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Aside from the traffic rushing through the crossroads (to Mitchelstown, Mallow, Buttevant, Charleville and Kilmallock), the main street in Kildorrery village is quiet, not a pedestrian in sight.
That was the scene last Tuesday lunchtime. Where was everyone? Enjoying the food at Thatch and Thyme by the looks of it. The 12 month old restaurant was packed. And soon we would see why.
Joanne McEldowney’s cooking is top class. She uses mainly local produce. It is tidily presented and service is with a smile. Based in a well kept thatched community building, the restaurant is open Monday to Saturday 8.30am to 5.00pm, so you can have your breakfast here as well.
Occasionally, they open for evening meals but these are usually private parties. The room has a vintage feel and can seat about 30. In addition, if the sun shines, the outdoor courtyard area will take another 25. By the way, there are some great views, over half of Munster, from the village itself.
Back to the grub. They have quite a selection of baps, wraps and open sandwiches (from €6.50 to 8.50). And no shortage of main courses either, though there was some disappointment at our table that their famous ribs weren't available on the day!
The lamb though was available and it was impeccable, simple and honestly prepared, really tender and beautifully cooked as were the vegetables on the side. It was Roast Leg of Slaney Valley lamb, with mint oil, red currant juice, those seasonal vegetables and mashed potato (12.50).
CL went for the colourful and flavourful Fisherman's Stew: Cod, Calamari, Salmon, Mackerel, Crab, Mussels and Prawns, cooked in a rich tomato and white wine sauce and served with baby potatoes and wilted greens (13.50).
I had started with a flavour of the sea. The creamy seafood chowder (fish and molluscs) was delicious as was CL’s Soup of the Day. Both, by the way, were available in small and large sizes.
The choice of dessert was unanimous as the rhubarb for the tasty crumble came from a nearby hill (another great view up there) and was grown organically by Mick Cotter who tipped us off about this lovely friendly restaurant in a gorgeous area of North Cork.