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Jim Edwards is a renowned restaurant in the renowned foodie town of Kinsale and it has been serving up classic fare since 1971.
And while some of those beloved classics are still on the menu, Jim Edwards is not slow to support new producers and new products in the area. Just a peep at their drinks list confirms this, with Kinsale Mead, Stonewell Cider and beers from Black’s of Kinsale and 9 White Deer (Ballyvourney) on offer.
Local gins include Kinsale gin, Blackwater gin and Black's gin. while local whiskeys include Pogues from West Cork and the world famous Midleton Very Rare. With the best of spirits available, there is no shortage of cocktails. Produce suppliers, some long-standing, are listed on the back of the menu.
And there is no shortage of food choices here. You may dine in the Gastro Pub or in the restaurant. The Gastro Pub menu (including a sandwich selection) and A La Carte menu are available from 12pm to 10pm daily. In addition they have daily specials and a value menu also available all day. No wonder the venue has been declared“a standard bearer in Kinsale's distinguished culinary culture” bythe McKenna Guide.
We were glad to see the A La Carte menu available from lunchtime on when we arrived there about one o’clock on a recent Friday. Soon we were seated by the window and reading our way through the choices. By the way, from exchanges at a nearby table, we heard that you can pick and choose from the various menus.
The mussels and oysters come from nearby Haven Shellfish and I picked the rather traditional starter (they don’t really do cutting edge here in any case) of Kinsale Mussels toasted with Garlic Breadcrumbs. Very tasty, with a well prepared salad. And CL too was very pleased with another excellent appetiser, this of Pan Seared Scallops in garlic and basil with a cauliflower purée.
We sipped our Black’s ale as we waited for the mains. Unbeknownst to ourselves we had chosen two house classics and looking back we can appreciate how they’ve stood the test of taste and time. Both were superb.
One is the flavoursome Mint and Herb Crusted Rack of Slaney Valley Lamb with a rosemary and garlic jus. Beautifully cooked, neatly presented, as were all our dishes.
Our other mains was the Medallions of Monkfish, pan fried with ginger, spring onion chill and lime dressing. Another superb combination, no shortage of quality here. And no skimping on quantity either.
And, just in case you haven’t enough, in another nod to tradition, they serve three sides as well: potatoes gratin, seasonal vegetables and fries.
It was a fairly busy lunch service in the restaurant and no problem to the staff as they kept the food coming and helped the customers make their choices, patience needed in some cases!
We did have a look at the dessert menu but, having been well fed, decided to give the sweet stuff a skip and finished off with an excellent cup of Maher’s coffee, another local business supported by Jim Edwards. Roll on the 50th celebrations in 2021!
Many visitors will arrive in Schull around lunch-time. You park the car in the car-park above the fishing boats and wonder where will you get lunch. Just look up towards the street and there you’ll see Café Cois Cuan, serving breakfast, lunch, teas and coffee.
It wasn't there last year, you might say. And you'd be right. The bright and tidy café, run by Kevin Rochford (chef) and Brittany Ingram, opened at the start of 2015 and, during a lunch-time visit last week, Brittany told me that each week so far has been better than the previous one.
And we hope that trend continues. For here you will find good food at a fair price. And, by the way, you'll find excellent coffee. They prefer the “classic” and so they went for a Maher’s blend and the cup I enjoyed was one of the very best I’ve had in a long while.
There is quite an extensive menu at this family run place and be sure to check the board for their daily specials. Indeed, we went for two of the specials. CL picked the Roast Mediterranean Vegetable salad, a very impressive plateful indeed in which the aubergine played the starring role. It was available in two sizes, one for €6.95, the larger for €9.95.
I had been thinking of going for the De Roiste Black Pudding and Cashel Blue Cheese salad but instead picked the Tune special, basically a Tuna Wrap Special with salad and chips. Quite a meal, I must say, and the salad, just like CL’s, was superb.
There were lots of sandwiches available as well, including a Ploughman’s Lunch for just €5.95. You could also start with a bowl of soup and if you were feeling the chill, they were offering a Beef and Murphy’s Stew!
And if you enjoy something sweet, well they have you covered as well. They have Baked Apple cake, Chocolate Fudge cake and Maple Banana Slice (in nibble and full size!). No alcohol here but they have lots of soft drinks and teas and that superb coffee. Service is efficient and friendly and yes the view from the window seats is excellent.
Great standard of service and courtesy, not to mention the smiles, in all four. And, perhaps because of that type of service, each had plenty of customers.
Brennan’s Cook Shop in Oliver Plunket Street has all the utensils and bits and pieces (not ingredients, mind you, though they do have some flavourings and colourings) you need for your baking and cooking and if you can't do either, they have a course for you.
Up to Maher’s then, also on Oliver Plunket Street, for some coffee. They have a huge selection, loads of types of tea too and I noticed the price of their accessories is very keen. After a bit of advice, I bought myself some Sumatran for my cafetiere.
Princes Street was next and the visit was to Nash 19 to stock up from the shop. Some terrific food here including readymade meals from which I bought the lamb Tagine and couscous. Also stocked up with some gorgeous Glenilen yogurts and the magnificent Sparkling Apple Juice from Tipperary’s Apple Farm.
Having sampled Jack McCarthy’s Gold Medal black-pudding in midweek, I said I’ve give his Duhallow Heather Lamb sausage a go. Sampled one just there at lunch and it was outstanding. Worth another gold.
McCurtain Street was next on the list and here I paid a visit to the coffee and tea shop of Little Buddha that is a treasure trove. Was looking for a particular type of Rooibos but it was out of stock. But there were still five to choose from, so I wasn't disappointed.
They also do scented candles, essentials oils, caddies, flavoured coffee, and all kinds of tea and coffee accessories. If you can't get to McCurtain Street, do have a look at their website. You can order on online and soon the range will be even greater. Worth a look. But if you can get to the shop, do so, as it is hard to better smelling the various types of teas yourself.
The retail outlet for Maher’s Pure Coffee may be found at 25 Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork. The establishment, now owned by John Mackey, has made a number of moves since it was founded some thirty years ago by Mr Maher in Marlboro Street. Still on sale today, is the Number Six Blend, named after the original street number.
The service is efficient, friendly and knowledgeable and I enjoyed my call there this morning, on the lookout for some coffee of the stronger type for the cafetiere. Settled on an Italian but also purchased a smaller pack (125 Gms) of a stronger Sumatra just to try it out.
There was a great smell coming from my briefcase as I opened for one or two other calls around town!