|Pic by Good Day Deli|
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Thursday, February 8, 2018
Good Day Deli
Good Food Daily
Kai Moana is one of the exotic names that pops up on the menu at Good Day Deli in the gardens of Nano Nagle Place in Cork City. Those of you who have visited the South Pacific, especially New Zealand and the “neighbouring” islands, will not find them strange at all and know that Kai Moana is the Maori for seafood.
Perhaps the most important two words you’ll read are Mana Tiaki. It is the motto for this lovely new daytime restaurant. “In the Cook Islands, the core value of Mana Tiaki is guardianship of heritage and the environment for future generations. Mana Tiaki is a beautiful value to live by and is at the core of Good Day Deli.”
So sustainability is the guideline for the crew here, fronted by owners Clare Condon and New Zealander Kristin Makirere and Head Chef Charlotte Murphy, from the food sourcing right down to the paper napkins.
Importantly that food is delicious; the word has already spread and the place was packed when we visited about 12.30pm last Friday. Don't just look in through the glass and say “we’ll never get a table”. Open the door and soon enough you’ll be seated. You may reserve a table earlier in the week (Tuesday to Thursday).
The afternoon menu kicks in at 12.30. After a few minutes delay we were seated and studying the list. There was a hot seasonal soup (chilli and coriander in this case), a Tart of the Day, a Vibrant Vegan dish, and a Halloumi Citrus Salad. Sides galore: honey, nut dukkah, tapenade, hummus, paprika fries and more.
We had spotted a hake dish on their facebook page and were hoping it was still on. It was and CL picked that one: Kai Moana Fish Tacos, lightly battered Irish Hake on Blanco Nino Corn Tortillas with raw slaw, pickle plus lemon coriander mayo and fries. That fish was fresh and delicious, a lovely dish for €15.00.
I also hit the jackpot with the GDD Curry Bowl (€14.00). Crown Prince Squash + Chickpea Coconut Curry Bowl, with Basmati rice, yogurt and toasted coconut is the full description. Probably the best curry I've ever tasted is mine. Just perfect.
Service here, even with the small queue at the door, is excellent. No pressure, just smiles and all the info you want.
One of their aims is to “elevate local producers”. They feature quite a list on the menu including (it will change seasonally) well-known cheesemakers such as Ardsallagh, Hegarty’s and Toonsbridge, farms like Kilbrack, Horizon and Richard’s, also Green Space, Frank Hederman, Ballycotton Seafood, and Organic for Us (milk). Quite an impressive list and that’s only half of it. Oh yes, the Blanco Nino Corn Tortillas with the hake are made in Clonmel.
The café, bright and airy with some outside tables, has one of the best situations on the city, in the middle of the peaceful well-kept gardens of the Nano Nagle Place, fast becoming one of the city centre’s top attractions. While at the café, I took the opportunity to visit the buildings and you may read about it here. No doubt as the season goes on, both Nano Nagle and Good Day Deli will get busier.
Nano Nagle Place
(021) 432 2107
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Wagner and Strauss.
An impressive duet in red and white.
Wagner Stempel Riesling Rheinhessen (DQ) 2015, 12%, €19.95 Bradley’s Cork.
Nine generations of the Wagner family have been involved in wine-making here since 1845. Daniel Wagner has been the wine-maker since the early 90s and under him they have converted to organic production methods.
According to the Finest Wines of Germany, he has proved that “forgotten or previously unconsidered terroirs can be of exceptional quality when they are interpreted properly”.
Harvest is late (October/November) and the wines are kept on their lees until the end of May.This one, labelled trocken, is imported by the Wine Mason.
Harvest is late (October/November) and the wines are kept on their lees until the end of May.This one, labelled trocken, is imported by the Wine Mason.
Colour is light straw, tints of green, micro-bubbles cling to the glass. Quite a bunch of aromas, fruit, herbs, even a hint of smoke. A fresh and fruity vibrancy emerges as soon as it meets the palate - notes of melon, spice and yellow apple - all balanced by a keen acidity; the long flavourful finish is lip smackingly dry. Very Highly Recommended.
A superb uncomplicated wine to be enjoyed with or without food. I enjoyed it with Hederman’s smoked mackerel, freshly boiled beetroot from the garden, and salad leaves with some roasted pepper.
Johann Strauss Zweigelt Reserve Austria (QaO) 2011, 13.5%, €20.50 Karwig Wines
Zweigelt is the grape and Kremstal is the area in Austria where this fragrant and elegant wine comes from. The blue/black Zweigelt is the most widespread red wine grape in Austria. A cross between St Laurent and Blaufränkisch, it was developed in 1922 and is said to deliver full bodied wines with tones of morello cherries. The morello is black and a sour kind of cherry.
Our Zweigelt has a mid-ruby robe and a fragrant nose of dark red fruits, hints too of pepper. Rather elegant introduction with soft tannins. Restrained waves of those cherry flavours follow, a touch of spice too and then a lingering finish. A pleasure to drink this one and Highly Recommended.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Taste of the Week
Hederman’s Hot Smoked Salmon
Just one look and I was hooked. Frank Hederman’s side of smoked salmon lay temptingly on the bare boards of his market table in Midleton. The gorgeous rich shades of red/orange, from the smoke and the added Kashmiri chillies, were enhanced by the autumn sun. There was no need to even taste a sample. Knowing that it had come from an old authentic smokehouse a few miles away and knowing how carefully Frank sources and handles his fish, I bought a piece.
And there was no putting it in the fridge when I got home. No, this was to be used within hours. It can, of course, be refrigerated and later served at room temperature or gently re-heated. If you want to slice, that is best done straight from the fridge. It is flakier than cold smoked and indeed is easy to flake for your plate.
You’ll find while flaking that every second piece is going into your mouth. Maybe I should have bought more? In any event it is absolutely delicious and succulent and our Taste of the Week. Aside from Midleton, you may also buy it in his shop in the English Market and of course he has it for sale online as well.
The salmon is farmed organically on the west coast of Ireland. It is Kiln-smoked by the master smoker over a live beech wood fire in Cobh and sprinkled with mildly hot Kashmiri Chillies. The chillies are more a condiment than a spice in this case. Enjoy
Belvelly Smoke House
Phone: +353 (0) 21 481 1089
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Paintings and Plates
|Silvia of La Cocina|
The Crawford Gallery was the first stop on Culture Night (18.09.15) with particular attention paid to two paintings. The first encountered featured Hugh Lawton, a direct ancestor of current Bordeaux negociant Pierre Lawton, who was Mayor of Cork City in 1776, and his enormous portrait hangs above the main staircase in the Crawford. Hugh would have quite a few more visitors later on as the L’Atitude 51 Wine Walk had the painting marked as one of their stopping points.
My second painting of interest was another large one, the Men of the South by Sean Keating. This features a group of rather good looking IRA men who, but for the rifles and pistols, could be on their way to a match or a dance even. But you can see the tension as they patiently wait to carry out an ambush. Perhaps I gave this painting more attention than usual because of the state funeral, earlier that day, for executed 1916 rebel Thomas Kent.
For me, there is always a food call or two during Culture Night, usually to the English Market. But the Crawford Gallery Cafe were offering an intriguing menu, with a touch of Swiss and Spanish, and here we stayed for a pleasant while.
My fondue was based on a humble cheddar from East Cork but, enhanced by the kitchen, it proved a gem. Meanwhile CL tucked into a plate of Tapas that featured Rosscarbery Black Pudding and Gubbeen chorizo among other interesting flavours.
And La Cocina proved a very sweet ending indeed, “not too much sugar” though. From quite a selection we picked and shared a wedge of No Flour Almond and Lemon and a luscious custard cake (almost like a profiterole). Believe it or not, each went well with the last of the Biohof Pratsch Riesling.
More art and food next at Nash 19. Indeed, both are always on the menu since Claire Nash opened the Sternview Gallery about a year ago. Rebecca Bradley’s Provisional View is the current show (until October 15th). The Irish Times critic Aidan Dunne summed it up as “Outstanding textural paintings based on landscape”. It is just that the landscape - suburbs, coastlines, fields and bogs - is never quite the same, “our sense of place not certain” as the handout says.
Time then for more food and with a goodly group of her producers on hand, there was no shortage. Got some lovely tastes of Hederman’s pate and Ardsallagh cheese from Claire. More cheese from Tipperary with Cashel Blue and Crozier Blue (my slight favourite) on hand.
Restaurant manager Mairead was handing out samples of the outstanding Longueville House cider and nearby the O'Connell’s were generous with their spiced beef, now in demand all year round.
|All smiles: Champion pudding and spiced beef|
Timmy is rarely puzzled but he did have a quizzical look on his face as he spoke to three Danish visitors. They didn't know what black pudding was, saying they don't have blood puddings on Denmark, once the leading producer of bacon. Different cultures on culture night!
- If truth be told, our first stop of the evening was at a No. 208 bus stop. It turned out to be a long wait. Two scheduled bus times came and went, without a bus in sight, before we finally set out some forty minutes later, very poor service for around four o'clock on a Friday. It was no much better coming home, with two arriving together after another forty minute wait.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Getting Better all the time
|Gorgeous Chanterelles from Ballyhoura Mushrooms at last Saturday's Market|
Midleton Farmers Market, the original farmers market, was founded fifteen ago by Darina Allen and local farmers and has gone from strength to strength. Hard to get a stall there now but there were some newcomers last Saturday when I visited.
Space is limited but vacancies occur from time to time, particularly when a successful producer (Cobh’s Just Food, for example) outgrows the stall.
So now you may buy BBQ Jerk Chicken from Le Kiosk, vegetarian from Buddha Bites, coffee from Doppio, also doughnuts and ice cream from another stall. Check out the list of stallholders here, even if it is a little out of date!
|Loving Salads, just one corner of their huge selection|
Originals such as Woodside Farm, Frank Hedderman, and Ballymaloe are still very active here, side by side with more recent arrivals such as Jason Carroll’s Loving Salads and the Lobster Man. The Lobster Man has live lobsters and crabs, and sometimes brings a giant example. Do watch out for him. And watch out too for Jason who is due to open a cafe in Academy Street.
By the way, Hederman and Arbutus Breads are in the running for the Irish Times Best Market Stall. Best of luck folks.
Like all farmers markets, the atmosphere here is relaxed. Do your shopping, have a chat with stall-holders such as Barry Tyner (he sells fantastic patés) and Deirdre (she'll tell you all about the Arbutus range). Jane from Ardsallagh Goat Cheese always has something interesting to chat about, especially in the food line. Indeed, what you find is all the producers have time to talk to their customers and are very enthusiastic about the market in general and keen to spread the word.
Then take a break, have a cup of coffee and listen to the music. It is a terrific way to spend a Saturday morning and you’ll have excellent produce in your bags and enough of it to keep you going over the weekend.
Other local markets on Saturday include Douglas, Coal Quay, Skibbereen, Bandon and Crosshaven. See countrywide list, compiled by Bord Bia, here .
|Newcomers (above and below)|
Midleton celebrated its 15th anniversary last May and here’s what stall holder Ballymaloe Cookery School wrote then: It has been an outlet not only for the many artisan producers of the area, but also for high profile food producers that have had stalls at Midleton Farmers Market, including Clodagh McKenna, Darina Allen, Arun Kapil of Green Saffron Masaalchi and Frank Hederman of Belvelly Smokehouse. The market has also been featured in many TV shows, including the Ear to the Ground, Nationwide (Irish TV series), Rick Stein's Ireland and @Clodagh's Food Trails which has seen by viewers across the States and Australia as well as the UK and mainland Europe, helping position Ireland, and indeed Cork, as a major food destination.
Monday, June 29, 2015
Irish Fish - Two Ways
Hederman and Goatsbridge
Enjoyed an Irish fish dinner at the weekend, starting with smoked mackerel from Hederman’s and then a main course of fresh trout from Goatsbridge in Kilkenny.
If you want to buy Irish, you have to keep your eyes open and read the labels. That, surprisingly enough, applies to fish as well, not that too many of them will have labels!
Take Sea-bass as an example, a species that is protected here. According to the fishmonger.ie website, we import wild Sea-bass from France and farmed version from Greece and Turkey. In all, in 2012, we imported (according to BIM figures) some €203 million worth of fish, a staggering 75,000 tonnes (mainly from Norway).
No problem buying Irish fish at your local market stalls but be careful in the supermarket, especially at the fresh fish counter. The Goatsbridge trout is not always sold under that name but the tag on the counter does say Irish farmed trout.
Cobh’s Frank Hederman is renowned for smoking fish. Not just mackerel but also salmon and do watch out as well for his mussels. If using mackerel in your main course, go for the whole fish but as a starter, the fillets (which come plain or coated with chives or chili) are fine. We used the chive one and bought it at the English Market. By the way, the salad and the baby beets both came from Derek’s Green Field Farm stall at the Mahon Point Farmers Market.
Over then to the local Dunne’s Stores for the trout and that was eventually served with seasonal vegetables and new potatoes. The potatoes and carrots were also bought at Mahon, from the Burns farm stall. And if you do call to Sandra and Joe, be sure and get some of their fabulous Vegetable Crisps.
The vegetables, for the trout, were done using Edward Hayden's Prepare-Ahead Vegetable method, detailed in his book Food to Love (pub. 2011). Basically, the veg are cooked separately, then cooled off, and kept in the fridge; take them out close to dinner-time and cook them all together, not forgetting to blanch and refresh! Got that book in the library the other day and it is proving very handy indeed.
Speaking of local, the raspberries for the delicious soufflé came from the back wall. Thankfully, the considerate blackbirds left just enough for us! Very satisfactory meal overall, especially suited to this time of year. Both the trout and mackerel are top notch products and I'd urge you to try them. Each is highly recommended.
Find out all about Frank Hederman and his smokehouse here.
All the details on Kilkenny's Goatsbridge Trout available here.
Both have online shopping.
Monday, March 23, 2015
Beer Versus Wine
Colm v Caroline.
Colm v Caroline.
|Scrumptious Blackpudding from Jack McCarthy.|
Great flavours from the L'Atitude kitchen.
Lots of good humour and great drinks at the Beer v Wine Smackdown in L’Atitude last Thursday night where the protagonists were Caroline Hennessy and Colm McCan.
Caroline, co-author of the Irish beer bible Sláinte, made it clear at the outset that she was making the case for craft beer saying “the other beers have no flavours”. Her first beer, Black’s Kinsale Pale Ale, was a perfect example. “Hops are the spice of beer,” she said.
“Beer is just to wash away the dust”, joked Colm as he introduced his heavy hitting first, the Decanter Gold winning Wiston Rosé, an English Sparkling Wine, made in the South Downs by Limerick’s Dermot Sugrue. Both were matched with Hederman Smoked Mackerel with Rhubarb Compote from the L’Atitude kitchens.
Colm did admit he was a big fan of craft beer as he put a call, on speaker-phone, through to Dermot in the UK and they chatted about the huge honour received by Wiston when their wine, a twenty-bottle bottle of it, was chosen, instead of the traditional champagne, to launch the mega cruise liner Britannia.”Twenty minutes later the Queen was still saying wow”, referring to the pop (explosion!) when the Nebuchadnezzar made contact with the ship. See it here on video.
Ireland is fast becoming a big producer of all kinds of drinks, including spirits, and so Caroline decided to include cider as her second round choice. And the local cider she picked was the Stonewell medium dry, a great match with Jack McCarthy’s black-pudding and apples.
Colm said cider, in the way it is made, is the closest thing in Ireland to wine, “at the moment!” as he introduced his biodynamic 2012 Vinsobres from the Southern Rhone, “a winter-warming wine..with a natural acidity that should cut through the black pudding”. It sure did and even won the round with “victory” in round one going to the Pale Ale.
And then we were on to round three where Double Chocolate Porter Brownies were paired with Knockmealdown Stout and Taylor’s 2008 LBV. The stout, with its traditional flavours, is by Eight Degrees where Caroline can't help but be involved considering that husband Scott is one of the two founders. The brewery, set up in 2011, has been going well ever since. She said the current craft beer wave is well underway thanks largely “to a tax break in 2005 by then finance minister Brian Cowan”. Eight Degrees are just about to start a “massive expansion”.
Chris Forbes of Taylor's was next the next speaker on Colm’s phone and he explained some of the terms used in the port industry including LBV (late bottled vintage, all from one year). “Slow aging,” he said, “helps maintain the flavours and the tannins. The beauty of Port is that it cannot be made anywhere else in the world, only in the Douro. “We use all kinds of traditional grape varieties here”. He mentioned the various Tourigas and Tintos but he said the really important thing for Taylors was not the individual varieties but the blend itself.
|Contestants in round 2,|
paired with the pudding.
That attention to detail was evident in the LBV as it held its own with the brownies. The Stout was an excellent match, not surprising since a generous amount went into the Brownie mix! Then we had the voting, via murmurs of approval. Caroline and Colm had a round each to their credit and the final matching ended in a draw and that meant honours were even overall.
The point of all this is that there are very good wines out there and, increasingly, very good Irish beers and ciders. And now, the Irish is taking its place alongside wine at the dinner table and in the restaurant.
Here's my recent example. I spent 24 hours in Kinsale on the weekend before last and enjoyed craft beer Malt Lane and in Monk’s Lane in Timoleague. Last Friday and Saturday, I was in Bantry and sampled craft beer in the Fish Kitchen, across the road in Ma Murphy’s, in the Maritime Hotel and, on the way home, they had a selection in Church Lane in Macroom. Don’t think that would have happened 12 months ago. Point made!
The next “match” between Caroline and Colm is likely to be at Savour Kilkenny in the autumn.
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Mentioned some time back that Nash19 pay attention to detail, to the small things on and off the plate. Was reminded of that last Friday when in for lunch. Two of those small things stood out: their delicious crunchy brown bread and the scrumptious roast potatoes. Roast potatoes? Yes indeed. Some establishments around town serve up roast pops that you could use for a score of bowls.
It was very busy in the Prince's Street venue, even the gallery at the back was full. But service was still top class, as efficient and friendly as ever. That, and the food of course, makes Nash 19 a top restaurant all year round.
Isn't it great to take a menu in your hand and say immediately: “I could eat everything there.” Well it could take you a week or two to work your way through it. So, on the day, you have to choose. You could perhaps take the Producer Plate as a shortcut and you wouldn't go wrong with that choice.
But, on Friday, I went for the Frank Hederman Smoked Fish Plate as my starter, various versions of his famous smoked mackerel and salmon. Swapped a few pieces for a couple of large spoonfuls of CL’s Soup (Red Lentil Dahl topped with Riata). It was a fair exchange. The fish was excellent, as we’ve come to expect, and the soup was terrific, the spices provided by Green Saffron, and, all the while, the brown bread was going down well. The white bread, moistened (should really say soaked!) with their excellent olive oil, was long gone.
Time now for the mains. The Tim McCarthy Lamb Shanks had all been eaten but there was considerable consolation in the O’Connell Spiced Beef Rump with Christmas Casseroled Red Cabbage, a perfect combination enhanced by the perfectly cooked vegetables (including those spot-on roasties).
Ten out of ten for that and CL was also thrilled with her dish: St Tola Goats Cheese Warm Salad with Spiced Almonds, and Beets two-way, and also pickled plums, a terrific blend, well thought out and well dispatched. Two empty plates went back to the kitchen.
|Souped-up with Green Saffron spice|
But just one dessert came out. We were getting full so decided to share the Winter Berry Tart, hot, with cream and custard. Tart and sweet, a lovely warm finalé to a hugely satisfying meal, the earlier courses washed down with Heritage des Cedre Malbec (France 2011), rich, fruity and fresh, sending out a message that Cahors is not about to roll over to Argentina in the battle on for Malbec supremacy.
The meal overall illustrated that Nash 19 is sticking to its guns, supporting local producers all the way. Suppliers, in addition to those already mentioned, include: Little Milk Company Cheese, Ummera, Waterfall Salad Leaves, Horizon Farm, Crowe’s Meats, Lismore Food Company, Hans Sloane Chocolate, Kitty Colchester Rapeseed Oil, Llewellyn’s Cider Vinegar, Arbutus Bread, Sheridan Cheese Biscuits.
Christmas Opening Hours at Nash 19
Mon 15 Dec to Fri 19 Dec 7.30 am to 4pm
Saturday 20 Dec 8.30am to 4pm
Sunday 21 Dec 12 to 5pm
Mon 22 & Tue 23rd Dec 7.30am to 4pm
Christmas Eve 7.30am till 1.30pm
Opening after Christmas on January 2nd @ 7.30am
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Seaweed Bread Debuts in Midleton Farmers Market
Irresistible Salads also.
|New to Arbutus: Seaweed loaf (left) and San Fran sourdough|
Arbutus Bread, pioneers in the real bread field, are on the move again. Called in to Midleton Farmers Market last Saturday morning and a delighted Dee was on hand to show me their new Seaweed Bread and I was delighted to taste this beauty.
Dee and Declan are rightly proud of this loaf but very keen too to acknowledge the contributions of Galway’s James Cunningham, who produced the seaweed ingredient, and also the help given by John and Sally McKenna.
Brilliant really, isn't it, how people in the real food area (also in the craft brewing sector) cooperate with one another, in the style of the old time meitheal. More and better products are the result and we (the customers) are all winners. James Cunningham summed it up over the weekend: “I love that someone can take my produce and give it a life in their produce. Pretty cool.”
Dee says the salt content has been reduced to allow the seaweed flavour shine through. But don't worry, you won't be tasting seawater here or anything like it. Just an excellent well made bread. In any event, and I'm quoting the McKenna’s here, seaweed doesn't absorb a lot of salt - just sea minerals and vitamins.
Why seaweed bread? And what exactly is the “magic” ingredient? Dee explains: “Noribake, which we are using, is a natural organic Irish product which we have in abundance. The benefits are:
Natural immune stimulant & gut flora modulator;
Lowers GI index of baked goods;
Allows salt and sugar levels to be reduced in line with EU trends;
Anti-staling effects of formula extends shelf life of baked goods;
Alginate content gives consumer the experience of being ‘fuller for longer’.”
And Arbutus haven't stopped at that. They have also introduced a new sourdough, moving away from the French style that has served them, and us, so well, to a new more folded San Francisco version. So there you are. “Two healthy loaves for you,’ says Dee.
Jason Carrell’s Ginger Room Salads is a new attraction at this pioneering East Cork market and I had lots of recommendations to call to his stall. And he has an inviting display, a huge range of salads, all in colourful matching bowls (brought back from his travels in Fiji, I’m told).
|Organic veg from Ballymaloe|
Just had a quick chat as we made our purchases (Jason was very busy and sells out every day). But do note that his huge range of “tasty healthy funky style salads” are also available at Wilton (Tuesday) and Kinsale (Wednesday) as well as Midleton (Saturday).
Got to call to some of the long-standing stalls as well including pioneers Ballymaloe who had a fine display of, among other things, organic vegetables; Hederman's close by had no shortage of their quality smoked fish, got a lovely piece of pork from Noreen of Woodside, fish from O’Driscoll’s, a selection of mushrooms from Lucy of Ballyhoura Mushrooms and a bag of big juicy red apples from another stall. All the while the music played, the coffee flowed as did conversations and laughter. Will only get better on the Saturdays ahead!