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Sunday, July 30, 2017
Clayton’s Globe Goes Local
English Market a Tasty Source
As most of you know, there’s a new name on the Clayton Hotel in Lapp’s Quay. But do you know there is also a new focus on its renamed Globe Restaurant. That focus is local and much of the produce, including my flavourful Tom Durcan steak, is coming from the English Market.
The lunch menu is also very much a local one but we were there to sample the evening menu. As we studied the lists, we noticed they had a few craft beers on bottle and picked a familiar favourite, the Cotton Ball’s Indian Summer. Service was excellent throughout, very friendly. And that wasn't just us, as we spotted some great interaction with nearby tables, including one American group.
The menu highlights the English Market connection, especially with Tom Durcan (for beef), Kay O’Connell’s (for seafood), the Chicken Inn and On the Pig's Back (for cheese).
There was an Asian restaurant here before the Clayton took over and as it happened I picked an Asian starter: Spring Rolls (Vegetable spring rolls, pickled cucumber, soy and chilli dipping sauce). Very tasty indeed and just the right size as I knew a steak was to follow!
Meanwhile CL was enjoying her local and lovely Ardsallagh goats cheese in a roasted walnut crust, petit salad with sun blushed tomatoes and pomegranate.
You may check out the other starters, and indeed mains, online here.
My main event, cooked to perfection, was Chargrilled Irish ribeye, served with French fries (jacket potato was also an option), garnish salad, and no less than three sauces: garlic butter, pepper and whiskey sauces. The steak was full of flavour and delicious.
CL went for the Pan fried medallions of monkfish, served with a creamy lemon and basil risotto, finished with sun blushed tomatoes and fresh pesto. Again the fish was cooked to perfection and the risotto (quite a lot of it on the plate!) was also a delight, full of different yet complementary flavours.
After all that, we were close to full so agreed to share the dessert, a Classic Eton Mess (Fresh meringue pieces, soft berry fruits and freshly whipped dairy cream). Strawberries topped the big glass and quite a few were buried underneath as well. Very sweet,” said our server, encouragingly. And he was spot-on. Quite a finish to an impressive meal in a comfortable setting.
There are quite a few dining options in the Clayton, including what looks like a power-packed Vitality Breakfast, anytime from 6.30am! Lunch in the Globe starts at noon but all day you can enjoy a tea or coffee and some delicious pastry in the Red Bean Roastery in the Atrium. And if have a have an afternoon free and someone to spend it with, then Afternoon Tea is available, also in the Atrium. Enjoy!
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Fenn’s Quay's Special
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.
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.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
El Vino. Top Tapas.
And Much More.
|Monkfish & Serrano|
It was cold outside but that was soon forgotten as we joined the diners in the packed downstairs section of the El Vino restaurant at the Elysian in Cork last weekend. Mentioned the Elysian there as they also operate an El Vino in Douglas.
Great buzz downstairs. We were offered a table upstairs too but went with the happy noises. Upstairs would soon fill too. We were quickly seated and studying the menus. Lots of tapas here and they also double as starters but you may, of course, stick with tapas for the evening. We may well do that another time but some dishes on the mains section caught our eye.
You come across these Roast Piquillo Peppers a lot in the Basque country and they were CL’s pick. Hers were stuffed with Goats Cheese, Chorizo, Bread Crumbs & Herbs, Rocket Salad & Toasted Almonds (7.95). We did share, of course, and it was another perfect dish. And I'm sure there are quite a few more on that extensive list. Check it out here.
Time then for the main event, fish for me, chicken for her. Steak, Pork Belly, Hake and salads were also on the menu. CL’s Pan Fried Chicken Breast was stuffed with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Mozzarella & Basil, and came with Mediterranean Vegetables, Ratatouille, Tomato & Pesto (17.95). The chicken was top drawer, delicious and moist and the Ratatouille was excellent in its own right as well as being a great match for the poultry.
Pan Fried Monkfish Wrapped in Serrano Ham, Crushed Baby Potatoes, Chargrilled Courgettes, Samphire & Romesco (nut and red pepper based) Sauce (25.95) was my pick, quite an epic dish, beautifully cooked (the ham spot on, moist and tender) and so well presented, probably the best dish of its type in a long time.
CL got those Crushed Baby Potatoes as well and we also got an included side dish of vegetables (including broccoli, carrot and sugar snap), again perfectly cooked. If the kitchen takes care of the minor things, then there’s a great chance that the bigger dishes will be good as well and that was certainly the case here.
|Chicken & Ratatouille|
We were each nearing the limit at this stage but couldn't resist sharing a dessert, the El Vino Baked Alaska (6.50). Glad we did as it provided a sweet end to a lovely evening.
Good too to see they they support local and include Brian St Ledger Fruit & Veg, Tom Durcan, The Chicken Inn, Kay O’Connell Fish, The Real Olive, Clona Dairy and Ardsallagh Cheese, among their suppliers. Very Highly Recommended.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Bringing the Market together.
In 24 Days in 24 Ways, Smokehouse Sauce is bringing the English Market together. Together on a plate, that is.
Smokehouse Sauce, fast emerging as a favourite across Munster, is the guest trader for six weeks at the start-up stall in Cork’s English Market. Emma Kelly of Smokehouse: “The English Market is iconic, a quality place to shop for quality. Traders here know their growers and suppliers. There is an honesty here, now so important as people become more aware of the importance of sourcing.”
So the mission for Smokehouse is 24 Ways in 24 Days. That means changing the dish daily and Chef Stephen of Elbow Lane is the man putting it all together on the plate. The sauce was the brainchild of owner Conrad Howard and his daughter and has been perfected in the Elbow Lane kitchen. It is available across Munster Stores of Supervalu, in the Food Academy section, and also from independent butchers.
“It’s amazing to be here in the old heart of the city, to be collaborating with the English Market, promoting it and the traders,” enthuses Emma. A recent dish, the Ploughman’s Sandwich, with sauce of course, involved no less than four traders. Brown spelt bread from Hassett’s, Cheddar cheese from the Roughty Foodie, ham from the Chicken Inn, and salad from Superfruit, lunch for just four euro!
Before that, they featured Smoked Pork Empanadas, the pork supplied by Ken and Helen of the Meat Centre who have been trading here for 37 years. The package also included an apple and courgette salad and smokehouse sauce (of course!).
|Tom Durcan's Spiced Beef, Hassett's Rye Bread,|
Sauerkraut and Coolea Cheese from
On The Pig's Back
And the versatility of the sauce was again underlined with On The Pig's Back goats cheese bon bons, with pearl barley, pea sprout and beetroot leaf salad and Smokehouse Sauce dressing. Day Three was an interesting one: Ham hock and scallion terrine (using meat from Bresnan's Butchers), with Smokehouse Sauce and homemade red cabbage slaw. And it’s not just meat. Cod from Kay O’Connell’s was used in delicious frittatas and enhanced with the sauce.
“There is a hard-to-match quality here in the market. We want to highlight that and support local at the same time, by combining traditional meats with modern flavours. The sauce itself is tomato based and may be used as a dip, a relish and as a marinade. It is extremely versatile. Use it with grilled, roast or cold meats, fish, cheese and vegetables.”
|Aoife and Chris at the Smokehouse stall|
So what is today’s dish? Check it out on their Facebook page by all means but do call in and try it out! And you must see their lively video celebrating the sauce and its arrival in the Market. Here's the link
For more on the Smokehouse Sauce, including recipes and stockists, check the website here.
Friday, November 1, 2013
Great to get in out of the winter’s night and get comfortable in Amicus in Paul Street. We were rather early but the place was filling up. Soon we were comfortably seated at our table and studying the huge menu. We weren't aware they had an early bird as well but that menu was also presented to us and indeed we choose from it.
It seems the Early Bird is doing well for some restaurants around town. We passed the Strasbourg Goose about 6.30pm that Wednesday evening and they were packed! Obviously three courses for €20.50 is a good draw. Amicus at €21.95 for three courses is only marginally more expensive.
Amicus, who grow much of their salad and vegetables themselves at their southside allotments, source their meat and fish locally and they list The Chicken Inn, Ballycotton Seafood, Kay O’Connell’s, Fasnet, Durcan Meats and O’Crualaoi among their suppliers. They have a full bar service (wine, spirits, beers, cocktails etc) here but, aside from Murphy’s Stout, don’t seem to have any local beer on their list.
The Amicus operation in Paul Street is spread over three floors and they are going all day long with Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, even a takeaway service, available. Service on the ground floor was excellent, friendly, helpful and efficient.
This is the Early Bird starter selection: Soup of the Day; Selection of Bread and Dips; Bruschetta of Cherry Tomato, Feta and Basil; Spicy Chicken Wings with Garlic Dip; Nachos Covered with Tomato Sauce, Cheese, Guacamole and Sour Cream; and the Amicus Caesar Salad. I picked the Chicken Wings, quite a tasty and substantial opener, while CL enjoyed her Sourdough Bruschetta.
Believe it or not, there are no less than twelve options in the main course section,everything from a Cajun Chicken Salad to a Chicken (or vegetable ) Curry, including 8 oz sirloin at €3.95 extra. CL choose their Fish Cakes, served with Chilli Jam, House Salad and Wedges. This was a massive plateful!
|Smoked Salmon Pizza|
One of the options was a pizza and you could pick any from the main menu. I thought the Smoked Salmon (white pizza), consisting of Smoked Salmon, Sour cream, capers, caramelised onions, peppers and mozzarella, looked interesting. And so it proved. The onions and salmon were a cracking combination, very enjoyable overall.
Dessert menu: Sticky Toffee Pavlova, Chocolate Fudge Cake, Warm Apple Pie and Cream,
Mixed Fruit Crumble, Sauce Anglaise, Selection of Ice-creams. If you wish, you may have a glass of wine or beer instead of dessert or starter. Made a note to myself for the future to take the wine or beer and skip the dessert!