Showing posts with label Michael Twomey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michael Twomey. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Sunday lunch with a difference at Greene’s Restaurant

 Sunday lunch with a difference at Greene’s Restaurant


Local Produce with a Global Twist

Greene's restaurant has undergone many changes in the past year, but its commitment to local producers remains strong. New Executive Head Chef Nicolas Alegre and his team are putting a Spanish and South American twist on the menu, with stunning results.

Alegre is using local produce from Twomey's Butchers, Glenmar Fish, and Ardsallagh Cheese, and others, to create dishes that are both delicious and innovative. His Slow-cooked Twomey's Pork Belly with black garlic, hibiscus, cauliflower puree, and bechamel sauce is a must-try, as is his Glenmar Salmon Peruvian Tiradito with coriander oil, lime sauce, and onion salad. 


Super Flavours and Textures

The flavours and textures in Alegre's dishes are simply superb. The pork belly is tender and juicy. The salmon is fresh and delicate, with a hint of spice from the coriander oil and lime sauce.

Tiradito: A Peruvian Dish with Japanese Influences

Tiradito is a Peruvian dish of raw fish, cut in the shape of sashimi, and served in a spicy sauce. It reflects the influence of Japanese immigrants on Peruvian cuisine. Alegre's Tiradito is a perfect example of this fusion cuisine, with its delicate salmon, tangy lime sauce, and crunchy onion salad.

Last Sunday we were back at Greene's, where the experienced Ricardo Pinto heads up the front-of-house staff, for lunch We were greeted warmly and our coats were taken and hung up for us. We were soon seated at our "usual" window seat, with its beautiful view of the waterfall.

We opted for the regular lunch menu, which is a four-course meal for €42.50. The same menu is also available as an Early Bird, but be sure to check the website for times.

We started with a delightful amuse-bouche of mini fish cakes with a lime sauce. This was a lovely surprise and it set the tone for the rest of the meal.

We also had the breads, which were served with a delicious honey butter with sweet pepper and lime. The breads, white and brown, were fresh and crusty, and the butter was the perfect complement.

Pork Belly

The super flavours and textures just kept coming. My starter was the Slow-cooked Twomey’s Pork Belly (with black garlic, hibiscus, cauliflower puree, and bechamel sauce) while CL picked the Glenmar Salmon Peruvian Tiradito (with coriander oil, lime sauce, onion salad).

Both were absolutely top-notch. They looked so appetising and the promise was delivered. 


The fried fish of the day was Cod and that was accompanied by Pil Pil Vasco (Basque) and Spinach. Quite a lovely piece of fish, the cooking was spot on. My pick was the Grilled Halloumi, seasonal vegetables, and curry (Ras el hanout grilled halloumi, Indian chickpeas, curry). Another beautifully presented dish and it didn’t flatter to deceive - very happy with it. 

You can have a side with each of the mains and we enjoyed their Honey Roast Root Veg and Triple Cooked Fries. Rosemary Baby Potatoes and Buttery Mash were also available.

The Woodruff set cream pudding is a long-time favourite dessert here and is still on the menu! But this time, we choose the Burnt Basque Cheesecake, enhanced delightfully by blackberry textures. 

Basque cheesecake

A big thumbs up for the dessert (and the coffee) and for the meal in general! If you are looking for a four-course Sunday lunch menu that is a bit different from the norm, and is both delicious and affordable, I highly recommend you check this out!

The Lunch Menu


Ardsallagh Goats Cheese (with apricot, candy walnuts, roasted oats.

Slow-cooked Twomey’s Pork Belly (with black garlic, hibiscus, cauliflower puree, bechamel sauce.

Glenmar Salmon Peruvian Tiradito ((with coriander oil, lime sauce, onion salad). Vegetable Tisotto (with Aioli and vegetables).

Spanish Asidillo (with fresh mix lettuce and pickled vegetables).


Pan Fried Fish of the Day (Pil Pil Vasco, Spinach).

Striploin of Twomey’s Beef (Smoke Mash, Broccoli, Café de Paris Beef Sauce).

Grilled Halloumi, seasonal vegetables, curry (with Ras el hanout grilled halloumi, Indian chickpeas, curry).

Mint and Spinach Risotto (Stir-fry spinach).


Chocolate and coconut cream (dark Chocolate, Toasted Coconut, Dark Chocolate Sorbet).

Woodruff set cream pudding (Caramelised apple, oats, vanilla ice-cream)

Burnt Basque Cheesecake (Blackberry Textures).

Selection of sorbet

To Finish

Freshly Brewed Tea or Coffee

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Electric's "Cork on a Fork Fest Menu" Highlights Local Producers

 Electric's "Cork on a Fork Fest Menu" Highlights Local Producers

Got ourselves an upstairs window table overlooking the river as we enjoyed the special Cork on a Fork Festival Menu at South Mall's Electric yesterday evening. We had a great view of the sunny scene and the outdoor tables by the boardwalk were packed. 

Local producers are highlighted on the menu including Ardsallagh Goats, Twomey's Butchers, Toons Bridge Dairy, Stonewell, Kinnegar, 9 White Deer, Franciscan Well and Beamish! The menu consists of three courses, costs €35.00 per person and runs until Saturday the 19th of August. There are choices under each course heading and some delicious surprises along the way, including that Beamish dessert! Check it all out here at Cork on a Fork or book direct at Electric.

Both of our starters were top drawer.
The Carpaccio of Twomey's Beef Fillet (above) came with wild mushrooms and shallot rings and was packed with flavour and also much more tender than most of the type, much closer to melt in the mouth, a million miles away from those tough and stringy examples you sometimes come across.

Our other starter (below) was Ballycotton Scallops with Two
mey's Black Pudding and shallot. This is a tried and tested combination enhanced here by quality ingredients.
The third starter on the menu was Ardsallagh Goats Cheese parcel with Blackberry & Apple Compote. Sounds good too!

Must say I was very happy indeed with my juicy cheesy mains, the Toons Bridge Mozzarella Moussaka with Grilled Aubergine, Courgette & Crushed Tomatoes (above). The vegetables, especially the tomatoes, were just superb.

Above, we have your classic fish and chips, another superb dish from the Electric kitchen described as Ballycotton Beer Battered Hake and Chips with minted pea purée, tempura. You had no bother finding the generous fish here as the batter was less than wafer thin.
The third mains available was Twomey's 6-oz sirloin steak with Mushrooms, Onion Rings, Goose Fat Chips and North Cork Garlic Butter

We enjoyed both desserts but the Beamish and Date Pudding with Beamish Caramel and Vanilla Ice Cream (below) got the nod as being the favourite on the night! Dangerously delicious! Not that there was anything amiss with the West Cork Strawberry Mille Feuille with the Strawberry and Prosecco Coulis. 

One for the road? This Stonewell is the one!

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Time to try The Barn. Spacious and comfortable with friendly service and huge choice of good food

Time to try The Barn. Spacious and comfortable 

with friendly service and huge choice of good food

Jack McCarthy Black Pudding Salad.

If you haven’t been to The Barn recently, you're in for a big surprise. It is big, much bigger than it was less than three years ago. Renovated and expanded, it now has covers for some 300 people - in comfort.

And, judging by our recent visit, it is taking it all in its stride, every day from 8.30pm until late. Its large car park is close to full all the time as patrons stream in for breakfast, brunch and (more recently) dinner.

We were there for lunch on a showery Tuesday afternoon and it was busy, not packed, just busy. Lots of couples, family groups (it was still school holiday time), birthday parties,  larger groups, and no shortage of smiling chatty efficient staff to deal with it all.

They spotted us quickly and soon we were seated. Had we been here before? We answered no and they quickly and concisely explained how it works. The carvery is up there on the left. Otherwise your order can be taken at the table. Or you can  scan a QR code at your table and send your own order and then pay for it, all over your phone. Oh and by the way, this is a cashless restaurant.

Some of the staff and much of the comfort of the old restaurant remains and there is a great buzz about the place. It is huge, really huge but you don’t really feel that you are in a large “barn” as the long building, all on a split level ground floor, is informally broken up into about six different dining zones. We were in #4 (these are not signposted or anything like that, it is all a bit casual but all very efficient) and our table was T410.

Apple Tart

You have a Breakfast menu (8.30-11.30 am), a Brunch menu (8.30am- 4.00pm), the Carvery (from noon until 7.00pm), an All Day menu (from noon until 7.00pm), and recently a Dinner Menu (from early evening until 9.00pm). Add in an impressive bar service and you’ll be well taken care of, no matter what time you come, as will the kids.

From the bar, you can may get wines (a short list, but all by the glass), lots of bottles of beer (including a couple of craft from the local brewery), mainstream beers on draught, spirits of all kinds plus quite a list of cocktails. And on some nights, they have music (that old piano has a prominent position!).

That carvery has been key to the Barn’s operations and popularity since it reopened last year and so we just had to try it out. CL was the volunteer and she got  terrific help from behind the counter (all the food is held under glass, the customer won't be breathing on it or touching it) and the server fills your plate for you. And than means “fills your plate”. 


CL came back with half a chicken and all the bells and whistles. All their meat is Irish (Kanturk’s Jack McCarthy and Macroom’s Michael Twomey are named on the menu as suppliers) and you may have beef, pork and lamb with all kinds of trimmings and sauces. And her piled plate was of excellent quality and proved very satisfactory indeed.

I was picking from the Day Menu and had all kinds of choices: burgers, salads, fish ’n chips, sandwiches, pizzas, and pasta dishes (not to mention sides). My pick was the Jack McCarthy Black Pudding Salad with roasted walnuts, boiled egg, Baby Spinach and home-made bacon and apple jam. Delicious from start to finish, every element from the well known prize-winning pudding to the well dressed salad and that appetising bacon and apple jam.

The feel good factor was high at this point and there was no resistance when desert was mentioned, even though often enough in some restaurants, this final course can be the disappointing one. They have some list here, over a dozen I think. We ordered, rather cautiously, the Apple Pie and the Tiramisu. But again the Barn kitchen came upon trumps with two excellent sweets. Happy Days.

In another contrast with the “old days”, when they ignored all social media requests, the current team make full use of Facebook and Insta and so on and you’ll have no problem checking the menus and the opening times before you go. The website has all you need and you’ll find it here. The restaurant itself is between Mayfield and the New Inn school on the Glanmire Road and has been there for about 40 years.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Tour de Gastronomie. Greene's Kitchen Skilfully Manage The Bounties Of The Seasons .

Tour de Gastronomie


Greenes Kitchen Skilfully Manage The Bounties Of The Seasons

It’s early on a September Friday evening and the courtyard between Greenes Restaurant and her now grown-up sister Cask is abuzz with diners. We make our way through to the waterfall and turn right into the restaurant and there’s a warm welcome from sommelier Frank* who combine(s)d his wine duties with restaurant manager. 

We were in early, early enough for their excellent value Early Bird (5-6pm). Other choices also available, including Prix Fixe, A La Carte and Tasting Menu. After a fair bit of “reading” and double checking, we settle on the Prix Fixe (55 euro a head) and we will not be at all disappointed. Au contraire!

The excellence here begins in the fields, the seas and the forests, with farmers, growers, foragers and fishermen, in Cork and in the region generally. It is meticulously maintained and cooked and presented by the team in Greene’s kitchen. And it is served with accuracy and smiles by the front of house team. 

We’ve made our choices and our wines have been brought to the table. A glass of Grüner Veltliner (Steiniger, Kamptal, Austria), light, fruity and with crisp acidity, for her; a glass of Lingenfelder Fox Label (Pfalz, Germany), deliciously juicy with ripe fruits by the German family for me. Both glasses are 175ml by the way, as large as you’ll get anywhere in Ireland.

Then there’s a surprise unlisted set of snacks, salmon sushi style, a creamy apple-topped soup and a pork belly croquette. Super bites and signs of the goodness to come. Delicious breads on the table also.

I started with a colourful and wonderful plate of Glenmar Salmon Gravlax, Toasted Almond Milk, Parsley, Pickled Red Onion, Crispy Capers. The salmon and the toothsome red onion were the main duo and the milky sauce helped it all on its delightful way.

My second choice (from five) would have been the Heirloom Tomato, with Basil Yogurt, Grapefruit, Vanilla, Sunflower Seeds, Tomato Water and CL loved it. There was a bit of sharing going on, there always is. I enjoyed my bits no end, as did she. Next time, we’ll have to swap courses!

Then it was on to Market Chicken (from Twomey’s of Macroom) and, as always here, the breast meat was soft, tender, succulent, moreish! Especially with the Coconut and Lemon Grass, Sweet potato, Bok Choi, Crispy Chickpeas.


Again, we had five choices and my pick was a favourite, the Skeaghanore Duck Breast (medium rare), with Carrot, Braised Endives, and Jus and more. Tasty and toothsome, this consistently satisfying dish is a must if you like duck. By the way, all main courses come with a side of vegetables and potatoes to share. Needless to say, these were spot-on.

Desserts can often be a letdown in restaurants. Quite often the lemon posset is no great shakes. But it is a different story, different class, here and the Lemon Posset and Raspberries, Oatmeal Lace Biscuit, Raspberry Sorbet is highly recommended by CL. And I can honestly give a major thumbs up to my Dark Chocolate and Hazelnuts Torte, Praline Caramel, Barley Ice Cream. 

* Suppliers, just to give you an idea of the provenance here, include: Waterfall Farm, Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms, Scup Gelato, Glenmar Shellfish, Ballycotton Seafood, Skeaghanore Duck, McCarthys of Kanturk, Michael Twomey (Macroom), Ardsallagh Goats, and Bushby Strawberries. Just a few names, list changes by the season.

* Frank Schiltcamp, who told me last week, publicly announced on Twitter on Sunday last that he was leaving: 
After 7 amazing years, today was my last day in It's been an absolute pleasure working with such talented people throughout the years but now it's time for a little sabbatical. Thank you guys, you've been nothing short of legendary!

Best of luck Frank and enjoy!!! And best wishes also to Head Chef Veronica and to new manager Noel.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Cronin Sisters Walk The Walk as Old Blarney Butter Roads Festival Steps Up A Gear

Cronin Sisters Walk The Walk
 As Old Butter Roads Festival Steps Up A Gear

Quite a few tributes were paid to the women behind the Old Butter Roads Summer Féile at the 2018 launch in Blarney on Saturday. Two of those women are the Cronin sisters who spoke honestly and eloquently about the importance of local produce. 

Having talked the talk, the sisters, Tricia and chef Martina, showed they could walk the walk at a multi-course meal in their Square Table restaurant on Sunday night. Local produce was right, left and centre as the courses came to the table. 

The festival lasts all through May. The spotlight was on Blarney last weekend but will shift to Macroom, Kanturk and Mallow, Mitchelstown and Fermoy, to villages Aubane, Watergrasshill, and Whitechurch and to other parts of the general North Cork area. Check the website link below and also their Facebook page.

Toonsbridge Mozzarella with Follain red pepper chutney;
Bluebell Falls goats cheese and beetroot crumble;
Michael Twomey's crispy black pudding with red cabbage chutney;
McCarthy's black pudding wrapped with puff pastry, piccalilli and apple purée.
Annabella Farm micro-herbs.

Ballinwillin Farm wild boar and mushroom tortellini, onion purée

K. O'Connell's pan-fried hake, Bertha's Revenge Gin,
Jerusalem artichoke and mussel

Michael Twomey Butcher Angus aged rib eye, Tom O'Brien's free range egg
béarnaise (not shown but exquisite!), McCarthy's beef dripping chips,
and onion confit.

Longueville House apple brandy chocolate mousse,
buttermilk foam, expresso ice cream

Hegarty's cheddar and new Templegall (comté) cheese and Toonsbridge
scamorza , served with Follain relish and Longueville house apple brandy
and fig chutney and house crackers.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

West Cork Burger Company A Bit of a Mouthful

West Cork Burger Company

A Bit of a Mouthful
Burger of the Day (pic: WCBC)

The West Cork Burger Company is a bit of a mouthful. A really tasty mouthful, whether you go the Angus or Wagyu route!

That is the first serious choice to be made when visiting the new burger outlet on Washington Street. Well, not quite new; the Henry Hegarty led company has been operating here since October. 

Bantry-based Henry will probably be familiar to you from his Wokabout stall, a very popular stop for quality Thai style street food at Irish markets and festivals. Also in the West Cork team is Macroom Butcher Michael Twomey, a supplier to many local chefs, Bryan McCarthy and Martina Cronin for example.

You may pick your burger direct from the menu or, flip the card over, and you may go the DIY route. Choose your bun (four options), your meat and weight, your cheese (again four options).

Toppings is next. You could get confused here as there are no less than eight options including mushrooms, onions, even pineapple! Step Five is the sauce, no less than nine choices here. 

If all this decision making is proving too much for you, then have a look at the regular offerings: The Japanese, Classic Bacon Cheese, Chilli Burger, Chicken Burger, and Portobello (no meat). And there’s also a Kids Menu.

We just come in as Storm Eleanor hit, so were looking for something fast. I choose the six or eight ounce Japanese. So, six ounces of Angus (could have had Wagyu), with Miso Slaw, Shiitake Mushrooms, smoked chilli jam, crispy lettuce, gherkin, and Irish Cheddar cheese.

CL spotted the Offer of the Day and that meant she got the Chicken Burger (with cucumber pickle, grilled pineapple, lettuce and garlic mayo, along with a portion of fries for just ten euro). My beef, with fries as a side, came to fifteen.

The fries are top class, no excess oil, and again you have a choice of sauces specifically for them. And there are a few other sides as well, including Kimchi. That Thai and general Asian influence from Henry’s wok is at work here in Washington Street too, deliciously so.

Fancy a drink? There is a short wine list and also some very local beers (from the Rising Son Brewery in nearby Cornmarket Street) while the cider is by Stonewell from Nohoval.

The furniture is a bit on the rustic side, with raw timber used on the walls and in the booths for both seats and tables. The burgers are as good as you’ll get and service is friendly, helpful and efficient.

West Cork Burger Company
6 Washington Street Cork
Phone number (021) 241 0300

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Dinner Supreme at Blarney's Square Table

Dinner Supreme at Blarney's Square Table
Smoked salmon
 Just a couple of weeks back, I blogged about a fabulous lunch at The Square Table, the new restaurant in Blarney. Said I couldn't wait to go back for dinner. Made It last Friday evening and it was absolutely superb.

The menu may not be extensive - it is not a big restaurant - but the quality is outstanding. Martina Cronin is the chef here and she has worked - and obviously learned - in some high class places, such as Chapter One and The Residence on Stephen's Green.

Foie Gras
That lovely Mushroom and Wild Garlic Soup was again on the menu but this time I went for the Tom Durcan Carpaccio of Spiced Beef served with cured Foie Gras, apple puree and hazelnuts. This was incredible. The Foie Gras was delicious, the whole enhanced no end by a lovely walnut bread on the side.

Our other starter was also top notch. This was the eye catching Old Mill House Smoked Salmon and it was served with avocado puree, ruby grapefruit and Goatsbridge Trout Caviar, another delicious delight.
The bar was set high and it stayed well up there as the mains came on. I was sorely tempted by both the Roast Monkfish, with cocoa bean puree, Gubbeen chorizo, coriander and confit tomato and by the  Michael Twomey Aged Angus 11 oz rib eye steak served with chips, onions rings and Bearnaise.

In the end though, I picked the East Ferry Free Range chicken, served with celeriac, ham and Coolea Aged Cheddar. The celeriac, ham and cheese was served as a gratin in a separate bowl and was out of the world. What fantastic flavours to match a gorgeous chicken and gravy! A five star dish for sure. CL picked another cracker: Pan-fried Hake with Ballyhoura Mushrooms, wild garlic and orzo.
They have a very tempting short list of desserts as well and we shared Martina’s terrific version of Tarte Tatin, served with butterscotch and that luscious Boulabán Farm ice-cream from County Tipperary.

The Square Table is open all day from 9.30am but currently serves dinner on just three nights, Thursday to Saturday. Sunday lunch is also available and opening times may be extended as sisters Martina and Tricia (front of house) find their feet. Phone number is 4382825 (021).

Tarte Tatin