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The West Cork Burger Company is a bit of a mouthful. A really tasty mouthful, whether you go the Angus or Wagyu route!
That is the first serious choice to be made when visiting the new burger outlet on Washington Street. Well, not quite new; the Henry Hegarty led company has been operating here since October.
Bantry-based Henry will probably be familiar to you from his Wokabout stall, a very popular stop for quality Thai style street food at Irish markets and festivals. Also in the West Cork team is Macroom Butcher Michael Twomey, a supplier to many local chefs, Bryan McCarthy and Martina Cronin for example.
You may pick your burger direct from the menu or, flip the card over, and you may go the DIY route. Choose your bun (four options), your meat and weight, your cheese (again four options).
Toppings is next. You could get confused here as there are no less than eight options including mushrooms, onions, even pineapple! Step Five is the sauce, no less than nine choices here.
If all this decision making is proving too much for you, then have a look at the regular offerings: The Japanese, Classic Bacon Cheese, Chilli Burger, Chicken Burger, and Portobello (no meat). And there’s also a Kids Menu.
We just come in as Storm Eleanor hit, so were looking for something fast. I choose the six or eight ounce Japanese. So, six ounces of Angus (could have had Wagyu), with Miso Slaw, Shiitake Mushrooms, smoked chilli jam, crispy lettuce, gherkin, and Irish Cheddar cheese.
CL spotted the Offer of the Day and that meant she got the Chicken Burger (with cucumber pickle, grilled pineapple, lettuce and garlic mayo, along with a portion of fries for just ten euro). My beef, with fries as a side, came to fifteen.
The fries are top class, no excess oil, and again you have a choice of sauces specifically for them. And there are a few other sides as well, including Kimchi. That Thai and general Asian influence from Henry’s wok is at work here in Washington Street too, deliciously so.
Fancy a drink? There is a short wine list and also some very local beers (from the Rising Son Brewery in nearby Cornmarket Street) while the cider is by Stonewell from Nohoval.
The furniture is a bit on the rustic side, with raw timber used on the walls and in the booths for both seats and tables. The burgers are as good as you’ll get and service is friendly, helpful and efficient.
Just a couple of weeks back, I blogged about a fabulous lunch at The Square Table, the new restaurant in Blarney. Said I couldn't wait to go back for dinner. Made It last Friday evening and it was absolutely superb.
The menu may not be extensive - it is not a big restaurant - but the quality is outstanding. Martina Cronin is the chef here and she has worked - and obviously learned - in some high class places, such as Chapter One and The Residence on Stephen's Green.
That lovely Mushroom and Wild Garlic Soup was again on the menu but this time I went for the Tom Durcan Carpaccio of Spiced Beef served with cured Foie Gras, apple puree and hazelnuts. This was incredible. The Foie Gras was delicious, the whole enhanced no end by a lovely walnut bread on the side.
Our other starter was also top notch. This was the eye catching Old Mill House Smoked Salmon and it was served with avocado puree, ruby grapefruit and Goatsbridge Trout Caviar, another delicious delight.
The bar was set high and it stayed well up there as the mains came on. I was sorely tempted by both the Roast Monkfish, with cocoa bean puree, Gubbeen chorizo, coriander and confit tomato and by the Michael Twomey Aged Angus 11 oz rib eye steak served with chips, onions rings and Bearnaise.
In the end though, I picked the East Ferry Free Range chicken, served with celeriac, ham and Coolea Aged Cheddar. The celeriac, ham and cheese was served as a gratin in a separate bowl and was out of the world. What fantastic flavours to match a gorgeous chicken and gravy! A five star dish for sure. CL picked another cracker: Pan-fried Hake with Ballyhoura Mushrooms, wild garlic and orzo.
They have a very tempting short list of desserts as well and we shared Martina’s terrific version of Tarte Tatin, served with butterscotch and that luscious Boulabán Farm ice-cream from County Tipperary.
The Square Table is open all day from 9.30am but currently serves dinner on just three nights, Thursday to Saturday. Sunday lunch is also available and opening times may be extended as sisters Martina and Tricia (front of house) find their feet. Phone number is 4382825 (021).