|Clockwise, from top left: A table, pork, melon, waiting area,|
smoked salmon and duck.
Walk 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.
The 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.
I 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 and dispatched.
I 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.
No 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.
No 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!
The 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.
I walk that way quite often and, ministers or no ministers, the Barn always seems to be quite busy. A very good sign indeed.