Thursday, July 29, 2021

Peckish? Parched? Arthur Mayne's got you covered, outdoors for now.

Peckish? Parched? Arthur Mayne's got you covered, outdoors for now.

Once upon a time, customers used to troop into the Pembroke Street chemist in search of a cure for bellyaches and headaches and all the aches of a previous century. The current crew of customers are seeking an outdoor place to wine and dine as the venue is now a wine bar cum restaurant, part of the ever expanding collection of Cork Heritage Pubs being “curated” by the indefatigable Benny McCabe.

While they have some outdoor seating on both Pembroke Street and Phoenix Street, the main batch is between Mayne’s itself and Crane Lane (another McCabe house). It is narrow, fairly well enclosed and pretty well protected with high sides and above you’ll have a blue (hopefully) sky. Cork Heritage Pubs have decided not to operate indoors until all the staff are vaccinated.

Pork Belly

We met some of the staff when we called for an evening meal during the week and a lovely bunch they are, efficient and helpful, know their drinks and food and they helped make our visit a very pleasant one indeed.

And another bonus of calling to Heritage pubs is that you’ll get to enjoy craft beer as they have their own brewery over on the Coal Quay. I’m always happy to quaff a can or a glass from the Rising Sons and we enjoyed both the Changeling Pale Ale (best ale in the world up to 5% in 2018) and the Sunbeam Lager during our meal.


They have quite a range of choice on the food menu as well and it all looks fairly priced. And they serve breakfast (from 10.00am), lunch (up to 3.00pm) and evening meal (up to 10.00pm) here everyday plus brunch (10.00am to 3.00pm) on Saturday and Sunday.

We started our evening meal by sharing a helping of mussels served in a bowl of broth and served with a Rustic Baguette (8.95). The mussels were excellent. The baguette didn’t look much on arrival but then I found out it was warm and semi-sliced I tucked it and it certainly proved a generous and tasty add-on to the mussels.

There is no division between starters and mains here as such, so you can pick and choose as you wish. There are quite a few obvious small plates such as Chicken Liver and Brandy Pâté Served with Toasted Crostinis & Quince Jelly and Hummus Served with a Rustic Baguette. And there’s a handy side or two such as Rustic Potatoes €6.95 (Twice Cooked Potatoes with a Spicy Aioli Topping & Bravas Seasoning). You might feel like sharing - there’s a cheese board, a meat board, and a combination of the two.

For my mains, I picked the Surf & Turf Slow Roasted Pork Belly & Grilled Scallops with Black Pudding Crumble, Asparagus & Apple Cider Sauce (€13.95). This was definitely mains, packed onto an oblong plate. Great sauce, lovely spicy black pudding and a very enjoyable piece of belly, crispy on top. On the other hand, the Coxinha (9.50) didn’t quite do it for us. The Pepper Salsa was about the best part of these Pulled Chicken Croquettes (filled with a cheese-y chicken).

Finished off with a couple of well made desserts, each generously sized, at six euro apiece. The Dark Chocolate and Cherry Tart was the “heavy” one, tasty and filling. The Passionfruit Mousse with Biscotti was the lighter one of the pair. Happy out after all that as we strolled out the back door onto Phoenix Street - you enter via Pembroke Street!

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