Showing posts with label Michelin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michelin. Show all posts

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Glass Curtain Kitchen Team in Sparkling Form. "Cooked with grá" A little flame also!

Glass Curtain Kitchen Team in Sparkling Form At The Weekend

 "Cooked with grá".  And a little flame!

Red mullet, cuttlefish, broth.

"Both the name and the large photo on the back wall pay homage to this building’s former life as the iconic Thompson’s Bakery; now a compact brasserie. Monochrome décor, exposed pipework and a charming team set the scene. Modern dishes have a personal touch and are cooked with grá (Gaelic for ‘love’)." 

That is the verdict delivered by the Michelin Guide when they awarded Cork's Glass Curtain with a Michelin Bib.

It is indeed, as you'd expect, an accurate description of the busy venue where Chef Brian Murray has been setting a very high standard since he opened here in MacCurtain Street in the autumn of 2020. Brian's travels around the world have given him a finely tuned international experience yet in this lively spot, it is the flavour of local ingredients that star on the menus, both A La Carte and Tasting.

Beef is one hundred per cent Irish and local producers supported include the likes of Cais na Tire and Hegarty's cheese, Skeaghanmore Duck, and Ballymakenny potatoes. 


No shortage of drink choices. There's a tempting Cocktail List that includes three non-alcoholic options. Quite a wine offering here.  You can taste your way through different styles, countries and grape varieties through white, red and the increasingly popular orange (check out that Ageno from the lovely Elena Pantaleoni of Italy's La Stoppa). 

Local producers like the Cotton Ball and 9 White Deer Breweries get a chance to shine in the drinks section as does the Stonewell Cidery from Novohal. As you'd expect, there are many Irish spirits available or why not enjoy the very special ice wine from Killarhora Orchards in Glounthaune, one of my favourite ways to finish a meal.


The tasting menu costs €75.00 per person and a wine option will add another €45 to that. With an early 5.00pm* start, we decided against the wine option and instead picked the Dirk Niepoort, Vinho Verde, Portugal 2021 Alvarinho. This aromatic and well-balanced Alvarinho (Albarino in Spain) by the famous port company worked out well for us even if it had to be parked when the lamb came around!

 * That 5.00pm start was all that was available when we booked two weeks in advance. It is a busy place so make your reservations early!


Tasting Menu

Crudo, Cashew, Blood Orange, Puffed Barley, Shiso, with Prawn heads. 

“Jambon”, Dill pickle, Lardo

 Aged rump of beef tartare, pear and endive

A bit unusual to see Prawn Heads in one of the three snacks but we were assured they were edible and got stuck in and enjoyed the "careful" crunch. Actually, that particular snack was very flavoursome in any case. We enjoyed it and the other two as well.


Glazed beets, House ricotta hazelnut brown butter 

Focaccia, Roast Onion Butter

On to this pair then, served together. An unexpected highlight here was the Roast Onion Butter and the Focaccia. In fairness, the other "starter" was also excellent.


Grilled Red Mullet, Cuttlefish, Turbot roe taramasalata, fish broth, 

The fish course starred the Red Mullet and the broth. Not overly keen on the cuttlefish (who belong to a class that includes squid and octopus) and hadn't expected too much from it in any case. But that Mullet was something else and such a pity we don't see it on that many menus in Ireland.


Rack of Lamb, crushed artichoke, pistachio, glazed lamb belly and celeriac.

This was the piece de resistance. Lamb came two ways, the fat and flavoursome rack was a delight to dispatch while the belly (it came in a separate dish with celeriac) was also quite a treat.


Time then to cleanse the palate and the Rhubarb Sorbet, Almond, and Rose Jelly did it well.  The dessert of Orange Polenta Cake, Ricotta ice cream, sheep yoghurt, rhubarb wasn't at all bad but I had been expecting a bit more from it. Still time for another sweet bit as the petit fours arrived to send two happy customers off into the night.

Lamb, two ways.

Monday, February 5, 2024

The MICHELIN Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2024. Honours for Homestead Doolin, Bishop's Buttery, D'Olier St and Terre.

The MICHELIN Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2024
Honours for Homestead Doolin, Bishop's Buttery, D'Olier St and Terre.

Congratulations to Homestead Doolin, Bishop's Buttery Cashel and to D'Olier Street Dublin on being awarded One Star in The MICHELIN Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2024 event in Manchester this evening. Quite a coup for the island and for the three restaurants in particular. 

Homestead Cottage

Homestead Cottage, with its delicious cooking, makes a visit to the rural west coast all the more appealing. Further inland, The Bishop’s Buttery offers top-quality produce and great natural flavours to Cashel Palace Hotel, and D’Olier Street boosts Dublin’s dining scene with visually striking and technically accomplished dishes.
D'Olier Street

And to top it all, Terre at the Castlemartyr Resort was awarded a second star. So  County Cork now has another Two Star restaurant to add to its collection. Gaining One Star last year and now a second, Vincent Crepel and his kitchen team at Terre have made impressively quick work of crafting a bold, assuredly Two-Star experience.

The MICHELIN Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2024
Welcomes a New Three Star restaurant

The Ledbury becomes the ninth Three MICHELIN Star restaurant in Great Britain & Ireland
6 new Two Star establishments, including 2 Indian restaurants which become the first in the UK to receive Two MICHELIN Stars
18 new One MICHELIN Star
6 new MICHELIN Green Stars awarded for outstanding commitment to sustainable gastronomy

MICHELIN is pleased to present the 2024 restaurant selection of The MICHELIN Guide Great Britain & Ireland, which was unveiled during a special ceremony held this Monday at The Midland Hotel in Manchester. 

Bishop's Buttery at Cashel Palace.
All pics via Michelin guide

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of The MICHELIN Guide in Great Britain & Ireland.A total of 1,162 restaurants are included in the selection, with The Ledbury announced as the Guide’s ninth Three MICHELIN Star restaurant. A further 6 restaurants have been newly awarded Two MICHELIN Stars and there are 18 new One Star establishments. 6 restaurants have been recognised with a MICHELIN Green Star for their commitment to sustainable gastronomy and 20 restaurants were announced to have received a Bib Gourmand on 29th January, one week prior to the Ceremony.

From Cornwall to Cork, the newly crowned restaurants span across Great Britain & Ireland. London has had a highly successful year, with a new Three Star, 3 new Two Star and 11 new One Star restaurants bolstering the city’s selection. Cumbria adds 2 new One Star restaurants to its already impressive collection, and Birmingham has welcomed its first ever Two Star restaurant. The establishments themselves range in style, from counter dining to country houses. The cuisines are varied too, and this year sees both 2 new West African Stars and the selection’s first ever Two Star Indian restaurants. 

All be booked directly via The MICHELIN Guide website and appThe selection showcases unique destinations both across Great Britain & Ireland and throughout the world. Every hotel in the selection has been chosen by The MICHELIN Guide experts for its extraordinary style, service and personality.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

The Michelin Key is coming. A Special Distinction For Hotels

press release

The MICHELIN Guide celebrates the most remarkable hotels in the world, by creating a special distinction: 



The MICHELIN Guide will be awarding exceptional hotels with the MICHELIN Key in future



  • The MICHELIN Guide teams have selected more than 5,000 hotels and accommodations throughout the world,
    all available for booking on and the Guide mobile application
  • With this new selection, The MICHELIN Guide creates the MICHELIN Key, a special distinction that
    highlights the establishments offering the most exceptional hotel experiences
  • These hotels and accommodations will receive the MICHELIN Key beginning in 2024

As it does for restaurants, The MICHELIN Guide intends on independently recommending hotels that constitute true destinations. After four years of work, The MICHELIN Guide now proposes a new selection of more than 5,000 remarkable hotels in 120 countries.

In an industry saturated with questionably trustworthy endorsements, the MICHELIN Guide offers its expertise to travellers to guide them towards only the very best experiences. In response to today’s hyper-standardisation of accommodation (in terms of design, interior decoration, special touches, and so on), The MICHELIN Guide will appeal to travellers’ emotions by orienting them towards bold establishments that excel in every way: architectural approaches, professional know-how, and the existence of a true, identifiable personality. 

The new MICHELIN Guide selection recommends more than 5,000 hotels throughout 120 countries in a broad range of prices and styles. The selection is based on five criteria:

1. A destination unto itself: the hotel contributes to the local experience;
2. Excellence in interior design and architecture;
3. Individuality, reflecting personality and authenticity;
4. Quality and consistency in service, comfort and maintenance;
5. Consistency between the level of experience and the price paid.

Determined independently from all existing labels and free of any pre-established quotas, this hotel selection addresses those travellers who already trust The MICHELIN Guide and all those who seek verified, well-informed advice. 

With this new approach to hotels, The MICHELIN Guide has three objectives:

  • To enable travellers to precede or follow a gourmet experience with a memorable hotel stay.
  • To guide guests towards accommodations of character that offer much more than just a room for the night.
  • To offer travellers the opportunity to choose, book, and share their experiences on a single independent platform.

Exploring the MICHELIN Guide website and mobile application is easy and intuitive from planning to booking. Clients may take inspiration from the magazine section, choose between accommodations using a filtering search engine, reserve a room, pay online, and provide feedback or share their experiences. The platform is ad-free for more fluid browsing, and future travellers can also enjoy a customer service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as well as the assistance of a team of travel experts who specialise in offering tailored guidance.

The MICHELIN Key, a new MICHELIN Guide distinction
In this new selection, The MICHELIN Guide teams seek to highlight the establishments that raise hospitality to an art form, forging absolutely unique experiences for travellers. 

Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of The MICHELIN Guides, states: “The MICHELIN Key is a clear, reliable indication for travellers. Just as the MICHELIN Star distinguishes those restaurants that are at the peak of their art, the MICHELIN Key recognises the most exceptional hotels throughout the world. It is also an acknowledgment of the teamwork of committed enthusiastic hospitality professionals.” 

Each year, the MICHELIN Key will distinguish exceptional establishments led by teams with unique forms of knowledge. The MICHELIN Key will be awarded following one or several stays conducted anonymously by The MICHELIN Guide selection teams. 

The MICHELIN Guide teams are currently in the field and will reveal the first MICHELIN Key selection in the first half of 2024.


Monday, May 8, 2023

Ichigo Ichie. Star experience on a rainy night in Cork.

Ichigo Ichie. Star experience 

on a rainy night in Cork. 


No colourful signs (or stars) as you approach Ichigo Ichie on Cork’s Fenn’s Quay. On this rainy night, the only colour on the outside of the premises, on a blacked-out window, was a reflection of graffiti from across the wet street, the entrance just about visible. In the hallway,  you do see a little sign Ichigo Ichie sign, just before the big smiles. The big smile is on your face as you exit a happy hour or two later.

It was certainly on ours as we left, even though the rain was still there, even stronger now, as we had enjoyed a multi-course meal in Takashi Miyazaki’s Michelin-starred restaurant. Like most Michelin places, prices are high here but we had spotted a midweek offer and were so glad that we took advantage.


They get a sitting in a little early so that drinks orders may be taken and served and, since the €75.00 menu itself was set, the drinks were about all we had to decide on with the help of friendly and efficient staff. There was a lovely buzz of conversation around the calm space as we went through the lists. 

For me it was always going to be Sake. They have quite a list here and my pick - I’ve had a can (Honjozo) here previously - was the Kikusui-Funaguchi (Honjozo, Niigata). Niigata is regarded as the most prestigious and well-known region and the Honjozo style is when the makers add a little “brewer's alcohol” to lighten the sake and clean things up. My 200ml can was a delight, light-dry taste with hints of sweetness and a fruity finish, followed by a clean and pleasant aftertaste


CL also enjoyed her choice, the Fanny Sabre Bourgogne Aligoté 2021, a dry, pure, elegant, natural wine, produced only in those years when the fruit is in great condition. It is crisper than Chardonnay but with depth and superb texture, outstanding match for most the meal ahead.


With the drinks sorted, we were soon on our way. Beginning with a trio under the title of Hassun, a hat trick of bite-sized  delights. First up was the Tori Yawara maki (chicken though burdock, carrots, haricot vert). Then we turned to the Asparagus Tofu (Lisheen Greens, asparagus and sumiso ). The star though was the Kaki Domyoji age (Rossmore Oyster, puffed rice, Aonori and nitsume sauce).

By the way, I have never quite got the hang of chopsticks but don't worry, knives and forks are available!

Quite a spectacular dish followed, the Mukouzuke. This selection of sashimi was called Kisetsu no osashimi and Yellow Fin, Turbot, Sea Bass (torched), monkfish and oyster were included along with a range of accompaniments that included salmon and trout roe, ginger and a Japanese plant that had similarities to basil. Our servers gave us all the details but not easy to remember them later on!

Tai Meshi

Perhaps the star dish of the evening came next, the Yakimono (refers to a dish cooked over direct heat). Ours was titled Chateaubriand with Caherbeg beef fillet, Hakusai miso, egg yolk, truffle, Singing Frog kinome. The beef was amazing, enhanced by everything around it. That beef comes from the Allshire family farm in Rosscarbery and the kinome (leaves of a Japanese fruit tree in the citrus family) comes from the Singing Frog garden also West Cork based. A big thumbs up for that course.

And the good mood continued, again Singing Frog involved with our Gohanmono course. The Tai meshi came in one bowl and inside were Sea Bream, Singing Frog wasabi, ginger, nori and rice while the other bowl (called Nameko akadashi jiru) had Red miso, Garryhinch nameko, tofu, chive and dashi. 

Course number five was Kanmi (dessert) and was titled Rhubarb, shiso gelato. The rhubarb came from Lisheen Greens and went down very well with the gelato.

Then it was time to settle up and head off into the rain after another memorable meal, thanks to the maestro and gentleman Takashi Miyazaki in Ichigo Ichie. “The kid’s done well “ as they say in football. Indeed he has, come a long way from Molly Malone’s Irish pub in Hiroshima.

* By the way, if a Michelin starred restaurant can serve alcohol in a can, I wonder why are so many local restaurants are “shy” about offering craft beer in a can.

Reflected selfie

Monday, January 25, 2021



Beetroot and Peach in Ahmet Dede's "back-yard"


- One new One Michelin Star for Ireland

- Baltimore restaurant Dede features amongst 21 Irish Michelin Star restaurants (18 in ROI and 3 in NI)

- Three new Michelin Green Stars – for commitment to sustainable gastronomy

- Four new Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurants

- Dublin chef Ross Lewis of Chapter One wins ‘Chef Mentor‘ award

- Northern Ireland restaurant Noble in Holywood wins ‘Service and Welcome’ award


Dede at the Customs House in Baltimore, Co. Cork has been awarded a Michelin Star in the 2021 Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland just published.


The popular West Cork establishment is the only newcomer to join what is now an 18-strong list of Michelin Star restaurants in the Republic of Ireland.


No stranger to the Michelin Star, head chef Ahmet Dede was awarded One Michelin Star in the 2019 edition of the Guide when at the Mews restaurant, Baltimore, an accolade he retained in 2020.


Other restaurants that hold their Michelin Star from previous years are the Two Star Restaurants Patrick Guilbaud and The Greenhouse in Dublin City along with Aimsir in Celbridge. One Star Dublin establishments are Chapter One, Variety Jones and L’Ecrivain in Dublin City and Liath in Blackrock village. Elsewhere, other one-star restaurants are Aniar and Loam (Galway City); Campagne and Lady Helen at Mount Juliet Hotel (Kilkenny); Wild Honey Inn, Lisdoonvarna (Clare); House Restaurant at Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore (Waterford); Ichigo Ichie (Cork City Centre); Chestnut in Ballydehob, West Cork; Bastion (Kinsale) and The Oak Room at Adare Manor in County Limerick.


In Northern Ireland, three Belfast restaurants – Eipic (Howard Street), Ox (Oxford Street) and The Muddlers Club (Cathedral Quarter) – have also retained their Michelin Star status.


Three new Michelin Green Star restaurants committed to sustainable gastronomy

This year’s Guide sees the introduction of the new Michelin ‘Green Star’ distinction – highlighting restaurants that are leaders in sustainability practices.


Ireland’s three Michelin Green Star recipients are Kai and Loam Restaurant (both Galway City) and Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites on the Aran Island of Inishmaan in Co. Galway.


Republic of Ireland – four new Bib Gourmand awards

Four restaurants join the list of 18 Bib Gourmand recipients in the Republic of Ireland whose names feature in the 2021 Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland.


Michelin Bib Gourmand awards recognise those establishments offering good food at affordable prices.


The four newcomers are: Spitalfields in The Coombe, Dublin City; Volpe Nera in Blackrock, Co. Dublin; Goldie in Cork City and Table Forty One in Gorey.


Others, all of which retain Bib Gourmand status from earlier years, are 1826 Adare (Adare); Aldridge Lodge (Duncannon); Chart House and Land to Sea (both Dingle); The Courthouse (Carrickmacross); Kai and Tartare Café & Wine Bar (both Galway City); Morrissey’s (Doonbeg); Sha-Roe Bistro (Clonegall); Thyme (Athlone) and in Dublin City, Uno Mas (Aungier Street); Pichet (Trinity Street); Pigeon House (Clontarf) and Richmond (Portobello).


In Northern Ireland, five establishments retaining their awards from last year are Balloo House in Killinchy, Newtownards; Noble (Holywood); Wine & Brine (Moira) and Belfast’s Deanes at Queen’s and Home in Wellington Place.


Two special awards – highlighting the talent of the restaurant industry

Ross Lewis of Chapter One in Dublin was honoured with the Michelin Chef Mentor award 2021, whilst Noble Restaurant in Holywood won the Michelin Service and Welcome Award 2021.


Speaking at its launch, Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guides, said: “This has been a hugely challenging period for the hospitality industry and our thoughts remain with all those who have suffered from the pandemic and by the restrictions that have been put in place.


“We were heartened by the number of chefs who called us during the year to ensure we were still going ahead with the Guide and our yearly awards. The Michelin Guide is about promoting the hospitality industry as a whole and we want to shine a light on the hard work, tenacity and commitment of chefs and restaurant teams,” he added.


Published now in a digital format only, by tyre manufacturer Michelin, the Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2021 is available at

and via the iOS app:

press release

Monday, October 7, 2019

Irish Presentations at Today's Michelin Star Awards in London

Irish Presentations at Today's Michelin Star Awards in London

Kerryman Kenneth Culhane chef at London's Dysart Petersham
The Muddler's Club Belfast

Michelin Awards Irish Winners 2020. Cheers Bastion!

Michelin Awards 2020
Cheers Bastion!

View from Bastion!

- Two new Two Michelin Stars
- Three new One Michelin Stars
- Northern Ireland has one new One Michelin Star
- Galway restaurant Loam wins Michelin Sustainability Award 2020
- County Limerick establishment Adare Manor wins Michelin Sommelier Award 2020

Two new Two Michelin Star and three new One Michelin Star restaurants are amongst 18 Irish establishments to have been awarded coveted Michelin Stars in the 2020 Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland just published.

The two new Two Michelin Star recipients are Aimsir in Celbridge and The Greenhouse in Dublin City.

The three new One Michelin Star restaurants are The Oak Room at Adare Manor in County Limerick; Bastion in Kinsale and Variety Jones in Dublin City.

Other restaurants that hold their Michelin Star from previous years are the Two-Star Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud and the One-Star Chapter One and L’Ecrivain in Dublin City and Liath in Blackrock village. Elsewhere, other one-star restaurants are Aniar and Loam (Galway City); Campagne and Lady Helen at Mount Juliet Hotel (Kilkenny); Wild Honey Inn, Lisdoonvarna (Clare); House Restaurant at Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore (Waterford); Ichigo Ichie (Cork City Centre) and two West Cork restaurants – Mews in Baltimore and Chestnut in nearby Ballydehob.

In addition, Loam in Galway was honoured with the Michelin Sustainability Award 2020, whilst Adare Manor in County Limerick won the Michelin Sommelier Award 2020.

In Northern Ireland, Belfast restaurant The Muddlers Club (Cathedral Quarter) has been awarded a new one Michelin Star while two other Belfast restaurants - Eipic (Howard Street) and Ox (Oxford Street) – have also retained their Michelin Star status.

Speaking at its launch, Rebecca Burr, Director of the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland, said: “This is an amazing year for the Republic of Ireland, with five new Michelin Stars being awarded – two of them at Two Star level. This brings the total number of Starred restaurants in Ireland up to 18 and is just reward for the determination of young chefs who are keen to make their mark on the Irish dining scene.”

Published today by tyre manufacturer Michelin, the Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2020 is available at and in bookshops.

Media Information

Dublin, October 7th 2019

Friday, October 4, 2019


New Michelin-Star Restaurants will be announced on Monday next, October 7st, when the 2020 Michelin Guide will be launched live at an event held at The Hurlingham Club, London, commencing circa 16.30pm.


Ireland records four new names amongst 20 Bib Gourmand recipients in 2020 Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland

Northern Ireland has one new name amongst six Bib Gourmand recipients  

Four Irish restaurants join the list of 20 Bib Gourmand recipients whose names feature in the 2020 Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland.

Michelin Bib Gourmand awards recognise those establishments offering good food at affordable prices.

The four newcomers are: Thyme (Athlone); Land to Sea (Dingle); Circa (Terenure) and Uno Mas (Aungier Street, Dublin).

Others, all of which retain Bib Gourmand status from earlier years, are 1826 Adare (Adare); Aldridge Lodge (Duncannon); Brownes (Tuam); Chart House (Dingle); The Courthouse (Carrickmacross); Dillon’s (Timoleague, Cork); Giovannelli (Killorglin); Kai (Galway City); Morrissey’s (Doonbeg); Sha-Roe Bistro (Clonegal); Tartare Café & Wine Bar (Galway City) and TwoCooks (Sallins).

In Dublin city, Clanbrassil House (Clanbrassil Street); Pichet (Trinity Street); Pigeon House (Clontarf); and Richmond (Portobello) retain their Bib Gourmand status.

Northern Ireland – six Bib Gourmand awards
In Northern Ireland, Balloo House in Killinchy, Newtownards joins the list of six Michelin Bib Gourmand establishments in the province.

Retaining their awards from last year are Clenaghans (near Aghalee, Co. Antrim) Noble (Holywood); Wine & Brine (Moira) and Belfast’s Deanes at Queen’s and Home in Wellington Place.

Announcing the Bib Gourmand awards, Rebecca Burr, Director of the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland, said: “The eating out offer in Ireland just seems to go from strength to strength, and the new Bib Gourmands reflect this. They are really varied in terms of location, food and ambience, but are all producing very good meals with excellent produce. That produce is very often local, and it is really pleasing to see restaurants like Thyme, Land to Sea, Circa, Uno Mas and Balloo House flourishing.”

The Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2020 Guide will be will published on Monday, 7th October and will be available at and in bookshops.

press release

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Izakaya Evening with Echigo Saké at Ichigo Ichie

Izakaya Evening with Echigo Saké at Ichigo Ichie

Smashed cucumber with Bonito flake.

For one night this/last week, Michelin Star Chef Takashi Miyazaki turned his Ichigo Ichie restaurant into a Japanese style gastro-pub with a lot of help from Mr. Ono from the Echigo Saké Brewery in Japan. 

It was the first Izakaya evening here and a delightful experience that began with a glass, sorry, that should read masu, of Echigo Koshi No Happo. The Masu is a square wooden cup used to measure rice in Japan during the feudal period. It holds 180ml of that first saké so that was quite a substantial aperitif. Quite a lovely one also, smooth, almost savoury with a slightly syrupy texture giving it a rich mouthfeel.
First pour

There would be more sakés as the pleasant evening went on, with Mr Ono on hand to explain the various types. Perhaps the outstanding one from my point of view was the Ozeki Karatamba Honjozo Namachozoshu. Here, we were told that the brewing technology brings out the crisp and rich flavour yet dry taste of “Karatamba” that pairs well with any cuisine, indeed the prefect saké to indulge your taste buds. It certainly did that!

Of Japan’s major saké-producing regions, Niigata is regarded as the most prestigious and well-known. And deservedly so. Known long ago by the name Echigo, modern-day, Niigata is the region of small craft producers from the countryside. It is also the origin of the light and dry tanrei-karakuchi style of saké that has become so popular amongst saké lovers today. And we did indeed enjoy the Echigo Karakuchi, “a very hearty saké”.
Sashimi selection

At the end, we had a taste of the Amakuchi, the sweet saké. But not that sweet! From the delightful, if limited  (we didn’t have all night!), tasting, it seems that the dry to sweet range of the Japanese drink is much narrower than is the case with wine! Open to correction on this one.

And how did we get on with the square cup? The masu? Quite well actually. It stands on a saucer so, when  it is full to the brim, you can lift the saucer and sip, “not rude” says Mr Ono. Being Cork of course, there was one “complaint”: we couldn’t make those cups clink! Well, if you really want to get that cheerful sound, you may drink it from a short clear glass also!
Pork belly with bean sprout

The special Izakaya Menu was a multi-course treat. Hard to keep track of all the courses and Mr Miyazaki also added in a couple of bonuses. So, from the Smashed Cucumber at the start to the delicious pannacotta at the finish, we were more than well fed.

Highlights? Well those two already mentioned for a start. The Sashimi was an early highlight for me with salmon, tuna and sea-bass in the mix. The Prawn (a substitute for squid) and Padron Pepper Tempura was another as were the Chicken Tatsuta. And an unexpected one - it was additional to the 12-course menu - was the swordfish towards the end.

CL also enjoyed the meal from start to finish especially that little Smashed Cucumber at the start. The next dish, the Pork Belly, was another of her favourites along with the Sashimi. But all were appreciated.

Izakaya Menu

Peanuts Tofu (peanuts, wasabi)

Kyuri Tataki (smashed cucumber, bonito flake, crushed garlic chilli)

Chashu and Moyashi Namuru (pork belly, bean sprout, shichimi, sesame oil)

Sashimi (Corvina, Organic Salmon, Daikon, Shiso, Wasabi, dashi shoyu)

Yakitori (tsukune tare sansho and egg yolk sauce, pork belly)

Buta Shabu Salad (Pork, Mizuna, Silken Tofu, Radish, Sesame Ponzu)

Grilled Asparagus Yakidashi (asparagus in dashi, bonito flake, chilli)

Ika and Shishitou Tempura (squid and Padron Pepper). Ika (squid not available so we had prawns instead).

Chicken Tatsuta (Fried chicken thigh)

Satoimoni, Tori Soboro Sauce (Taro Potato stew with minced chicken sauce)

Tamago Maki (Egg Roll Sushi)

Amazake (White chocolate pannacotta, cherry)