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Jim Edwards is a renowned restaurant in the renowned foodie town of Kinsale and it has been serving up classic fare since 1971.
And while some of those beloved classics are still on the menu, Jim Edwards is not slow to support new producers and new products in the area. Just a peep at their drinks list confirms this, with Kinsale Mead, Stonewell Cider and beers from Black’s of Kinsale and 9 White Deer (Ballyvourney) on offer.
Local gins include Kinsale gin, Blackwater gin and Black's gin. while local whiskeys include Pogues from West Cork and the world famous Midleton Very Rare. With the best of spirits available, there is no shortage of cocktails. Produce suppliers, some long-standing, are listed on the back of the menu.
And there is no shortage of food choices here. You may dine in the Gastro Pub or in the restaurant. The Gastro Pub menu (including a sandwich selection) and A La Carte menu are available from 12pm to 10pm daily. In addition they have daily specials and a value menu also available all day. No wonder the venue has been declared“a standard bearer in Kinsale's distinguished culinary culture” bythe McKenna Guide.
We were glad to see the A La Carte menu available from lunchtime on when we arrived there about one o’clock on a recent Friday. Soon we were seated by the window and reading our way through the choices. By the way, from exchanges at a nearby table, we heard that you can pick and choose from the various menus.
The mussels and oysters come from nearby Haven Shellfish and I picked the rather traditional starter (they don’t really do cutting edge here in any case) of Kinsale Mussels toasted with Garlic Breadcrumbs. Very tasty, with a well prepared salad. And CL too was very pleased with another excellent appetiser, this of Pan Seared Scallops in garlic and basil with a cauliflower purée.
We sipped our Black’s ale as we waited for the mains. Unbeknownst to ourselves we had chosen two house classics and looking back we can appreciate how they’ve stood the test of taste and time. Both were superb.
One is the flavoursome Mint and Herb Crusted Rack of Slaney Valley Lamb with a rosemary and garlic jus. Beautifully cooked, neatly presented, as were all our dishes.
Our other mains was the Medallions of Monkfish, pan fried with ginger, spring onion chill and lime dressing. Another superb combination, no shortage of quality here. And no skimping on quantity either.
And, just in case you haven’t enough, in another nod to tradition, they serve three sides as well: potatoes gratin, seasonal vegetables and fries.
It was a fairly busy lunch service in the restaurant and no problem to the staff as they kept the food coming and helped the customers make their choices, patience needed in some cases!
We did have a look at the dessert menu but, having been well fed, decided to give the sweet stuff a skip and finished off with an excellent cup of Maher’s coffee, another local business supported by Jim Edwards. Roll on the 50th celebrations in 2021!
Aside from the traffic rushing through the crossroads (to Mitchelstown, Mallow, Buttevant, Charleville and Kilmallock), the main street in Kildorrery village is quiet, not a pedestrian in sight.
That was the scene last Tuesday lunchtime. Where was everyone? Enjoying the food at Thatch and Thyme by the looks of it. The 12 month old restaurant was packed. And soon we would see why.
Joanne McEldowney’s cooking is top class. She uses mainly local produce. It is tidily presented and service is with a smile. Based in a well kept thatched community building, the restaurant is open Monday to Saturday 8.30am to 5.00pm, so you can have your breakfast here as well.
Occasionally, they open for evening meals but these are usually private parties. The room has a vintage feel and can seat about 30. In addition, if the sun shines, the outdoor courtyard area will take another 25. By the way, there are some great views, over half of Munster, from the village itself.
Back to the grub. They have quite a selection of baps, wraps and open sandwiches (from €6.50 to 8.50). And no shortage of main courses either, though there was some disappointment at our table that their famous ribs weren't available on the day!
The lamb though was available and it was impeccable, simple and honestly prepared, really tender and beautifully cooked as were the vegetables on the side. It was Roast Leg of Slaney Valley lamb, with mint oil, red currant juice, those seasonal vegetables and mashed potato (12.50).
CL went for the colourful and flavourful Fisherman's Stew: Cod, Calamari, Salmon, Mackerel, Crab, Mussels and Prawns, cooked in a rich tomato and white wine sauce and served with baby potatoes and wilted greens (13.50).
I had started with a flavour of the sea. The creamy seafood chowder (fish and molluscs) was delicious as was CL’s Soup of the Day. Both, by the way, were available in small and large sizes.
The choice of dessert was unanimous as the rhubarb for the tasty crumble came from a nearby hill (another great view up there) and was grown organically by Mick Cotter who tipped us off about this lovely friendly restaurant in a gorgeous area of North Cork.