Izz Café On George’s Quay
Quality Food in Cork from “our mothers and grandmothers”.
Izz Café have proved quite a hit in local farmer’s markets over the past few months. I, for one, have enjoyed their salads, their jars of good things, and their superb cakes. Now, you don’t have to wait until Thursday in Mahon or Saturday in Douglas as the Palestinian family behind the tasty venture have opened a café at 14 George’s Quay. They will continue their market stall.
The new café is small but bright and airy and, by the way, also does takeaway, and was officially opened last week by none other than Darina Allen. I made my first visit there this week and enjoyed a lovely lunch. The Alkarajeh family behind Izz Cafe are determined that their Cork customers will enjoy the “original quality of our mothers and grandmothers.” They’re off to a good start.
Not too sure what to order. There is no written menu yet but there will be as soon as they decide on what dishes to present. In the meantime, there is an electronic board showing all the choices: appetisers, manaeesh and desserts.
So there we were, staring at the displays until we spotted the Tasters Mix, a collection of their appetisers served with freshly baked bread (€9.50). So we absolutely enjoyed, with a glass of water (they do have soft drinks available), a silky smooth hummus, Fattoush, Babaganoush, with olives and pomegranate seeds. That bread was just out of the oven and was a treat.
Manaeesh, the heading for the main dishes, is a popular Levantine food consisting of dough topped with thyme, cheese, or ground meat, etc. Similar to a pizza, it can be sliced or folded, and it can be served either for breakfast or lunch. Most of these are priced at €6.50.
While mostly vegetarian, you can also get chicken and beef versions on George’s Quay. But why not try the Zaatar and Cheese version? This is a mixture of Palestinian oregano, with sesame and olive oil, and a blend of white traditional cheese, spread on their traditional dough and baked together. I saw a few customers enjoying those!
And as the regular market-goers will know, Izz has irresistible cakes. Their Cinnamon Roll (one is enough!) had customers drooling. And that roll is also here in George’s Quay. Along with a whole lot more.
They have Bounty Cake (coconut and chocolate), Warbat (a kind of enhanced Baklava), and Saffron Cake. Even scones if you want traditional Irish! I went for the Basbooseh, a delicious melange of coconut with semolina, eggs, yogurt, sunflower oil, vanilla baking powder, rose water and sugar syrup.
Okay, so you can’t be eating large slices of cake all day long. What do you do if all you want is a cuppa? Bet you’d like a little bite to go with it. Sure you would and Izz has just the thing. It is called Maamoul and is a traditional Palestinian bite-sized dessert stuffed with walnut or date. Ideal with that mid-morning or mid-afternoon coffee (which is also excellent here).
14 George’s Quay
Phone: 085 149 5625
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