Showing posts with label Fenns Quay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fenns Quay. Show all posts

Saturday, November 19, 2011



Click on image to enlarge
All the buzz in Fenns Quay is about the Chef du Jour joust next Tuesday and Wednesday but regulars have to be fed in the meantime and I must say there is no slacking in that regard. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit last night where the Fish of the Day special was a highlight of a very satisfying meal.

There are usually plenty of choices in Fenns Quay, including a very attractive Cork on a Fork menu. Both it and the A La Carte are supplemented by a bunch of daily specials.

The Bream was their Market Fish of the Day Special and you can see why were tempted. Quite a plateful, topped by fillets of very fresh fish. And all the extra bits and pieces made for a very tasty and very well balanced dish, also very filling.

Well perhaps the “filling up” feeling also had something to do with the starter, a rather large one. Again, we picked from the specials and Seared Scallops, done to a “T”, and the ever so tasty Rosscarbery White Pudding were an excellent match, enhanced by the parsnip purée.

After all that, we did manage one dessert between us and that was their house specialty: V’Ice-cream (a pichet of  Pedro Ximenez sherry with vanilla ice cream). Just the job, as it sweetly slid down!

New Zealand’s Marlborough has a strong reputation for producing high quality Sauvignon Blanc and our fruity and full of flavor Fair Hall Cliffs 2010, at €6.95 a glass, didn’t damage that reputation in any way.

Thursday, November 17, 2011



Fenns Quay  head chef Kate Lawlor is a busy girl these days. Not alone is she organising the day to day menus for the popular city centre restaurant and, of course the Christmas menus, but she is also running an innovative competition where a guest chef takes over the Fenns Quay kitchens for a night.

This is an unusual event and should be great fun for foodies. Places are limited and the number to ring to reserve is 021 4279527.

Paul Callaghan is the first to enter the stage. Paul is from County Clare and, briefly, this is his story: Ran my own Plastering business but have had to adapt to change, Irish food blogger, veg grower, trying sustainable living and loving it! You can find out more about him and his cooking skills on his blog at

Paul will be on next Tuesday (22nd) and the following night the spotlight will be on Waterford’s Jeni Pim who is looking forward to the night: “Yes, a big change from my little kitchen in the middle of nowhere, at least I won't have to dig all the veg for it!.” You’ll find her on Twitter at JeniPim.

Kate has been looking for judges for the event and yours truly has been roped in. On the opening night, I’ll be with Elke O’Mahony of Cork Slow Food and Evin O’Keeffe . On Wednesday, I’ll be joined by Margaret Smith  and by Michael Logan of River Wines.

Kate Lawlor (right) is determined that the foodie fun won’t stop there. “We are planning a second head to head between two different chefs in January with a final pencilled in for April. And already there has been some interest in those!”

A good start is half the battle so get on down to the Sheares Street venue next week (22nd and 23rd) and have yourself a great night out which, including the wines, will cost €50.00.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Local food, local lingo

Enjoyed a classy Cork on a Fork meal at the ever reliable Fenns Quay this week. This good value menu, even better now since the VAT reduction, includes mostly local food, such as spiced beef, and the menu card itself is “spiced “ up with some local lingo.

You are encouraged to have a starter by “Give it a lash boy” and a dessert by “Era, go on so”.

The food too is served with a smile and certainly put a smile on my face. Enjoyed my starter of Spiced beef and shredded beetroot. On the other side of the table, her regular Warm Chicken Salad lived up to expectations.

Mains for me was one of the evening’s specials: Baked Hake with herbed basmati rice, sautéed French beans, courgette with fennel and salsa rossa. A terrific combination, light and satisfying.

The other mains was Braised Irish Lamb Shank with Green Saffron Spiced Potatoes. The lamb was cooked to perfection and the spiced potatoes really added to the dish. As they say around here: “Savage Cabbage.”

We agreed on dessert: Lemon pudding served with Baldwin’s Ice-cream and a tiny jug of chocolate sauce. Presentation was inviting and the combination – that ice cream is gorgeous – went down a treat.

Wines were Pazos de Ulloa DO Ribeiro 2009 and Domaine d’Angayrac Costieres de Nimes 2008, each at €5.50 a glass.
Cork on a Fork: 2 courses €22.50; 3 courses €27.50.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Slaney Valley Lamb

The folks at Fenns Quay, including Head Chef Kate Lawlor, were delighted last week to receive their confirmation letter  that they were again on the Michelin recommended list. It is a well deserved recommendation as we discovered, not for the first time, last Friday night.

We had a little celebrating to do ourselves and having enjoyed a similar occasion there last year had no qualms about going there again. Indeed, we were looking forward to it after a miserable wet day.

Started off with a couple of glasses of their lively Prosecco and nibbled on their excellent breads while waiting for our main coursers. The main menu here is enlivened by daily specials and these are always worth considering.

I picked from the day’s list and was very happy indeed that I did. The dish was: Chargrilled Tuna with Rustic Potatoes, roast flat cup mushrooms and cannellini bean compote (24.95). Sometimes Tuna can be a bit on the dry side but not here. It was perfectly cooked and the mushroom and compote, not forgetting the moderately spiced potatoes, gave it a perfect balance.

My wife picked her main dish from the regular list and it was: Chargrilled “Slaney Valley” Lamb chump with spiced roast potatoes and a cassoulet of vegetables and a mint pesto (22.50). The tender pieces of lamb were again cooked to perfection, just as ordered, and again the veg and pesto were spot on to give a very tempting and tasty ensemble.

Dessert then. Nothing overly exciting in the Warm Apple sponge with Vanilla Crème Anglaise. But it still needs to be done well and this was. Very satisfying indeed.

It was a busy night in the city centre venue, full up from about eight on, but service was friendly and relaxed and efficient as we’ve come to expect! Our dishes came off  the a la carte menu but there is also a very good value Supper Menu available. And don't forget those specials at this excellent restaurant which opens early in the morning and doesn't close until late.

Domaine d’Angayrac Costieres de Nimes 2008 (€5.50 glass). Dark fruit with liquorice and spice, great value house wine.
Oremus Tokaji Aszu 5 puttonyos 2000 (7.95)

Friday, February 19, 2010


Very enjoyable and top class from start to finish. We lingered over every tasty morsel as we ate and sipped our way through close on three delightful hours in Fenns Quay last night.
Drank a Kir while studying the extensive menus, the a la carte, the set menu and the long list of specials. Then, after a sip or two, stopped reading to concentrate on the Kir as it was perhaps the very best we’ve come across in decades.
Sipped away until the mains arrived.  Had been told that the Chargrilled Slaney Valley Lamb Chump (€22.50) with roast vegs in an olive and tomato sauce with curried roast potatoes was “massive”. It lived up to expectations, a gorgeous piece of meat, cooked to perfection as were the veg and potatoes.
Though 100 per cent happy with mine, I couldn't help glancing towards the other dish: Baked Monkfish (€24.50) with flat cup mushrooms, roast parsnips, rustic potato's and a butternut squash puree. The advisor would have been thrilled with the fish itself but again the accompaniments were also spot on.

The restaurant serves quite a few wines by the glass and I choose Cave de Tain Syrah 2006  to go with the lamb. It is the current house red and a superb example of the type from the northern Rhône. San Giorgio Pinot-Grigio 2008, light and crisp with a good flavour, went well with the fish.

Then on to the desserts, one described as Homemade strawberry jelly with vanilla ice cream strawberry jelly, an understatement, as this was a delicious pot of pureed strawberries, just gorgeous.
I too enjoyed my Bread and butter pudding with custard but I must tell you that I had a glass of Oremus Tokaji Aszu 5 puttonyos 2000 with it and that was a (shared) highlight. Even the tiniest sip of this nectar of the gods made all the sensors of the mouth and nose sit up and take notice as it reverberated gently around, lingering a long pleasurable while.
Kevin Crowley is one of three person team that owns and runs Fenns Quay and is the wine expert: “I have a passion for finding high quality, interesting and great value wines. I tend to seek value in places where others wouldn't; be it places like Austria, Portugal, Sicily, or Greece. Nothing is too strange and uncommerical for me not to consider. If the wine tastes good and is a great price, who cares where it’s from!”
Over a later glass of Cremant D' Alsace sparkling wine – we were celebrating a wedding anniversary – Kevin introduced us to his cousin Kate Lawlor, the Head Chef since 2006 (having started under the previous owners in 2001). The third member of the current group is Kevin’s partner Pennapa Wongsuwan. “Between the three of us, we cover every aspect of our business, but we also have excellent staff who are very dedicated and hard working.
Fenns Quay’s policy is to use good quality local produce and being in the city centre is a help according to Kevin: “Yes, we are fortunate to have on our doorstep in Cork access to such fantastic local produce, be it fruit or veg, cheeses and artisan products from west Cork and fresh fish and high quality meat from the English Market.”

All the hard work, from sourcing to cooking to service, is being recognised and Fenns Quay has been honoured by Michelin. Kevin again: “We are very fortunate that the restaurant has been recommended in the Michelin guide for a number of years, and with this latest recommendation (2010) it’s very pleasing to have our hard work recognised by a worldwide institution such as the Michelin Guide.”

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fenns Quay in Cork

Enjoyed an excellent “Early Dinner” at Fenns Quay Friday night. They live up to their “simple philosophy”: use only the best produce from the best local suppliers and treat it with care and attention to detail.
The attention starts the moment you walk in as the service is friendly, professional and discreet. The early dinner offer is a 3 course meal for €27.50.
Started with a tasty tomato and brie pot. Mains was venison in a terrific sauce with vegetables, almost like a stew, and we finished off with a melt in the mouth lemon pot with caramelised pears, accompanied by a blackberry sorbet.
Fenns Quay has a good wine list, quite a few by the glass, and we really enjoyed the Spanish Bodegas Castano Monastrell 2007. Aside from the Early Dinner menu, you can also go a la carte and both menus are supplemented by regular specials, all very tempting! For the season thats in it, there is also a Christmas menu.

Check out my review of No.5 Fenn's Quay - I am cork - on Qype