Finns' Table. Real Food. Real People.
|Pork Belly starter|
This pair of phrases indicate how I feel about Finns’ Table in Kinsale. I want to go. I don’t want to leave.
Julie (front of house) and husband John (chef) score on so many levels. Aside from the excellent food and quality drink here, it is those broad welcoming smiles. And all genuine. Nothing fake here, either on your plate or on their faces.
And we got that marvellous warm welcome when we visited just before Christmas. A chat ensued about the year that had flown by since we’d had eaten here and about their 2-week break in the USA from which they’d just returned.
Then as we studied the menu, including the long wine list, Julie warmed us up with a Mulled Wine Bellini, reinforcing the feel-good feeling. Oh and there was also a very tasty amuse bouche of ham croquette and garlic mayo. They had a pair of lovely breads (mini-loaves) too, one based on treacle, the other on potato, with hummus and butter on the side.
The food here is locally sourced. They are on a winner with the beef and lamb as that’s supplied by John’s parents, butchers in Mitchelstown. Fish and seafood comes from local West Cork trawlers, mussels and oysters from Jamie of Haven Shellfish just down the road in Oysterhaven. Free range eggs are from Beechwood Farm while Clona Dairies supply the milk and cream.
Quite a choice of starters here, including those oysters in varying presentations. There was a slight hiccup with one of our requested starters as Chef John wasn’t happy that the Treacle and West Cork Whiskey marinade had yet completed its transformation of the smoked salmon. It would be fine in another day or two but not just yet! Just goes to show the level of detail and professionalism here in this kitchen, nothing is left to chance. And the rest of the meal confirmed it.
My Slow Cooked Pork Belly and Pudding Bonbons (€12), with cider and port and corn Salsa was absolutely superb, one of the very best examples I’ve come across, just full of flavour and a pleasure to eat. And there were similar words from the other side as CL enjoyed the Spiced Beef Carpaccio (12), crispy quail eggs, pickled mushroom and horseradish crême fraiche.
There was a little humming and hawing about the wine; because of our main dishes, one of us was tending towards white, the other towards red. A compromise was reached by choosing one of the house reds, the Vina Casablanca Cefiro Pinot Noir (28.00). It proved very versatile indeed, dangerously drinkable too and at a good price. And that sufficed until we switched to a glass of Sauternes for the dessert.
Before that though, there were the main courses. Always on the lookout for seasonal, so my choice here was the Pan Roast Venison Loin (30), with roast celeriac and spiced lentils. A stunning plateful that needed little adornment.
CL was tempted by what looked like a terrific Turbot offering but in the end went for the Pan Roast Fillet of John Dory (33.00), creamed leeks, Crab bisque sauce and beetroot salsa. That crab and beetroot worked a treat and indeed the plateful was another delicious delight on the night. Main courses are served with oven roast root vegetables and potatoes.
Baked Alaska (left) with Mango and Orange cake (10.00) at the heart of it was our dessert, a lovely foil for the glass of Sauternes. The rich wine was slowly sipped as the enjoyable meal in this warm elegant appealing place came to an end. And soon we stepped from the warmth inside to the dark cold of the narrow street outside, quickly increasing the pace to reach the Trident, another welcoming Kinsale hospitality establishment and our base for the night.
If you are in Finns' Table between 6.00 and 6.30pm any evening, you may avail of the Early Bird offering: three for €37.50.
6 Main Street