Showing posts with label lunch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lunch. Show all posts

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Crawford Gallery Café. Bright Palette in City Centre.

Crawford Gallery Café

Bright Palette in City Centre
Cured Bream
A touch of Spring about the scene in the Crawford Gallery Café when I called there last Thursday. Light streaming through the high windows, daffodils on the tables, smiles on the welcoming faces. And a tempting menu to study.

The January menu is outstanding actually, regular favourites such as Steak and Chips but also quite a few different items such as the Roast Marrow Bone.
Turnip and Bacon
CL picked the Turnip and Bacon Soup (5.50) as her starter. Not everyday you see that combination but the local produce was excellent and, well cooked, proved a lovely warm starter on a cold day.

Mine was the Cured Sea Bream with Pomegranate Juice and Cumin (7.00), the inspiration for this from a little further east than the turnip and bacon! Looked like a work of art (had to squeeze that in, since the cafe is on the heart of the Gallery). Tasted rather well too, terrific flavors and textures, the rich fish enhanced by the juice and taking a wee lift from the cumin. Delightful. Very highly recommended. And do watch out for other dishes of this style here in the future.
Salmon
The Salmon dish had attracted CL from the minute she saw it on the list: Salmon in a tomato, roast red pepper, herby broth, with garlic sauce and sourdough crouton (14.95). And she was delighted with it, loved the combination and thrilled with the light broth. No cream here to fill you up and so you go on to clean the plate.


Much the same could be said for me, except that mine was served on a timber platter. I love my aubergine, perhaps my favourite of the non-traditional vegetables, and I’ve had some great dishes with it featuring.
A right royal toastie!

And this, even though it was just a humble “toastie”, was another excellent one. Aubergine, roasted red pepper, Gruyere toasted sourdough, with sundried tomato pesto, cucumber pickle and a little salad (10.95). Toastie or not, I dined like a king, for this was a royal standard sandwich. Just goes to show when the ingredients are good and matched by the kitchen, the customer is a winner.

And the customer is certainly a winner here. And quite a few know it, as the room was packed last Thursday!






Monday, July 1, 2013

Arthur Mayne’s. Cool spot!

Arthur Mayne’s
Found a cool spot in the hot city centre a few days ago and enjoyed a tasty lunch there. This longish narrow outdoor area is at the back of the Arthur Mayne’s Pharmacy, the relatively new wine-bar in Pembroke Street.

Not now a chemist, though many interesting artefacts remain on view. Indeed, you might well think you are making a visit to the chemist when you see things such as  Senna Leaves, Brylcream and Wrights Coal Tar Soap on display. These and much more were found during the renovation and, luckily, not thrown away! Indeed, the ladies can check out some old style lipsticks.

Had been there a few weeks earlier on the Tapas Trail and noticed quite an extensive menu. On this follow-up visit, I was there for lunch. And was glad to get a seat in this outdoor oasis where the concrete is softened by the addition of some greenery overhead.

Had a look at the menu, set up by head chef Darren Connolly, and decided to start with the Mushroom Soup. Got a big bowl of it, an excellent soup and the brown soda bread was also spot-on.

I rarely pass up a chance of trying the local spiced beef and didn’t miss out on their “stack”: a Sandwich Stack to be precise, packed with the spiced beef, with caramelised onions, cucumber pickle, mixed leaves, seasoned tomatoes, and served with a seasoned mustard aioli.

I was well fed and so too was CL. She had also enjoyed the soup and her mains was a very tasty Asian Infused Chicken salad (with chicken, bean sprouts, noodles, onions and peppers with a sesame, chilli and honey dressing).

Finished off with some of that excellent coffee from Maher’s. Oh by the way, I did have to try something from the long wine list. There is quite a choice of wines available and a prescription (yes, I kid you not) will allow you sample from the 24 kept fresh on their state-of-the-art enomatic system.

Didn’t go for the prescription but did order a glass of their Obra Prima Reserva, a smooth strong Merlot from Mendoza. Took my time with that as I enjoyed my lunch break in the sun. Cheers, Arthur!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Nash 19. Alive with good food and good humour.

Nash 19. 
Alive with good food and good humour.

 Thought I wouldn’t get a spot at Nash 19 yesterday at lunchtime but there was a table at the back. After a big warm welcome we settled down, our order was taken and we sipped the gorgeous Italian white wine Pecorino.

While we were waiting for the mains, we were treated to an Amuse Bouche, chicken liver paté with their own cranberry sauce (when it is as good as this, a little goes a long way).

 Then down to business, sorry, that should read pleasure. CL picked the O’Connell’s Hake, served with a pea puree and field mushrooms. As usual the fish was fresh, just out of the water you’d think, and cooked to perfection as was everything else on the plate.
 I choose the Supreme of O’Sullivan’s Chicken with Gubbeen chorizo and spinach. Supreme is the word. Moist and tasty and a spirited reminder every now and then from Fingal Ferguson’s lively chorizo. A vote of confidence in this game is an empty plate and two of them went back to the kitchen.
 If you are in Nash 19 at this time of the year, you just have to try the Christmas treats. I went for the traditional Mince Pie. Been eating these for over 60 years now and I reckon the Princes Street version is the best ever. Try it for yourself some day. Even if you don’t have time for a meal, just drop in for a pie and a cup of coffee and let me know!

CL thoroughly enjoyed her Warm Festive Fruit Tart and I loved my sample but it’s the mince pies for me, though I could me tempted by the Christmas pudding next time.

I finished off with a couple of cups of Bewley’s Coffee and headed out in good humour, not just because of the good food but because of the good humour of everyone we met in the restaurant. It is true what they say – it is contagious. Laugh and the world laughs with you. Happy Christmas to all at Nash 19.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Discover the magic of Barnabrow


Discover the magic of Barnabrow

 Barnabrow House, a top wedding and Sunday lunch venue, reveals its magic little by little. Driving up the tree lined lane on a dark winter’s night, you might easily imagine a band of fairies at the weak edge of the headlight beams. In the morning, no imagination required, you will see a bunch of friendly donkeys, four generations, including a couple of this year’s foals.

Climb up a little higher behind the house towards the main restaurant, where the weddings are held, and lift your head and you will see a terrific view, over the neighbours in Ballymaloe, all the way to Ballycotton on the coast and its lighthouse winking in the grey morning light.


Lodge interior

Imagine this in the Spring and Summer. Then you begin to realise why the fairy of Cloyne based herself here, not that we did get to see the fairy fort. But there is so much else to see here, thanks to the magic, not to mention the hard work, of owner Geraldine Kidd who has been restoring and developing the ancient house and its surrounding acres over the past 16 years.

And the newest magic, and again hard work, is being supplied by recently installed head chef Stuart Bowes. His aim is to make everything on the table “as local, as organic and as fresh as possible”. We saw the motto put into super tasty reality in a stunning meal in one of the dining rooms in the house and you may read all about it here.

As part of a party of journalists and bloggers, we were welcomed warmly by Geraldine and her staff.  As we sipped the mulled wine, she explained that the place had been evolving for hundreds of years. After working in London, Geraldine came to visit Ballymaloe, saw the melons growing in the greenhouse, "an epiphany moment",  and signed up for a three months course.




Lodges

 She added to her cooking experience with a stint in the Arbutus and also worked with Denis Cotter of Café Paradiso and also in Midleton’s Farmgate. She bought it “very cheaply” in the mid 90s. It has proved very popular as a wedding venue.

After a candlelit breakfast, Geraldine and Stuart took us on a tour of the facility, which is on three levels, almost terraces. There are various accommodation units and at the top you have the large room where the weddings are held and directly in front there is a decked area from which you have the views over East Cork. It is an exclusive location and a bespoke service is offered to each bride and groom.

They can cater for up to wedding150 guests and, yes they can stay overnight, not in the house itself but in a dozen or so lodges nearby. And very impressive lodges they are. Can be used by non wedding guests as well.



All are individually furnished and very tastefully so, loads of space. The one we toured had a huge kitchen cum living room, a massive upstairs bedroom (double and 2 singles), and as much downstairs, including a four poster bed.




Wedding venue
The rooms in the main house itself are also individually furnished with different styles from traditional to bright and airy with a Mediterranean touch. Ours had its own touches, among them some old suitcases casually on the top of the wardrobe and a packed bookcase.



Accomodation
Indeed, the house itself can be something of a mystery to the first timer. Which door to use? In the room where we dined, you push a door and a bookcase revolves to meet you.

In the greenhouse
On our walkabout, we were accompanied by the dogs, and saw the donkeys and the walled garden where Stuart can get his grapes, organic purples ones. His know-how and a little pectin is added and hey presto you have a delectable purple jelly! More animals on view, including a goat and also some poultry wandering around. All so natural here.





And that about sums up Barnabrow, hidden behind the trees for most of the year. Just another farmhouse you might think but there is a magic at work here, the latest supplied by the accomplished young Scottish chef. Well worth a visit. Or two. One couple with us had been married here a few years ago and enjoyed the return to Barnabrow.

Introducing Chef Stuart Bowes at Barnabrow

Introducing Chef Stuart Bowes at Barnabrow

 Experienced Scottish chef Stuart Bowes is the new Head Chef at Barnabrow House  in East Cork and owner Geraldine Kidd introduced him to the media last week. Later Stuart introduced himself with a smashing dinner.

But first we met in the smaller kitchen of the big house, Geraldine’s own kitchen! She told us Stuart spent six years training at the Michelin starred Chapter One in the UK before embarking on a trip to Australia where he broadened his experience before coming to Cork to work in the Orchids restaurant in Hayfield Manor. He joined Barnabrow last June.

While doing a little demo in the kitchen, Stuart told us that “preparation is vital...helps get consistency..whether your group is 20 or 120.”

 While demoing his Rabbit dish that we would so enjoy later on, he spoke of a new experience at the wedding meals in Barnabrow, the shared platter, which we would also see later. “We give the couple the choice and so far two have taken the shared platter. The reaction has been great and we hope to do more with it.” Many see the platter as a good ice-breaker.

Having talked the talk, Stuart walked the walk, starting us off with Cork-a-leekie! That Scottish classic was given an East Cork twist by the proud Scot with Dan Aherne’s organic chicken and leeks from Barnabrow’s own walled garden.

Some of my tasty bits from the Shared Platter

Conversation was now flowing and that flow was further enhanced as the shared platter was passed around. The wines too were flowing and they also were top notch. I could go on and on with the superlatives but I think I’ll just let you have a look at rest of the menu now. Top produce and a top chef meant we were in foodie heaven for the very enjoyable candlelit evening meal.

Food to Share:
Platters of Barnabrow’s home smoked Mallard duck, Gulf stream oak smoked salmon, Rosscarbery’s free range pork, pistachio and cranberry terrine, jamon Serrano.
Barnabrow’s home grown and home pickled artichokes, roasted and marinated beetroot and garden leaves, Olive Hallinan’s Cloyne Goat Cheese accompanied by hazelnut dressing, fig puree, aged balsamic and Barnabrow basil pesto.
Homemade rosemary and onion focaccia, hot crusty bread rolls.
Wine: Domaine Emilian Gillet 2009 from Burgundy.

 Bitter Sweet Sorbet:
Gin and pink grapefruit sorbet tanged with their very own organic apple jelly, married with fresh cucumber.



Main Course:
Loin of East Cork wild rabbit, poached and roasted, with a pithivier of rabbit leg, Cloyne quince, Barnabrow walled garden spinach and 8 Degrees Ale jus.
Wine: Paddy Borthwick Pinot Noir 2010.

Dessert:
Coast meets culture. Stuart’s parfait of Irish Atlantic sea salt and caramel with Green Saffron spiced marshmallows and Valrhona chocolate sabayon.
Wine: Château Joly Cuvee Jean.

One magnificent meal. Perhaps the humble rabbit provided the highlight but then I wouldn’t want to miss either the Shared Platter or the Dessert. Great stuff, thanks to Geraldine, to Stuart and their lovely staff.




Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Perfect Sunday Lunch Experience at Ballymaloe


Perfect Sunday Lunch
 Experience at Ballymaloe 

Ballymaloe seem always to get it just right. The balance is always so perfect. Did you ever try the relaxed Sunday lunch there? You should. The warm welcome, understated class and under bottom comfort, the perfect easy going service, and, of course, the most natural seasonal foods served up with care and love, ensuring that the quality from the farm and garden is carried through to the table.

They do, however, make sure that you arrive on time. This is a buffet and they want you to enjoy it at its best. So do yourself a favour and arrive a few minutes before 1.00pm, the appointed time. That is the end of the “pressure”, the beginning of a relaxing dining experience.

And you never know who you might meet. A family, kids and all, out for a quite celebration, other groups and couples. And I was lucky enough to meet up with Paulo Tullio. Had a nice chat. He told me he had enjoyed his meal in town on the previous evening and was very impressed with the amount of fish on offer in Cork restaurants saying they don’t get it as much on the East Coast.

After the warm welcome, we were guided to our reserved table. Two adjoining high ceilinged rooms, each comfortable with plenty of space between the tables, serves as the dining area with a long table in an adjoining room carrying the buffet.



But first came the soup course. We had a choice of two. One was Pea and Chill while the other, the chosen one, was the Celeriac. This was a superb creamy tasty warming blend, a promising start indeed.

Then we were invited to fill our plates at the long table. Choices, so many I can hardly remember. Salads, pizza slices, quiche slices, cheese croquets, gorgeous temping vegetables, a fish dish and no shortage of seafood (mussels, calamari, etc), roast potatoes (well it was Sunday) and juicy joints of meat.

I made the lamb the centrepiece of my plate but couldn’t resist adding a little bit of the bacon and its special sauce (lots of sauces). The lamb was juicy and tender and indeed the whole plateful was spot on, all helped on the way by a glass of Pena Roble (Ribero del Duero, Spain). If you didn’t get enough food first time, don’t worry, you are welcome to visit that long table again!
But I was happy enough with my amount and relaxed for a while before the dessert trolley was rolled out. Now I was on full alert again! Quite a few choices but settled for some of the Lemon Roulade and the Apple and Blackberry Tart. Quite a contrast here with the sophisticated mix of the roulade and the rustic crusty tart. Both brilliant!

Time then for a coffee or two before heading out into the Autumn sunshine, weak but welcome!

Sunday lunch at Ballymaloe costs €38.00 per person. 




Friday, August 24, 2012

Excellent Lunch in Pat Shortt’s Bar

Pat Shortt’s Bar
Lunch in Castlemartyr

 It was just about lunch-time when we arrived in Pat Shortt’s Bar in Castlemartyr last Saturday. The place was packed inside. Luckily, there were seats in the outside area by the local river, the Kiltha, and so, for the second time in eight days, we dined al fresco in Ireland!

And we got good stuff. The starters were terrific. I got an ample helping of Bill Casey’s Oak Smoked Organic Salmon served on a lovely brown bread (€7.50). Bill is just down the road; chef Mike Hanrahan told me he collected the fish that morning. It tasted gorgeous, really impressed.


The local theme is strong here and was again well illustrated in CL’s starter: Ardsallagh Goat’s Cheese, black pudding, and pear salad, served on a bed of leaves with roast peppers and Ballymaloe Relish (€6.50). A terrific well balanced combination of textures and tastes.

Had more than enough fries earlier in the week so had to give D’Unbelievable Burger a miss. Settled instead for the Chicken and Chorizo penne pasta in a tomato and herb sauce (€10.75). Quite a bit of chicken and it was first class, the real thing, and the sauce was brilliant and gave the dish a nice lift.


Polished it off in the sun and then crossed the road to the Village Greengrocer where Shortt’s get their veg. Just a few yards up is Clifford’s, his butcher. It was a busy afternoon but soon everything stopped as dozens and dozens of motorbikes came through the village. It was the members of the Gold Wing Treffen driving their bikes from Cobh to Youghal. Just another talking point on a terrific day in the East Cork area. 


Friday, August 3, 2012

Step up to a Dining Room with a View


Jacob’s Ladder



Jacob’s Ladder  is the harbour front restaurant of the Water’s Edge Hotel in Cobh. The views out over Cork Harbour are excellent – indeed you may well see a cruise liner float by between courses – and the food is not half bad either.

It is a bright room with comfortable seating.  Service during our recent lunch call was friendly and efficient. By the way, not all the windows have a view of the harbour.There are a few that overlook the neighbours who are The Quays, another waterside restaurant. 

The lunch, with some friends from the town, was unplanned but none the worse for that. Nobody though wanted to go the whole hog. Just one starter and that was a very tasty Bruschetta of Brie (with roasted peppers, summer squash and onion jam).

One of the party was happy with his Watersedge Toastie. The filling was honey ham, cheddar and red onion.

The most popular main course was the day’s special: Warm Chicken, Serrano Ham and Potato Salad with Chive Dressing. Must say I enjoyed mine even though I thought the ham was rather overwhelmed by the rest of the dish, an opinion not shared by a fellow diner. 

Prices were reasonable enough. For instance, the Toasted Sandwich cost €7.95 while the Warm Chicken salad came to €11.95. The house wine (both red and white) was €5.25 per glass (perhaps not the greatest value you’ll get).

We had been in the town for the Food and Heritage Day  and were royally entertained for a few hours. Really enjoyed the day and the lunch. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Afternoon in the Idaho Cafe

Afternoon in the Idaho Cafe


Surprised to see so many customers in the Idaho Cafe at 3.00pm on a drizzly Tuesday afternoon. Just goes to illustrate that this Caroline Street venue is as popular as ever and that goes to the credit of Richard and Mairead Jacob and the way they have been running it for eleven years.

Their way is really a philosophy, a combination of simple things: local ingredients, well cooked, and served with a smile and a chat and, oh yes, a large dollop of hard work behind it all. Simple but superb. And obviously appreciated by their many regulars.

I think their Facebook Page sums it up very well: “We are a small, but perfectly formed Cafe, serving breakfast, lunch, coffees and drinks to an eclectic and much loved group of customers.
Our menu brings you great breakfasty treats such as Waffles with Bacon, Porridge, Bacon and Cheddar Croissants and our famous Bacon and Sausage Baps.

Lunch revolves around more great Irish ingredients served with simplicity and style. Shepherdess's Pie, Smoked Fish Pie, and hot toasted Baps are complemented by regularly changing Salads.

We are striving to source ALL our core ingredients from a 100km radius of Idaho Cafe, Bacon, Sausages and Black puddings come from Limerick, Our cheeses are from west Cork, Our apple juice is from Cappoquinn, Breads from Cork City..... I think you get the message !!!!”

We were treated to Afternoon Tea. This is not a regular on the agenda but is available on request. We had a great chat with the proprietors as they took little breaks in their turn. Dubliner Richard is the front of house while Corkonian Mairead is the chef. She is always trying something else and we got a chance to sample her delicious Sweet Geranium Syrup that is going down well with some of the breakfast regulars who take it with the porridge. 


We had started with a local product, Frank Hedderman’s gorgeous salmon on brown bread. Again local, simple and simply delicious! Perhaps the highlight though was Mairead’s Gooseberry Crumble. This was made from their own home grown red gooseberries and was simply outstanding.

Impossible to top that but the final treat came close! These were the macarons made by John and Sylvie McCormick. They look much the same as any other colourful macaron but the fillings are something else. If you don’t believe me, why not try them out at Mahon Point Farmers Market.

And, one more thing, why not try out Idaho Cafe itself?  A place to relax and replenish your resources, just a few yards from Patrick Street.



Friday, July 13, 2012

NASH 19: Cracking lunch!


NASH 19: Cracking lunch!


Hadn’t been in for a while and it was great to see the Nash 19 crew in top form when I called in for a midweek lunch. It just gets better and better in this central Prince’s Street venue. The smiling service is as bright and efficient as ever and, hard to believe, the food is probably even better. What a lunch: from a menu of great variety, I enjoyed three courses of the highest standard.

Take the hake I had for my main course. That fish must have been dripping from the Atlantic when he arrived in Nash 19 that morning. Such freshness I have rarely encountered.

Then add in the magic from chef Pamela Kelly. The Castletownbere hake was presented on a Saffron and Prawn Risotto with a sprinkling of Kelly magic, including grapes, pineapple and balsamic, endowing the gorgeous flesh with a light and scrumptious touch. Influences of the Med, maybe Asia. Wasn’t really giving that much thought. Too busy eating.

I have enjoyed some tremendous fish dishes in France and Spain over a recent four week holiday, dishes where the fish was king and the other bits and pieces were used to enhance that status. It gives me the greatest of pleasure to say that the Nash 19 hake was as good as any of the Basque creations.

Dessert was another highlight. Here some of the freshest raspberries from Con Trass’s Apple Farm had been included in a gorgeous Mille Feuille, layers of sweetness and the juice of the berries. Might not be a great summer but this was a sunny delight.

The meal had started off well with the Fish Chowder, another class offering, and the wine was a French Sauvignon Blanc by Les Jamelles, crisp and tart and fine with the fish. A couple of coffees at the finale and two happy diners joined many more leaving the busy Nash 19, meeting many more that were coming in.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lunchtime at L’Atitude


Lunchtime at L’Atitude



Enjoyed a light lunch with a difference at L’Atitude 51, the newish Wine Cafe opposite the City Hall (1, Union Quay). The choice, see photo of board, is not huge but the quality is excellent.

There is an even bigger board, much bigger, where you can see the huge wine list; must be over fifty choices. In many cases, you can buy by the small taster glass (75ml), a full glass (150ml) and also by the pichet (250ml).

While waiting, I decided to try one of the taster glasses and picked the 2008 Cat Amongst the Pigeons, Cabernet Sauvignon, from Australia’s McLaren Vale. Later, with the meal, I enjoyed the 2008 Massaya Classic (Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah) from the Lebanon. Both come under the Fruity with Attitude heading on the list and each was excellent.

They also have a range of beers here, including some local craft brews. Indeed, you may try 8 Degrees Brewing HowlingGale here straight from the tap and it was great to meet up with Scott from the new Mitchelstown company who was making a call.

Coffee too comes from a local Cork company, Badger and Dodo. They know their stuff and so do the servers so you’ll enjoy the best here; I did, but before I got to that stage there was some eating to be done!

Emma Lagrande, who runs the wine cafe along with Beverly Matthews, recommended I try the Haddock Chowder. Very good and excellent value at €4.50. I had seen some of the sandwiches being served and they looked tempting but I opted for the Spiced Vegetable Pie, a tasty dish at a bargain price of €6.50 and served with a well dressed salad.

Service was friendly, low key and top notch, just the way I like it. My only regret was that I was I couldn't make it back for dinner that evening. Would have liked to have tried the Frogs’ Legs on the menu! Vive la différence.

Monday, February 13, 2012

LAZY LUNCH AT ELECTRIC


LAZY LUNCH AT ELECTRIC

Click on image to enlarge

Enjoyed a long lazy lunch, with two colleagues that I used to work with, at South Mall’s Electric last week and it worked out very well indeed.


But I knew the signs were good when I checked out the menu on their site. No delay then as I made the booking via the site, a very impressive facility indeed, as you immediately know where you stand and it even gives you a reference number.


I mentioned lazy there at the start but should make it clear that it applies to the customers, not to the staff, all of whom were friendly and efficient and up for a chat and a bit of banter. Makes the whole experience that bit more enjoyable.


There are over six starters on offer and the one that caught my eye was the Crispy fried tripe with chorizo, chickpeas & kale (€6.00). I didn’t change my mind in the comfortable restaurant and must say I really enjoyed it. Quite a combination of flavours, quite a match.


There are about nine “Main Plates” and, in addition one or two, of the starters may be ordered as main courses, a great range of choices for lunchtime. One of my colleague picked the Ground steak beef burger with an onion ring, chips & aioli (€13) and pronounced himself quite happy it while the other was delighted with her Tagliatelle with prawns, parsley, chilli, lemon & garlic, reasonably priced at €11.00.


For me, it was the Baked cod with wilted greens, herb mash and parsley beurre blanc (€13.00). Nice presentation here and the chunk of cod were quite large and done to perfection; the greens and the kale were a perfect complement while the sauce was just gorgeous. Fortunately, they didn’t give me too much of it or I’d have been taking a spoon to it (pictured, top right).


One colleague, the only one working, had fallen by the wayside when it was time for “Something Sweet”. All deserts are priced at €5.80 and we had no complaints with the two. I enjoyed the rather different Iced prune and almond terrine with blackberries (bottom left in photo) while my colleague tucked in to her Sticky toffee pudding with rum & raisin ice cream (top left).


During the meal, I had a glass of one of the four white house wines (a very satisfactory Sauvignon Blanc from the Languedoc); they also do four reds and one rose. There is also a full wine list and, with the bar downstairs, you have lots of choices in the drinks department. Took our time over a couple of coffees and then two happy customers headed off before the parking discs expired.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


STAR ANISE

Sunshine last Friday. And sunshine on a plate at Star Anise. Just love the Mediterranean twist here that brightens up the lunchtime menu.

As usual, I went for the special, almost always do. My mains was Chicken, wrapped in pancetta and served with beautiful juicy tomatoes (red and yellow), tasty spuds and a crispy salad, all for €12.00. An empty plate went back.

The other mains, also a special, was Grilled Sea Bass on a bed of lentils, with similar veg and salad (€14.95). Not quite as colourful as mine but just as tasty. I had a taste of course and it reminded me of a similar plate in Portugal.

Had started with a lovely bowlful (a big one) of Mushroom and thyme soup (€5.50). Didn't feel like a full dessert but Star Anise had the answer: a mini-dessert.  They’ve got a selection that costs €2.20 each, including Crème Brûlée and Panacotta.

Taking a break from the shopping or otherwise don't have time for a full leisurely lunch? Then this convenient Bridge Street venue can help out. For a tenner, yes just a tenner, you may have Soup, Sandwich and a Coffee.