Hayfield Manor Hotel
“Now you see her” is the title of a Joy Fielding mystery novel based in Cork. One of the main characters had excellent taste and based himself in the city’s five star Hayfield Manor Hotel.
I was there last Friday evening, no mystery, just there to enjoy a superb dinner at the Perrotts Garden Bistro, one of the Hotel’s two restaurants. The other option is the Orchids Restaurant but that was booked out by the time we started checking for places.
The Orchid may the favourite but the Bistro, though it may not have the carpet on the floor or the linen on the table, is still a class venue, great place for a group or a couple to enjoy a meal. Service is well tuned, delivered with efficiency, a smile and a chat (if you want).
We found it hard to pick a starter so took the easy way out and went for the lot, well for the Starter Plate for Two (18.00), a plate with samples of their Caesar Salad, Warm Crottin de Chevre, Tiger Prawn Spring Roll, House Smoked Magret Duck Breast and Shot of Soup. All tasty, though my personal favourites were perhaps the Caesar and the Duck! CL, after some deliberation, gave her one two to the Spring Roll and the Caesar.
Then on to the Main Event, as they term it on the menu. CL went for the fish special: Roast Fillet of Monkfish, with Cabbage, Leek and Fennell Fondue (in own pot), crushed baby potato and chervil beurre blanc (24.00). No calories spared here in the creamy fondue and overall an excellent combination, a superb match.
Often I go for the special myself but this time picked the Pan Seared Fillet of Halibut, with Herb infused Potato Gnocchi, and crispy Alsace Bacon, with Carrot and shallot puree and Pea Shoots Salad. Not a great Gnocchi fan but must say that this was another super dish. Fish was done to perfection, the puree was a highlight as were the crunchy tasty bacon pieces, the flavour coming through cleanly to add contrast to the fish and the same could be said of the textures. A five star combination for sure.
We had a liquid dessert! Had a good look at the tempting list on the menu but, feeling rather full, we ordered a glass each of the Chateau Barbier Sauternes 2005 (9.00). And sip by sweet sip, we brought the meal to a lazy close.