Cork - Eating & Drinking - Restaurants
THE ELM TREE
This was a disappointing visit to the newly refurbished Elm Tree. It was busy but understaffed, leading to long delays in table service. Customer service, how are ye. Delays at every course and even a long wait for the bill as the harried staff had too much on their hands.
It is something of a food conveyor, a popular one by the looks of it. You get chips and salad or potatoes and vegetables with every dish, no thought given to matching with the meat or fish or whatever.
The food factory feeling continued with the dessert. The apple pie was a disaster as the apple inside was the kind you of goo you can get in large tubs in wholesalers and the concrete like meringues (along with the summer berries) must have come from a similar source.
It started badly. I choose the Ballycotton bay chowder. Ballycotton is equally famous for its potatoes and there more than a few chunks of spud along with an admittedly decent amount of fish. But why spoil the fish with a heavy handed application of cream? The main ingredients must be respected.
That was more the case with the main course, cod, with a ham wrap and ratatouille. The cod was quite good but the square of ham was like a rock. It would all have been a reasonable dish had the ratatouille been up to scratch. It wasn't. Some of the usual ingredients (peppers, red onions, courgettes) were present but they were barely cooked and there was no sign of the key ingredients, namely tomatoes and aubergines. I know there is some debate about how to cook this dish but the Elm Tree version was so far off what they serve in French restaurants and traiteurs, it was unreal and unworthy of the name.
Quite a good spread of prices for meals and wines, though €30.00 for fillet steak is well over the top. But good prices mean little unless you are getting value for money and we certainly didn’t.
Check out my review of Elm Tree - I am cork - on Qype