Restaurant Reviews. Food. Markets. Wine. Beer. Cider. Whiskey. Gin. Producers. . Always on the look-out for tasty food and drink from quality producers! Buy local, fresh and fair. The more we pull together, the further we will go. Contact: email@example.com Follow on Twitter: @corkbilly
Facebook: Billy Lyons
Kinsale’s renowned Good Food Circle seem to have backed a winner with their Restaurant Week. The place is abuzz as was Finns’ Table when we walked in there around 7.00pm last Monday. We hadn’t met Julie and chef John with quite a while so it was great to take the opportunity to eat, drink and chat in such a lovely and lively spot.
Julie had reserved the “Love Table” for us, knowing that we were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. So we sipped our Veuve Clicquot and soon we were tucking into two delightful mini-loaves from John’s kitchen, a treacle bread and also a potato bread, each different, both delicious.
So, what do they give you for your twenty euro? A choice of four starters and four mains, all really top class. One starter was Mushrooms on toast, crispy hen’s egg and Hollandaise sauce, another was Jerusalem Artichoke soup with honey, almond and rosemary granola.
Not easy to turn down either of those but I picked the Braised Irish Beef Brisket Croquet with celeriac remoulade and horseradish cream. The packed croquet was full of flavour, the remoulade and cream the perfect partners. CL spotted that the local mussels (from nearby Oysterhaven) were enhanced with coconut, coriander, ginger and lemongrass. Oh, the steamed bivalves have rarely been so well accompanied in a bowl.
Joseph Mellot wines from Sancerre - we would meet Olivier from the winery later on in the evening - were produced and much appreciated as the lovely occasion unfolded.
So what would we have for mains?The quartet on offer were all very tempting indeed. There was a Confit Duck Leg, slow cooked, with Rosscarbery black pudding, and cider braised lentils and also a Vegetarian Wellington (Uncle Tom’s Turnip, Sweet Potato and Bandon Vale Cheddar).
The Irish Lamb Tasting plate was CL’s choice: Roast Rump, Slow Cooked Neck and Braised Shoulder, with Fondant Potato and Jus. We swapped wines at this point with CL taking the Pinot Noir and I taking the Sauvignon Blanc. The SB proved a perfect match with the exquisite Seafood Bourride, a Provencal style fish stew containing lightly poached local fish and shellfish in saffron broth with garlic aioli and herbs, a delightfulmix of flavours and aromas.
I’ve often thought that it is the small things on your plate that can indicate a chef’s skill. And what caught our attention here, in the most delightful way, was the side of Mixed Garden vegetables. No exotic veg included but excellent stuff, superbly cooked and a pure delight on the palate. Still wondering what little extra magic he added here.
Fair play to the Finns. Since moving to Kinsale from nearby Timoleague about six years ago they have played a full role in the Good Food Circle, as indeed do all the members. Bookings have been brisk for this week’s combined venture and you may find it too late to reserve a place in some venues.
But two excellent courses for just twenty euro is well worth checking out. The full list involved is: Actons Hotel, The Blue Haven, The Bulman, Jim Edwards, Finns’ Table, Fishy Fishy, Man Friday, The Supper Club, The Trident Hotel, The White House, and The White Lady. The week opened on the 18th and closes on the 24th - no time to lose!
The big event for the Good Food Circle comes every October when the annual Gourmet Festival takes place. Dates this year, for the 43rd running of this famous and fun event, are 11th to 13th of October. And, believe it or not, bookings can now be made. Check "Kinsale Good Food Circle - 43rd Kinsale Gourmet Festival”for further info.
Before that though, the Good Food Circle will host the national Chowder Championships in April with a street food festival on the same weekend (6/7 April 2019).
Cast Your Vote in the 9th All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off on Sunday 7th April.Kinsale Good Food Circle want your help to find the best chowder chef in Ireland. A representative from each of the 32 counties will compete for the title of “All-Ireland Chowder Champion” at the annual All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off. Everyone attending the event will have a chance to vote for their favourite chowder-chef. The food festival in the streets will be held on the Saturday (6th).
First "met" Swedish writer Pelle Blohm on twitter, thanks to a Corkman, Mark O'Sullivan @markstkhlm, an ex Tramore Athletic player, who lives in Sweden and also Philip O'Connor, Swedish based Irish sports journalist @philipoconnor . Pelle is a regular visitor to Ireland, has been Grand Marshall at a Swedish Patrick's Day parade and owns an Irish wolfhound.
Pelle Blohm (@PBlohm on twitter): Freelance writer about football and culture and stuff in between. TV-expert-commentator in football.
Pelle played professional football at a high level and had stints in places such as Derby and China as well as more local contracts at home and in Norway. In this You Tube clip you see him scoring against Torino in the 1992 UEFA Cup. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfXF5JewthY
Met Pelle at his B&B, @HandlebarsBandB on the Lower Road, just after his arrival by train from Dublin and we headed off to Mahon Point Farmer's Market and Kinsale for a few hours. The ink was hardly dry on my short blog account of the daywhen I got a tweet from Mark saying an article by Pelle had appeared in his (Pelle's) local paper, the NA in Örebro, and told me "it was a good plug for Mahon Point Farmers Market and Kinsale".
See what you think. Must warn you though this is a Google translation, prone to error, though Mark says it is a pretty fair translation. I have added my own interpretations where there is doubt (in brackets).
CHIDED (BY) A CAB DRIVER DUBLIN
football tends to be one of the best ways to break the ice
the taxi drivers wherever you are in the world. It name drops a
of a player or team and I usually talk to be running and the
early morning Dublin was not quite as usual. I jumped into a taxi
take me to Heuston Station and by train to Cork. After a little
buzz about the weather chaffisen (the driver) asked:
What do you do then?
as I was I took the easiest route.
I work with football.
It (he) exploded
in the front seat.
Stupid, fucking, wankers those footballers. All they do is drinking,
and whoring. Then went he with a long rant about working-class
who flooded with sick money that they do not have a clue how to
Idiot British club owners and a crazy industry. Of course, I
silent, sit well here and look out over empty dark streets, I
After all, he had a point with his outburst. Although his
breathed old Irish morality Catholicism. Thinking of adding a
comment somewhere but just then we were there.
in Cork I met Billy Lyons. A man who through friends and the amazing
gave away five hours of their (his) time to show me around Cork's
A man who talked the strangest accent I've heard in
He almost sang out the words that fit together without
Each sentence ended and began, remained an enigma. Then I
still warned of the singing Cork dialect. I took a chance with yes
sometimes no other times. It worked pretty well.
Pelle in Kinsale
drove past the soccer fields on top of the round green hills (in Kinsale) and
talked to (about) local football
as he is passionate about, I saw the old Charles Fort from the
1800s, the beautiful summer town of Kinsale and the famous pub Bulman.
is a food writer took me to Mahon Point Farmers Market outside
of town (Cork) where I walked around and greeted the vendors of local Cork
Products. Tasted pâté, cheeses, bread and mushroom soup. Got a rant (explanation) about
sushi with an Irish twist and juices and jams from the area.
Fantastic day together with a very hospitable and proud Cork Nationals.
on vincaféet (wine cafe?) L’Atitude 51 at the edge of the River Lee's
southern channel, I read in the NA (his local paper) if someone wrote
a nidlåt (anthem?) of Örebro.
We are poor in Örebro on writing good songs about our city. Ireland
is a master in this branch.
are so many songs at any time
of the country, towns and villages. Pride and love, joy and pain that
is mediated through the music. We should call Örebro musicians to
more songs such as Nikola Sarcevic and his song Hometown.
be put online and on CD's, paid for by the municipality and
to promote Örebro. Instead of Phil Lynott's tribute to Dublin.
Ronander of Örebro. Or a variant of Luke Kelly's song about
"The town I loved so well" in Örebro robes of Karin Wistrand.
End of Pelle's article.
can see the original article, which was written in a McCurtain Street bar where, according
to Pelle, the Wi-Fi was good and the coffee wasn't, here
lunch at the Bulman yesterday. I was accompanied by Swedish journalist Pelle Blohm
who was as surprised as me at the relatively high temperatures. But it still wasn't
warm enough to sit outside.
were on our way back to Charlesfort after strolling around Kinsale and seeing
the sights. Pelle enjoyed the town and especially the old fort, the eerie ruins
of the barracks and, of course, the views.
for lunch now, after all that walking. First though a drink was required and I suggested
a bottle of Stonewell cider. Pelle usually finds cider too sweet but he certainly
enjoyed this one, as indeed did I.
an Ummera product on the menu and couldn’t resist having the Smoked Chicken
with Pine Nuts and Cashel Blue cheese on a salad (10.50). Very enjoyable,
terrific taste and texture variations in the dish, and a great choice, even if
I say so myself.
morning had started with food as well. Pelle, just off the train, was plunged into
the activity at Mahon Point Farmers Market to meet some hard-working Irish people and
taste some great food. Thanks to the traders who welcomed him with open arms,
people such as Barrie Tyner, Gubbeen, Madeline of Sushi fame, Martin Conroy of Woodside and the folks
at Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms.
Visited the Bulman in Kinsale (Summercove, near Charlesfort) for lunch yesterday (photo) and left a happy customer.
The harbourside bar, you park by the water, looked well in the sunshine yesterday. Still, just in case, a fire provided heat indoors where, unusually for Ireland, a large dog slept under a table as his minders dined.
The relatively new owners have give the place a revamp but the maritime theme is retained and now the restaurant upstairs is called Toddies and from there you have a fine view out over the harbour. The view downstairs is more restricted.
We ate downstairs in the bar and I went for the specials. Started with the Fennell Soup (€4.80). Accompanied by some nice bread, it was warm and well seasoned and very tasty indeed.
Then came a gorgeous little plateful: ham and smoked Gubbeen on ciabatta. Everything here was just perfect. The ham was the real deal and it and the tomatoes went very well with the delicious West Cork cheese and the whole thing was done to perfection. Cost €8.50.
Service was friendly and efficient. All in all, it was a lovely stop. If they can do the small things this well, then I’d have no qualms about driving down to Toddies for dinner some summer evening.
Telephone: +353 (0)21 4772131