Killarney's Mad Monk Knows His Fish.
Quinlans have a winner on Plunkett Street.
Less than six months after my first visit, I was back in The Mad Monk by Quinlans in Killarney last week. There would be some changes to the menu of course, some specials also, but I had one in mind and was delighted to find the superb Portmagee Crab Bake in the starters.
The superb 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. Just checked there and Quinlans have added it to their Cork offering so there’s a hot tip for you. Its is not the cheapest but is one of the very best!
And then came another superb dish, this from the specials of the day which were detailed to us at the very start, great staff here, very friendly and efficient in a packed venue, many more customers dining on the sunny street outside.
The crab stuffed Sole Paupiettes (with Sauce Vin Blanc) was classy, outstanding, delicately delicious. Again, not the cheapest, but this rare treat was well worth every cent. It was served with root veg and the most exquisite mashed potato!
When in their large and comfortable Cork restaurant, I’ve often been amazed at the popularity of the fish and chips. I had a choice here in Killarney and picked the more traditional haddock rather than the cod. It is billed as Traditional Beer Battered Fresh Fish and Chips with real potato chips, Mushy peas, served with Lemon Wedge and Tartar sauce.
It lived up to the billing: fresh fish, lovely thin batter, excellent fries and the best peas. Five stars for 18.95 - you get much the same at lunch for three euro less so there’s another tip for you.
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. That Blonde Ale, nicely balanced between the malts and the hoppy fruit flavours, was very flavoursome indeed and refreshing and went down well with the sole.
My pick was the Casey Brothers Extra Stout, also from the Killarney Brewery. It is a fuller version of the classic Irish dry stout, essences of treacle, coffee and dark chocolate come through the smoothness (helped by the addition of some Flahavan’s oats I’m told!). Thumbs up for this for sure.
The relatively new premises in Killarney’s Plunkett Street 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!
Also on this trip: