Thursday, April 28, 2022

Tipperary’s Longways Cider produce excellent results through working with nature. A Quart of Ale± #102

A Quart of Ale± #102

Tipperary’s Longways Cider produce excellent results through working with nature

A 25-acre apple farm is home to James O’Donoghue and his family who have been producing some of Ireland’s best cider apples for many years. Surrounded by nature, the orchards are also home to sixteen Irish honeybee colonies that pollinate the entire orchard.

Founder of Longways Cider, James O’Donoghue is an expert beekeeper and was awarded the Silver Medal at Britain’s prestigious National Honey Show in London – 1996.

They say: Every drop of Longways Cider captures the essence of the .. rolling countryside of the Suir Valley in South Tipperary that provides the perfect conditions to produce truly outstanding apple juice and cider. Our cider is brewed from carefully selected Irish apples, grown exclusively at Longways Orchard.

For a good illustration of how Longways cider is produced, check out this section of their website here

“We set out to craft a cider which embodies quality, character and consistency, a philosophy we have adopted in apple growing over the years. We have created a vibrant, fruity modern cider with buckets of apple flavour and a smooth finish which pairs well with food or can be equally enjoyed on its own, with friends.”

Longways Medium Sweet Elderflower Cider 4.5%, 500ml bottle

Strong pink colour with a myriad of bubbles rising. Elderflowers surprisingly head up the aromas with a background of ripe juicy apples. And that is the mix on the palate as well, with the apples coming on stronger here. It is classed on the label as medium sweet and that is probably accurate enough though maybe (and happily) not as sweet as I anticipated, especially at the finish. Flowers from the spring and apples from the autumn orchard make a lovely refreshing summertime drink. Enjoy!

By the way, if you are having a reception this summer why not try using this eye-catching pink drink instead of imported sparkling wine. At just over four per cent abv, your guests will thank you, if not that evening, in the morning after!

Longways Tipperary Medium Dry Cider 4.5%, 500ml bottle

This Medium Dry Longways is “blossom to bottle”, made with Irish apples from the Suir Valley, has a light golden colour and no shortage of bubbles. It boasts the ripe aromas of orchard fruit. And that soft fruit continues pleasingly on the palate balanced with a tingly acidity, the initial (slightly) sweet notes turning into a (slightly) piquant finish. Also notice the lip-drying tannins. Another pleasant and refreshing number from Longways.

Longways Sweet Katy Cider 4.5%, 500ml bottle

This medium sweet cider, made from sweet Katy apples, has a lovely gold colour, with lots of bubbles sparkling. Aromas of the red skinned apples invite you in. And medium sweet probably sums this up, though nowhere near as sweet as I thought it would be. The flavours are supple, apple and strawberry, and this well balanced juicy Longways finishes with a slightly tangy note. Getting to like these Longways. Must make sure and get a few in for the brighter warmer days ahead.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Long Table Feast to be Highlight of 2022 West Waterford Festival of Food

 press release

Long Table Feast to be Highlight 

of 2022 West Waterford Festival of Food


Helping Launch West Waterford Festival of Food 2022 at Lismore Castle are Lyra-Persephone Willians (6) and Lucy Reilly (7).

One of Ireland’s biggest food festivals, the West Waterford Festival of Food will return from 10 – 12 June with almost 100 events, both free and ticketed. Over 35,000 visitors are expected to attend the 13th annual festival, which will feature local chefs Paul Flynn of The Tannery and Greg Harris of 360 Cookhouse along with international guests Luis Martin, Head Chef at Mount Juliet’s Hunter’s Yard who previously worked in Jesús Sánchez’s three-Michelin-star restaurant, Cenador de Amós; and renowned Mexican-Irish chef Lily Ramirez-Foran. With events showcasing sustainable Irish produce, tickets go on sale at 2pm on Thursday, 5 May at


Highlights include the West Waterford Festival of Food Long Table Feast, sponsored by McCarthy Insurance Group (12 June). With views of Dungarvan Castle and Harbour on Castle Street, 100 diners will experience an al fresco feast prepared by Paul Flynn and Greg Harris. Renowned chef Tom Walsh will cook at the Walled Garden Dinner at Woodhouse Estate (11 June); and The Old Bank will see its Executive Head Chef David Larkin join Luis Martin for a seven-course tasting menu centred around the restaurant’s farm produce, Al Eile (11 June). David will also create a five-course menu for opening night, paired with wines from drinks expert Gerry Gunnigan.


This year’s line-up includes a spectacular supper by FoodCloud and GIY, made with surplus food by chef JB Dubois of GROW HQ Waterford at The 2 Sisters Restaurant (11 June); while Dungarvan Brewing Company welcomes Lily Ramirez-Foran and Anthony O’Toole (11 June); and there’s a Sunday lunch at Dromana House cooked by Chef Colin Hennessy, who co-owns Shanagarry Smoke–House (12 June).


Speaking on the West Waterford Festival of Food  programme launch, Festival CEO Maeve Quill said: “After a two-year break from our physical festival, we’re delighted to welcome visitors back. Nestled between the mountains and the sea on some of the finest agricultural land, West Waterford is an unique part of Ireland. Through the festival we want to reach as many people as possible — both locally and beyond — and show the region to them, shining a spotlight on our producers, chefs, suppliers, growers and brewers. 

By showcasing their sustainable Irish produce, we are highlighting what those involved in West Waterford Festival of Food do, how they do it and what impact they, and indeed we as a festival have on our society and the environment. The last two years have given us a deeper understanding of the importance of our food — where it’s from, how it’s prepared and how it brings us together, even in the toughest times. This is what the festival is all about.”


The three-day foodie paradise welcomes old favourites — the Festival Market at Grattan Square (12 June) featuring 100 local and artisan producers; and demonstrations in the Taste Waterford marquee with Nicola Crowley of Mezze and guest Lily Ramirez-Foran of Picado. Also returning is the Flahavan’s Greenway Breakfast; the Bake-Off judged by Ethna Sheehan; Afternoon Tea by Judit McNally at Salterbridge House;  Supper Theatre at Dungarvan Mart; a barbecue at the Comeragh Pods, a blind food and cocktail tasting; and the acclaimed Bus Bia Tours.


Sustainable farming and food production practices will be showcased by Olympic walker and dairy farmer Jamie Costin; vegetable grower Mairead Costin; dairy and beef farmers, Stephen and Caitriona Fitzgerald; and Lismore Castle’s Head Gardener Darren Topps, who looks after the oldest continually cultivated gardens in Ireland. There will also be a woodland foraging walk with leading forager Andrew Malcolm.


For budding young foodies, there’re a number of family-friendly events this year, many which are free. These include the Glanbia Fun Zone with workshops on Growing Your Own, the National Reptile Zoo and Nor Valley Animal Park, along with a workshop with ceramic expert Martha Cashman. There will also be family farm bus trips; family yoga sessions; a food treasure hunt and teddy bears’ picnic; and workshops on healthy eating, sensory cooking, growing crops from seeds, and reducing food waste.


The 2022 West Waterford Festival of Food is supported by Waterford City and County Council, Waterford Local Enterprise Office and LEADER Partnership, with sponsors McCarthy Insurance Group, Flahavan’s, Glanbia Ireland, Expressway, Flo Gas, Dawn Meats, Garvey’s, Eurofins, San Pellegrino, Blackwater, SuperValu Food Academy, Coillte, FBD, Local Link, and AIB.


Maeve added: “Thank you to our funders, sponsors, producers, chefs, makers, supporters, venue hosts, friends and volunteers as without them the West Waterford Festival of Food would not be possible. And thank you also to our visitors, who we hope will have an unforgettable three days from 10-12 June, as we present to them our region’s food, drink, live entertainment and stunning views.”


For up-to-date information, visit or follow:


Supermarket Wines. Wines in Multiples. Celebrity Wines.

 Supermarket Wines. Wines in Multiples

Celebrity Wines. 

Supermarkets are where many of us bought and buy our first wines, and where many still buy all their wines. 

Two that I started with, decades ago, were the Sangre De Toro Red and Vina Sol White. Both are produced by the renowned and respected Torres family of Spain. I enjoyed those for quite a few years and both are still going strong in Irish supermarkets.

It is also in supermarkets that you’ll find most if not all of the celebrity wines, such as the Graham Norton Shiraz below. Graham now has quite a few to his name, including two Proseccos, even a gin. He and his Invivo wine professionals seem to be much appreciated.

Most of these celebrity wines are well made, not overly structured, and usually easy drinking. Not talking here about wines produced by celebrities that actually own vineyards, but rather about those who have teamed up with wine professionals to make one wine or sometimes a series. 

You will find decent wines at entry level prices in supermarkets and multiples. The first two below are good examples. The third, an easy-drinking bulk wine Sauvignon Blanc, hasn’t the longest finish but I don’t think that will be a major handicap when you’re enjoying it with a few friends and a chat in a pavement café or during a back garden interlude.

You don’t hear too much about bulk wine but, according to The Buyer, bulk (or rather bottled-in-market wines) it is the fastest growing part of the wine industry. 

Wine Folly: Some bulk producers have state-of-the-art automation methods that make solid, clean, and consistent wines year-after-year

So good value can be found for different reasons. And the reason in the case of the Romanian Pinot Noir from O’Brien’s is historical. Romania is only now recovering from the grim grip of the former Soviet Union on its wine industry and so prices are somewhat lower than the norm. But, with top wine companies investing there, expect to pay more in the future. In the meantime, enjoy!

Andre Goichot Fleurie (AOC) 2019, 13%, Supervalu €14.65 (€10.00 when on offer, as it was this Easter)

Fleurie is perhaps the best loved and also one of the very best of the Beaujolais area’s ten crus.  I’m quite a Fleurie fan and always look forward to opening a bottle and this was no exception, especially since I had enjoyed the 2018 not too long ago.

It is mid to dark ruby in colour. Cherry scents are prominent when you nose it and on the palate it has lots of deliciously fruit (raspberry, cherry) with a hint of spice and, importantly, with a refreshing acidity that helps create harmony right through to the dry finish. 

Medium bodied, it is soft and easy drinking, not a blockbuster or anywhere close to blockbusting, but it has character enough to pair well with a wide range of lighter dishes. The label recommends hard and soft cheeses and classic roasts, be it red or white meat. Worth a try also with spicy food.

Fleurie, like all ten crus, is in the north east of the Beaujolais region. Here, the Gamay grape thrives on the granite soil. The crus that produce the flagship wines are: Chiroubles, Saint Amour, Fleurie, Régnié, Brouilly, Cote de Brouilly, Juliénas, Chénas, Morgon and Moulin-à-Vent. Not everyday, you can try out a cru for this price!

Graham Norton’s Own Shiraz, South Australia 2017, 14.5%, Wines of the World and Supermarkets.

This was one of some very enjoyable wines - my first time meeting this particular Shiraz - at a Wines of the World Blind Online Tasting with Kate Barry (of Barry & Fitzwilliam) in 2021.

The Graham Norton Shiraz is from South Australia and is a mix of fruit from different regions offering a reasonably complex wine with a deep ruby colour. It’s a bold in aroma and on the palate,  a juicy wine with character, just like the man himself! Perhaps that’s why they called it Shiraz rather than Syrah (the French name for the grape denotes, mostly, a quieter wine). It is a juicy and fruity wine and easy drinking for sure.

This Shiraz is quite a good wine for a tasting actually. It came to ours in a brown paper bag! Kate enjoyed tasting this one. “A dry wine with medium plus acidity.” She expected a high alcohol count, judging mainly by the burn at the back of throat, and she was spot on. Lots of primary fruit flavours plus some spice. Pretty good finish too and well balanced. “I’m a lover of this wine and I hope you enjoyed it too,” she concluded.

Usually priced in the low teens and widely available, including in Dunnes, SuperValu and Tesco. 

The Bend in the River Sauvignon Blanc 2020, 12.5%, (widely available in supermarkets at around eight euro)


The Bend in the River range by Germany’s Reh Kendermann is widely available in this country, especially in the main supermarkets.

The Sauvignon Blanc has a light straw colour with some green tints.  Light fruity aromas plus hints of Elderflower invite you on to a refreshing, balanced and well flavoured wine (citrus-y mainly but also green apple, gooseberry notes too) with a lip smacking finish. The wine is an excellent aperitif and a perfect match to spicy or Asian Cuisine. It certainly has that second glass appeal.

The fruit is raised in South Africa and imported and bottled by Reh Kendermann in Germany. It is therefore what is known as a bulk wine. It is not the only Reh Kendermann wine I’ve come across in recent weeks. They have a few wines (made from home grown German fruit) exclusively with Dunnes Stores and they, retailing around €11.00 to 11.50, are definitely worth checking out here.

Wildflower Pinot Noir Romania 2019, 12.5%, €9 (was 13.95) 

Romania? Haven’t heard much about their wine? Reasonable questions. But vineyards were first planted in Romania by the Romans so there is an ancient winemaking history here. Nowadays, according to the World Atlas of Wine, “EU membership has encouraged considerable investment in Romania’s vineyards and relatively well-run wineries”

This Pinot Noir is a pale ruby colour, as you might expect from the varietal. There’s a fruity nose (raspberry, strawberry, cranberry) and fairly spicy too. Very fruity on the palate, richer than you’d generally find in France. But it’s light and fresh, and acidity enough to make it very quaffable indeed. Good finish too. A pleasant intro to the Pinot Noir grape and excellent value.

The label says this is “an outstanding example of this famous varietal and can be enjoyed on its own, slightly chilled on a hot summer evening, or as perfect companion to BBQs where it will definitely keep all your friends happy.”

Ballymaloe Grainstore set to delight foodies, families and friends as they announce May Fair Festival to take place from May 20 -22nd

 press release 


Ballymaloe Grainstore set to delight foodies, families and friends as they announce May Fair Festival to take place from May 20 -22nd


Doireann Healy of Begley and Bowie, Rachel Allen, Grainne Ferreira of Dandelion Yoga, Naomi Smith of Ragbone, with kids Olan and Axel Berner.

Food, fashion, home and garden fans rejoice – Ballymaloe Grainstore’s Mayfair is sure to be a feast for all the senses



Ballymaloe Grainstore have announced the perfect start to those summer nights with the launch of their May Fair Festival which takes place from May 20th to May 22nd.


The focus, as always, will be on celebrating the best of Irish producers across food, fashion, home and garden with a host of events and activities planned for both children and adults.


The Ballymaloe May Fair event, supported by Ireland’s Classic Hits Radio, follows on from the much-loved Ballymaloe Craft Fair which runs every November and has seen fantastic crowds attending every year since it first began in 2009.


Running from 5pm Friday 20TH May, Saturday from 10am- ‘til late and 10am to 5pm Sunday 22 May, Ballymaloe May Fair Festival features workshops, live cooking demonstrations, garden tours, walled garden fitness classes and over 100 stalls containing food, homeware and vintage fashion for adults and kids.


Tickets are €10pp with children under 12 free at  Walks, talks, tours, cookery and cocktail demonstrations are all included with your entry ticket.


Speaking ahead of the festival, organiser Bree Allen said:


“We were keen to host a summer fair this year to promote the wealth of talented producers we have in Ireland across so many different industries.


“At May Fair we’ll specifically be hosting events and activities which will celebrate good food, fashion, home and garden, which very much ties in with our ethos here at Ballymaloe. We love being able to provide smaller businesses the platform to introduce themselves to people and their products on a larger scale.


“In addition to this, the festival ties in with our sustainability policies and we ensure no single use plastic is used in any products or packaging at the festival.


“While this is a family friendly event and there will be activities for children, there will be adult activities across the whole weekend. We have some excellent workshops taking place across the weekend such as brass wreath making and even how to make your own wooden butter knife.

Rachel Allen with Olan and Axel Berner


“We’re really proud of the outdoor and wellness offering we have this year, and in the walled garden we’ve got a fitness area where there’s a fantastic line up of classes, from mindfulness workshops to strength training classes, yoga and pilates, there is something that will cater to every interest.


“We’re delighted to be able to host this festival with a comprehensive offering of events and activities this year and we look forward to meeting everyone there,” Ms Allen concluded.


Further information on events and activities for Ballymaloe May Fair, supported by Ireland’s Classic Hits Radio is below:


Live cooking demonstrations


Foodies won’t want to miss this offering as some of Cork – and Ireland’s household names will be cooking up a storm with a host of cookery and cocktail demonstrations planned across the weekend. These will be an hour in duration and are included in the €10 entry fee, with pop up wine tastings taking place throughout the weekend. 

The stellar line up is as follows:

  • Darina Allen
  • Rory O’Connell
  • Paul Flynn from the Tannery Restaurant
  • Andy Ferreira from Cask
  • Scot Holder from Los Chiconos
  • Arun Kapil from Green Saffron
  • Cully and Ivan from Cully and Sully
  • Justin Green from Bertha’s Revenge


Ballymaloe House Afternoon Tea

Those with a sweet tooth are in for a treat as Ballymaloe House’s resident Head Chef Dervilla O'Flynn and sweets kitchen chef JR will join forces to produce a delicious afternoon tea menu with sandwiches, cakes, biscuits and more.

Limited spaces available so those interested in attending are advised to book their spot when purchasing their entry tickets for the Fair.


Evening activities

You can make a night of it at this year’s May Fair Festival as there will be a great selection of food trucks serving delicious meals. Soak up the atmosphere by enjoying the live music and DJs present both Friday and Saturday evening, and if you fancy it, treat yourself to a glass of wine or beer while you’re at it! The Demo stage will continue into the evening with cocktail and cooking demonstrations.


Children’s Activities

There will be a drop and go service run in conjunction with Kathy from Brixx club and Louise from Clayotic with a creative workshop area for kids. These workshops will run throughout Saturday and Sunday from 10am at a cost of €10 per child per hour. It’s win-win as the hour-long workshops will give you a chance to wander the stalls, do a workshop or catch a cooking demo while the kids are entertained building Lego and model clay masterpieces.

On Sunday, Nicky from Scrappy Little Monsters will be hosting a felt workshop for kids on the Sunday from 10am. Places are very limited for this workshop and you can book your tickets online when you purchase your entry tickets.

Tickets for the children's area are available to purchase when you purchase a ticket for adults entry to Ballymaloe May Fair. Free entry to the fair for Children under 12 with a contribution of €10.00 per hour for Kathy’s drop and go workshop area. Just purchase your ticket and then when you arrive and sign up for the time that best suits you.


Walled Garden fitness classes

You’re free to bring your mat and head along to the walled garden fitness area for a fantastic line up of classes across the weekend with something to suit everyone.

Start the weekend in the right mind frame on Friday with Mirin Mooney and her mindfulness workshop, while those looking for something a little more serious can avail of a strength training class on Saturday.

Following this, there will be yoga classes, beginner Pilates and sound bath with Sharma, ending the day with a self-care practice.

Sunday has another great line up of classes with Pilates, yoga and mandala workshops taking place.

Places for all fitness classes are limited to 15 people so people are advised to reserve their mat spaces when booking their May Fair entrance tickets through the website.



As always, Ballymaloe May Fair has a great line up of stalls to wander through. The Grainstore will host a great selection of local fashion designers and vintage clothing specialists, with both adult and children’s clothing available to peruse.

House and home are a strong theme for the stalls at this year’s event with a great line-up of Irish makers and sellers with products for each room of the house available.

Of course, we can’t forget the host of food and drink producers who will be showcasing their local products.

The full line-up of stalls is available to view on the website



Workshops will be hosted in the Book Shed area of Ballymaloe Farm, with three to four  workshops taking place each day over the weekend starting on Friday evening.

Each workshop will be an hour long in duration across a range of diverse areas, with options to join Esther from Elements of Action and make a brass wreath to decorate your wall or join Grace for a workshop on macrame plant hangers.

Eamonn from Hewn will be present for a workshop on carving your own wooden butter knife, learn how to make your own Terrarium with Prickly Plants, or make your own soap with Suzanne from Clarke’s Soaps Dublin.

You can book all workshops through the website when purchasing your entry tickets, with all equipment and materials will be supplied for each workshop.




Garden Tours

Over the weekend Ballymaloe are offering an array of tours around Ballymaloe, with history house tours, walled garden talks, biodiversity tours of the grounds and an in-depth look at their new solar panels with a sustainability-focussed tour.

Below are the confirmed tours planned over the weekend, which will allow you to get to the heart of Ballymaloe with a weekend of walks and talks focusing on the house and farm:

  • Bio-diversity tour of Ballymaloe Grounds with head groundsman Tobias
  • History tour of Ballymaloe House with Fern Allen
  • Walled Garden walks with head gardeners Susan Turner and Mags Coughlan
  • Farm Sustainability Tours with Ruddy and Rory
  • Pre-Launch Sculpture exhibition tour with Ritchie Scott


Once again spaces are limited for these tours so those who wish to take part are advised to book their spots when purchasing their May Fair entry tickets on the website.


press release


Third release in Ireland’s oldest and rarest whiskey collection reaffirms Irish whiskey’s position in the world of ultra-rare luxury spirits.

Midleton Very Rare has unveiled the Third Chapter in the Silent Distillery collection, Ireland’s oldest and rarest whiskey collection.

Midleton Very Rare, renowned as the Pinnacle of Irish Whiskey, is produced in Midleton Distillery, Co. Cork, Ireland and the Silent Distillery Collection includes six releases. Beginning in 2020 the distillery began to release one chapter annually over 6 years which will culminate in 2025, the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the legendary Old Midleton Distillery which operated from 1825-1975. This collection, ranging in age from 45 to 50 years old, represents the very last drops of this inimitable spirit before the distillery went silent forever.

Chapter Three is an exceptional 47-year-old whiskey born from the marriage of two separate whiskeys matured in an ex-sherry butt and an ex-bourbon barrel. The two whiskeys date back to 1973 and were blended before bottling to give the whiskey an extraordinary flavour. The release of Chapter Three, which marks the halfway point of the collection, pays homage to history and craftsmanship, a journey of age and time inspired by the element of fire, as the pot still worked its magic through the fires which burned beneath it.

The inspiration behind the element of fire, goes back to 1854 when the largest pot still in the world was assembled and installed by local craftsmen at the Old Midleton Distillery and managed by the skilled hands of ‘fire men’ whose job it was to control the temperature of the stills which could heat more than 30,000 gallons of liquid in a single day. The roar of the fires has been silenced but the still remains in the grounds of the old distillery. It is this trailblazing story which serves as an inspiration for the third release from Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery.

With just 97 bottles of this extraordinarily rare Irish whiskey produced, Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Three is incomparable in terms of age and history and presents as a true connoisseur’s dream. Created and matured under the guardianship of four celebrated Master Distillers, the whiskey has been enhanced through each changing of hands, with each Master taking great care to protect the legacy of the precious liquid.  

Kevin O’Gorman is only the fourth person in 75 years to hold the title of Master Distiller at Midleton Distillery. Kevin follows in the footsteps of previous Master Distillers including Max Crockett, the forefather of modern Irish whiskey; his son Barry, the creator of Midleton Very Rare and Brian Nation. 

Commenting on the unique history and complexity of Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Three, O’Gorman explains:
“Crafted from a marriage of distillations left to mature over 47 years in a hand-selected bourbon barrel and a sherry butt, Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Chapter Three, is a wonderfully aged yet contemporary expression of Irish Whiskey like no other.”
This year the inspiration of fire came from the world’s largest pot still and the relentless work from the local men, the ‘fire men’ who used to feed the still’s fires, whilst learning how to regulate the heat through stoking and raking to ensure the temperature was correct.”

Staying true to its proud Irish heritage and luxury craftsmanship, Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter Three has been decanted into handblown and etched crystal decanter bottles, produced by Ireland’s Waterford Crystal, with each of the bottles individually numbered 1-97. The bottle comes displayed in a bespoke wooden cabinet handcrafted by Irish designer, John Galvin, using wood made from Burr Elm, an ancient wood as rare as the whiskey within it. The markings recall the flames that once warmed the old pot still.

“Midleton Distillery embodies Irish heritage and this new Chapter based around the element of fire, inspired our team at John Galvin Design when sourcing materials and designing the cabinet for the bottle. Our craftsmen have used the rich coloured Burr Elm wood for the wooden case with the aim of reconnecting us to our land and origins” says John Galvin.

Consumers will be able to experience drops of Chapter Three from the Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery through an event at Adare Manor Hotel in Ireland on 13th June. The tickets are limited for this rare and exclusive experience. Further details are available through Adare Manor.

Silent Distillery Chapter Three will be available to purchase via a ballot on the Midleton Very Rare 1825 room, which goes live on 3rd May and closes on 10th May.

Age: 47 Years
Distillate type: Single Pot Still
Cask type: Two cask blend – Bourbon and Sherry
Release Date: May 2022
97 bottles
RRP: €45,000, £42,500, $51,000
Availability: Ireland, UK, Global Travel Retail, US, France
Retailers include:
Ireland – Brown Thomas
UK – Harrods, Hedonism, Harvey Nichols, Master of Malt, The Whiskey Exchange, Berry Bros. & Rudd, Fine and Rare, Bordeaux Index and Fortnum & Mason
France – La Maison du Whiskey
Singapore – Duty Free 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Koto Lunch Fills You With That Come Back Again Feeling

Koto Lunch Fills You With

 That Come Back Again Feeling

Yaki Soba, with chicken

Was in town last Friday for lunch. Looking for something different, I remembered previous meals in Koto and that was where we ended up.Very happily, as it turned out.

I also remember previous occasions in the building, particularly when it was known as Gambieni’s. We were regulars here for their Italian cuisine, counting Pollo alla Piccata (light tangy lemon sauce) and Pollo alla Romano (a tomato based sauce) among our favourites.

Plenty of chicken there now also but under a different cuisine. Jeffrey Safar Hamidi, son of the Gambieni owner, opened Koto as an Asian restaurant in 2017 and has now a solid 5 years behind him. 

Gambieni’s itself had been replaced by the popular Aroi, also Asian cuisine, but an unfortunate fire was one factor in halting Aroi’s Cork march. Aroi continues strongly in Limerick and there is also an outlet in Kilkenny.

Anyhow, back to Carey’s Lane. They have a terrific helpful staff in Koto, on the ball, checking every now and then without being at your shoulder all meal long. Good at front of house and pretty good in that kitchen as well as was soon confirmed after a warm welcome.

Teriyaki Chicken stir fry

There is a huge choice here, so much so that they have a short list, a handy list, of Koto favourites. The main dishes are divided under various headings: Curry, Noodles, Stir Fry, Soups, Salads, and there is also a section of sides.

There are eight starters, including a couple of vegetarian. We guessed from previous experience that the mains would be sufficiently large enough for us this lunchtime.

CL picked hers from the Favourites. It was the Yaki Soba Organic buckwheat noodles, Koto spices, mixed veg, egg, sesame, pickled ginger, crispy onions; her choice of meat was Chicken (17.5); other options were Tiger Prawns (18) or  Tofu (17.5). I got plenty of "samples" from this plate and it was really excellent, enhanced by all the bits and pieces including the ginger and the mild house spices. No wonder it is on the Favourites.

My order was for a stir fry: Teriyaki Chicken stir fry, onions, scallions, peppers, carrots, sesame - jasmine rice (17.50). I could have had Tofu instead of the chicken. Amazing aromas and flavours here, thought I was in foodie heaven. Very Highly Recommended if you get the chances. And I scored on the double as non-Favourite dishes attract a weekday discount and my dish was reduced to €13.90. How about that?

Sticky Toffee

We weren’t all that keen on dessert but decided to splash the savings on a shared Sticky Toffee Pudding, one of the better ones of the type as it turned out! 

Back to the menus. They offer a Vegan Menu, a Gluten Free Menu and a Children’s Menu (some special kiddies dishes but they will also do half portions of most of their adult dishes). 

A bit too early for us to go on the alcohol but they have no shortage of drinks here including wines (almost all available by the glass), cocktails, spirits, beer and soft drinks. No Irish craft beer though but Irish tea (Barry’s) and coffee (Maher’s) are on the list.