Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Bramley Lodge. Breakfast to dinner seven days a week

Bramley Lodge. Breakfast to dinner 

seven days a week

Bramley Lodge is a conveniently located restaurant, quite a popular one, just off the main Cork-Waterford road at Cobh Cross, making it a great option for both locals and travellers. No shortage of parking here. Casual and family-friendly, it is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week.

The team of chefs under the guidance of Head Chef Norbert Tomo are busy from the crack of dawn each morning until late in the evening. Owner Gillian Kearney has always concentrated on ensuring that local ingredients "are responsibly sourced and prepared with lots of passion and love".

Chef Tomo adds a unique twist by incorporating international flavours into the dishes. This creates a menu that's both familiar and exciting, offering a delightful "tour of cuisines" as we experienced in a midweek visit for lunch.

We started with Fish Tacos that came with a Harissa Mayo, followed by Italian Sausage with Pasta Fiarelli for one of us and Swedish Meatballs for the other. Quite a tour of cuisines in just three dishes from a restaurant that also has an Asian influence. But good food, as is the case here(as it is in many Irish restaurants), can spill across cultural borders and the customers benefit.

Quite a few years back, a market trader in France almost put me off Harissa (before I even got on it). "Très fort, " he warned as he handed me a small tube along with my couscous royale. He was très sérieux and he called out his embarrassed son (who had as little English as I had French) to make sure I understood. I did and enjoyed it so much so that we went back to him almost daily.

A Pear and Goats Cheese Empanada, Thai Sticky Chicken Wings, Seafood Chowder and Chicken Liver Parfait were listed, among other temptations in the starters but my pick was the Fish Tacos. Beautifully presented, they came with the aforementioned Harissa, lettuce and pickled onions. A delicious dish indeed, really superb, and that spicy harissa, the amount nicely judged, livened up the tacos as effectively as any Mexican spice.

The choice of mains was also wide-ranging. You could pick from the likes of Fillet of Hake (with Colcannon galette), Thai Chicken 
Curry (with Jasmine rice), an Agnus Beef Burger, Tempura of Fish (with Parmentier potatoes), or a Miso Chicken Salad.

I liked the sound of Pasta Salsicca e Fiarelli. The salsicca is Italian sausage and there were also wilted greens, pancetta and saffron. I am almost certain I've never come across Pasta Fiarelli (a 
Southern Italian Pasta cut) previously in an Irish restaurant but immediately saw the tubular shape and ruffled edges of this unique Italian noodle allows it to capture sauces beautifully. And my meat and greens were very finely cut indeed to benefit. I really enjoyed the panoply of flavours and the textures (the pasta was cooked al dente).

We don't see much Swedish food here in Ireland so the Swedish Meatballs (Potato puree, artichoke, red onions, shimeji mushrooms, chausseur sauce) were new to us. The chasseur sauce (the hunter's sauce) is a simple or compound brown sauce used in French cuisine, Italian too. It often includes mushrooms (traditionally picked by the hunters as they came home) and shallots and may also include tomatoes and herbs. There are many versions. The portion size of the Swedish Meatballs made quite a substantial dish, and it was packed with flavour but the artichokes and greens proved difficult to cut with the knife. Overall though it was very satisfactory.

If you don't fancy a big meal, then check out their Small Plates (Crock Pot Portuguese chicken) or Poke Bowls. They also offer two Hummus Plates, one featuring Lebanese Chicken skewers. For children, there are three choices on the Kids Menu while the Granny Grant consists of Soup, Sandwich and Cake.

The chefs can move up a gear or two towards the weekends when the new Orangey Room comes into play. The Orangey dinner menu is full of temptation. How about Persian Slow Braised Lamb Shank? Maybe Wagyu Burger with Smoked Pancetta? Perhaps Yakitori Chicken Skewers with Japanese Curry or Muhammara with Aubergine Schnitzel?

* Total for the three dishes above, including tip, was €50.00
*  Check out the Lodge and all its menus here

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