Showing posts with label O'Crualaoi's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label O'Crualaoi's. Show all posts

Monday, July 11, 2011


Corned Beef and Cabbage. As a starter! Yes and it proved a really tasty beginning to an excellent weekend meal at Blairs Inn.

What a menu they have there. If you combine the pages from the bar and restaurant menus, I reckon you could be eating there for a year and still have combinations to explore.

And then there are the drinks. There is an excellent wine list, for sure. But also lots of local (and international) drinks including craft beers from Dungarvan, Carlow, Eight Degrees (North Cork) and the new cider sensation Stonewell by the Nohoval Brewing Company.

After a big welcome and a chat with Richard we sat down in the cosy restaurant – they also have a lovely garden dining area – to go through the menus.

My starter was a Warm Tian of O’Crualaoi’s Corned Beef and Cabbage with a creamy Parsley dressing (€7.70). If you get out there, you should really try this. The beef, supplied by the well known Ballincollig butcher, was spot-on as was everything else in this well presented cylinder shaped offering of good local food.

Then on to the main course: Pan fried fillets of Sea Bass on a Chorizo mash with a sundried tomato and rocket dressing and a side plate filled with vegetables and another with gratin potato, both done to perfection. Again, another excellent plateful.

And a big plateful. Indeed, both starter and mains were quite substantial, so much so that I had to forego the dessert.

They helpfully suggest, on the menu, various drinks with each course; the tips for me were a wheat beer with the starter and a dry cider with the fish. I was in the mood for wine and settled on a bottle of their highly recommended an excellent Hopler Gruner Veltliner (Burgenland, Austria) 2009 (€26.95).

You get a great welcome here and also help and advice. Quite a few tourists make their way here and they must be impressed with the local knowledge that the owners and staff so freely dispense.

Lovely food, lovely place and lovely people. A return visit is on the cards. And not just for me.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

O'Crualaoi Butchers in Ballincollig


O’Crualaoi Butchers have been trading since 1957 and new shops in Fermoy, Carrigaline and Wilton have seen a rapid expansion in recent times.

Ballincollig is their first shop and I called to see their set-up recently. Here there are two sections, an inviting delicatessen and a very impressive and well laid out butcher shop.

Wasn’t on a meat buying mission on this occasion but did pick up a few things from the deli, including one of their fresh soups (mushroom). It was an excellent soup, very tasty indeed.

Much of that taste though came from the cream and butter in the mix. If you want something healthier you could try the recipe below which comes from an old Irish Heart Foundation leaflet.

Mushroom soup (for 5/6 persons)
2 oz Flora Margarine;
2 oz plain flour;
1 pint of chicken stock (fat free);
1 pint of skimmed milk;
½ lb mushrooms, finely chopped.
Chopped parsley, to garnish; salt & pepper and juice of half a lemon.
Method: Place all ingredients, except lemon juice into a large saucepan; whisking continuously over moderate heat, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Just before serving add lemon juice and stir well. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Cook’s Notes:
1-    My preference is to use low fat rather than skimmed milk.
2-    Omit the lemon juice (too strong in the taste, not for everyone)
3-    When cooked, liquidise.
4-    You could add a swirl of Crème fraiche with the parsley.

For current recipes from the Irish Heart Foundation go to:

Photo: Ballincollig's Olive Tree
Check out my review of O'Crualaoi Butchers - I am cork - on Qype