Showing posts with label House Cafe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label House Cafe. Show all posts

Thursday, May 12, 2016

House Café. In the middle of our town

House Café
In the middle of our town
Mega mushrooms
The shows come and go but The House Café keeps performing in the Opera House, just a few yards from Patrick’s Street. So central, so good.

We called to this friendly place for lunch this week and enjoyed it from the start to finish, the welcome, the friendly informative service, the little chats and, of course, the food. Food that is based for the most part on top notch local produce: Crozier Blue, Knockalara, Ballyhoura, Coolea, O’Mahony Butchers among those featured.
We could have had one of the soups (carrot, ginger and coriander looked tempting. Or one of the sandwiches (Coolea cheese with wild garlic pesto caught the eye). But once I saw the Creamed Ballyhoura Wild Mushrooms on sourdough toast with Parmesan and organic leaves, I was hooked. It is one of the best expressions of these fabulous mushrooms (much in demand by the country’s top chefs) you're likely to come across. Go in and try it!

CL too cleaned her plate, every little bit. Her choice was the Spiced Chickpea and Sweet potato Falafel with hummus, tahini sauce and salad with a roasted pide (a Turkish bread). Her dish cost nine euro, mine two euro more. Both were vegetarian but we didn't even think about that, just good food, and that’s the way it should be.

Since we had skipped the soup, dessert was on the cards. I went for one of the specials and it was very special, again worth a call if available. This was the Carrot and Pistachio cake (3/50), toasted and served with butter and cream. It was so good! Too good in fact. CL got very interested and I had to give over fifty per cent, On the other hand, I got fifty per cent of her lemon Drizzle Slice (3.50), and quite a superior Lemon drizzle it was.

Sp we relaxed and finished off our Golden Bean coffees (2.30) before settling up at the counter (cash only, by the way!) and heading off to Pana (the local name for Patrick Street).

House Café
Opera House
Emmet Place
Tel: (021) 490 5277

Twitter: @HouseCafeCork

Monday, June 15, 2015

All White on the Night. Dining Out in Cork City

All White on the Night.

Dining Out in Cork City.
“Bet you never thought you’d be sitting down to a three course meal on the street outside Penny’s and Guiney's,” said one diner as we gathered for Our Table in Oliver Plunkett Street (Cork) last evening. The four hundred of us, dressed in white (mostly!), were dined, wined and entertained for the two hours. The verdict: bring on 2016. Indeed, even before the night, indications were that double the number would be catered for next year.
Starter by House
So lots of craic, good fun and good food too. The long table was divided into four and we were at the B section. Each section had three restaurants looking after its needs and our trio were House, Isaacs and ORSO.

As we arrived we were treated to a refreshing flower-topped juice and guided to our table (and, yes, it was outside Penny’s and Guiney's). Soon we were meeting new and old friends and a glass of wine, sponsored by O'Donovan’s, went down well.
The event was sponsored by BAM Ireland and JCD and there were special thanks to Cork City Council, Cork City Forum, Elbow Lane Brewery, Stonewell Cider, One water, Down to Earth Materials, The Oliver Plunkett, O’Donovan’s Off Licence, The Pavilion Garden Centre, Cork Midsummer Festival. And a big round of applause too for the restaurants (management and staff) involved.
Mains by Isaac's. More on the side!
After the introductory drink and a nibble on the gorgeous Arbutus Bread (with butter), it didn't take long at all and the 400 were settling into the House starter: Carpaccio of baby radish, gold and red beets with tahini grapefruit and pistachio. Loved that mix of flavours, textures, not forgetting colours. A very promising start indeed.

Lamb was the main course at all the tables and Isaac’s came up with Slow roast shoulder of lamb with summer greens, spiced aubergines, and Ballycotton new potatoes. The best of ingredients plus the top class cooking forever associated with the MacCurtain Street venue made for a lot of happy diners at Table B!

The first two courses were excellent and the high standard was maintained right to the sweet end with the appearance of the ORSO dessert: Pecan and local honey baklava with gooseberry and elderflower compote, and Toonsbridge ricotta cream. A delightful dessert indeed, made even more so by the tang of the compote.

All that had to be done then was finish off the wine and head up the street to see how the others were doing. Met diners and restaurateurs alike and it was a case of thumbs up in all cases. Happy out!

The event was part of the Cork Midsummer Festival which continues for another week. See the programme for the coming week here.
Dessert by ORSO

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Award-winning House Cafe

The House Cafe

For just €8.50, I enjoyed a sublime lunch dish in Cork last week. Ballyhoura Wild Mushrooms were the main element here, the light touch of the House Cafe culinary team  combining them with Free Range Egg, spring onion and parmesan to construct a delicious omelette. They added some pickles cucumber and healthy organic leaves to vary the taste, the flavours and the textures. A simple creation. But a superb one.

House Cafe is the relatively new award winning cafe set up in the foyer of the Cork Opera House. Just like  managers Victor Murphy and Steve McGlynn and Chef Eoin O'Reilly, I’m always looking to support local producers and isn’t it just great to see these fresh ingredients used in such an imaginative way. The menu here is very attractive and it looks as if I’ll have to return again, and again.

CL went for the Mezze Slate (8.50) and what a variety she got. Colours and flavours galore in the Aubergine compote, roasted parsnip hummus, bean salad, roasted peppers, Tomato Tapenade, and marinated olives.

We had each started off with a soup (4.50). One was Cauliflower and Parsnip, the other Carrot and Sweet Potato. Both very tasty and quite substantial. If you had time only for soup, this would keep you going for quite a while.

Finished off with coffees and by the way this too is excellent and comes from the Golden Bean, based at Ballymaloe and regulars at Mahon Point Farmers Market. Not much room for dessert but did try a Macaron. Sweet!

Opening times are  all day Monday to Saturday, from 10 to 5.30, and shownights until 9.

Victor proudly gave me this list of the growers and producers that they use:
Leaf / Salad / Veg - Caroline Robinson, Coal Quay Market
and Derek Hannon - Greenfield Farm, Leamlara.
Other seasonal fruit/veg' from various stallholders at the Saturday Coal Quay market.
Wild mushrooms from Mark and Lucy of Ballyhoura Mushrooms.
Eggs and Apple juice from Colin Wolfe, Coal Quay market.
Fish from O'Driscolls market stall, Ballycotton seafood, Rene Cusack & Frank Hedermans.
Sausage, rashers, bacon, puddings from Avril Allshire -  Caherbeg/Roscarberry
Free range chicken - Jack McCarthy
Sourdough and pide bread - Arbutus Bread
Cheeses :- Knocklara
              - Gubeen
               - Hegartys
              - Mozzarella, ricotta, Parmesan, olives and olive oil from Real olive company/Toonsbridge.
Beef - O'Mahony's, the market
Game - Ivin Ellis.
Coffee - Mark Kingston of Golden Bean

"For Drinks,  we collect seasonal foraged flowers and herbs, to make cordials. We make everything from scratch on site in House Cafe (save the white bread)."