Ali's Kitchen. Variety. Fresh. Local. Seasonal.
No Need to Luca Further.
French Toast here at Ali’s Kitchen in the heart of Cork City is something of a moveable feast, but one well worth following. It might come with strawberries, with peaches, with dates, with blueberries, with blackberries and pears or, as was the case last Friday, with Apple Compote. To the compote, they added Vanilla Mascarpone and crumble and that added up to quite a dish for eleven euro. That was CL’s excellent choice from the Brunch Menu (it runs until 2.00pm). The variations on the theme, and it’s not confined to the French Toast, underlines that what you get here is fresh and seasonal.
I confirmed its excellence, cutting off a corner to have with my Macchiato, that exquisite little cuppa one of the best of its kind I’ve come across.
And speaking of “best of its kind” I have to mention front-of-house Luca who gave us his exclusive attention. Indeed, he seemed to give his exclusive attention to everyone. He greeted you on the way in and said goodbye on the way out and checked on the table in between.
If he were a centre-half - maybe he is, for all I know - nothing would get past him! But he "tackles" in the most delightful chatty way. The only time he frowned was when a departing customer responded with “merci” to Luca’s “ciao”. “He thinks I’m a Frenchman”, he moaned in mock horror!
At Ali’s, they celebrate brunch every day. “You’ll get Poachies galore and hollandaise heaven! Classic dishes like Eggs Benedict & Potato Hash to Waffles, Fritters and French Toast”. While at the weekend, “Bubbles & Mimosas at the weekend makes our Brunch extra special”.
The variations and specials are prominently displayed on a board and here I strayed from the Brunch to the Lunch column and put my eye on the open Fish Sandwich (9.50): O’Connell’s smoked mackerel, roast tomato, salsa verde, leaves and caper, all on slices of toasted sourdough. It was the perfect combination, all the extras combining so harmoniously with the generous amount of mackerel.
Very happy indeed with that one, another superb dish. I had intended trying out Ali’s famous cinnamon buns but, after the fish and the corner of the French Toast, had to postpone that pleasure. Ciao Luca and grazie for that excellent macchiato.
Ali’s opens early every weekday (except Monday when they are closed) and serves breakfast/brunch. Again the menu is small but varies from day to day and she promises something for everyone, including Eggs Benny and Harissa Eggs plus specials, their own granola even (if you’re in before noon). And, as we’ve seen from our visit, she and her team deliver big-time!
Rory Gallagher Place,