Showing posts with label Union Hall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Union Hall. Show all posts

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Fish Seafood Deli. Fresh from the Ocean

Fish Seafood Deli
Fresh from the Ocean
I am eating a Fish Pie, a simple fish pie. It contains Whitefish, Smoked Fish, Salmon, Milk, Onions, Butter, Flour, Potatoes, Seasoning, Breadcrumbs, Cheese. Nothing exotic. Nothing than I can’t spell. No preservatives, no artificial colourants. Mainly it contains fish. It has been baked in the oven for 25 minutes and a bunch of broccoli has been added to the plate. Simple stuff but simply superb.

I’ve also been sampling fish cakes and they too are excellent, easy to prepare and easy to eat! The cakes and the pie are encouraging signs that Irish fishermen are taking more control of their own destiny. They’ve been produced in Rosscarbery by Fish Seafood Deli and much of that fish has come from their boats.

Ex fisherman Peter Shanahan founded the business in 2011 when he opened a retail shop in Rosscarbery. Since then he has been joined by Monica Buckley and her husband Niall Deasy. Niall operates fishing trawlers out of Union Hall port, fishing for prawns and whitefish primarily. And the business has expanded.

Many of you travelling in the area will be glad to see one of their outlets, the Fish Basket in Rosscarbery, on the main road west of the Celtic Ross Hotel. This is a busy spot and yes fish and chips is the most popular buy. But you can also get a prawn sandwich here, maybe a crab salad.
Fish Seafood Deli now employ 15 staff, between :
2 Retail premises (Rosscarbery and Clonakilty);
2 mobile units serving the  Cork area;
Wholesale business supplying Hotels & Restaurants with fish directly from the fishing boats of Union Hall/Baltimore & Kinsale;
2 full time chefs producing cooked products e.g fish cakes, fish pies, Prawn Cocktail, seafood quiches, breads.
Fish Basket located at Newtown, Rosscarbery,  serving fish and chips and specials such as crab & prawn parcels with pineapple salsa.
Monica tells me the mobile units have regular spots they sell at. “For example one of the units is in Whitechurch and Carrignavar each Monday. They would have different towns they go to every day of the week.  The mobile units sell fresh fish and also a selection of our cooked seafood range.”

The retail shops each have a wet area where you can buy the freshest of fish. The Rosscarbery one is just east of the village, located next to Ryan’s Service Station, on the main road to Clonakilty. We got some cod there for dinner last Saturday night and it was just first class, the flesh pristine on the plate.

 You can also buy the cooked seafood range here. Indeed, the company’s kitchens are here. The Clonakilty shop does both fresh and cooked and is in Ashe Street.


Peter spent almost three years working in Glenmar fish factory in Skibbereen before training as a carpenter. But it wasn't the best of times to be in the construction industry. Following the collapse of the Tiger and two P45s in quick succession, he returned to the fish industry and spent several seasons on prawn and tuna trawlers.

The idea of opening a fish shop had been in his mind for a while and became a reality in July 2011, when he opened the doors to Fish Seafood Deli just outside his home town of Rosscarbery.

“I feel that in an ever-increasing health-conscious society that fresh fish is something that people are going to want more and more of. I also believe that West Cork has some of the finest seafood in the country!  And if you don’t believe me – call into our shop and see for yourself!”

I think we’ll be hearing more from Fish Seafood Deli!


Fish Seafood Deli



Rosscarbery
Burgatia,
Rosscarbery,
West Cork
Phone: (023) 8869612
Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9am-6pm
Sat: 9am-4pm
Closed Sunday & Public Holidays
Clonakilty
42 Ashe Street,
Clonakilty,
West Cork
Phone: (023) 8859981
Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 9am-6pm
Closed Sunday & Public Holidays

Monday, July 27, 2015

36 Hours in West Cork. Not that I was counting!

36 Hours in West Cork
Not that I was counting!


Baltimore sunset
I was thinking of Garrett Oliver, master brewer at New York’s Brooklyn Brewery, while I was eating lunch at Union Hall’s Coffee Shop last Thursday. Garrett related at the Ballymaloe LitFest how people, on first drinking one of his beers, tell him that it is so good it doesn't taste like beer. Garrett tells them, with some satisfaction, that what they have been drinking before is not real beer.

Well, here in Union Hall, our first call on our most recent trip to West Cork, I was eating real panini. I’m sure there are other good paninis out there but it is superb here, like nothing I've ever tasted before. It was packed with chicken, brie and pesto, all adding up to great flavours and terrific textures.
Panini
 The menu is short here as you'd expect but quality is high. And that is underlined with CL’s Quiche of Roast peppers, feta, Ballymaloe Relish. After that and a good cup of coffee we were on our way.


Having been in West Cork regularly, particularly this year, I were looking for one or two different things to see and do. West Cork obliged. Big time.


Graveyard on Myross Island
 After the Coffee Shop, we headed for Myross Island and found it. Drove up the narrow road to the graveyard which has terrific views over the Atlantic, including the nearby Rabbit Island. Next call was to Reen Pier where we ran into Jim Kennedy. He runs Atlantic Sea-kayaking and has his base here in this beautiful place.


We got some great views of it as we took the narrow road, rising up above the water, heading for a bridge that would take us to the other side and down to the peace and calm of Castletownsend with its distinguishing tree in the middle of the street, acting as a roundabout.

On the road above Reen Pier
 Baltimore was our destination for the night but there would be another stop or two on the way. First was the amazing Lough Hyne (the unusual seawater lough) and it was quite busy with many enjoying the sunshine, sitting around, swimming in the clear waters and others walking on the wooded hill above and getting fantastic views over the coast.


After all that activity, I felt we deserved a drink and knew just where to get it. On the way into Baltimore, we stopped at Casey’s Hotel. They have recently opened a microbrewery here and some of their Sherkin Lass Pale Ale went down a treat in the beautiful beer garden that overlooks the waters of Baltimore. They also do a red ale.


Rolling hills of West Cork
 Time then to check in at our accommodation. This was in Rolf’s. The Haffner family have been here for over twenty five years and their restaurant, where we enjoyed a terrific dinner at night, is well known. It is a great place to stay too, a fine and friendly base for the area.


In the morning, we were down on the pier, hoping to get a place on one of the boats going out to see the dolphins and, hopefully, a whale or two. But we had no luck. The lesson here is to book in advance.


Castletownsend
 So off we went to the Sheep's Head peninsula and stopped at the car park high in Seefin. We were almost sun-burned here a few months earlier but this day turned cloudy for a while and a strong wind greeted us as we climbed along the marked trail on top of the ridge. We got as far as the megalithic tomb before deciding to turn back. Not the best of days up there but still well worth the effort.


Down then to Old Creamery Cafe in Kilcrohane. This is a spanking clean spot with a menu of sandwiches, paninis, and salads and some home baking. We went for tea and some of that baking. I picked a Raspberry and Lemon Curd Sponge and those raspberries, fresh from the garden, were spectacularly juicy.


Courtyard garden at Rolf's
Refreshed now, we drove up the other side of this spectacular peninsula, heading for Durrus. Our stop though was at Ahakista to pay our respects to the three hundred plus victims of the Air India bombing disaster twenty years ago. Quite a few mementos, mainly wreaths, scattered here since the commemoration last June. Such a waste of life, such sadness.
Megalithic tomb on Sheep's Head
The sun was out as we headed over to Schull to see Walter Ryan-Purcell of Loughbeg Farm (now an open farm that you may visit). Walter, his wife and son, were up in Schull and we met them outside the Bunratty Inn, a gorgeous sun trap! Walter is well known in food circles and great to see the success Loughbeg is enjoying with their Oat Loaf. Look out for it in your local SuperValu.

Sweet! Old Creamery Cafe
 Down then to the pier and we were tempted by the fish dishes on offer at L’Escale but had a date in Rosscarbery and, after a walk on the path alongside the harbour in Schull, we headed for Pilgrim’s in Ross. Hadn't been there before, but is is easy to find as it is right smack bang in the centre of the village.

Ahakista's Air India memorial
 We were pleasantly surprised by the very high standard of the food here, a standard that many high class restaurants would find hard to match. We thoroughly enjoyed our few hours in Pilgrim’s before motoring back to the city.

Schull