an evening in a busy Bellini’s. What a meal. Very Highly Recommended.

  • Their suppliers include Macroom Buffalo, Bluebells Falls, Goatsbridge Roe, Skeaghanore Duck, Larousse Fine Foods, Wild Atlantic Way Seafoods, Keelings Fruit and Vegetables, Matt O’Connell Seafood, PJ Sheehan and Co Poultry and the English Market.
Amuse Bouche and desserts
Maryborough Hill, Douglas, Cork, Ireland, T12 XR12
Tel +353 21 436 5555 | Fax +353 21 436 5662 | Email: info@maryborough.ie

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Spotlight on Best in County Awards at Blas in Dingle

Fish in Garvey's SuperValu, Dingle

Blas na hEireann 2015 Award Winners
Spotlight on Best in County Awards

Ger Kirwan of Goatsbridge Trout Farm

Year on year, the awarding of Best in County Awards has been growing as a part of the Blas na hEireann Awards in Dingle every October. These awards are presented by the the Local Enterprise Office from the various counties and are much appreciated by the winners.

Blas: “The winners of these awards have reported that being recognised in their own counties has been vital to their businesses where a large portion of their sales are made locally, either in stores or farmers markets.”  And it is not just the awards, important as they are, that are appreciated by the producers. They also very much appreciate the support that they receive throughout the year from their Local Enterprise Office.

Actually one of the Local Enterprise officers Joe English let slip that food producers may already have a foot in the door. He said the offices find it hard to resist when someone comes in with good things to eat. You get their attention straight away! So there you are, if you are a food producer, make a beeline for your local office.

Like the Blas awards in general, this shorter list from the Local Enterprise offices reflect the trends happening across the Irish food and drink scene. Here you see craft brewers, gin distillers, sushi makers, cider makers, all relatively new to the stage but, of course, bakers, black pudding makers and, very importantly, chocolate makers also feature.


Joe's Farm Crisps

Increasingly, the winning products, either Blas or Local Enterprise, are ending up in prominent position in supermarkets. While walking around Dingle on Saturday morning, I was urged by Walter Ryan-Purcell of Loughbeg Farm, whose Oat Loaf has been a great success in Cork and Kerry Supervalu's, to take a look in the supermarket just behind me.
Jim's Kerrs Pink in Garvey's

Garvey’s was something of a revelation. It was completely revamped last May and looks brilliant, spacious and bright, with a great layout. And, encouragingly for me, there were lots and lots of what is loosely called “artisan” food. They love their spuds in Kerry, grow some terrific ones up around Ballydavid and Ballyferriter, even have annual hotly contested tastings, and local spuds and veg were prominent.

Then I took a look at one of the cheese displays, seeing Dingle Gold, Crozier Blue (one of my favourites and a Blas winner) along with their own brand cheeses. They have a very inviting fish display, most of it fresh from the nearby seas. But right smack bang in the middle were fillets of the farmed trout from Kilkenny’s Goatsbridge, a winner at Blas this year.


Cathal of De Roiste

On a shelf nearby, I spotted Longueville cider and the local Cronin's cider, beers by Eight Degrees and Galway Bay Brewery. Lots of foreign beers too but at least the Irish were up there, battling shoulder to shoulder. And naturally enough, Dingle gin and vodka has a display case to itself!

I’m told quite a few SuperValu managers are visiting Garvey’s to see what the future looks like. Looks pretty good for Irish producers to me, even if my look-around was far from forensic. Not all producers go the Blas route but a win in Dingle (be it gold, silver or bronze, or recognition by your county) is a boost to the producer and quite possibly a boost to his or her sales figures as well.
Best in County Awards 2015
Carlow -
Best in Carlow: Sunshine Juice
Best in Farmers Market: The Chocolate Garden of Ireland
Donegal
Best in County: Aran Ard Teo – Gallaghers
Best in Farmers Market: Mallow Mia
Galway
Best in Galway: Galway Hooker Brewery
Best in Farmers Market: Tribal Foods
Kerry
Best in Kerry: O’Donnells
Best in Farmers Market: Dingle Sushi
Kildare
Best in Kildare: Aedamar’s Lemon Curd
Best in Farmers Market: L’Art du Chocolat
Louth
Best in Louth: Dan Kelly’s Cider
Best in Farmers Market: Daisy’s Pantry
Mayo
Best in Mayo: Kelly’s of Newport
Meath
Best in Meath: Big Red Kitchen
Best in Farmers Market:  Blaste & Wilde
Roscommon
Best in Roscommon County: Waldrons
Best in Roscommon Town: Gilligans
Tipperary
Best in Tipperary: Piedmontese Beef
Best in Farmers Market:  Ayle Farm Foods
Waterford
Best in Waterford: Blackwater Distillery
Best in Farmers: Market Pure Food Company
Westmeath
Best in Westmeath:  Mr Crumb
Best in Farmers Market: An Olivia Chocolate
Wexford
Best in Wexford: Wexford Preserves
Best in Farmers Market: Naturally Cordial
Cork South
Best in Cork South: De Roiste Puddings
Best in Farmers Market: Joe’s Farm Crisps
Limerick
Best in County Moonriver Chocolates
Best in Farmers Market   Silver Darlings

You may see the full list of Blas winners for 2015 here.