The Weir Rooms. Pay attention to simple things

The Weir Rooms

Pay attention to simple things
Tomatoes and Mozzarella
 Last weekend, I had lunch on the bank of the south channel of the river, in the Weir Rooms of the River Lee hotel.

By coincidence, that very evening I began reading Chef by Jaspreet Singh in which the senior chef advises his apprentice (the author): Pay attention to simple things… If one cannot deal with a simple dish properly, there is no way one will be able to handle the more sophisticated. Take a tomato, for instance….. give it the reverence it deserves and ask: Tomato, what would you like to become? Do you want to be alone? or do you prefer company? Apricot…. would you like to become more than yourself in the company of saffron?”

Tomatoes and Goat's Cheese

The humble tomato is the link with the Weir Rooms as it featured in our starters. They could, of course, have sent it out on its own, like the famous Alice Waters peach, on second thoughts maybe not! But the chefs in the River Lee decided it to roast it up and give it some company, mainly a soaking in sweet balsamic.

Pay attention to the simple things paid off big time as the tomatoes were one element of a superb starter that also included goat’s cheese wrapped in golden fried kataifi and a well dressed salad. We also got to taste a big ball of Toonsbridge Mozzarella with a similar accompaniment and glad to report that both were excellent.

Quite a choice of starters (some shared plates) and the day's special was a Spiced Butternut Squash Soup. I love Skeaghanore Duck and picked the Crispy Duck Spring Roll confit cucumber, pickled ginger hoisin sauce, another winner, and I loved every little tasty bit as the river flowed by in the sun shine, just outside, well not so much outside as the “shelter” at our side could be lifted to allow more of the the outside in.

No shortage of choice of mains. Included on the list were a selection of sandwiches (including a Slow Cooked BBQ pulled pork), salads (including a smoked salmon special), steaks and curries and so on and also a Fish Pie (from the Specials Board).

We both decided on the Pan fried fillets of Sea-Bass with sea asparagus and Seville oranges and pink grapefruit, acidulated fennel, and pommes noisette. This was a summer-time gem, full of colour, flavour and textures, a lovely little crunch coming via the samphire. Happy out, as we say around here. So happy in fact that we skipped the tempting array of desserts.

Two courses for two, including an aperitif of Campari on the rocks for me, came to €58.45.

The Weir Rooms is part pf the River Lee Hotel Western Road, Cork, Ireland.
Phone:+353 (21) 4252700,  Fax:+353 (21) 4274477

One corner of the Weir Rooms.