It’s a dull evening in a dull summer as we enter the Oliver Plunkett in the Cork street of the same name. There are quite a few dining outside but inside there are many, the bar tables almost full already with diners. At 6.00pm, we are among the first in the ground floor restaurant but soon it is packed. Not bad going for a Tuesday evening, Obviously, a very popular place.
And I could see why as I got my teeth into my main course:. The Seared Steak Sandwich was worth every cent of the €18.95. Four generous slices of beef wrapped in Garlic Ciabatta, with a red onion and Smoky Bacon Jam, Pepper Jack Chips, Brandy Pepper Sauce and a Little Salad.
I wasn’t letting go of this, clinging on until the last bite. It was sensual, an enthralling mix of textures and flavours. The steak was ace, cooked to perfection and so easy to slice. And then the enhancement, that garlic ciabatta, the onion and the bacon jam. The Brandy Pepper Sauce was another major player on the palate, deeply enticingly enhancing everything else. The salad too was perfect and somewhat more than little. And then those Pepper Jack Chips, cheesy, tasty, delicious. Ten out of ten for sure or, since the chef is French, dix sur dix.
|Another fine dish: Middle Eastern Spiced Corse Minced Lamb|
There’s a burger on the mains list, not just any old burger mind you. This is the Beef Marrow Fat Smash Burger. Perhaps you’d prefer the Roast Half Chicken on the Bone (for extra flavour). Maybe the Twist on Bacon and Cabbage. And then there’s the Posh Style Fish & Chips. Lots to explore here, including Fresh Rigatoni Pasta, the Warm Salad of Marinated Chicken Skewers seem popular. Then there’s the Homemade Falafel and also the Middle Eastern Spiced Corse Minced Lamb.
The list of starters is just as varied and as impressive. But I went for one of the “smaller” ones, the Chicken Wings, picking the BBQ version from a choice of three styles. Served with a thick Blue Cheese Sauce and celery sticks, the wings vanished very quickly indeed. A bit of a mess ensued but we had enough tissues and lemon scented hand-wipes on hand (they were already in a little jar on the table).
Oh, I almost forgot. The regular menu also has a selection of sides plus a bunch of specials - do keep an eye out for these as they can indeed be special as we found out in an earlier visit to this very popular spot. Details here.
With a drinking assignment ahead, we stuck with the water on this occasion. Of course, there is a full bar for beers and spirits and more but they do have a list of cocktails and regular wines for diners. The servers were really busy as the number of customers increased but our corner of the restaurant, also busy (especially so when a group of nine gents arrived), continued to operate as smoothly as it had at the start and our server even managed to take time out to check with us every now and then. Well done indeed.
* Once upon a time, this building housed the Palm Court dancehall. In the early 60s, the city had ballrooms for various interests; one (the Grafton?) was known for attracting nurses, another (The Rest) for students, another (The Cavern) for pioneer beat aficionados (your white shirt collar turning blue as the lights twirled around the floor) but the Palm Court was a little racier as patrons here were always (almost always) guaranteed a clinger. The self explanatory clingers was a pleasurable way to spend an hour or two. The advert below was on the money.