Showing posts with label Original 7. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Original 7. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Ichigo Ichie goes again! And I’ll be going again. Friendly informal feast with Michelin flare!

 Ichigi Ichie once again. 

And I’ll be going again!

Duck with Nori potesala

Ichigo Ichie's 2024 version isn't just good, it's captivating

Ichigi Ichie goes again! It was good (good enough for a Michelin Star) in 2023 and previously. The 2024 edition is a diner's delight as the Fenns Quay restaurant now has more choices, credit-card friendly prices and still amazing quality (and almost immediately a Michelin Bib). It's the kind of place I certainly want to go to again. Encore!!

It is the last Tuesday of a far-from-dry January. Quite early in the evening and the two sections of Takashi Miyazaki’s reimagined Ichigo Ichie Noodle and Natural Wine Bar are more or less full by six o’clock and the delighted staff tell us the weekends are even busier, so do be sure and book ahead.


The same staff are also welcoming, friendly and helpful. And we certainly needed a few pointers when it came to the choices on offer. That offer is in two parts, the A La Carte which has a handful of starters and then three sections of main dishes. One is headed Rice Dishes (Doburi). Two come under the Handmade Buckwheat Noodles title, one section cold  (Hiya), the other hot (On). 

These noodles are the stars here and you’ll have plenty of choices. Oroshi bukkake soba - grated mooli daikon, ginger, sobatsuyu in the Hot for instance, nanbun soba- Skeaghanore duck, hay leek, scallion in the Cold.

Cantina Rallo's rosso and Original 7 Pale Ale

I have to admit though that we were captivated by the Specials Board, almost as expansive as the A La Carte, full of tempting dishes, even more enticing because there is a mix of small and larger plates, mostly designed for sharing. This second edition of Ichigo is much less formal and more fun. As it happened, everything we had came from the blackboard, leaving Takashi’s noodles for the next visit.

Local Ingredients, Unexpected Delights

Local suppliers are supported here. Indeed, the likes of Garryhinch Mushrooms and Skeaghanore Duck, both feature more than once over the two menus. Hongos (€15.50) al la plancha Kamo Yaki, mushrooms with egg yolk, turned out to be a terrific “starter” for us though I’m sure the other mushroom dish would also be fine.

Expect the unexpected. Tripe, an old Cork favourite, features and was given a flavoursome and palate-pleasing twist by Miyazaki. The “Tonchan” came with cabbage, bean sprouts, Fukuoka-style tripe stew, ginger and garlic (€13.50).  


A beer by Original 7, the brewery based in the Franciscan Well in the North Mall, is available on draught here. Had to try that pale ale and it just so happened to be a perfect pairing for the tripe!

O’Mahony Butchers of the English Market supplied the beef for our next dish. The fillet came with egg yolk, Cucumber, Moyahsi, and Namul (€16.50). We were tipped off in advance that this was something like a carpaccio and so it proved. But the marinated beef, super tasty with all its accompaniments, was cut, not into thin rounds but instead into finger-sized strips, the better to take up the marinade! Delicious.

Panna Cotta

Our largest dish of the evening featured Skeaghanore Duck (€22.00). It arrived charcoal grilled with Hay Leek, grilled scallion, leaves, Sansho salt and an unexpected garnish of potato with Nori that went down very well indeed.

Sweet Endings

The delicious delights didn’t stop there. I’d say you’d find it hard to get a better apple dessert than his Matcha Panna Cotta with caramelised apple, lycee ice cream and hazelnut praline, our favourite, and we got the impression it is a staff favourite as well. Just two desserts were available and the Gubbeen Smoked Cheese Cake with Wasabi ice cream was impressive also, even if the apple stole the sweet show.

Gubbeen Cheese Cake
Drinks Galore

This 2024 Ichigo Ichie doesn't lack drink options. A craft beer exclusive from Original 7, Beamish on draft, and an amazing, all-natural wine list curated by Le Caveau await. While the three Jura wines sit at the higher end, don't miss the house red and white from Sicily's Cantina Rallo at a budget-friendly €7.50 a glass. And there's much much more in between!

Monday, April 10, 2023

Craft Delight With 13 Brewers At Franciscan Well Easter Fest. CorkBillyBeers #22.

CorkBillyBeers #22

Craft Delight With 13 Brewers At Franciscan Well Easter Fest

Busy days for Sean at the Black's of Kinsale taps.

A baker’s dozen of Ireland’s craft breweries set up camp at the Franciscan Well and turned their well and truly revived Easter Beer Fest into a convivial carnival featuring the best of craft over the holiday weekend. Hard to resist some of the stars here, some beautiful pours over the two days, including a debut for the delicious Locavore Spring 2023, a Honey Hefeweizen, by Wicklow Wolf.

I did have a Plan A when I arrived in the busy venue on Saturday afternoon but that didn't last long. Nor did Plan B or indeed any notion of a plan. No seat available but I did get my aging back up against a solid object and relaxed.

Spot the difference? One of these is a lager, one's a stout. Answer at end.

Lots of chats too of course, none of it too serious. We were here for the craft and the craic. Actually, black (rhymes with craic!) was on Plan A and I did get a couple in. Had a good chat with Sean from Black’s of Kinsale. I was familiar with all three of his taps, including the marvellous Red Rye Redemption. 

My eyes wandered to his right and I spotted a dark lager at Lineman. Enjoyed their Schwarzbier last year so I tried the Undertone - a Czech Dark Lager (4.5%), dark with hints of red in the depths, smooth caramel, a touch of toast but all smooth and clean just like a lager should be! The Undertone, a little less roasty than a Schwarzbier, is making a return to the Lineman portfolio and is sure to get a terrific welcome.

That goes on to my shopping list for Bradley’s. In fact, all the beers mentioned here will be going on to that list. Some good weeks ahead then!

My first real black came from Phil, at the Kinnegar stand.  He poured me a glass of their long-standing favourite Yannaroddy (4.8%). Long-standing maybe but you never get tired of class and this rich and creamy porter, made with love, has Donegal expertise in every sip.

Keith McCarthy at the Wicklow Wolf taps and his Lough Gill colleagues.

My second black came later on, the Chocolate Truffle Stout from Porterhouse. This limited edition (4.2%) surprised me - I’m always a little suspicious of nitro - but very few can say no to chocolate. Very smooth of course and delicious but not too sweet at all.

More potential sweetness next, but very well balanced. Wicklow Wolf tell us their Locavore Spring 2023 is “a Honey Hefeweizen brewed with heather honey supplied by our friends at @openhivehoney. The bees worked hard in the Wicklow mountains to gather the nectar to make beautiful heather honey for this brew.” Their 2022 edition, a barrel aged ale, was one of my beers of the year and, being a big honey fan anyhow, I’ll be looking at this one more closely soon! ABV is 6.0%.

Original 7 Red
Had been hoping to try the Cutback New England IPA by Lough Gill but it wasn’t available at the time I called. So I switched to next door to the “home” brewery, the Original 7, who have been expanding their range and availability in local pubs since their relatively recent founding and their Steve Guiney says they will have a beautiful surprise for fans late in the summer.

While looking forward to that, I absolutely enjoyed their Wonderland Red Ale. Quite a mix here, according to their notes - caramel, blackcurrant, raspberry and cherry - but a well judged balance and a lovely red and a truly session-able beer with an IBU of 22 and 4.2% ABV.

So we moved from Keith (at the Wolf stand) to Simon at Galway Bay. Started with their classic Helles, the Slow Lives (5%). Next from the west was the Sister Cities (6.2%), a Sour IPA with citrus, apple, a touch of elderflower and a balancing acidity. Very drinkable indeed and looking forward to a few in a the garden in the better days ahead! Thanks Simon! And thanks to all the people we met and sorry we missed out on a few. Next time!

Pompeii Pizza: Feeding the troops

Picture quiz above: stout (Porterhouse) is on the left, Lineman  is the lager.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Something new is brewing. Check out Cork’s latest brewery: Original 7. A Quart of Ale± #119.

A Quart of Ale± #119. On the craft beer trail with Original 7

Something new is brewing. 

 Cork’s latest brewery-Original7

Great to meet up with Shane Long and Steve Guiney, two of the people behind Cork’s latest brewery, Original 7.  We chatted to the duo as we (and a host of the city’s top barmen ) were introduced to the brewery and its beers at the Franciscan Well on the North Mall last week.

In 1998, Long established the 7th microbrewery in Ireland, before it was cool! Since then, the Franciscan Well brewery has produced some award winning beers enjoyed the world over. It was one of the original seven microbreweries in Ireland and hence the name for the new venture. A few years back, the original Franciscan Well was acquired by Mouton Coors who continue to make most of the beers in a site on the city quays.

The small original brewery on the North Mall has been bought back from Mouton Coors and it is here that Long, along with Guiney, Paidí Scully (brewer) and Dean Wrenne (junior brewer) are making the new beers. “It’s time for a new generation to take the reins,” said Shane as Original 7 Beverage Company introduced themselves last week.

Already the three beers are available in quite a few city pubs and the list is rapidly growing. And it should also become available further afield in the near future. But don’t expect a big flood of Original 7 beers as this is quite a small brewery. 

The beers will eventually become available in can, but that too could take a while, again due to capacity restrictions. Still though, they have plans to issue some seasonal beers.

With the ABV counts on many craft beers rising all the time, there was some surprise that the three beers so far each come in at a fraction above four per cent. This isn’t by accident. Their research indicated a demand for lower ABV beers and so their “focus is on truly sessionable beers, accessible to all palates”.

Original 7 Lager

“An Irish lager but the style is very much Bavarian,” said Steve Guiney as he did barman duty the other night. It is clean and crisp and immediately refreshing with floral notes, citrus too and excellent malt led flavour. Floral notes from the Perle hops, the citrus from the Mandarina Bavaria. Very pleasant indeed and in no way handicapped by its 4.1 ABV.

Style: Lager

ABV: 4.1%

IBU: 22

Hops: Perle, Sazz, Magnum, Mandarina Bavaria.

Original 7 Hazy Weisse

In the early days of the Franciscan Well, I always enjoyed my pints of their Friar Weisse, especially by the blazing fire out in Blairs Inn. The new one also hit the spot as it has many of the characteristics of the original. 

Again it is a German style unfiltered wheat beer, with zesty citrus to taste and typical aromatics of clove and banana. Not quite the same as the original though. For one thing the yeast is different and comes from the USA where it was spotted by Shane Long. It was my favourite beer of the night, my favourite of the trio.


Style: Weisse Beer

ABV: 4.2%

IBU: 19

Hops: Perle, Magnum for both see above)


“A truly sessionable Pale Ale, hazy in opacity with tropical notes and a big mouth-feel.” Quite a bunch of hops here, from both Europe and the USA and no less than three used in a double dry hop. El Dorado, with its Apricot, Tropical and Citrus qualities, gets most of the credit for its impact on the aromatics and the flavours from the producers. See the full list below.

Style: Hazy Pale Ale

ABV: 4.1%

IBU: 31

Hops: Magnum, Mandarina Bavaria, Mosaic and Citra 

Dry Hops: Azacca, El Dorado and Citra

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Original 7 Brew Again At The Well

Original 7 Brew Again At The Well 

Original 7 Beverage Co is Cork City’s newest Craft Beer Brand. Brewed at Shane Long's micro-brewery at the rear of The Franciscan Well, Shane has partnered up with brewer Páidí Scully and business partner Steve Guiney to bring his second beer brand to the pubs of Cork City and beyond.

In 1998 Shane Long established the first Microbrewery in Cork on the grounds of The Franciscan Well Bar on The North Mall. Since then, the brewery has produced some award-winning beers enjoyed the world over! In 2022, it’s time for a new generation to take the reigns.

The remainder of the Original 7 Beverage Co. Team consists of Business Partner and Brewery Manager Steve Guiney, Head Brewer Páidí Scully and Junior Brewer Dean Wrenne. With Shane’s legacy in brewing, he will offer guidance and advice to Páidí and Dean as they set about creating a diverse and complex range of beers.

The initial release from Original 7 Beverage Co will focus on three beer styles – Hazy Pale Ale, Lager and Weisse. Each beer will be low in ABV when compared to beers of a similar style but uncompromising on flavour – filling a gap for a truly sessionable but unquestionably artisan beer.

All three beers are now available on draught in the Franciscan Well Bar and the roll out has begun to some of the great pubs of our City. Original 7 Beverage Co beers are now available in:

  •   An Brog

  •   Barbarella

  •   Barbarossa

  •   Brewdog Cork

  •   Corner House

  •   Costigans

  •   Fionnbarras

  •   Fred Zeppelin's

  •   Reardens

  •   The Alibi

  •   The Oliver Plunkett

  •   The Shelbourne

  •   Tom Barry's

    Over the coming months, you will be able to find Original 7 Beverage Co Beers in many more of Cork City’s Pubs and Restaurants as well as some outlets in Dublin and elsewhere around the country.