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.
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.
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: