Showing posts with label Garryhinch Mushrooms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Garryhinch Mushrooms. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Ichigo Ichie goes again! And I’ll be going again. Friendly informal feast with Michelin flare!

 Ichigi Ichie once again. 

And I’ll be going again!

Duck with Nori potesala

Ichigo Ichie's 2024 version isn't just good, it's captivating

Ichigi Ichie goes again! It was good (good enough for a Michelin Star) in 2023 and previously. The 2024 edition is a diner's delight as the Fenns Quay restaurant now has more choices, credit-card friendly prices and still amazing quality (and almost immediately a Michelin Bib). It's the kind of place I certainly want to go to again. Encore!!

It is the last Tuesday of a far-from-dry January. Quite early in the evening and the two sections of Takashi Miyazaki’s reimagined Ichigo Ichie Noodle and Natural Wine Bar are more or less full by six o’clock and the delighted staff tell us the weekends are even busier, so do be sure and book ahead.


The same staff are also welcoming, friendly and helpful. And we certainly needed a few pointers when it came to the choices on offer. That offer is in two parts, the A La Carte which has a handful of starters and then three sections of main dishes. One is headed Rice Dishes (Doburi). Two come under the Handmade Buckwheat Noodles title, one section cold  (Hiya), the other hot (On). 

These noodles are the stars here and you’ll have plenty of choices. Oroshi bukkake soba - grated mooli daikon, ginger, sobatsuyu in the Hot for instance, nanbun soba- Skeaghanore duck, hay leek, scallion in the Cold.

Cantina Rallo's rosso and Original 7 Pale Ale

I have to admit though that we were captivated by the Specials Board, almost as expansive as the A La Carte, full of tempting dishes, even more enticing because there is a mix of small and larger plates, mostly designed for sharing. This second edition of Ichigo is much less formal and more fun. As it happened, everything we had came from the blackboard, leaving Takashi’s noodles for the next visit.

Local Ingredients, Unexpected Delights

Local suppliers are supported here. Indeed, the likes of Garryhinch Mushrooms and Skeaghanore Duck, both feature more than once over the two menus. Hongos (€15.50) al la plancha Kamo Yaki, mushrooms with egg yolk, turned out to be a terrific “starter” for us though I’m sure the other mushroom dish would also be fine.

Expect the unexpected. Tripe, an old Cork favourite, features and was given a flavoursome and palate-pleasing twist by Miyazaki. The “Tonchan” came with cabbage, bean sprouts, Fukuoka-style tripe stew, ginger and garlic (€13.50).  


A beer by Original 7, the brewery based in the Franciscan Well in the North Mall, is available on draught here. Had to try that pale ale and it just so happened to be a perfect pairing for the tripe!

O’Mahony Butchers of the English Market supplied the beef for our next dish. The fillet came with egg yolk, Cucumber, Moyahsi, and Namul (€16.50). We were tipped off in advance that this was something like a carpaccio and so it proved. But the marinated beef, super tasty with all its accompaniments, was cut, not into thin rounds but instead into finger-sized strips, the better to take up the marinade! Delicious.

Panna Cotta

Our largest dish of the evening featured Skeaghanore Duck (€22.00). It arrived charcoal grilled with Hay Leek, grilled scallion, leaves, Sansho salt and an unexpected garnish of potato with Nori that went down very well indeed.

Sweet Endings

The delicious delights didn’t stop there. I’d say you’d find it hard to get a better apple dessert than his Matcha Panna Cotta with caramelised apple, lycee ice cream and hazelnut praline, our favourite, and we got the impression it is a staff favourite as well. Just two desserts were available and the Gubbeen Smoked Cheese Cake with Wasabi ice cream was impressive also, even if the apple stole the sweet show.

Gubbeen Cheese Cake
Drinks Galore

This 2024 Ichigo Ichie doesn't lack drink options. A craft beer exclusive from Original 7, Beamish on draft, and an amazing, all-natural wine list curated by Le Caveau await. While the three Jura wines sit at the higher end, don't miss the house red and white from Sicily's Cantina Rallo at a budget-friendly €7.50 a glass. And there's much much more in between!

Monday, May 8, 2023

Ichigo Ichie. Star experience on a rainy night in Cork.

Ichigo Ichie. Star experience 

on a rainy night in Cork. 


No colourful signs (or stars) as you approach Ichigo Ichie on Cork’s Fenn’s Quay. On this rainy night, the only colour on the outside of the premises, on a blacked-out window, was a reflection of graffiti from across the wet street, the entrance just about visible. In the hallway,  you do see a little sign Ichigo Ichie sign, just before the big smiles. The big smile is on your face as you exit a happy hour or two later.

It was certainly on ours as we left, even though the rain was still there, even stronger now, as we had enjoyed a multi-course meal in Takashi Miyazaki’s Michelin-starred restaurant. Like most Michelin places, prices are high here but we had spotted a midweek offer and were so glad that we took advantage.


They get a sitting in a little early so that drinks orders may be taken and served and, since the €75.00 menu itself was set, the drinks were about all we had to decide on with the help of friendly and efficient staff. There was a lovely buzz of conversation around the calm space as we went through the lists. 

For me it was always going to be Sake. They have quite a list here and my pick - I’ve had a can (Honjozo) here previously - was the Kikusui-Funaguchi (Honjozo, Niigata). Niigata is regarded as the most prestigious and well-known region and the Honjozo style is when the makers add a little “brewer's alcohol” to lighten the sake and clean things up. My 200ml can was a delight, light-dry taste with hints of sweetness and a fruity finish, followed by a clean and pleasant aftertaste


CL also enjoyed her choice, the Fanny Sabre Bourgogne Aligoté 2021, a dry, pure, elegant, natural wine, produced only in those years when the fruit is in great condition. It is crisper than Chardonnay but with depth and superb texture, outstanding match for most the meal ahead.


With the drinks sorted, we were soon on our way. Beginning with a trio under the title of Hassun, a hat trick of bite-sized  delights. First up was the Tori Yawara maki (chicken though burdock, carrots, haricot vert). Then we turned to the Asparagus Tofu (Lisheen Greens, asparagus and sumiso ). The star though was the Kaki Domyoji age (Rossmore Oyster, puffed rice, Aonori and nitsume sauce).

By the way, I have never quite got the hang of chopsticks but don't worry, knives and forks are available!

Quite a spectacular dish followed, the Mukouzuke. This selection of sashimi was called Kisetsu no osashimi and Yellow Fin, Turbot, Sea Bass (torched), monkfish and oyster were included along with a range of accompaniments that included salmon and trout roe, ginger and a Japanese plant that had similarities to basil. Our servers gave us all the details but not easy to remember them later on!

Tai Meshi

Perhaps the star dish of the evening came next, the Yakimono (refers to a dish cooked over direct heat). Ours was titled Chateaubriand with Caherbeg beef fillet, Hakusai miso, egg yolk, truffle, Singing Frog kinome. The beef was amazing, enhanced by everything around it. That beef comes from the Allshire family farm in Rosscarbery and the kinome (leaves of a Japanese fruit tree in the citrus family) comes from the Singing Frog garden also West Cork based. A big thumbs up for that course.

And the good mood continued, again Singing Frog involved with our Gohanmono course. The Tai meshi came in one bowl and inside were Sea Bream, Singing Frog wasabi, ginger, nori and rice while the other bowl (called Nameko akadashi jiru) had Red miso, Garryhinch nameko, tofu, chive and dashi. 

Course number five was Kanmi (dessert) and was titled Rhubarb, shiso gelato. The rhubarb came from Lisheen Greens and went down very well with the gelato.

Then it was time to settle up and head off into the rain after another memorable meal, thanks to the maestro and gentleman Takashi Miyazaki in Ichigo Ichie. “The kid’s done well “ as they say in football. Indeed he has, come a long way from Molly Malone’s Irish pub in Hiroshima.

* By the way, if a Michelin starred restaurant can serve alcohol in a can, I wonder why are so many local restaurants are “shy” about offering craft beer in a can.

Reflected selfie

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Check out the Kingdom 1795, Kerry Restaurant of the Year.

Check out the Kingdom 1795

Kerry Restaurant of the Year

It's been a pretty good year for Suzi and Damo of Kingdom 1795. (Thanks to Kingdom for use of pic)

“A vegetable is no longer just a vegetable.” Suzi, front of house at Kingdom 1795 in Killorglin as she took our order last week.

“Vegetables are very important to us.” Chef Aitor at Michelin starred Nerua in Bilbao as he showed us his kitchen.

Just like the Basque chef, Suzi emphasised the importance of sourcing local and she and Chef Damien do just that and are thrilled with the momentum building among their growers. And just as was illustrated in Nerua (with a Baked White Onion, topped with a cod skin, pic at bottom), Kingdom 1795 has some gorgeous vegetables in their various dishes.

Garryhinch mushrooms on Wagyu (spoiled chef's presentation to show you!)

One of the highlights for me came with my mains: the Wagyu Beef Blade & Brisket, cabbage, stout mustard, house butter. When I folded back the cabbage, I found a concertina of thinly sliced mushrooms with the most amazing flavour. No wonder growers Garryhinch are adding to their reputation all the time. Amazing stuff and that Wagyu also lived up to its reputation.

CL was also humming away at the other side of the table as she enjoyed her Hake with tender-stem broccoli, scampi and warm tartare sauce, another perfect ensemble of flavours and freshness. And, of course, our side vegetables had also been treated with the utmost respect, another perfect offering gratefully received and dispatched with due diligence - no hurry here.

Pinot Noir
The pace in Kingdom 1975 is more or less classic French, giving time for a drop of wine in between courses or Calvados in Normandy where the pause has a title: Le trou normand (the Normand hole, the “gap” aids the digestion!).

Well, we filled the gap. Our white was the Chardonnay/Moscatel, Bodegas Nodus 2021, (Valencia, Spain), young and fresh with apple and pear and a touch of tropical pineapple and good persistence. The Romanian Pinot Noir, Cremele Recas ‘Legendary’ 2019, was striking, wonderfully fruity with black cherry and raspberry, nicely spicy too (cinnamon) and quite a long and elegant finish. One of quite a few excellent great-value Romanian wines making their way to this country again.

Goatsbridge trout

With the Trou Normand honoured, it was time for dessert: Sliabh Luachra Strawberries, elderflower, caramelised milk. Quite the treat and an excellent finish.

We had started well also, after a warm welcome from Suzi whom we hadn’t seen in three years (you know why!). They had just started in 2019 and then Covid put them to the test. But, like many others, they pivoted and did well with their Eat at Home offerings. Perhaps their most amazing evening came when they offered doughnuts (four in a box). It was a once off but the word got out and soon the queues around the corner “were like Puck Fair” and over 500 were sold.

She and her staff are brilliant around this lovely room and were in top form as always. They had extra good cause last week as they had just been named Best Restaurant in Kerry at the RAI Munster event in the Radisson,  Cork. The Michelin Guide has also called recently and commented: "An old boozer turned into a restaurant to cherish."


We use Goatsbridge Trout a fair bit ourselves and were glad to see the Kirwans’ produce in one of our starters: Goatsbridge Trout, pickled cucumber, lovage, trout roe. Delicious.

I enjoyed the Dressed Crab, kohlrabi, watercress, horseradish, another delicious dish, slightly delicate but nicely lifted by the Kohlrabi and Horseradish. 


A good start is half the battle. A good start for sure but no battle. Just an exquisite dining experience in the Kingdom.

* The building once housed the Kingdom Bar and the leasing records start in 1795 so that’s where the name came from. Restaurant manager Suzi and Chef Damien are the young couple behind this impressive restaurant in the middle of Killorglin, County Kerry. They honed their skills over three years in the lovely Screebe House in Connemara before taking on the Kingdom. You'll find them on the corner of Main Street and Market Street. And you'll find them online here and on Facebook and Instagram.

Nerua's Baked White Onion

Also on this trip:

Valentia Island's spectacular Bray Head Walk 

Cronin's Yard Loop Walk (near Carrauntoohil)

Superb Killarney Dinner at The Mad Monk by Quinlans

Castlerosse Hotel. Ace Base For The Kingdom

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Nash 19 Takes Night Shift In Its Stride

 Nash 19 Takes Night Shift In Its Stride
Highlights on every corner from the 
Apple Mint (bottom right) to the Pickled Mushroom (top left)

Princes Street, and its many and varied restaurants and cafes, was quick to adopt outdoor dining and rapidly became the country’s poster child for the Covid enforced change to the undependable Irish exterior. 

We had our first visit there on Culture Night and it turned into an evening of delectation under the shelters of Nash 19 and owner Claire Nash.  Just the day before, Nash was awarded by the Georgina Campbell Awards as the person to represent being “the very best of community”, acknowledging Claire’s part in leading the Princes Street charge and in changing her dynamic daytime enterprise to an equally energetic day and night star.

Heirloom Tomatoes and Purple Basil

It was a double change for Nash, from daytime to night time and from indoors to outdoors. And immediately, they saw and began to work on the possibility of innovation that the double move allows. And it isn’t that Nash 19 just tagged along with the existing evening menus. No, if you know Claire, you know they jumped straight to the front and the menu is right on trend with a slew of small plates and no sectional guidance that you should follow the old three course pattern. Hop in to the menu, forget tradition, go free style and enjoy yourself.

But if you do like the comfort of a big feed, and we all do from time to time, some of us more than others, then Nash 19 have you covered well on that front also.

Crispy Chicken Confit of Leg

Claire is rightly proud of the menu and delighted too with the mini-menu she had drawn up for the Culture Night event going on simultaneously in her Stern Gallery (in the backroom of the restaurant). That included the new vermouth by two sisters from Valentia Island and that was our first drop of the evening.

Nash 19 have quite a wine selection now, some fifty bottles, mostly organic, some natural, all low intervention and quite a few by the glass. There’s sparkling wine, rosé, red and white of course, and sweet to finish. We thought we’d have white and enjoyed a glass of Izadi Larrosa Blanc (a Garnacha blanca from Rioja) and one of Von Winning Weissburgunder (Pinot blanc from the Pfalz in Germany).  Glass prices vary from €6.50 to 11.50 in white, roughly similar in red.

Smokers Plate via Hederman

We were soon down to the food. CL’s first dish was the Seared Scallops with Annascaul Black Pudding and apple mint. Superlatives all around here, even that apple mint was outstanding and, in any case, CL is a big fan of the Kerry blackpudding. 

Plum dessert
Mine was the Frank Hederman Smokers Plate (another 14 euro dish). Hard to describe the mix on that plate, ineffable. Let us say it was a delicious mix of mussels, crab, and salmon, all given the unique Hederman touch in his harbourside smokehouse (decades old and now itself an integral part of the smoking process) and even that pickled cucumber by Nash kitchen was quite possibly the best of its type.

Round one may have been a knockout but we were ready for round two, along with what remained of our colourful and flavourful side of the gorgeous Heirloom Tomato and Purple Basil Salad. 

Nash have employed new tasters for this menu.
Illustration from the menu

And we did our delicious duty again. Mine was the Garryhinch Wild Mushroom Ragu on Sourdough Toast with a generous coating of Parmesan. And it came with a steak knife. Superb texture, moist temptation, hardly time to share a morsel or two as I fought back the urge to rush but instead took an unwavering steady stroll to satisfy my senses with its warmth and savour. All for 12 euro!

CL bit into her Crispy Chicken Confit of Leg with Korean Dressing and Charred Corn (also 12 euro) and her casual tongue was immediately stung into alertness by the Korean spice. But, once she got the various elements together, the spice became a key though not dominant facilitator of amazing flavour, and she was as happy as any diner on the busy street.

It wasn’t the only busy street on Friday as quite a few folks were out and about taking in the many events of Culture Night. We began heading back to our hill. We crossed the river and headed for Harley’s Street and its little market and found the place rammed, the crowd there enjoying the bites and exotic music. 

Great craic evident too at St Luke’s Cross with Henchy's and the wine bar the main venues. Lovely to see Culture Night back on the streets and hopefully the English Markets will be back at the heart of it next year.

Lemon Meringue

As is the case with Nash by Day, the Nash by Night Menu provides lots of variety, not just throughout the menu itself but also via its daily changes.

Valentia vermouth
& strollers

Our culture night menu started with a bunch of “small plates” of which no less than five were fish; we picked two and the others, just to give you a hint of what may be coming your way if you call in (and you should), are Irish Prawns with Sea Samphire, Wild Irish Tuna Sashimi, and a “Taste” of Monkfish Tempura. We had two of the non-fish small plates and the others was Ham Hock Terrine and Free Range Chicken Liver Paté.

After that, you are moving into more serious platefuls including Rib Eye of Beef, Pan Seared Hake, their familiar and always superb Producers Plate Tapas Style; also a local Charcuterie Board plus there’s a Heirloom Tomato Pasta Penne with Toonsbridge Feta and an Irish Cheese Board with Fig Confit. Descriptions have been abbreviated in these two paragraphs.

And there are sides of course. Our Heirloom Tomato and Purple Basil Salad was a super treat and others on offer were Fries (smoked butter, sea salt), Waterfall Green Leaf and Herb Salad, Mediterranean Olives or Salted Valentia Nuts, along with Bread, Seaweed Butter and Olive Oil (all at 4.50 aside from the tomatoes at 6.00).

Homeward bound