Showing posts with label Kilbrack Farm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kilbrack Farm. Show all posts

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Café Townhouse Doneraile. Make a day of it. Lunch at café. Visit Doneraile Park and Annes Grove Gardens. Or follow the local authors!

Café Townhouse Doneraile. Make a day of it. 

Lunch or breakfast at café. Visit Doneraile Park and Annes Grove Gardens.

Or take the writer trail of Bowen, Spenser, Trevor and Sheehan 

Tart of the Day

The Café Townhouse Doneraile is quite a place, both indoors and out, and the food is excellent too. Its location makes it an ideal stop for visitors to the local attractions, such as Annes Grove Gardens and Doneraile Park. Indeed, it has its very own entrance to the park!

We dropped in last week, after a stroll around the park. The big house there is closed at the moment as renovations proceed but you have many acres and pathways to explore on the banks of the Awbeg River that flows through. And that same river also flows through the newly renovated Annes Grove Gardens. 

Chicken Salad

So here is one way to spend your day. Take a morning walk in the Doneraile Park, then lunch at the cafe before driving the few miles to Annes Grove.

The café also serves breakfast but we came in “the back door” from the park for lunch. The interior room, that faces out on to the village main street, was pretty full but we choose to dine outside in a beautifully decorated courtyard with lots of overhead shade provided by the many parasols. Skilful decoration is seen throughout the café, inside and out, and that is not surprising as owners Myra and Ray also run an house interior business from the premises.

Apple Pie

Back to the menu. We had quite a choice. There was a Ploughman’s Plate, a generous plate indeed as I remember from a previous visit. Soup too but the day was on the warm side. Also available was an Open Nordic Flatbread, A Toasted Special (with soup), Warm Chicken and Bacon Salad, and A Warm Salad of Clonakilty Black pudding and Bacon.

My pick was the Chicken Ciabatta (toasted ciabatta with chicken, house basil pesto, mozzarella and tomato relish along with a well prepared salad of Kilbrack Farm organic salad leaves (13.00). Just perfect, every little bit, so good that the visiting robin got interested!


The cheeky little bird was also keen on CL’s Warm Chicken Tart of the Day, another generous plateful of chicken, a distinctive and delicious house slaw, country relish and those salad leaves again (14.00). I got more than the robin in a swap deal and can confirm that this too was a superb plateful, full of flavour and texture just like my Ciabatta. 

Both plates went back clean and, in a good mood, we ordered cakes and tea, again from quite a list. So, at our leisure in the sun,  we enjoyed the Victoria sponge Sandwich (been years since I had one) and the Apple Pie which came with cream or ice-cream and a caramel drizzle. In then to the packed room (over twenty diners here, just one man!) To pay up and say goodbye before heading out to the sunny main street. Should mention too that, like the food, the friendly and efficient service was superb,

If you are interested in Annes Grove, here’s a link covering our very recent visit. 

Quite a few literary connections in the area too including Elizabeth Bowen, Canon Sheehan, Edmund Spenser and William Trevor.

Ideal corner for Afternoon Tea al fresco. See those parasols!

Cooling off time!

A wing of Doneraile Court

Just one of the magnificent trees in the park

Guided tour of the park?

The Parterre. Gates were closed on most recent visit.

We did a more extensive walk through the park in April 2021 and you may check it out here at 

Doneraile Park, where the Awbeg River runs through 166 hectares.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Taste of the Week. A Local Salad, Boy

Taste of the Week.

A Local Salad, Boy

The sun may not be as constant as we would like, but these are certainly salad days. And it so easy to put a good one together, just like this very local combination, our Taste of the Week.

The main player here is perhaps the Ardsallagh Goats Cheese, a renowned East Cork product that is readily available. Also in there is a terrific Spiced Apple and Carrot Chutney from On The Pig's Back. And those tasty little red salad onions come from Kilbrack Farm in North Cork. The leaves and radishes from the back garden!

As you know, I'm a big fan of Neighbourfood and virtually everything (cheese, onions, chutney, tomatoes) above came through my delivery so that made it even easier for me! 

Enjoy and continue to support local.

Monday, July 27, 2020

New Kids on the Block. #51 Cornmarket Street. We took a knock. We go again.

New Kids on the Block. #51 Cornmarket Street.
We took a knock. We go again.

David Devereaux and Anne Zagar, the young couple behind #51, are delighted to be back up and running at their new restaurant in Cornmarket Street. The enthusiastic pair and equally enthusiastic small staff had something of a false dawn back in March when Covid19 forced a sudden closure just a couple of weeks into their opening run.

Still, that youthful enthusiasm, backed by the solid experience they have acquired in various kitchens as they learned the ropes, is undimmed after their “second coming” as I found when we visited for lunch last week. We enjoyed it and said so. “Do come by again when we’ve expanded a bit,” I was told as I left! Can’t beat the youth!

While both are chefs, David has the Head Chef title here and “is the brain force behind our kitchen and the driving passion behind our ethos”. From the nearby north side, he began his studies in Cork which led to a scholarship in Johnston & Wales (RI, USA), an apprenticeship under Michael Fleming and a further stage in London’s Mayfair. David has been cooking around Cork for several successful years while always searching for somewhere to call his own and has found it in the Coal Quay, in what was previously The Parlour. 
Fish fingers like never before!

Now at #51, he has a clear vision, using many local suppliers to create a dining experience that is “funky, fresh and professionally thought out. His cooking style is modern Irish with a special focus on seafood while also being a dab hand at a Lemon Tart every once in a while.” 

Those local producers include O’Mahony Butchers, Ballycotton Seafood, Pana Bread, Kilbrack Farm, Annabella Farm, English Market, McCarthy’s Kanturk, O’Brien’s Free Range Eggs. And even more local is the nearby rooftop farm, now with the addition of their own hens!

They do everything in-house including curing their own fish. We got a sample of their rainbow trout as we left and it is superb. Do look out for that House Cured Rainbow Trout (more sustainable than salmon). You’ll see it in their Eggs Royale with Eggs and Hollandaise.
Herbs at hand

Anne herself has quite a distinguished CV as well. She trained at Ballymaloe Cookery School and studied French Patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu London. She was head chef at The Pavilion Garden Centre, owner-operator at Something Sweet, head chef and kitchen manager at Rachel's, and manager/coordinator at Hotel Isaacs Cork. 

She’s well able to take a turn in the kitchen but last week she was out front, keeping an eye on and serving their customers both inside their little terrace and also at the tables now allowed on the wide pavement of the Coal Quay itself. 

And she’s even got the mayoral nod of approval for her baking, particularly her scones which come in quite a few flavours: Blueberry and lime, white chocolate and cranberry, Cinnamon, pecan and toasted oats, and the traditional sultana.

You’ll get a terrific breakfast here but we were in for a spot of lunch, which they start serving about the 12.30pm mark when the menu goes up on the window. No menus handed out at present due to you know what!
Scones galore

The list may be short but is tempting, even includes a few of the egg dishes from the breakfast. We seriously considered the organic Farm Salad (tomato, local feta, potato, mint , cucumber and leaves). Another attraction was the Brisket, Pickled Onion and Celeriac Remoulade and also the Pork Belly with apple and red cabbage.

CL hit the jackpot when she picked the Beetroot, local goat cheese, pesto, pickled onion and organic leaf in a Ciabatta bun. Neatly presented, this is a superb dish, packed with local goodness and that bread is soft and tasty, the dish well priced too. Highly Recommended.

Eggs Royale, with that trout!
And I very much enjoyed another dish that comes into the Highly Recommended category: the crispy trio of fish fingers, superb cod as it turns out, comes with a delicious citrus salsa, and a well-judged amount of sweet curry in a beautiful soft bap. I had sticky fingers and a happy belly by the time I finished this easy-eating beauty, just the job for lunch in the summer-time.

Hopefully, David and Anne will be serving many similar platefuls before the summer departs. You’ll enjoy the happy youthful approach at this city centre venue and you know where your food comes from. It’s just a few yards from Patrick Street, so do look out for #51!

51 Cornmarket Street
Tel: 083 010 2321
Open Wed to Sun inclusive.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Eggs are special at Good Day Deli which is itself rather special!

Eggs are special at Good Day Deli which is itself rather special!
Smoked Beetroot Benny

Lots of good things on the menu at Good Day Deli. Claire and Mak source the very best of organic and sustainable. One of the current highlights is the beetroot from Kilbrack Farm, another the raspberries (you all know about the strawberries) from Bushby’s in Rosscarbery. 

But it was one of the more regular daily items that made my taste buds sit up and take notice the other morning as we tucked in our breakfast (reservation required). The humble eggs. Okay, you might say, an egg is an egg. But please go and treat yourself to the eggs here. Organic of course and a decent size as well. But the flavour and texture take these to a different level entirely. These are up there with the very best*. Just goes to underline that while all organic eggs are free-range, not all free-range eggs are organic**. 
Smoked Salmon Benny

If you are in for breakfast or brunch, then you’ll have multiple opportunities to try the eggs. We had quite a choice last Wednesday and I picked GDD Smoked Beetroot Benny (14.75) and it consisted of Hayley’s Tea Smoked Organic Beetroot, sautéed organic kale, with two of those delicious organic poached eggs, plus Hollandaise on sourdough toast, topped with Hazelnut Dukkah.

Quite a plateful, full of colour and texture and deliciousness. That smoked beetroot had a trace of sweetness about it, the sourdough was perfectly toasted for those of us with teeth in the “veteran” stage while those magnificent eggs benefited from the scattering of Dukkah, all perfectly cooked and presented.

Enjoyed a bottle of the lovely Mealagulla apple juice with that and CL picked the same drink. Her choice was the Good Day Deli Smoked Salmon Benny (15.00). Again, GDD go for the best and that Hederman’s Irish Organic Smoked salmon was joined on the plate by a pair of those eggs, topped with Hollandaise, toasted seeds and leafy greens on sourdough toast. The outstanding salmon was in quite small bite sized pieces - no need to go cutting - and the whole plate was another harmonious offering.

Quite a few choices on the morning menu, actually an all day menu as it is available until 4.00pm. Next time, I’m going for the Island Bay Huevos Rancheros (lightly spiced organic beans topped with two organic fried egg on Blanco Nino corn tacos, with fresh tomato salsa, sour cream and leafy greens. Reckon that would keep me happy for the day!

Clare was happy too as she greeted us at the door: “Great to have people back in the restaurant.” And she was looking forward to seeing even more there at the weekend when their new 4-person gazebos will make their debut.

We are still in these Covid19 days so hands were sanitised at the door and then we were soon seated and the menu is accessible through the QR-code on the tabletop. Contactless payment is taken at the table and then you exit by the other door. All simple enough and plenty of space between the tables.  Clare and Kristin (“Mak) and staff are really on the ball here and we had a very comfortable experience overall. 

By the way, they intend to continue their lovely Kete Kai Box delivery service, especially for those who may not be able to visit in person for whatever reason.

Kete Kai Box, delivered to your door!

Monday, February 3, 2020

Jacques. Perfect. Since 1980.

Jacques. Perfect. Since 1980.
Cod Fritters

Jacques, started by two sisters in 1980, quickly hit the culinary high notes and has remained top of the Cork charts. Also in the 80s, Fairground Attraction had a big hit with It’s got to be perfect. It could have been a tribute to the Barry sisters, Eithne and Jacque.

Too many people take second best
Well, I won't take anything less

We certainly knew we were on to a good thing when we headed to the venue recently. Not too sure which door we’d take though. Jacques are a bit unusual. In 1980, you entered through the door at 9 Phoenix Street. In recent years, they extended to Oliver Plunkett Street and the main door is at No. 23. Take either. Behind each is a warm welcome and excellent food. And drink.
Smoked Duck Salad

There’s a full bar here, with pints of Murphy’s and Heineken. You’ll also find craft beers, including those from the Cotton Ball, a local brewery, and local ciders Stonewell and Longueville are also supported. Irish spirits of course, including Bertha’s Revenge and Kalak. As are a variety of local food producers such as Skeaghanore, Toons Bridge, Ardsallagh, Ballinrostig Cheese, Goatsbridge, and Knockalara. Kilbrack Farm.

Cheers! Negroni
One thing I noted about the dishes at Jacques is that you get plenty of greens and veg on your plate. Unlike some places where you’d be lucky to get a see through sliver of carrot or a mini-cube of beetroot, too tiny for the tines. Kilbrack Farm are among their greens and vegetable suppliers and the produce is terrific. And just because they are generous with the veg, doesn’t mean they skimp with the meat or fish.

My mains is a perfect case in point: Fresh wild tranche of Turbot, hollandaise, green beans, olives and crispy potatoes. That tranche was really big, beautifully cooked, fresh and full of flavour. And the experience was enhanced no end by the sauce, potatoes, the olives, and the greens (which included more than the beans).  

CL, disappointed that pheasant was off the menu at another restaurant recently, finally got her bird here: Roast pheasant wrapped in pancetta, potato and cranberry cake and red cabbage. Seasonal, savoury and a perfect (that word again) fit for a coolish January night.

One of my favourite cocktails is Negroni. I don’t always have the three ingredients handy at home so when I saw the mix of Campari, Vermouth and Gin, offered at the head of the menu, I ordered it and I was off to the perfect start. There’s a multi-page wine list here with a page of “pouring wines”, each by the glass. CL picked the Poggio Alla Luna Chianti (DOCG), aromatic, fruity, good acidity, and an excellent match with the game.

We were in early enough for the Early Bird but stuck with the main menu. Some great choices here, both of mains and starters. And we began with two beauties. CL’s was the Smoked Skeaghanore Duck Salad, Toons Bridge Mozzarella, plum dressing and spicy granola. Can’t recall seeing Mozzarella with duck before but it was a treat. 

I think mine was even better though! The Cod and Celeriac Fritters, with a Lime and Chili Dipping Sauce, is new to the menu but it is such a perfect combination of textures (there are some leaves there too) and flavour (that sauce is perhaps the catalyst) that I reckon it will be on offer for a long time to come.

We had been in quite early- the restaurant was getting busy but the level of service had never dropped. They don’t hang over your shoulder or anything like that but every now and then, there is a gentle query to see if everything is going well. “Perfect,” I replied each time!

Tel : +353 (0)21 4277387        Email :      
 Address : 23 Oliver Plunkett St, Cork

Thursday, December 5, 2019

O’Mahony's Winning Formula. Local and Seasonal. Small Plates. Big Flavours.

O’Mahony's Winning Formula. 
Local and Seasonal. Small Plates. Big Flavours

O’Mahony’s is making waves in Watergrasshill, even though it is in its early years of it reincarnation. The food offering started a couple of years back as local and seasonal, on small plates mostly, and that is still the formula, backed up by a very helpful, very well informed front of house, lots of chats, loads of smiles, a welcome on the mat and all the way through.

And there is also a huge welcome for local producers and suppliers. Their produce is carefully handled here, expertly cooked and delivered on those (not so) small plates!  It is the same with drinks. The craft beer selection includes Franciscan Well and 8 Degrees on draught, Blacks’ ales in bottle, also the Saor GF from 9 White Deer, and ciders by Stonewell and Longueville House. And don’t worry, mainstream beers are also available.
Stonewell zero

Back to the menu though. You may nibble away on marinated olives for a start. If you prefer something a bit bigger why not consider their boards: Antipasto, Cheese, or Charcuterie. We decided to share the Antipasto, a selection of dips (hummus, tapenade, goats cheese, etc, olives) with bread.

We had the car, so what would we drink? A quick answer was provided in the shape of their non-alcoholic board. It included a red wine, a white wine, even a sparkling one. The Seed-lip gin was available as were the apple based drinks (very nice too) from the local Future Orchards. Also some beers: Baltika, Heineken zero and Erdinger and a zero cider by Stonewell. The latter was my pick - it was my first time trying it. Stonewell always hit a high standard and this did the job very well indeed. CL meanwhile choose the Erdinger, probably the best of the three beers on offer. 

The increasing number of local and seasonal supporters will be delighted to see the small plates list - these are basically your main courses without all the sometimes superfluous extras. You’ll note names like Jack McCarthy, Kilbrack Farm, Gubbeen, Ballyhoura Mushrooms, Carrigcleena Duck, Leamlara Honey, Hegarty’s Cheese and Fitzgerald Butchers. By the way, O’Mahony’s is also the area base for NeighbourFood through which you may also get your hands on some of these lovely products.
Smoked lamb

The menu changes regularly. There were seven choices for us and it took us a while to make up our minds. I think we could have employed the Grand National formula: close the eyes and stick a pin in the list. But we did pick a couple and shared. That is one thing about these “small plates”; they are ideal for groups who order a bunch of them and then share.

I was tempted by the Rockpool: Kilbrack blue potato, gnocchi, foraged sea herbs and poached white soul, and that seemed to be a favourite of Victor (who owns and runs the pub along with Máire). In the end though, I went for the Carrigcleena duck pastilles, Leamlara Honeycomb, coriander yogurt. The duck came in three parcels, packed with flavoursome meat and that was enhanced by the yoghurt and a small square of the honeycomb.

CL also hit the jackpot with the Hot Smoked Fitzgerald’s lamb, braised red cabbage parsnip purée and game chips. The tender meat is served pink and is the main player in a hearty ensemble, every item in the mix playing a part. And we both thoroughly enjoyed the side of excellent hand-cut chips with a punchy pepper sauce.

Now we were looking at the short list of desserts. I was seriously considering the Treacle Tart with Yum Gelato vanilla before taking Victor’s tip - he freely admits to being biased! - which was the Cardamon, Lemon Curd Pannacotta, ginger Manuka honey, jelly and tuile.  Went down every well indeed.

By the way, as I didn’t mention it earlier, they have a House drinks list here, all from neighbours. House Gin is Bertha’s Revenge (from Castlelyons) with Poachers Tonic and orange. The local juice, from Glanmire, is supplied by Future Orchards while the local cider comes from Mallow’s Longueville House. And 8 Degrees, up the road in Mitchelstown, are the producers of the House beer.

All the regular wines are available by the glass and you also have a rosé and Prosecco. On the night, the list was supplemented by a specials board that had no less than seven new wines which will soon have a place on the list. So, no shortage. And no shortage either of spirits where again, particularly in gins and whiskeys, they are strong on supporting Irish.

O'Mahony's of Watergrasshill is a family-run country pub and food venue just off the Cork-Dublin motorway (M8);  is only 10 minutes from the Dunkettle Interchange, near Cork City. The pub has been Máire's family for 200 years. Experienced Chef Jim Coleman recently joined the team.
House drinks, from a previous visit. Bertha's Revenge and Eight Degrees

Main Street
Co. Cork

Café bar
11am – 5pm, Wed, Thur & Fri
1pm – 5pm, Sat
Bar kitchen
6pm – 9pm, Fri & Sat
12pm – 4pm-ish &  6pm–8pm, Sun
6pm – close, Fri – Sun

+353 (0)86 831 6879

Monday, December 2, 2019

Chef Bryan McCarthy Plays Mr Sandman to set you Dreaming💤 of a Greenes🎄🎅🎄 Christmas

Chef Bryan McCarthy Plays Mr Sandman
to set you Dreaming💤 of a Greenes🎄🎅🎄 Christmas

Greenes Restaurant, with Executive head chef Bryan McCarthy leading the way, is showcasing a locally-inspired Christmas tasting menu this festive season as an alternative to traditional Christmas dining. 

Not everyday I can get a line-up of so many of my favourite producers in the one menu. But Bryan has waved his magic kitchen wand and Ballinwillin Venison from Mitchelstown, Jack McCarthy’s Black Pudding from Kanturk, Twomey’s Pork from Macroom, Killahora Rare Apple Ice Wine from Glounthaune, and organic winter vegetables from Kilbrack Farm in Doneraile will all appear in starring roles. What a dream line-up. One to look forward to, for sure.

The ethos at Greenes in Cork’s Victorian Quarter celebrates the uniqueness and quality of the outstanding ingredients that are available in Ireland and the team work in tandem with the best Irish food producers year-round to create menus that are devoted to local, seasonal, foraged and organic ingredients.

Bryan said, “Promoting local ingredients is extremely important to us so we wanted to ensure that the fantastic winter produce we get from our suppliers locally were the real stars of our Christmas menus. The inspiration for each dish originated with the ingredient itself, rather than limiting ourselves to the traditional Christmas offering. We have a number of different festive dining options available so there is something for everyone. But all of our menus reflect the same food philosophy which is the celebration of high quality seasonal, local produce.” 

The festive dining experience will be enhanced by views of the iconic waterfall at Greenes, which was named Ireland’s Most Atmospheric Restaurant at this year’s Georgina Campbell Awards. 

The Christmas Tasting Menu (€75) is just one offering from Greenes Restaurant over the Christmas season. Diners can also choose from the Christmas Lunch Menu (€37.50), Christmas Early Bird Menu (€42.50), Christmas Set Menu (€65), as well as À La Carte options. 

Greenes Restaurant is part of a family of connected venues, together with Hotel Isaacs and Cask (Ireland’s most awarded cocktail bar), with beautiful period architecture, adjoining one another on MacCurtain Street in Cork city.

For information on menus and opening hours visit Bookings can be made at or by phone at 021 455 2279.

Keep up to date with the latest news by following Greenes on Instagram and Twitter at @GreenesCork and on Facebook at @GreenesRestaurant .