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Bandon’s Chapel Steps celebrated their 3rd birthday in September and confidently moved into their fourth year with a brilliant new Autumn Menu, full of great choice and sprinkled with innovation too. All well cooked and also well served if our visit last week is anything to go by.
The lovely room, the centrepiece of the O'Reillys’ restaurant, will still see orders for fish and steak. These have been on the menu from day one, the fish from nearby Union Hall, the black Angus beef from even nearer home.
There were at least three different fish dishes on the menu when we called and, indeed, one of the specials allowed you to taste all three on the one platter. Our choice was the Medallions of curried scented monkfish in a tempura batter with saffron yogurt and tangy couscous. This was delicious, the fish not smothered by the thin veil of batter, and the tangy couscous was a terrific match.
And my choice? Not an easy one. Even after the fish and steak, there was still a Butternut and Feta Gratin, their Beef Burger, Duck 2 Way, Blade of Beef and chicken. The one I did pick was the Celebration of Pork: pan-fried pork belly, Rosscarbery black pudding croquette, smoked pork cheek, celeriac puree, salsify, apple and pear jus. Quite a long description but just a short one to sum it up: excellent. That smoked cheek came in its own mini-pie and was quite a treat. A quality dish indeed.
Back to the starter now and again the thing that strikes me is the great choice on the list. You can actually see the full menu (aside from specials) here. I don’t think I’ve ever had a mackerel smokie before so I went for it: diced smoked mackerel, tomato concasse, and topped with parmesan herb crust. Full of texture and flavour and a great way to start.
Our other starter was the Chicken liver paté with fig and apricot compote and warm toast. Easy enough to put out a slice of top notch paté but matching it with this particular compote made it a winner.
And another winner came at the end. We were facing defeat though when the dessert list was presented but made one last joint effort and ordered the Warm Treacle Tart, with praline, honeycomb, quince, caramel sauce and caramel ice-cream. Don't often see this on a menu. More's the pity as it was terrific. Next time though, we might manage two between us, this and perhaps the White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake!
And the good news is that the Treacle Tart features on the Chapel Step’s Christmas Menus, both lunch and dinner. The menus feature a mix of seasonal dishes (including Christmas Pudding of course) and some of their regular favourites. Prices are good: €22.00 for lunch, €30.00 for dinner.
We had a lovely meal the other night, trying out the new seasonal menu as guests.