Showing posts with label Mealagulla. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mealagulla. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Beautiful flavours and delicious small plates at Nell’s Wine Bar. And a warm welcome too.

Nell’s Wine Bar: Beautiful wines and delicious small plates.

And a warm welcome too.

Nell's Wine Bar, one of two recently opened on MacCurtain Street, specialises in natural, organic and biodynamic wine as well as small plates. 

Some of these plates are an “expression of Cork’s local seasonality”,  others are not. We started our first visit with a little bowl of Fennel infused Nocellara olives (4.00) . These table olives are grown primarily in Sicily and have protected status in the European Union. And very nice they are too, slightly plump and soft. Not very salty at all and excellent with wine.

I should really say that we started with a very warm welcome indeed, especially from Aine who helped us with the wine. There is a huge choice here, everything from bubbles to rosé to orange, from white to red, and other drinks also.

Lynne Coyle who made
the Geal Albarino

She introduced us to Geal Albariño which is made on an artisanal scale by O’Briens Wine Director Lynne Coyle and the family owned Lagar de Costa winery in Rías Baixas, Spain. Most of these vineyards are very small and Lynne told us at a recent Albariño tasting that the Costa winery has 11 hectares and is regarded as quite large.

The wine was aged on lees in a single concrete egg for eight months bringing complexity and depth. Geal Albariño is dry, refreshing, and lightly textured with green fruit notes, a hint of white peach and a lingering salinity making it an ideal wine for seafood. 

Geal by the way is the Irish and Scottish (Lynne is Scottish) for bright. Most of you will have come across it in school; if you don’t remember, check out the pronunciation here. We took Aine’s advice and ordered a glass of the Geal (13.80). 

Alex Foillard is the son of the famous Morgon producer Jean Foillard and Alex is certainly making an impact in Beaujolais. Glad to pick his natural wine at Nell’s as it is an excellent match for pork products. It is just a straight out delicious wine, a terrific balance of red fruit and acidity and an outstanding smooth and accomplished expression of one of my favourite grapes, the Gamay (11.80).

Our food had arrived on two small plates. One was Saucisson & Coppa served with Nell’s own pickles (8.00). Coppa is a whole-muscle pork salume, dry cured, and typically sliced very thin as was the case here. 

The other plate was Fried Baby potatoes served with basil aioli and trout roe (7.50). Both dishes were very very tasty indeed with big thumbs up for the meat and those deliciously done potatoes. Small plates with big flavours.

They do desserts too, usually two on offer. Look out for the Salted honey ice cream with oats and poached rhubarb. An absolute treat, the combination really highlighting the humble rhubarb!

Next time, we may well start with the Garam Masala Almonds or the Savoury Cheese Doughnuts, continue with the Macroom Ricotta, Hegarty’s Cheddar and spinach dumplings and finish with Templegall with teabrack and whipped brown butter, though that Rhubarb would be well worth revisiting!

As you can see from some of the names on the menu, Nell’s are very much inclined to support local producers on the food side, including Hegarty’s Cheese and Macroom and they are quite proud that their herbs and edible flowers are supplied by Shannon at Mealagulla. Mealagulla’s apple juice, a favourite of mine, also features on the drinks list as do Killahora Rare Apple Ice-wine and Johnny Fall Down cider.

Aside from our two wines, they have pages of choices for you. Just one of three pages of red offers a Nero D’Avola from Sicily, a Tempranillo from Spain, a Syrah from the Languedoc, and a Romanian wine called La Sapata, just a small sample of what is on offer.

One of the white wine pages has a Verdejo from Spain, a Pinot Blanc from Alsace, a Vipava from Slovenia and an Assyrtiko from Greece.

Lots to choose from! It will take more than one visit.

Get your bookings in by messaging their Instagram  

 or Facebook page; food served until 10pm (from 4.30pm), Tuesday to Sunday.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Good Day Deli. They Got You Covered

 Good Day Deli. They Got You Covered

Burger in the hot sun!

When the move to outdoor dining gathered momentum, most restaurateurs were thinking how do we protect our diners from the rain. But very few were thinking how do we protect our diners from the sun! None of us expected this current heatwave.

Great to have the sun but these high temperatures have certainly brought a new set of problems with it! Some of us, of a certain age, are less inclined to make the effort to head downtown. And I also think it takes the edge off the appetite. We were in Good Day Deli the other day and were prepared to go the whole nine yards, as it were, and that included dessert. But after a lovely main course in the glaring sun, there was no appetite left for the sweet stuff!

Cool from Ovens

We had mixed luck on a few trips this last month or so. Rather than highlighting the poor ones, I’ll tell you about the very good places. One that impressed in June was the Fiddle & Bow in Doolin with its extensive gazebo/canopy line-up with low sides that reached almost to the ground plus a line of private booths. The Fish Box in Dingle also had a series of these booths (mostly 4-person), nicely finished and constructed, that allow for sixty covers. 

In Cork city Princes Street, with its line of adjoining parasols and the high sided buildings at each side of the narrow street, provide quite a lot of cover from the elements. But other places aren’t as lucky and the extra sun is proving a problem - I almost got burned when I picked up my knife and fork that had been left, obviously for quite a while, on the sunny side of my table; I quickly dropped them.

In fairness though, I didn’t hear one word of complaint when dining outside, either in a mist or in the unusual heat. It seems to me that customers are game to make the best of it as are many of their hosts as well. The more we pull together the further we will go.

Fish from the Coast and Tacos from Tipp

So back to Good Day Deli who, as in previous occasions, run a good ship with regard to the Covid regulations. You get a good run-down on how to proceed on arrival and that doesn’t mean a lecture; time for smiles and chats too as is always the case here.

You may get your menu from a QR code on the table but I thought I was a step ahead having had a look at the menu online before coming down. We were in for the lunch menu (begins at 12.30pm, ends at 4.00pm);  the Morning Menu runs from 10.00am to 12.30pm.

Our view!

Choices included a Seasonal Tart (featuring Hegarty’s Cheddar), Spiced Carrot Fritters, and their well-loved GDD Buddha Bowl with seared Toons Bridge Halloumi). My pick was the Big Kiwi Burger (16.50), a house made lentil burger topped with creamy Ardsallagh Goats Cheese, sweet beet relish, layered with caramelised red onion, leafy greens, carrot ribbons, with hand cut fries. I could have added an organic fried egg for two euro but thought I had enough on my plate.

And it was indeed an excellent plate, lots of textures and flavours there and no shortage of satisfaction either as the helping was generous. And their sweetish Brioche bun was a delightful if unexpected  highlight. Had been looking forward to trying their Bushby Strawberry Soda but that was off the menu. Instead, I enjoyed (as I always do) a bottle of the delicious Mealagulla Apple Juice, one of the best around and a regular on the menu here. 

As you can gather, their support of local producers has been unwavering since they started here a short few years back. They say: “Sustainable food nourishes us, protects the natural environment and supports thriving local economies and communities."

Red Abbey, just a few metres from Good Day Deli entrance

We were dining outside, of course. They have a line of gazebos on a higher level in the garden but these are reserved for groups of four people.  We were on their patio and, while there is an awning overhead, CL was trying to fit herself into a diminishing slice of shade as she enjoyed her Kai Moana Fish Tacos (17.95). This is lightly battered Irish Hake on Blanco Nino Tortillas with raw slaw, pickle and coriander aioli, served with hand cut paprika fries. This is a regular dish here and never disappoints.

As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t make it to dessert! Next time? Maybe not. Their Morning Menu is very tempting as well!


Good Day Deli

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!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Great Start to the Day at Good Day Deli

Great Start to the Day at Good Day Deli
GDD Benny

It was with a good gut feeling that we headed to Good Day Deli for a recent breakfast. And it was with a very good gut feeling that we left this oasis in the gardens of Nano Nagle Place off Douglas Street Cork.

You won’t get your Full Irish here as GDD is close to being fully vegetarian; they do offer a few (sustainable) fish dishes. Owners Claire and Kristin bill the restaurant as a “Sustainable Foods Cafe serving a mix of healthy, local, seasonal, organic and fair trade foods with a commitment to sustainability throughout our food chain. We aim to inspire sustainable lifestyles in Ireland by empowering people to make good food choices that will boost health and wellbeing; elevate local producers; support animal welfare; and protect the environment now and for future generations.”. 
Pear & Pancakes

And they have a host of local suppliers recruited to help them attain those goals.  Organic for Us (milk), Holo Organics (Kombucha); My Goodness (Kefir), Wilkie’s Organic Chocolate, West Cork Coffee, Blanco Nino (tortillas), Pana Bread, and Leamlara Micro-greens, are among the names on the January list.

There is a Kia Orana (welcome) sign on the path up to the restaurant and the welcome inside is warm, smiles and chat and no shortage of info about the menu. We are spoiled for choice, everything from Morena Granola to a Vibrant Vegan Trio to Connolly’s Any Way Organic Eggs. 

I’ve enjoyed their Benny here before and was tempted by the Smoked Beetroot version, also by the Stack of Seared Toons Bridge Halloumi. The Kia Orana Bruschetta (Ardsallagh Goats Cheese with caramelised Mealagulla apples) also beckoned.

My pick though was the Good Day Deli Smoked Salmon Benny. Frank Hederman’s superb salmon came with two organic poached eggs, a very well made Hollandaise (perfect in both quality and quantity), toasted seeds and leafy greens all on sourdough. Delicious!

CL’s choice was the The Hibiscus Poached Pear Pancakes (chunkier than usual), tasty too with a poached organic pear, coconut mascarpone and a drizzle of the Hivemind Honey from the innovative Crosshaven farm.

The drinks here are that bit different too, including a selection of natural wines via Le Caveau. Of course, they have teas and coffees but be sure and study the menu further. You may well like the Coco Mocha (a mocha or hot chocolate with rich Wilkies chocolate plus West Cork Coffee Espresso with coffee, coconut and Maple Cream Whip!)

And then there’s the Hibiscus Soda (a mix of Hibiscus and Poached Pear, with citrus fruits juice, fresh mint and Fizz). A beautifully refreshing soda is what the menu card says and I can confirm that for sure. Absolutely delicious and refreshing. And another superb drink, CL’s choice, was the Apple Juice from Mealagulla in Ovens.

Just as much choice on the lunch menu. But that’s another day’s work! Or should I say another day’s pleasure.

Nano Nagle Place, Douglas Street, Cork T12X704
Phone: 021 4322107

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Taste of the Week. Mealagulla Apple Juice

Taste of the Week
Mealagulla Apple Juice

I was probably not fully awake the other morning as I reached for the juice glass*. A few sips later and I began to realise what a beautiful liquid it is, this apple juice from the Mealagulla Orchard in Ovens. A very pleasant wake-up call for the palate indeed and our Taste of the Week. 

The fruit is hand-picked, farm pressed, blended, pasteurised and freshly bottled to produce a refreshing natural drink. This is a natural product so the taste may vary during the season as the maturity of the fruit varies. Serve it chilled. It may also be used as a mixer - thinking of trying a few drops in my next Longueville House Apple Brandy!

The blend is 50% Bramley and 50% Golden Delicious and the result is superb, a great balance between flavour and acidity. Ingredients are apple juice, Vitamin C (as antioxidant). There is no added sugar. Refrigerate once opened.  

I bought the juice (they also sell apples) from James Scannel’s Mealagulla stall at the Saturday Douglas Farmers Market; they also have stalls in Mahon Point Farmers Market (Thursday), Clonakilty Farmers Market (Friday), & Cornmarket Street Farmers Market (Saturday); also available via Neighbourfood.

  • Do you like my juice glass? I bought a few of them at a secondhand sale (brocante) in a field in France a good few years ago. Note the big “E” on the side.
Mealagulla Orchard
Knockanemealagulla, Ovens, Co. Cork, P31 A073