Wonderful Tasting Menu in Rare with chefs Meeran and Chad showcasing the Autumn bounty of Cork and Kerry

Wonderful Tasting Menu in Rare with chefs Meeran and Chad showcasing the Autumn bounty of Cork and Kerry

Teamwork. Concentration from chefs Meeran (right) and Chad (centre)

An rud is annamh is iontach!

Thought I might start with an old Irish proverb: what’s rare is wonderful.



And Kinsale’s Rare 1784 was certainly wonderful last Thursday night when Head Chef Meeran Manzoor and guest Chef Chad Byrne (Brehon Hotel) served up a six course festival of local food in one of the most comfortable dining rooms around.





Lots of nationalities involved in the kitchen and out front, including Rebel Cork and the Kingdom, plus a Rare crew that has people from India and Brazil and from places in between.


Chad, also well known for The Hungry Donkey food truck, brought a treasure trove of goodies from Kerry to the Blue Haven’s premier restaurant, including some of the finest cured and dried meats from Olivier in Dingle, Eileen’s black pudding from Annascaul, the famous Ardfert spuds, Wilma’s cheese, Venison from Beaufort, Wild Sloes and Cromane mussels.




Meeran, of course, has his finger on the pulse of all that’s best in Cork, particularly the growers and fishermen in and around Kinsale, and also adds a well judged touch of his native India. Both chefs and their crew were visible through a large window to the kitchen. They didn’t stay there, coming out regularly to detail the dishes and have a conversation or two with the tables.


And it wasn’t just in the kitchen that Rare excelled. The front of house team, led by restaurant manager Charlie, were busy but that didn’t mean they couldn’t have the odd chat with you. They came to the tables with big smiles, informal but on the ball, you never had to ask for water (or something stronger!).


Cheese, black pudding, potato

Quite a wine list! We started with two engaging whites. One was Carallan Albarino, a fine example of the wine of Rias Baixas,  quite pronounced on both the nose and fruity palate, excellent with the lighter dishes. The zesty Diez Siglos Verdejo, vibrant and intense, from Rueda (the home of the grape), paired well also with the earlier plates.

Love my BoJo



Later we moved on to two stunning reds. Gamay is always on my radar and I plumped for the organic Les P├ępites Gneiss, fresh, fruity and nicely spicy. Big thumbs up for that and the same from the other side where CL renewed acquaintance with the multi-grape aromatic, fruity and intense (perfect with venison) Quinta do Judeu.


The dining started with the Organic Kerry Wild Meat Board (by Olivier), all kinds of tastes and textures (that soft goat chorizo!) and all superb. Then on to Jamie’s Oyster from nearby Oysterhaven, beautifully presented and accompanied by Alexander’s Jelly and a Ginger Beer Foam. Jamie’s oysters never disappoint and here the jelly and the foam enhanced it.

Scallop, Sole


And the plates just kept getting better. Eileen’s Annascaul Black Pudding made a huge tasty contribution as it combined with the renowned Ardsallagh Goats Cheese on an Ardfert potato skin!


Up next came the fish, a  two part perfectly cooked wonder with Union Hall Sole and Scallop in a Vol-au-Vent with a little Yuzu in the bisque. Chef Chad: “..really tasty dish of bang in season gear”.

Venison


Chocolate
For me the star course of the superb meal came with the Beaufort venison: Sika Deer, Cromane Mussels and Roasted Celeriac. The deer had been roasted for six to seven hours and was beautifully flavoured. The sloe jus was just amazing, a great fit with the meat. And that meat was as tender as can be, yielding easily to the blade of our  “chopper” knife!



A wee pause then before dessert came and that too was rather special: Chocolate, Salted Caramel and Kulfi. Meeran’s dark chocolate walnut cremeux was enhanced by Achill seasalt and Szechuan caramel and crunchy bits. Kulfi is a no-churn Indian ice cream. And there was also an Indian twist to the Petit Four that came in a mini-treasure chest!

Petit Fours




Quite a wonderful meal and occasion in Rare and there’s a promise of more. So do keep an eye on their socials!


Twitter: https://twitter.com/RareKinsale 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RareKinsale

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rarekinsale/

Comments