Showing posts with label Holy Smoke. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holy Smoke. Show all posts

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cork City by The Lee. Stay. Eat. Shop. See!

Cork City by The Lee. 
Stay. Eat. Shop. See!
Music city



The Firkin Crane in Shandon,
once the butter capital of the world
See: The Queen made it her number one stop in Cork so you’ve just got to see the English Market, an institution in the city since 1788. Nearby, you’ll see the spires of historic St Fin Barre’s Cathedral.

St Anne’s Church in Shandon is another landmark. Visit and don’t forget to ring the bells.  Cork was once the butter capital of the world and the Butter Museum is in the shadow of Shandon.

Staying north of the river, why not pay a call to the storied cells of the 
City GaolThe Glucksman is a lovely art gallery in the leafy grounds of the university while the well established Crawford Gallery is easily accessible in the city centre, next door to the Opera House. And don't forget Elizabeth Fort and the newly opened Nano Nagle PlaceAlways something interesting on at The Triskel, an arts venue in a converted church.
video

Shop: While in the English Market why not do a bit of shopping and check out local delicacies such as buttered eggs and spiced beef. The compact city centre boasts a few top notch shopping centres: Merchants Quay, Opera Lane and the new Capitol area. North Main Street has Bradley’s, founded in 1850, and famous for its wall of craft beers.

For a different experience head to 
Mahon Point Farmer’s Market every Thursday where you’ll find fantastic local cheese and meat and much more, including wild mushrooms, all within a few yards of the large shopping centre.
No shortage of farm to fork restaurants in Cork

Eat: No shortage of eating places including Greene's, JacquesLesGourmandises and Isaac's while lively lunchtime venues include the Farmgate and Nash 19Mad on meat? Try Son of a Bun, Holy Smoke, SpitJack, and many more. Exceptional Japanese at Miyazaki (just six stools though!) No meat? Then the amazing Cafe Paradiso is the one, Iyers is another. Idaho is the city centre cafe while coffee stops abound.  For a fuller list of restaurants and cafes, city and county, see my regularly updated list here. Also check the Whazon Cork listings.

A city of bridges
Drink: For something a little different try L’Atitude Wine Café close to the City Hall. The emphasis here is on quality wines and tasty local snacks with a continental touch. Electric, with its downstairs bar and upstairs fish bar, has taken the South Mall by storm since it opened in 2010.  SoHo and the Bodega are other modern bars with restaurants attached.

For something more traditional, including the music, there are quite a few with The Oliver Plunket being very central indeed.
And, if you prefer craft beers then the Franciscan Well on the North Mall is the place to go as they have a micro brewery right behind the counter. Other pubs with micro-breweries include Rising Sons (Cornmarket Street), Elbow Lane (Oliver Plunket Street, excellent food here also) and Cotton Ball (Mayfield).

Stay: With excellent food in the building and efficient and friendly service, the River Lee is a lovely place to stay in Cork. If you need something more central, the Clayton is for you. A short distance from the centre, you'll find the Ambassador and the Montenotte, each with great views over the city
Fitzgerald's Park

If you are caught for time, stay at the Metropole and explore the amazing McCurtain Street, its pubs, theatre, cafes and restaurants.

Something on the traditional side? Why not the Imperial where you’ll be wined and dined and never be short of company as the locals come and go. Like it leafy? Then the Hayfield Manor and the Maryborough near Douglas are recommended as is the Radisson in Little Island.

Making a quick getaway? The Cork International Airport Hotel is excellent. Heading north or west? Check the Commons Inn.

Walk: Cork is very compact and great for walks. Call to the tourist office and pick up the maps and info for some city centre strolls.

Like to try something more energetic? Then start at the 
North Mall and take a brisk riverside stroll through the Mardyke, into Fitzgerald’s Park, past the UCC Grounds and then onto the Lee Fields. Just remember you have to come back!

There is a very popular walk by the harbour starting at 
Blackrock Castle, another great place to visit with an excellent restaurant, the Castle Cafe. For something shorter but still interesting, do the circular walk around the Lough, a suburban lake full of swans and ducks and other wildfowl.

Ballycotton cliff walk, just east of the city
Get Out: No shortage of things to see and do on the eastern side of the city. Take a trip to Fota House and its famous gardens and arboretum. If you have kids, then the Fota Wildlife Park is at hand. Much to do in Cobh also, including a trip by boat to Spike Island, a former prison with history galore. 

Spike Island
To the south then and a highlight in Crosshaven is the coastal artillery fort of 
Camden with a wealth of history and great views. Another fort, this also being restored, is Charlesfort in Kinsale, a historic town rich in excellent eating places and with a must visit Wine Museum in Desmond Castle. Blarney is just north of the city. The castle, and its famous stone, is a busy spot. Eat at The Square Table.

Strike off to the west and take in the impressive ruins of the abbey at 
Timoleague . WestCork boasts magnificent beaches and good food producers whose products you may sample in restaurants such as the Pilgrim's (Rosscarbery),  Richy’s Bistro (Clonakilty), and Bastion (Kinsale).

For more detailed guides to the county, check out my East Cork and North Cork recommendations.

Jazz time
Listen: There is almost always a music festival on in Cork and surrounds and the big one is the Jazz, always on the final weekend of October. There is a Folk Festival at the end of September and film buffs are in town in force in November. Check them all out here.

The Choral festival dominates in the spring and summer sings with the Midsummer Festival, followed by the International Folk Dancing Festival. 
Music in the Marquee  is a big highlight. Night after summer night, the Marquee hosts top names. Bryan Adams, Cliff Richard and Elton John played this summer (2017).


Avoid: The usual big city security precautions apply. Avoid leaving anything visible in your car and so on. Not much else to avoid. Maybe the rainy days. But even those can be fun. Never know who you’ll find singing at the local bar, even on the street. It is a fun city. So enjoy!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Cork's Dessert Festival launches today!

press release

Where and What's on Offer

Electric Bar and Restaurant
Mad Hatters Afternoon G+T July 1st 2-4pm
Cake Club Sunday 2nd July 3-5pm Also featuring dessert specials all week
The Franciscan Well
Ice Cream and Beer Weekend July 1st and 2nd from 1pm
Nandos Academy St
Free Nata with every coffee ordered
Blue Haven Kinsale
Promoting Ice Cream Sundae Menu all week
Casanova Gelato
Launch of "The Giant" Sundae
Featuring parfait cups all week
Arthur Maynes
Beefeater & Tonic with an orange foam
paired with an orange scented Creme Catalana
Hassetts Bakery
Featuring all their homemade desserts
Fundraising cupcake event Fri June 30th 11-3pm
Cafe Velo
Pie with Italian Meringue
Cronins
Homemade ice cream made with Cronin's brown soda bread
and Russian Imperial Stout from the White Gypsy
LISHH Dessert bar all week featuring fresh homemade desserts
with a coffee for just €5
Malay Kitchen
Featuring fresh Malaysian sweet treats all week
Griffins Garden Centre
Featuring all Grannys Griffins Fabulous Homemade Desserts
Competition for afternoon tea for 2
Amicus
Featured Desserts: Amicus After 8
The Allotment Sundae: Butterscotch Bonanza
143
Corks only entirely vegan cafe!
Dessert Demonstration Wed 28th 7-9pm €30
Sober Lane
Guest Dessert- Kinder Sundae
Guest Cocktails: 1. Nutty Russian- Absolut Vanilla, Frangelico, Kahlua and Milk
2.After Eight- Tia Maria, Creme de Menthe, Baileys and Milk
Holy Smoke
Featuring Desserts: Devil's Fruit and Holy Revenge

More desserts and events to be confirmed by: Midleton Park Hotel, The Oriel House Hotel, Myo Cafe, Box of FrogsThe Cornstore, Huckleberry Donuts, Oh My Donut, The Granary Foodstore.

The public will be voting all week on social media for :
Corks Best Dessert
Corks Best Treat and
Best Dessert Event


All other info will be posted on our social media daily!


For any more info email : dessert@festivalcork.com Or follow us on social media!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Holy Smoke! Holy Water and Holy Fruit too.

Holy Smoke!
Holy Water and Holy Fruit too.
Couldn’t make it to the Big Smoke for the Big Grill in Dublin this week where local chef John Relihan was taking a leading role. But there was considerable consolation when I visited John’s local, Holy Smoke in Cork's Mardyke complex. Lots of smoked meat, Holy Fruit too for dessert and Holy Water and unholy beer (Punk) as the evening unfolded.

They don't really go in for starters here. True, there are few things to nibble but I usually go straight to the beef. Or the pork. Or the chicken. You can get some massive tray-fuls here. The largest is the BBQ Blowout (€24.50). You’ll get Brisket Burnt Ends, Dry Rubbed Baby Back Ribs, Pit Smoked BBQ Chicken, and Pulled Pork. Mega stuff. Great for a family to share or a group visit. Not too many will manage one of these on his or her own!

You’ll notice different woods on the menu here and that's because each wood has different flavour compounds. As well as the big trays, you may try the individual meats Pork, Beef, and Chicken. And Burgers too.
The Big One!

Oh, by the way, John Relihan and Holy Smoke are committed to the “sustainable sourcing of produce”. “Where possible, all of our ingredients and supplies are carefully selected from handpicked Irish producers and suppliers. We do everything we can to ensure the highest level of food provenance from field to fork.” Good to hear. I like it like that!

And what will you drink with that? There is a varying list of craft beers available, some on tap, more in bottle, and they have a direct line to Porthouse! There is even a list of cocktails and then a good selection of spirits: whiskey, bourbon, gin, vodka, tequila. And some wines too.

Beers

Beer was our choice the other night. I got a pint of Brewdog’s Punk IPA on draught and CL enjoyed her bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (a beer that I rather liked myself, based on a limited, very limited, sample!).

Still, my Brewdog and some of that Holy Water went well with my twelve euro Burger, the Juicy Lucy, grilled over a sweet mixture of beech, chestnut and oak charcoal. I got a 6 ounce burger with a Gubbeen cheese core, grilled onions, mixed lettuce and beef tomato, served with naked slaw, and pickles.

Meet Lucy
 CL went for the Real Deal, also twelve euro. This is pulled pork smoked slow and low mixed with their own BBQ sauce, topped with just slaw and served with naked slaw and pickles. By the way, you get a choices of sides, so, from their Sideshow, we shared their Pit-smoked Beans and also the Skinny Fries.


Both burgers were delicious, great combinations of textures, tastes and flavours, and both sides were much appreciated as well. Really top notch burgers and the beers weren't bad either!

Desserts? Yes please. Always have time and room for their Holy Fruit. That too has been on the grill but we’d prefer it warm rather than this week’s cold version. Overall though great stuff and an enjoyable visit, made even more so by the lively, chatty and efficient service from start to finish.


Holy fruit
Holy Smoke 
Little Hanover Street, Cork
Phone: (021) 427 3000
Twitter @holysmokecork 

Wed-Thu:
5:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Fri:
5:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Sat:
4:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Sun:
4:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Hel-loo fella

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Holy Smoke On The ‘Dyke. Check Relihan's Blow Out.

Holy Smoke On The ‘Dyke
Check Relihan's Blow Out.
Blow Out; included are Smoked Cob Wheels and Naked Slaw

All you hunter-gatherers can now converge on Holy Smoke in the Mardyke Complex, the new ground of John Relihan, an experienced master of the ancient art of cooking with fire and smoke (he was head chef at Jamie Oliver's Barbecoa BBQ restaurant in London). You want meat, head for the ‘Dyke.

Have any of you seen Cooked, a mini-series by Michael Pollan now on Netflix? He says that the BBQ is the "last idea of the ritual cooking of meat"; that the long and slow technique may well have come to America on the slave ships, was very much tied to the tobacco harvest in the south and that the term “pit boy” came from there. That series is worth a look. He calls commodity pig farming “a vision of hell”. On  a lighter note, you’ll see veteran songsmith James Taylor sing about his pig called Mona!

No vision of hell at the Mardyke though; just lots of exposed brick vaulted ceilings and bare lights hanging down. We got a chance to take a look, and a taste, earlier week, and must say I enjoyed every little morsel.


Low and Slow is the motto here and you'll see it in red letters around the room, a room by the way which is full "night after night". You’ll notice the buzz the minute you enter. Great place to go with a bunch of friends. Grab a beer as you check the menu.

It is meat all the way; well, there are a couple of options for the non-meat eater. The wood too is key. Back to Pollan again who explains that it is the burning wood gasses rather than the wood itself that give off the smoke that marries with the meat. You’ll notice different woods on the menu and that's because each wood has different flavour compounds. Split a length of cherry wood and you’ll smell cherry, according to Cooked.

You may have lots of individual plates here, of Pork, Beef, and Chicken. And Burgers too. Perhaps the best way to test is to order the large BBQ Blow Out (24.50). You’ll get Brisket Burnt Ends, Dry Rubbed Baby Back Ribs, Pit Smoked BBQ Chicken, and Pulled Pork. That’s what we did.
Head Chef John Relihan

Two sides are included, one from the Humble list, one from the Divine. We picked their Skin on Skinny Fries and the Divine Pit Smoked Burnt End Beans. With all the focus on the meat, I have to highlight those unexpectedly delicious beans. The full description is: Sweet smoky beans mixed with Brisket Burnt Ends cooked low and slow. Indeed, it looks as if those sides, both humble and divine, may be worth a closer inspection.

Now, with meat and beer (Howling Gale and Rebel Red from the taps) delivered, it was time to get the tools from the box on the table. Yes, all your cutlery needs are already there, along with a big roll of kitchen paper to tidy up the finger licking mess. And the Holy Water, of course.

It takes a while, even for two, to work through all that meat but well worth it. The pork was probably the highlight, the ribs a close second. Then again, that chicken half, chopped into four, was good too, particular the tasty thigh! Big cubes of smoky brisket were also much appreciated. Not to mention those beans! Would have been barbecue heaven had we been able to roll open that ceiling and let the sun shine in. But it was very enjoyable as it was. Hard to beat a packed restaurant with all that chat.

No shortage of beer!
 Prices are reasonable here. You can have a bowl of pulled pork for a tenner: pork shoulder cooked slow and low for 14 hours over oak, mixed with Holy Smoke BBQ sauce and served with naked slaw and cornbread. Spend two or three euro more and your choices multiply. Service is very friendly and very efficient too. Well worth a visit!

  • Chef Relihan has serious form when it comes to cooking with fire. He was head chef at Jamie Oliver's Barbecoa BBQ restaurant in London and trained with world renowned Pitmaster Adam Perry Lang. Read more about John and the people behind Holy Smoke here
  • Check the menu here
    On the door of the gents, a tame enough fellow,
    despite the ring on his nose.

    Holy Smoke
    Little Hanover Street, Cork
    Phone: (021) 427 3000
    email : holysmokecork@gmail.com 
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HolySmokeCork/ 
  • Twitter @holysmokecork