The Mad Monk. A Superb New Restaurant
By Quinlan’s Seafood In Killarney’s Plunkett Street.
The other week, just off Killarney’s main drag, I made one of the finest seafood catches around. Hadn’t seen this in the Cork outlet that I visited a few weeks earlier but made my business to get my hooks into their Portmagee Crab Bake when I spotted it at the bottom of their starter list.
The superb Portmagee Crab Bake comes in a Tomato and Avocado Salsa salad and with sourdough bread for mopping up! You won’t come across a crab bake in many restaurants in Ireland and the one here is well worth checking out. And you’ll be lucky to happen on one as good as this.
The new premises is very attractive. It is spread over two floors giving a total of about 80 covers. The family seafood business is based in Caherciveen, Co Kerry. Kerryfish was started in 1963 by the father Michael Quinlan and has now been passed down to the second generation of Quinlan’s, Liam, Ronan and Fintan. And expansion is always on the agenda here. They have shops and restaurants all over Kerry and beyond and you probably know that the Cork premises has also been enlarged and improved!
The menu starts with a page of specials and you’ll see the same info on a board on the street. Terrific range of fish on offer, usually with both starter and main versions. Portmagee Oysters, Dingle Bay Wild Squid, Sizzling Deep Water Atlantic Prawns, Portmagee Crab Claws are regular features. Excellent dishes of Hake, Salmon, even Sea Bass are also on the mains menu.
Our other starter was Dingle Bay Wild Squid (deep fried locally caught squid served with “our famous homemade sweet chilli jam”). You also get a well presented salad. It was probably the best squid I’ve ever tasted, soft and easy to eat and no hardening towards “rubber” at all from start to finish. And yes that Sweet Chilli Jam is every bit as good as they claim.
I was keen to try a white fish main dish and got my chance with the delicious Pan Roasted Fillet of Hake on a tomato chorizo, spinach and bean cassoulet with herb potatoes. A perfect backing accompaniment that lets the fish shine.
Our other mains was the Pan Fried Fillet of Salmon and that came with Lyonnaise Potatoes, Asparagus, Carrot Purée and Basil Pesto. The fish, a very generous serving, was spot on, well cooked and the dish neatly presented.
We didn’t have the Fish and Chips on this occasion. In Quinlan’s, as indeed in some other places, you get a choice of fish. In Killarney, we could pick from Whiting, Plaice, Haddock, Cod, Hake or Goujons.
There’s a full bar here, plenty of wines, more white than red understandably, and most of them available by the glass. Delighted also to see they had an ale and stout from Killarney Brewery on tap, along with a few bottles. A glass of that refreshing ale, very flavoursome too, went down well with the hake.
They do offer meat dishes here (and I’d bet they are of a good standard) but if you like your fish then Quinlans is a very good choice indeed. Very Highly Recommended.
Also on this visit: