Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Cush Ballycotton Plates Up To Its Michelin Bib Gourmand Rating

Cush Ballycotton Plates Up To Its Michelin Bib Gourmand Rating

Halibut “Grenobloise”

Michelin say their Bib Gourmand stands for “good quality, good value cooking”. And you’ll certainly find that in Ballycotton’s Cush under chef Dan Guerin.

The restaurant space is comfortable and uncluttered with views to the harbour below and the lighthouse. Just like the family owned and run traditional pub and comfy bedrooms, also under the Cush name (taken from a local pathway), the welcome is warm and uncomplicated, the service friendly and efficient.


Tandem's "Casual" Viura
And speaking of local, local produce features throughout the menu whether it is the greens and veg from Greenfield Farm, the meat from O’Farrell Butchers, or the free-range poultry from East Ferry Farm. But I find that, not unexpectedly, fish is the star of the menu and, of course, that is local, mostly ultra-local from the pier below and from Richard Guerin in particular.

And it was the fish that provided the highlights for us during last week’s dinner. Halibut is one of my favourites and the dish here was superbly cooked and presented. It was billed as Grilled Wild Irish Halibut “Grenobloise”, new season Green Asparagus, Vadouvan Spiced Langoustine Sauce. The fish was perfect, soft and seductive, the asparagus plump and yielding, and that slightly spicy exotic sauce brought it all together so well.


Satisfactory sounds too from the other side of the table where CL enjoyed her Roast Loin of Monkfish, broccoli purée, Green Field Farm leeks, Clementine and Caviar butter sauce. There was the usual swapping, of course, and neither of us could find fault (not that we were particularly looking for one - we come to enjoy, not to nitpick!).  Just another faultless gem from Guerin’s kitchen, the veg and sauce expertly chosen to make the most of the fresh fish and there was a particularly delicious duet between the Monk and purée. 

We shared a superb little pot of mashed potato that came with the fish. No doubt plenty of butter but again Bib Gourmand quality, just like both our mains here. They offer a short list of sides including Charred Hispi Cabbage Nduja Breadcrumb and also Home cut fries.


In between courses we sipped from our wines and watched the newly arrived swallows on a wall just outside the window who seemed to be watching us or was it the stellar food. You rarely see Viura* as a house white in Irish restaurants. Tandem's gorgeous Casual, with its elegant nose and vibrant mouth, could change all that. The wine, from Navarra, was superb with the halibut. We also enjoyed the Quinta do Crasto Branco from Portugal, a blend of local grapes, aromatic, crisp and fresh and ideal for the scallops and monkfish. 

Our meal had begun with Scallops and Quail, both eye-catching dishes. CL had the Seared West Cork Scallops, Boudin Noir, Vadouvan Spiced Sauce. Eye-catching and taste-bud tempting and altogether irresistible. And much the same could be said of my Roast Quail, pear and blackberry chutney, green asparagus, pickled walnut and Madeira sauce.


And we also finished well. One dessert was Salted Caramel Tart, Grue De Cacao Tuile, blackberry, vanilla ice cream; the other Baba, soaked in Valentia Island Vermouth, whipped vanilla mascarpone, new season blood orange. Another two empty plates remained, ready to go back following a full set of empties, and it was time to return home as we sang the praises of Chef Guerin and Cush in general.

  • By the way, they offer a three course set menu for €38.00. Very good value at this level as it includes quite a few of the regular dishes and is a terrific introduction to the food here.
  • Read more on the restaurant website here.
  • View from our table
    Also on this mini-trip: A short walk in the Ballycotton sun

  • * Viura in Rioja and Navarra but known as Macabeu in other parts of Spain.

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