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Excellent Dishes and Comfort All The Way at The Barn
Carpets and comfort all the way at the long-established Barn Restaurant, between Mayfield and Glanmire, when we visited at the weekend. Excellent service too and some pretty decent food as well in this spacious busy place, courteous and as efficient as ever despite a long running renovation that will mean a big expansion on an already large venue.
The renovation area though is neatly tucked away and you hardly notice, especially these dark evenings. You certainly don't notice it once you enter to a warm welcome. You are seated in a sizeable waiting area, given the menus (Early Bird, Set, and A La Carte) and you can also order a drink as you study the dishes on offer. A note on provenance is on the menu to the effect that all their beef, lamb and pork are Irish.
Soon our order was taken and we were shown to our table. An amuse bouche of smoked salmon (their own) and cream cheese was a nice way of beginning. The melon and fruit platter is a long-standing favourite here, also a favourite of CL’s. But she ignored it this time and instead “voted” for the Chicken Caesar salad with garlic croutons and shaved parmesan (€8.90). That got ten out of ten for a well balanced dish and the croutons were also excellent, not the hard type that could break a tooth!
Chicken Caesar Salad
And I was well pleased too with a similarly priced Serrano Ham, Olive and semi-sundried tomato salad with a basil honey dressing, a delicious mix of textures and flavours, another well balanced mix of sweetness and sharpness, also €8.90. Other starters included a Duck and Chicken Paté, The Barn’s Black Pudding with spiced chutney, BBQ marinated chicken wings, Potted Garlic Prawns.
Lots of steak and fish (including fish and chips) on the mains, also chicken and duck and they also offered two vegetarian options.
The lamb was my pick: Marinated Roast Rack of Irish Lamb with minted Kiwi Compote, sweet chilli drizzle and Cabernet Sauce (23.90). This was perfectly cooked as ordered and nicely presented, some delicious veg on the side. All the extras played a part, especially that sumptuous sauce.
CL meanwhile was also very happy with her Roast Fillet of Pork Steak (20.90); the roulade was stuffed with savoury mushroom and bacon, beetroot and apple chutney and truffle drizzle, even if there was no sign of the beetroot!
Plates were polished off and a fairly anonymous Malbec (6.50 a glass) also finished and we then turned our attention to the famous dessert trolley rolled, with some effort, over the plush carpet! Quite a choice here, all 7.50, and we enjoyed a Pavlova and a Marinated Fruit, each with a scoop of ice-cream. Nice finalé but the highlights came earlier.
* The renovation/extension works are on-going but the "old" area is still totally active, fifty or sixty in by the time we left, about 8.00pm. The new area, I was told, will take the pressure off the existing area. And there is a new patio with "the best views out over Glanmire”. When will it all be finished? Answers include “Your guess is as good as mine” and “They’re tipping away at it.” Hopefully, when it’s up and running, The Barn will look to improving their presence on social media!
Clockwise, from top left: A table, pork, melon, waiting area,
smoked salmon and duck.
into the Barn in Mayfield and you’d think you
are in a four star hotel, such is the comfort in the waiting area. After the warm
welcome and with your coats taken to the cloakroom, you are seated, the menus
are supplied and you may have a drink as you study.
carpeted comfort continues into the very spacious dining room. On a recent
Christmas visit, we were taken to a table, near one of the fires. Aside from the fact
that I got a slightly sloppy pint of Murphy's, the friendly service was of a high
standard and, more importantly, so was the food.
was very happy with my starter: their very own Smoked Salmon, with garden salad
and vanilla infused dill oil. The other starter, Melon and Fruit Platter with a
Passion Fruit Reduction and Red Wine Reduced Fruit Coulis, was also well received
gave the Savoury Stuffed Turkey Roulade a skip and instead picked the Crispy
Roast Duckling, with Plum Jam, Beetroot Confit, Glazed Sweet Potato and Port Reduction.
The duck was perfect and overall it was quite a combination.
complaints either from the other side of the table where the mains chosen was
the Savoury Apricot and Raisin Stuffed Pork Fillet, with Mushroom Ragout and
Spiced Apple Chutney. This was better than I expected, really tasty indeed.
shortage of well cooked vegetables (not too hard, not too soft) on the side. So
we were well fed. So well indeed, that we had to resist dessert even though a
laden trolley was rolled to the table but we just had to say no, regretfully!
Barn, 30 years on the go, is one of those long established restaurants that we
take for granted. The standard is as high as ever. Its reputation was enhanced recently
when it was chosen to host the very prestigious gala dinner for Ireland’s first
convention of all the health ministers of the European community.
that way quite often and, ministers or no ministers, the Barn always seems to
be quite busy. A very good sign indeed.
I enjoyed a lovely meal at The Barn last evening. For over thirty years, the venue, on the Mayfield to Glanmire Road, has been a fixture on the Cork dining scene. And that kind of longevity doesn’t happen by chance.
This is a comfortable place, starting with the ante-room where you may take a seat and check the menu while sipping an aperitif. The coats are put away neatly in the cloakroom and you are led along the carpets to your comfortable chair as the live music from the piano-man fills the room (not especially for your entrance, of course). Service too is excellent, leisurely but not laggardly. For instance, when the main course was being served to our group (4), three people, maybe four, appeared with the dishes and, within a few seconds, all four of us had our main plates, along with the side plates of veg, in front of us and the water had been refilled without our asking for it to be done. And all done with a little chat and a big smile!
But all this comfort and service, even the piano-man, would count for little unless the food is good. And it is. It has of course moved on quite a bit from the early days of The Barn and now you see words like wasabi, tapenade, hummus and pork belly on the extensive menu.
All four of us were very happy with the meal. After some nice breads, I started off with the Crispy Pork Belly with Sour Cherry and Plum Chutney and Caramelised Red Onion (about €7.50, forget the exact price). Absolutely top class, done to a T, and the chutney was so moreish (even though I got two decent scoops of it!).
Then on to the piece de résistance! This was the Tapenade crumbed Cod Fillet, with Chablis Sauce and Spiced Mango Chutney (€21.50). Quite a decent sized piece of fish and there was also a side dish of nicely done vegetables (potato, carrot and creamed broccoli). Must say I really enjoyed it, the combination on the main plate was gorgeous. Quantity and quality was spot on here and left no desire for anything else, though I did look longingly at the famous dessert trolley that we passed on our exit!