Greene’s Team Bowl Them Over At The Mardyke. Classy Brunch (plus Gin Bonus) in Cricket Club

Greene’s Team Bowls Them Over
Classy Brunch (plus Gin Bonus) in Mardyke Cricket Club
Crab and haddock
The punters were on a winner here, even if the “game” was a friendly. Very friendly and informal as Greene’s sommelier Frank Schiltkamp pointed out in his few words at the start, saying we weren’t going to get quite the same treatment as we would at his MacCurtain Street base, a point quickly underlined when the opening offerings for this five course tasting brunch came in cardboard containers. 

Cardboard or not, it’s hard to beat class and Chef Bryan McCarthy and his team have that in abundance and they again played a blinder at the opening brunch of the Spirit of the City Festival in the Cork Cricket Club at the Mardyke.
Scrambled eggs and smoked salmon

Before, and during, the meal, there was gin, Beara Ocean Gin from West Cork to be exact. They include botanicals, Salt Water and Sugar Kelp, from the Atlantic among their botanicals for their standard gin. And add Rosewater and Cranberry for their Pink Ocean Gin. The Pink was a special for Valentine’s Day but proved so popular, it is still with us.
Pink Ocean Gin Cocktail
 We started with a cocktail: the Pink Ocean, Prosecco and Fever-Tree’s Aromatic Tonic. Very nice indeed, especially with the sun shining on the cricket grounds outside. Later, I tried the standard Ocean Gin with the regular tonic. Will have to sample them again though without all the ice, the lemon and the lime, even juniper berries. I prefer to get down to basics see what my drink really tastes like!

Smoked spuds and black pudding
 Speaking of basics, my favourite dish had three basic ingredients: smoked potato, Jack McCarthy’s Black pudding and pancetta, plus a delicious Truffle Mayo. It was the three basic items that stole the show, fantastic flavours and textures that combined to keep the palate very happy.


With the place full and after a few words from the busy chef, we had started well with Crab and Smoked Haddock, Cucumber Pickle, Chilli, Lime and Coriander, all on brown bread (and in a cardboard container!). Super ingredients and a superb combination. 

Course number two was also small(ish) but again perfectly formed: Scrambled Eggs and O’Connell’s Smoked Salmon, Grain mustard and Honey Spelt Toast. Very tasty again, right down to the toast.
Bao Eggs Benedict
 Couldn't quite say the same about the Bao in the Eggs Bao Benedict that followed the smoked spuds. The eggs were accompanied by a dry cured bacon, wild Garlic leaves and Hollandaise. The Bao, by comparison with the earlier breads, was rather anonymous at the bottom, handy for soakage though. The eggs and the bacon on the other hand were top drawer, well equipped with both flavour and texture to take on the world on their own.


What would the team in the kitchen come up with for the final over? They bowled us over with a colourful and sweet dessert: natural yogurt, rhubarb compote, and granola. 
Dessert

So well fed and nicely ginned, we got the jackets on and headed out to see what the rest of the festival was offering. Not a great deal at that early stage (about 2.15pm). Thought we might knock across a few gin producers in the big tent. But no sign of any and with the prices set at cricket score proportions, we decided to up sticks and exit gracefully.


Up the Dyke on Saturday: Bridge over the Lee with St Vincent's Church (Sunday's Well)

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