Expanding Poachers Inn On The Ball In Bandon
When we pull in to the restaurant on the Clonakilty Road out of Bandon, the first thing we see is that they are busy dead-heading the flowers in the magnificent display at the front of the long-standing Poachers. Attention to detail is on display here and we see it in abundance as we go through our top class lunch; we see it on the plate and in the service. The people of Bandon and its environs are so lucky to have Poachers Inn (to give it its full title), owned and run by the Mclaughins, Catherine and Barry (chef), on their doorstep.
And, since the weekend, Poachers is even better thanks to the opening of Little Poachers. This new inviting room, a “Covid baby”, is upstairs and can seat up to fifty, so not so little. But it can also be quite an intimate venue as couples and larger groups will find a space here, either for the night or before and after a meal in the main room below. There’ll be food up here too, expect tapas and small plates. And a lot of fun and informality. Why not try their whiskey paddle? This consists of 20 ml samples of three different whiskeys. Watch this space!
And of course, they also have a lovely garden area, also in full use last weekend. Looked great at twilight and will look even better soon when the remainder of the new tables and chairs are in place.
Anyway, enough of that ramble and back to our lunch. After a friendly welcome from everyone we met, Olivier delivered our menus and a few tips. We had a pretty good idea of the menu but we delighted to see him bring the little blackboards with the specials.
Immediately, the oysters, with bacon and cabbage, caught the eye. Full title: Grilled Rock Oysters, with shredded cabbage, bacon, parmesan cream, garlic crumb (9 euro for 3). We both enjoyed those big boys! If you don’t fancy a starter, you can have a choice of nibbles to begin with including spiced nuts, mixed olives, even a glass of Sangria.
|Garden. BBQ here later!|
Courtmacsherry crab featured in two of the specials. One was a salad with local leaves, tomato and lime salsa, spring onion, creamy dill dressing, lemon sesame (10.95). The other was Hot Courtmac Claws in a chilli, ginger, basil and coriander sauce and with a bowl of basmati rice (17.95). Perhaps the best crab claws ever, enhanced no end by that superb sauce.
|Super Salad with Salmon|
Meanwhile, CL was enjoying “the best salad ever”. This came from the regular menu and the details: SuperFood Salad - Mixed local leaves, pickled pear, beets, pomegranate seeds, bulghur, black rice, spiced nuts, candied aubergine with poached salmon (14.95). The salad on its own is 8.95. It was a perfect combination of flavours and textures, not dominated by spices and pickles, just well-balanced. Quite a plateful - the salmon was perfectly poached (it would be! Emotie - but not a bit remained at the end.
We really had no intention of taking dessert on arrival but Olivier had two tips for us when he presented the short list and we gave in easily and were happy that we did! So if you do call and if don’t fancy the relatively heavier Sticky Toffee Pudding or the Chocolate Fudge Brownie, I have two recommendations for you, each 7.50.
One is Coconut Pannacotta, Mango Sorbet, glazed nectarine, tarragon foam and honeycomb and the other is Lemon Posset, blackberry granita, sangria mousse. A couple of delicious easy to dispatch desserts, perfect at the end of a very good meal indeed. And that was just lunch. Must go back and do dinner sometime. Soon.
You may read all the menus (including Little Poachers) here.
Later in the afternoon, we visited the nearby Glenview Gardens in Desert, Enniskeane. Some details and pics here.