Showing posts with label Brook Inn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brook Inn. Show all posts

Friday, August 17, 2018

In Praise of East Cork. Food. People. Place. Worth a Visit!

In Praise of East Cork.
Food. People. Place. Worth a Visit!
Town crier in Youghal
Friendly people, great food, attractions on land and sea, both natural and man-made, make East Cork a gem of a place to visit. From the fantastic 13th century St Mary’s Collegiate Church in Youghal to high class Fota House Gardens and Arboretum, both free to enter, there is a treasure chest of places to visit in the area.
Fota Wildlife

Let me take you on a trip to see part of it. We’ll also enjoy some delicious meals as East Cork is a foodie’s paradise with top notch venues including Sage and Kevin Ahern’s 12 Mile Menu,  Barnabrow (ideal for weddings and a leisurely Sunday lunch), Midleton’s pioneering Farmers Market (every Saturday) and the food mecca of Ballymaloe.
Christy Ring

And, before or after Barnabrow and Ballymaloe, do take the opportunity to visit the  medieval town of Cloyne. It is one of the hidden gems of the area, its skyline dominated by the large medieval Round Tower and across the road is St. Colman's Cathedral built in 1270/80 and still in use. Famous Cloyne people include the 20th century hurler Christy Ring and the 18th century philosopher George Berkeley, both of whom are remembered here: Ring's statue is by the GAA field and Berkley's tomb is in the cathedral.

Barnabrow
Coming from the city on the main Cork-Waterford road, take the Cobh exit ramp and head for breakfast or lunch, right to Bramley Lodge, or left to The Bakestone Cafe at Ballyseedy.  Now, set up for the day, go over the nearby bridge to Fota Island and its many attractions.

If you have kids, go the Wildlife Park; if not, walk through the renowned Fota Arboretum and maybe add a tour of the Georgian House. If you like it around here, you may also try the high class  Fota Island Hotel and Golf Resort. Other top class hotels in the area include the Raddison Blu (Little Island) and the Castlemartyr Resort.
Garryvoe walk

Moving on, go over the Belvelly Bridge and you’ll soon come to Frank Hederman’s famous smokehouse. You are now on Great Island where the cathedral town of Cobh is situated. Much to do here including the Sirius Art Gallery, walking tours (including the Titanic Trail and Spike Island), harbourside bars and restaurants and of course the Cobh Heritage Centre which tells of forced deportations and also the tales of the ill fated liners, The Titanic and the Lusitania.
Mitchel Hall on Spike Island

If you have four or more hours to spare, be sure to take the ferry over to Spike Island. It is a fantastic tour, great guides, so many interesting things to see and do, much of it related to its historic military and prison life, but also superb walks and views out over the harbour. Very Highly Recommended.

Fota House and arboretum; walled gardens too

Cruise liners call here regularly during the season, with a carnival atmosphere in the town on the days they are in port. And here boats take you across to Spike and also on harbour tours. Maybe you’d just like to walk around the town; I did so recently, taking in the Holy Ground, the Titanic Garden and the Sonia O’Sullivan statue, and you may check it out here. Perhaps you'd prefer just to sit on the decking at The Titanic Bar & Grill and watch the boats go by.

Sonia

Whiskey Sour in Jameson
Time now to head out of the islands and head east to Midleton and a tour of the Jameson Experience. If you give the right answers here, you’ll end up with a certificate of proficiency in whiskey! No shortage of cafes and restaurants here (indeed there's one in the distillery). Plenty more outside, including Ferrit & Lee and the family friendly Granary now celebrating twenty two years in business.
Cork Harbour

Dessert at Radisson Blu, Little Island
There will be detours, of course. One that I like is off the Whitegate road, out of Midleton. Look out for the signs for East Ferry and enjoy a walk by the estuary and maybe reward yourself with a well cooked meal at Murph’s, a restaurant with a lovely view.

Another suggested detour - you may need a driver here - is to head towards Ballyvolane House near Castlelyons. Lots to do here, including fishing and glamping, and it is also the home of Bertha's Revenge Gin!

And if you're in this area at the weekend, be sure and call to the 200 year old O'Mahony's Pub in Watergrasshill. Superb local food and drink, music also, extensive sheltered outdoor areas and ways and means to keep the kids happy.
Dinner at Sage


Next stop is Ballymaloe, the home of modern Irish food. You could spend a day here. Maybe an overnight stay to sample the world renowned cooking. Call to the cafe for a mid afternoon or mid morning  coffee. Be sure to take a look at the impressive Cookery School gardens, not forgetting the Shell House and their truck cafe during the summer. And don’t forget Golden Bean coffee roaster Marc Kingston is also based here.
Krug tasting in a Ballymaloe cornfield

In the nearby seaside village of Ballycotton, take a stroll down to the pier and see the fishermen come and go, maybe take a boat trip to the lighthouse on the nearby island. If you feel you need to stretch the legs, then there is a spectacular walk  along the cliff tops. After all that exercise, treat yourself to a gorgeous meal at Pier 26.
View from the Bayview Terrace


If you need to overnight, then the Garryvoe Hotel and its top notch Samphire Restaurant, with great views over the bay, is close at hand. And across the bay, there's its sister hotel, The Bayview; great views here. Closed in winter but, when open, check out the superb cooking of chef Ciaran Scully, an example here.
Ballycotton cliff walk

Youghal is the final town, on the Blackwater and just shy of the border with Waterford. On the way, you could stretch the legs in Killeagh’s Glenbower Woods one of many attractive walks in the East Cork area. In Youghal, take a boat trip on the Blackwater. If you want a mid-day salad or sandwich in the town, then the Sage Cafe will take good care of you. Just alongside is the newly refurbished Clock Gate Tower, a must visit!


After all the activity, you deserve to rest up for the night. Enjoy a meal in the Old Imperial Hotel on Youghal's main street, maybe just a drink in its old Coachhouse bar, maybe both! Aherne’s, of course, is famous for its seafood and they too have rooms.
Samphire at Garryvoe Hotel



And do try and get your hands on the local craft beers, including Ireland's first organic Red Ale, made by the dedicated team in the town’s Munster Brewery; they also do tours. Amazing apple and pear drinks, including their unique Ice Wine, coming from Killahora Orchard (near Glounthaune).

And before leaving the area, don’t forget to visit Ballynatray House, a Blackwater gem.
Dinner at Brook Inn

If, at the end of a day's touring, you find yourself heading back towards the city, then do consider the Brook Inn near Glanmire for dinner. It is a lively buzzy place and the food is good there too.

Enjoy East Cork, the food, the place and its people!

Ballynatray House, by the Blackwater

(revised 17.08.18)
If you have a cafe, restaurant, visitor attraction, not listed here, please let me know and I will do my best to visit with a view to inclusion in next revision. You may also use the comment facility below.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Chef Greg Expands Brook Inn Repertoire After Kerridge Stage


Chef Greg Expands Brook Inn Repertoire After Kerridge Stage

The Brook Inn in Sallybrook (Glanmire) has recently been included in a couple of national guides but Head Chef Greg Murphy is not resting on his laurels. Every year he seeks to improve the offering and this year is no exception as he completed a stage* with Tom Kerridge of the famous Michelin two star “Hand and Flowers” pub in London.

Greg supports local suppliers including Tom Durcan, Gubbeen Smokehouse, Carrigaline Cheese, Rathcooney Fruit Farm Strawberries, and the Green Field Farm. And he is a big fan of the English Market.
Glazed Omelette

I met Greg when I was back in the Brook last week to check out the new menus and straight away noticed the Glazed Omelette “Tom Kerridge”, smoked haddock, with aged Parmesan cheese. Well, that was my starter and an excellent one it was.

But regulars needn’t worry. It is not all Kerridge. You’ll still have your steak, lamb, chicken and fish and other dishes for which the Brook is well known. There are a whole range of menus here including A La Carte, Set Dinner, Early Bird, Tapas, Breakfast/brunch, Finger Food and, this time of year, BBQ!
Hake

Tom Durcan’s spiced beef featured on CL’s starter, a superb plate that came with pickled Enoki mushrooms, baby potatoes, olive oil, pea cress and red cabbage purée. Looked well and tasted even better.

Quite a wine list here too, many of your favourite countries and varieties listed. I enjoyed a fresh and interesting Pecorino, an organic wine from Italy that matched well with the fish.

A grilled fillet of hake was my main course, accompanied by a spinach and basil velouté, charred lemon gel, mussels, brown butter gnocchi, and hazelnut. Well cooked, well presented and every ingredient played a role in a superb dish.
Dessert

CL’s pick was the Grilled breast of chicken, southern fried leg, leek, onion dressing, salt baked celeriac, purée Tarragon cream. The fried leg added an extra dimension to another excellent combination. By the way, there are a number of sides available and, yes, those Triple Cooked Chips are outstanding! 

After all that, we decided to share a dessert: West Cork Cream, with honeycomb and a champagne sorbet. Easy to dispatch and delicious! And a lovely end to a lovely meal. Excellent produce, top notch cooking and a friendly and efficient service from start to finish in a very comfortable room.
Chicken

The Brook Inn is easily found, on the road from Glanmire to Watergrasshill. It will be on your left, a well maintained building with lots of flowers at this time of year. There are a few parking spaces in the front while the main car park is at the rear. See the map here

* A stage (French word) is an unpaid internship when a chef works briefly (usually for a few weeks), for free, in another chef's kitchen to learn new techniques and cuisines.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Brook Inn’s Abuzz

Brook Inn’s Abuzz
Salmon starter
Sallybrook’s Brook Inn is busy and buzzy at 6.00pm on a Friday evening. The fact that it’s just after Christmas and the day before New Year’s Eve may have something to do with it and we see quite a few families enjoying the food, and the festive lights, both inside and outside. The place is close to full so just as well that we had booked in advance.

Soon, we are seated comfortably at our table and studying the menus, they have an early Bird as well as the A La Carte. The Early Bird looks like good value but, on this occasion, we go with the A La Carte. 
Hake

We soon have an opportunity to order our drinks. They have some Irish craft beers here and also some Irish gins. I haven't tried the Gunpowder before so I order that and indeed enjoy the gin as the evening goes on.

From a good choice of starters - you may see the menus online here - I pick the Slow Cooked Crispy Pork Belly with Toffee Apple puree, Black pudding, Hazelnut, star anise. 
Duck (and beetroot!)

Mine is well cooked and presented and goes down well and the same could be said about CL’s Citrus Cured Salmon with Pickled Cucumber, Rock Samphire, Pink Grapefruit, Saffron Aioli. Both starters are of a very good standard indeed.

And that standard is maintained as the mains arrive. I'm very impressed indeed with the Crisp Barberry Duck breast with Confit Potato, Beetroot Textures, Spinach, Roast Jus served with a Salad of Pomegranate, Pickles, Pink Grapefruit, Mango, Organic Leaves and Feta Cheese. The spelling may not have been great (it’s Barbary lads!) but it was a terrific mix of flavours, textures and colours!

And the report from the other side of the table is also glowing as CL tucks in to the Pan roasted fillet of Hake with Celeriac Puree, Potato Terrine, Mussels, Samphire, Baby Spinach, Chive Oil, Grilled Prawn, Shellfish Cream, slow roast Tomato. Again well cooked and well presented.

And well served too. We met three or four different servers during the busy evening. All were helpful and efficient and even had time for a chat as the early wave of diners began to make way for the second wave. Very enjoyable experience in a very comfortable venue.



Brook Inn
Sallybrook, Glanmire, Co. Cork
Tel: (021) 482 1498
Facebook: @brook.inn.58
Twitter: @thebrookinn
Hours -
Mon-Thu: 10:30AM - 11:30AM
Fri-Sun: 10:30AM - 12:30AM

Friday, January 10, 2014

Rainy Night but Well Fed at the Brook Inn

Rainy Night but Well Fed at the Brook Inn

You won’t go hungry in the Brook Inn. It is open all day, every day, so you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner there. And another thing, the portions are Irish (big!), as I found out when I visited this week.

It was a bad night, the rain lashing down. But parking is close by and soon we were seated in the comfortable dining area. Despite the weather last Wednesday evening, the dining area was very busy and the bar alongside was doing okay as well.


The menus, including the well priced Early Bird (2 course for €21.50), were soon brought to our table, near the fire! Quite a decent wine list as well and they also sell a few non-mainstream beers, as well as Stonewell Cider.
CL started off with the Chicken Liver Parfait Apple & Cranberry Chutney (8.95), Ciabatta and Granny Smith Jelly. Quite a large portion! But very flavoursome and enhanced by the chutney and jelly. Mine was more straightforward: The Brook Spicy Buffalo wings (7.25), Lime & Coriander Dip. Good quality sweet spicy wings tamed, a little, by the cool dip.

Spotted the McGrath's No.5 (5.95) on the menu and needed a sip or two of this very agreeable ale to go with the wings, not to mention a glug or two, or three, of water. Meanwhile, CL was thoroughly enjoying her impressive glass of Real Compania Verdejo (7.50), aromatic, fruity and with a good dry finish.



Both starters had been of a high standard and that continued with the mains. A staggering array of enticing options included pasta, curry, meats (including steaks) and fish. I was tempted by the Tasting of Organic Pork but picked the Roast Rack of Lamb Herb Crust (23.95), Carrots with Rosemary, Confit Shoulder, Fondant Potato Red Wine Jus.

The rack was excellent and that confit shoulder was dark and meltingly tender. Everything was perfect and, in terms of quality and quantity, it was quite a plateful! And the same could be said of the other mains: Fresh Bream, Pan fried (23.95), Warm Potato Salad with Bacon and Spring Onion, Wild Mushroom cream & wilted Spinach. 

Two happy customers, having indulged in a feast for the eyes, not to mention the waistline, stepped out into the continuing rain, promising to be back another night to try the desserts!
Greg Murphy is Head Chef here. He had shared his Sausage and Potato Christmas stuffing on Twitter before the festival and we used it over the holidays and found it perfect! It may be used at any time and you’ll find the recipe here.

Greg is the grand nephew of Sean Kinsella of the Mirabeau Restaurant, Dublin. “Sean was Ireland’s first celebrity chef whose guest list included Hollywood greats like Burt Lancaster, Richard Burton and Laurence Olivier.” So Greg has  a bit to go but, as he gives new twists to familiar foods, he sure is heading in the right direction!

Brook Inn, Sallybrook, Glanmire, Co. Cork

Phone
(021) 482 1498
Website


Hours
Mon - Thu: 10:30 am - 11:30 pm
Fri - Sun: 10:30 am - 12:30 am