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Enjoyed a lovely late lunch last Sunday at Pier 26, the just opened harbourside restaurant in Ballycotton and, then as a bonus, there was a magnificent sunset over the nearby cliffs and ocean. As we sat down for the meal, we had a terrific view over the harbour and the island with its lighthouse. Quite a spectacular setting and quite a stunning lunch.
Received a warm welcome, service was friendly and helpful throughout, and we were soon seated, the water and menus quickly delivered to the table. We had been at this table before, a few years back, when the restaurant was called Nautilus. The restaurant was very good then and is very good now.
Value is pretty good here too with three courses for twenty five euro. You'll have plenty of choice as the regular menu is supplemented by a packed blackboard. Main courses featured pork, steak, salmon and free range chicken on the regular list and, from the board, you could pick from sirloin of beef, cod, scallops, and prawn scampi.
It was much the same with the starters, though we picked ours from the regular menu. CL choose the Spring onion and potato cake with Bill Casey’s organic smoked salmon, lemon and dill aioli. The quality of Casey’s salmon is well known in the area and it was certainly enhanced by the Pier 26 kitchen.
My starter was another beauty: Crispy pork belly with East Ferry apples, sage and Madden’s Cider Jus, a superb blend of flavours and textures. We were up and running!
Now for the main event! CL went for the salmon but salmon with a light and lively twist. Her Seared fillet came with wok–fried noodles, Asian slaw, lime and honey dressing. A very compatible mix of ingredients here, all well handled, and a lovely dish as a result.
I hooked my mains from the Specials Board: Grilled fillet of cod, scallion mash, asparagus tips, prawn bisque cream sauce. The fish was as fresh as could be, the asparagus was cooked to a T, possible the best I've eaten out, while the sauce was well made and used with a judicious restraint, just enough to enhance the fish and not smother the flavours. Another winning mix.
No stopping us now and desserts were ordered. Lemon and Almond Cake, with sugared strawberries and vanilla Madagascar ice cream was my choice. Very nice, the comparative dryness of the flavoursome cake enhanced by the fruit and the ice cream. Apple crumble, Crѐme Anglaise, rum and raisin ice cream was our other choice. Might have preferred the more traditional type crumble rather than the biscuity one employed here but still a pleasant ending to a very classy meal indeed.
Highly recommended. And do watch out for the setting sun! And give yourself time for a stroll around, maybe the pier or the nearby cliff walk, depending on what takes your fancy! Maybe a pint in the adjoining pub?
Contact Holly and Colin at Pier 26, Ballycotton, Co. Cork.