Showing posts with label bar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bar. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Food and Games at Barcadia. Retro Arcade with Bar and Kitchen

Food and Games at Barcadia
Retro Arcade with Bar and Kitchen
Will Sliney's mural with Pat and Colm (Pic: Brian Lougheed)

Food and games galore at the official launch last week of Barcadia, the stylish retro arcade space, with kitchen and bar, within the Mardyke complex. The brainchild of entertainers Colm Lougheed and Patrick Ahern, Barcadia joins the ranks of three other venues, Holy Smoke BBQ restaurant, Woolshed Baa and Grill, and Mardyke Bowl within the complex (built in the 1870s as a drinks warehouse).
Serious gaming. (Pic: Brian Lougheed)

There has been a three month run-in to the launch as the pair were operating Barcadia on a trial basis, checking the complex, tweaking the machines, and listening to the customer feedback before bringing out the trumpets last Thursday.

One of the first things that catches your attention as you enter is the large-scale Street Fighter mural drawn by Marvel artist Will Sliney, the background for many photos on launch night. Will is well-known by now around Cork, Ireland and the international comic book scene.

“Interestingly enough, back in the Mardyke (M2), we had many of the very same arcade machines which we have now re-imported and lovingly restored to their original state,” said Eddie Nicholson, MD of the Mardyke Entertainment Complex. Those who were customers in the late 90s might remember a different arcade on this same spot. Then the Woolshed was a jungle gym and Holy Smoke was a Q-Zar laser tag space.

Some of the arcade games that featured in the Mardyke are back and they are searching for others. In the meantime, get shooting with Point Blank, Time Crisis 2 and House of the Dead 4. “From the golden age of video games” come Pac Man, Defender, Tetris, Galaxian, Centipede, Asteroids and, of course, Space Invaders! Like to race? Then check out Daytona USA 2, Mario Kart GP 2, and Outrun SP 2. Lots of Fight games too.

Looking for a bit of exercise? Start with Pinball perhaps, then move up a gear to Fussball, Shuffleboard games and a bit of Basketball. Even Ping Pong.

And if you need to take it easy after all that, then try a table top game, like Buckaroo or Connect, Operation, Chutes and Ladders (St Patrick got rid of the snakes), Trivial Pursuit, Cluedo, Boggle and so many more.

As well as the gaming classics, Barcadia features a solid food menu (with Holy Smoke chef Decky Walsh leading the team). The focus is on homemade pizzas, themed burgers, Southern Fried Chicken (“with a subtle nod to the three fast food restaurant chains in the Grand Theft Auto universe”). Sweet treats too to keep those energy levels up. All were on offer on launch night and all (check out those battered onion rings and those mozzarella sticks too) were very enjoyable indeed. 
Chefs at Work! (Pic: Brian Lougheed)

There is a full bar there also, featuring some real good beer. I enjoyed a couple of pints of Franciscan Well Chieftain and noticed that Yellow Belly’s Kellerbier is guesting there at present. Cans include Brooklyn Brewery and Brewdog. There is quite a range of cocktails with appropriate titles such as Princess Peach, Donkey Kong, Pac Man, Street Fighter and Super Mario. Cheers!

Barcadia is open till late every weekday from 4.30pm and from 12.00pm on the weekends.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The New Republic in Ballincollig. Plush, Spacious Restaurant.

New Republic in Ballincollig
Plush, Spacious Restaurant

The Republic Bar & Grill, the newly opened upstairs restaurant in Ballincollig’s East End, is plush and comfortable and the food too is of a high standard. Owners John and Darina Gately have also opened a bar downstairs and that is called JD’s.

Visited the Republic last week and was immediately struck by the decor, the comfortable and spacious split-level areas with a small bar in the middle, the views over the main street, the many paintings and the friendly welcome.

Later, my focus would switch to the food and the service and both turned out to be faultless. The grill is emphasised of course so plenty steaks, burgers too. But there is much more in this impressive place. Lots of tables for two but it is also designed to be family friendly both in terms of seating and food - there is an extensive kids menu.

There are no specials here but the menu is quite large. Amazingly, for the third restaurant in a row, we availed of a blue cheese and pear salad but this time a warm one - a very good one too: Warm Pear & Cashel Blue Cheese Salad, withToasted Walnuts (7.95). 

My own choice was the JD Gately’s Famous Spicy Chicken Wings (7.95), with Blue Cheese and Celery sticks. This was a trademark success in a previous Gately restaurant and is as good as ever.

When it came to the mains, I decided to try something from the grill. I picked Wagyu Beef Burger (15.95) with crispy onion stack, french fries and peppercorn sauce. The meat is from Macroom and you have a choice of sauces. It is served on a Brioche bun and is very tasty indeed.

Sounds of approval too from the other side of the table as CL tucked into her Oven Roast Supreme Of Chicken (14.95), with Creamy Mushroom & White Wine Sauce, another well presented dish, well cooked with excellent texture and flavour.

Desserts are tempting enough and very hard to resist when the choice comes to your table on a trolley! Our share was the Velvet Cake with vanilla pod cream infused with strawberry. Quite a decadent finish in the new Republic.

The total, excluding tip, came to €60.80 for two starters, two main courses and one dessert plus a glass of Jameson Crested. 

A day or two later, I found the bill in my pocket and saw the whiskey cost €7.50. I got the same for €5.00 in Ballina (Grand National Hotel) in October and for €5.65 in Killarney (Celtic Whiskey Bar) in November. Overall though, we were well pleased with the food, the service and the splendid new room. A fine new place to go in Ballincollig.

  • By the way, you can study the menus (including Sunday lunch) here before you visit.

Republic Bar & Grill
Main Street
Co. Cork
tel: 021 4873252
Open: from 5.00pm Tues to Sat; 1.00-6.00pm Sun.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Enjoyable Stay at Dublin’s Ashling Hotel

Enjoyable Stay at Dublin’s Ashling Hotel

The four star Ashling Hotel  in Parkgate Street, just 200 metres from Heuston Station, was my base for a recent short stay in Dublin. With the station so close, and two Luas stops nearby, and visits to the Zoo and the Guinness Storehouse on the agenda, it was a convenient location.

And also a very good one. The staff, day and evening, were brilliant, at reception, in the restaurant and in the bar. The place was bright and smart and there was very comfortable seating in the public areas.

Anyone for Breakfast?
Chesterfield Avenue is nearby and takes you to the Zoo and the hotel restaurant has the same name. It also has lots of good Irish produce. I thoroughly enjoyed my Silver Hill Duck and Quail Salad. And that was followed by a delicious falling-off-the-bone shank of Galway lamb. The choice at breakfast, also served in Chesterfield’s, was huge, quality all the way.
Chicken and Gammon Sandwich in the bar.
 This being Guinness country, the busy spacious bar is named the Iveagh Bar. No Irish craft beer here but did enjoy a few pints of Erdinger and found the bar food excellent on the one occasion we ate there.

Restaurant dessert
 They are strict enough about check-in and check-out time but will hold your luggage for you, which is a handy facility. There are quite a few attractions in the immediate area, including the gaol and museum in Kilmainham. But it is very easy to get to the city centre. You’d walk it in about 20 minutes; the Luas is very convenient and so too is the bus.

Highly recommended.

Silver Hill Duck and Quail Salad in restaurant

Friday, April 6, 2012

Vista Bar And Grill, Hotel Montenotte

Vista Bar And Grill
Hotel Montenotte

I’ve been using some of those better than half price deal vouchers and the most recent was this week when I called to one of my local hotels, the Hotel Montenotte. The Groupon voucher promised a couple of cocktails and a main course each for €25.00.
Hadn’t been to the Montenotte for quite a while but it turned out to be quite an enjoyable experience. The voucher mentioned the Vista Bar and Grill but we were directed to the adjoining restaurant section; both enjoy the same views over the city.
The hotel and dining room looked brilliant. Service was low key, courteous and efficient. The cocktails didn’t materialise. Instead we were served with a glass each of a rosé Prosecco, quite dry and tasty. No quibbles there; only bubbles. There were supplements on the various steaks but again this had been flagged to some extent by Groupon.
We checked out the well worn menus as we sipped the bubbly. CL decided to go for the Poached Darne of Atlantic Salmon (C), priced at €16.75. This turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise. It was served, unusually, on baby potatoes with a fresh mussel and winter vegetable broth, with a side dish of spot-on vegetables. A little different and a very pleasing main course indeed.

Didn’t expect any problems with my sirloin and none materialised. It was done just as requested and I really enjoyed the creamy mushroom sauce and my little bucket of French fries (nice touch!).
Had a look at the desserts but, after two sizeable platefuls (and the fact the Champions League was about to start on telly!), decided to finish off with coffee. Again, this was well up to standard, Bewley's I believe.
There are some other items on the menu worth exploring and you can see the lot here. If you'd like to see more local deals from Groupon click here.