Showing posts with label Ballincollig. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ballincollig. Show all posts

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The White Horse Grub Club. Chance to try street food from the wide world.

The White Horse Grub Club

Chance to try street food from the wide world.
Jerk chicken
There is something about the White Horse. The buzz. People. Everywhere.

We walked in about 7.00pm on a Thursday. The restaurant was packed. The bar was full as we walked through to get to the Grub Club in a different dining room. The sign said “Sold Out”. So that bright and airy room was also full as was the lovely sheltered tiled patio area outside..

The Grub Club, an occasional feature, is just one of the many attractions of this lively spot. They have a music venue upstairs, a brew club, their own guitar (big) band and more. The Grub Club gives patrons an opportunity to try other cuisines, mainly street food style, from other cultures and Marlene had invited me along to sample the food of the West Indies.

We were seated on the cusp of the indoors and outdoors and soon they began serving an introductory Caribbean punch to all the tables. 

Then the starter: Chargrilled Marinated Tiger Prawns skewer, mango salad, coriander, lime and chilli dressing, crispy shallots. The salad was a treat on its own not to mind the prawns and juicy cherry tomatoes on the skewer. 

And there was also a paired drink: Spicy Coriander Bloody Mary. I skipped on that one but later enjoyed a cool delicious pint of the Bohemian Barefoot Pilsner by Eight Degrees, the suggested pairing for the main course.

And what a main course, something very different indeed: Jerk Chicken, rice and peas (and a few beans too!), homemade Jamaican Coco Bread, and Jerk sauce. Another totally enjoyable dish; the chicken was perfect, the sauce mild and ever so slightly sweet, the bread a delicious bite, handy too for taking up the last of the sauce!

We were enjoying this and the buzz around the room. And the dessert maintained the excellent standard for this twenty euro meal (drinks extra). It was an Upside down caramelised pineapple cake, homemade coconut ice-cream, crispy cinnamon tuile. That really worked well and provided a sweet end to a lovely evening, even sweeter if you sipped the Basil and Cucumber Margarita. By the way, all the suggested drinks were a fiver.

I must say that, with the large crowd in, the service was excellent. The staff pulled out all the stops to get all the dishes out as quickly as possible. The Grub Club is a great idea, a reasonably priced night out with a chance to try something that you might not normally come across. 

Next Grub Club Event
The next event is scheduled for Thursday the 24th of August at 7pm. The menu is below and it is priced at €28 this time to include specially paired wines with each course.

Starter: Blow-torched mackerel, cucumber gel, burnt lemon, preserved lemon dressing, chicken fat, crispy potato, samphire. (Allergens - Sulphites / Fish)

Main course: Lamb belly, Smoked aubergine purée, pickled blackberry, broad beans, feta in filo, lamb jus. (Allergens - Sulphites / Celery / Milk / Gluten - this dish can be made gluten free on advance request)

Dessert: Rhubarb and custard pie, our own homemade popcorn ice cream. (Gluten / Milk / Eggs - Gluten free alternative available)

Tickets available  from and at the bar.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The New Republic in Ballincollig. Plush, Spacious Restaurant.

New Republic in Ballincollig
Plush, Spacious Restaurant

The Republic Bar & Grill, the newly opened upstairs restaurant in Ballincollig’s East End, is plush and comfortable and the food too is of a high standard. Owners John and Darina Gately have also opened a bar downstairs and that is called JD’s.

Visited the Republic last week and was immediately struck by the decor, the comfortable and spacious split-level areas with a small bar in the middle, the views over the main street, the many paintings and the friendly welcome.

Later, my focus would switch to the food and the service and both turned out to be faultless. The grill is emphasised of course so plenty steaks, burgers too. But there is much more in this impressive place. Lots of tables for two but it is also designed to be family friendly both in terms of seating and food - there is an extensive kids menu.

There are no specials here but the menu is quite large. Amazingly, for the third restaurant in a row, we availed of a blue cheese and pear salad but this time a warm one - a very good one too: Warm Pear & Cashel Blue Cheese Salad, withToasted Walnuts (7.95). 

My own choice was the JD Gately’s Famous Spicy Chicken Wings (7.95), with Blue Cheese and Celery sticks. This was a trademark success in a previous Gately restaurant and is as good as ever.

When it came to the mains, I decided to try something from the grill. I picked Wagyu Beef Burger (15.95) with crispy onion stack, french fries and peppercorn sauce. The meat is from Macroom and you have a choice of sauces. It is served on a Brioche bun and is very tasty indeed.

Sounds of approval too from the other side of the table as CL tucked into her Oven Roast Supreme Of Chicken (14.95), with Creamy Mushroom & White Wine Sauce, another well presented dish, well cooked with excellent texture and flavour.

Desserts are tempting enough and very hard to resist when the choice comes to your table on a trolley! Our share was the Velvet Cake with vanilla pod cream infused with strawberry. Quite a decadent finish in the new Republic.

The total, excluding tip, came to €60.80 for two starters, two main courses and one dessert plus a glass of Jameson Crested. 

A day or two later, I found the bill in my pocket and saw the whiskey cost €7.50. I got the same for €5.00 in Ballina (Grand National Hotel) in October and for €5.65 in Killarney (Celtic Whiskey Bar) in November. Overall though, we were well pleased with the food, the service and the splendid new room. A fine new place to go in Ballincollig.

  • By the way, you can study the menus (including Sunday lunch) here before you visit.

Republic Bar & Grill
Main Street
Co. Cork
tel: 021 4873252
Open: from 5.00pm Tues to Sat; 1.00-6.00pm Sun.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Edible flower arrangements. Incredible Bouquets.

Edible Flower Arrangements
Incredible bouquets look too good to eat

A big one for something, or someone, special! 

Sometimes, when you've got something big in front of you, it's best to start with a small piece.

I was amazed looking at my newly arrived Celebration Bouquet from Ballincollig’s Incredible Flowers. But Denisa had included a few small chocolate covered pieces separately and I picked up one, and bit. The apple wedge, covered in white Belgian chocolate, was surprisingly gorgeous!

I had first spotted Denisa’s amazing creations, handmade edible flower arrangements, at the Garden Festival in Ballymaloe. And the eye-catching combinations of fruit and chocolate (both white and black) were stopping visitors in their tracks.
My Celebration bouquet
My sample this week was her Celebration, a delicious bouquet of gourmet treats. This fruity fiesta will be sure to leave your guests impressed thanks to its delicious mix of juicy pineapple, fresh cantaloupe, honeydew, kiwi and orange slices, strawberries and grapes, strawberries dipped in milk chocolate and chocolate flakes, and apple wedges dipped in dark chocolate. Yum!

Just had to get stuck in after that. As they are fresh fruit, you won't have much time to waste, though you can put the leftovers in the fridge. As you can see, there was quite a selection of fruits on the Celebration and all were delicious, though the cantaloupe and the strawberries (especially those totally covered in dark chocolate) were especially so.

The Celebration is one of her bestselling items but she has quite a range of Edible Fruit Arrangements, running to four pages on her website. The site is brilliant. You can even shop by occasion under headings such as Valentine’s, Birthday, Corporate Gifts, Happy Anniversary, Communion, Mother’s Day, Wedding, and Thank You.
You may buy small sample bags, from 5 euro
And, indeed, these tempting arrangements are sure to be a talking point at any occasion.  As she says herself: You can make any occasion extra-special with our array of irresistible products, including delicious and impressive fresh fruit arrangements and gourmet chocolate-dipped fruit. The perfect gift for any occasion!  And they have been used as table center-pieces at some large functions.

The fruit baskets and bouquets are designed to resemble flowers, and include a variety of fruit such as sweet pineapples, kiwis, fresh strawberries, juicy melon, crisp apples, mouth-watering oranges and more. Fruit bouquets and baskets are a novel and delicious gift for any occasion. And they will deliver to the home, office or corporate events in the Cork city and county areas.  There is free delivery in Ballincollig and Ovens and there is a charge for other destinations.

The business is quite new but has proved very popular already. The concept is well known in the UK and the US but very new to Ireland. And Denisa finds that some people are a bit unsure about the terminology and what to order. But she is very helpful and that excellent website has a Frequently Asked Questions facility that will fill you in on all you need to know. Check it out here.