Monday, April 17, 2023

Seafood Delights at Cliff House Hotel Festival Lunch

Seafood Delights at Cliff House Hotel Festival Lunch

West Waterford Festival of Food Highlight

The minute I read that the House Restaurant were doing a Seafood Lunch Tasting Menu as part off the West Waterford Festival of Food, I booked our table. And my confidence was rewarded spectacularly as we absolutely enjoyed the meal served up by Chef Patron, Tony Parkin. I have enjoyed a few splendid meals at this elegant cliff-side location but this was perhaps the best.  I could be back there again soon as it just 45 minutes from my door.

After a gentle welcome we got a prime window seat with a view of the bay. We’ve had better weather here but never a better lunch. First the wine had to be settled. The list is extensive but I concentrated on the list of five whites available by the glass.

Haddock croquette
The Guerila Rebula from Slovenia (left) immediately caught my eye as I was very impressed by their wines at a recent La Rousse tasting at the Glass Curtain. This golden wine is made from biodynamic grown grapes; it has complex aromas, and is fresh and elegant on the palate, quite close to an orange wine, and combined well with the fish.  

We also very much enjoyed the Weingut Malat Höhlgraden, Grüner Veltliner, from Kremstal, elegant and fine and a classic expression of the Austrian grape, always versatile at the table.

Then the food began with a couple of canapés, a Smoked Haddock croquette (right) and John Dory tempura, each a tempting hint of delicious things to come.  

Then we were into the menu proper beginning with Tuna, Nahm jim, Galangal. Just a sliver of tuna with the Thai sauce giving a sweet and sour and spicy flavour enhanced by the ginger of the Galangal.

Red Mullet

The Red Mullet (carrot, ginger, orange, jalapeño) followed in a foamy liquid. Another slightly spicy and delicious dish and here the wines played a role as well. A memorable dish indeed - there was a spoon to take up the liquid, otherwise we would have tempted to use a piece of the earlier bread! A pity that we don’t see more of this fish in Irish restaurants and fish shops.

No problem getting your hands on John Dory but not like this serving of the fish with asparagus, morel, wild garlic and a sauce of mushroom and truffle. Quite a simple dish with every single element a star. It is an outstanding fish in any case but surrounded by such an assembly of delicious local and seasonal elements, the dish was amazing and memorable.


And we would finish on a high as well with the 63% Manjari Chocolate (Marsala, Coffee and Yoghurt Sorbet).  I was wondering where the fruit notes were coming from and it was from the Manjari itself, a single origin Madagascar, which is made from rare cocoa beans giving it a fresh, acidic, sharp bouquet with red fruit notes. Add in the Sicilian Marsala, the coffee and the sorbet and we had quite a chocolate symphony. Perhaps the best chocolate dessert I have tasted.

Not quite finished yet as, with the coffee, came our Petit Fours, a Chocolate Truffle and a gorgeous White Chocolate piece loaded in the middle with a white chocolate ganache. Lovely finalé to a splendid meal indeed. Bravo to Tony Parkin and his team at The House.

White Chocolate Petit Fours
with white chocolate ganache filling

On this trip

Mount Congreve, Kilmeaden

The Local, Dungarvan

The Baker's Table of Lismore

Vinilo, Lismore

Marvellous Sunny Morning On The Vee (Waterford/Tipperary)

360 Town Stay, Dungarvan

The Shamrock

Seafood Delights at Cliff House Hotel Festival Lunch


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