Kicked off my Dine in Cork Week at Jacques last evening and thoroughly enjoyed my four course meal for €25.00. Great to see the local restaurants getting together on this one and giving the customer “a cut”. Eithne Barry though reminded me that Jacques have been doing this value menu for ages.
And it is good value, good food. Our starters were typical. One a tasty Chicken Satay (on a skewer) with couscous, the other organic green leaves with chorizo, warm potato and parmesan shavings in a spot-on warm salad.
The confit of Skeaghanore Duck was popular in the packed Phoenix Street room, packed at 7.00pm by the way, but we both went for the Fresh Hake with a Hollandaise sauce and sprouting broccoli. Served with some mashed potato, this was just delicious, a great balance of ingredients.
Just a general point on sauces. I would prefer to see the sauce served in its own container so that the customer can choose the exact amount he or she wants. By the way, the amount served at Jacques was well judged, unlike some establishments where your meat or fish can come “swimming” in the sauce.
There were a few changes from the advertised Dine in Cork Menu e.g. Hollandaise instead of Prawn Butter sauce. But, the kitchen in a busy place is a fluid situation and variations are to be expected here and in the market. One, though, wasn't. The menu on the night promised an Orange and Raspberry Roulade and, in its place, a Blackcurrant Roulade was served.
To tell the truth, it was gorgeous, but not everyone would like the tarty taste of the blackcurrant. The other dessert, an Apple and Olive Oil cake with a Maple icing, was much richer than expected and quite a treat.
We each had a glass (€6.50) of the house wine which was from the Languedoc, an excellent Moulin de Gassac Sauvignon. Finished with a decent cup of decent coffee to round off a fine meal. Service overall was excellent, friendly and quite efficient and the comfortable place was buzzing. Jacques has been a leading player on the local scene for decades and shows every signing of maintaining its high ranking.