Showing posts with label The Mad Monk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Mad Monk. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Drinking Beer While Dining Out. Elbow Lane and Radisson Hotel. CorkBillyBeers #18: Craft Beer with Food!

CorkBillyBeers #18

Craft Beer with Food!

Drinking Beer While Dining Out

Elbow Lane and Radisson Hotel

Steak in the lane

If you like a beer when dining out, then it's hard to beat Cork’s Elbow Lane as it is both a smokehouse and a brewhouse.

Black Lager
And, unlike some brewhouses, Elbow Lane are always welcoming to new brews. Such was the case the other night. They even dropped their own fantastic stout in favour of the Ukrainian equivalent called Resist* on draught . 

And they also have the terrific Kolsch from 9 White Deer in bottle. We like our Kolsch around here and this one got an unsolicited ringing endorsement from a friend of ours who enjoyed it recently at a concert in the White Horse and said they thought they were back home in Germany.

Two of our party went for the host's Wisdom Ale, another for the Stonewell Cider. But the one I couldn’t resist was another guest in draught: the Schwarzbier  by the Dublin Brewery Hopburgh (a project of JW Sweetman’s).  A few Irish brewers, including Kinnegar, Whitefield, Whiplash and Lineman, have relatively recently brewed in this German style, essentially a black lager. 

The later history of this style goes back to the toppling of the Berlin Wall (according to World Atlas of Beer) and the re-unification of Germany. “What the five East German states brought back to the nation was Schwarzbier.” It had more or less died out in the west of the country. Those states also brought Angela Merkel of course!

Elbow Lane (pic by JR, one of our group).
Looks like 
the chef in action 
through right hand panel of door

The cool fermentation method used places these beers in the lager style and, as it is made from roasted malt, it has a dark colour and so some of flavours of stout. Quite a happy hybrid as far as I’m concerned.

The brewers say that long cold conditioning means the beer is crisp and clean but the use of toasted malts adds texture and a subtle richer flavour.

I can endorse that, a very enjoyable pint indeed, easy drinking - don’t be put off by the black colour. The ABV by the way is 5.2%. And I enjoyed the company so I wasn’t really taking notes. 

Also I enjoyed my terrific Wood-grilled Rib-eye with toasted Cascade butter, with a side salad and fries. Before that, the Smoked lamb sausage, grilled plum mustard, and brussel kraut, was easily dispatched. I think CL has become addicted to their Slow smoked baby back ribs, with that amazing house sauce.

Radisson Venison Hot Pot

A few days earlier, the four of us had been part of a larger group at a “reunion” dinner in the Radisson in Little Island. Lot of changes down there since I was a kid chasing rabbits around a very rural island indeed, the reward then a glass of lemonade at the Dew Drop Inn (now the Island Gate).

What I did notice in the hotel was that they had two taps, one selling Pale Ale and one Lager, and both badged as Hungry Hills. They say they are their own beers and as far as I know they are brewed locally - must check that out! In any case, I can recommended the Pale Ale.

And the food menu is pretty good here too. Watch out for dishes using Andarl Farm produce. This time though, I said I’d go for the seasonal Venison Hot Pot (Braised venison with bitter chocolate and chili seared potatoes) and it was terrific. Those that choose the Fish and Chips were quite happy as were those that had Salmon and also those on the Chicken Burger. 

Resist is loosely based on a recipe released by the Pravda brewery in Ukraine at the start of the conflict. They encouraged all brewers to produce it as a special as they were busy making Molotov cocktails, so our brewers  did. It is a full bodied stout with roasted malt and a kiss of beetroot and is, fittingly, courageously robust! Profits from it go to the International Red Cross.
** One other dining room I enjoy going into is the Mad Monk by Quinlans in Killarney. Here they have just two beers on draught, both from the local Killarney Brewery, the Golden Spear Blonde and, my favourite, the Casey Brothers Stout. Would love sometime to have a head to head between the Casey Brothers and the Angel Stout from Elbow Lane. No losers there, I'd say!
Smoked Lamb Sausage

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Killarney's Mad Monk Knows His Fish. Quinlans have a winner on Plunkett Street.

Killarney's Mad Monk Knows His Fish.

Quinlans have a winner on Plunkett Street.

Less than six months after my first visit, I was back in The Mad Monk by Quinlans in Killarney last week. There would be some changes to the menu of course, some specials also, but I had one in mind and was delighted to find the superb Portmagee Crab Bake in the starters.

The superb Crab Bake comes in a Tomato and Avocado Salsa salad and with sourdough bread for mopping up! You won’t come across a crab bake in many restaurants in Ireland. Just checked there and Quinlans have added it to their Cork offering so there’s a hot tip for you. Its is not the cheapest but is one of the very best!

And then came another superb dish, this from the specials of the day which were detailed to us at the very start, great staff here, very friendly and efficient in a packed venue, many more customers dining on the sunny street outside.

The crab stuffed Sole Paupiettes (with Sauce Vin Blanc) was classy, outstanding, delicately delicious. Again, not the cheapest, but this rare treat was well worth every cent. It was served with root veg and the most exquisite mashed potato!

When in their large and comfortable Cork restaurant, I’ve often been amazed at the popularity of the fish and chips. I had a choice here in Killarney and picked the more traditional haddock rather than the cod. It is billed as Traditional Beer Battered Fresh Fish and Chips with real potato chips, Mushy peas, served with Lemon Wedge and Tartar sauce.

It lived up to the billing: fresh fish, lovely thin batter, excellent fries and the best peas. Five stars for 18.95 - you get much the same at lunch for three euro less so there’s another tip for you.

There’s a full bar here, plenty of wines, more white than red understandably, and most of them available by the glass. Delighted also to see they had an ale and stout from Killarney Brewery on tap, along with a few bottles. That Blonde Ale, nicely balanced between the malts and the hoppy fruit flavours, was very flavoursome indeed and refreshing and went down well with the sole. 

My pick was the Casey Brothers Extra Stout, also from the Killarney Brewery. It is a fuller version of the classic Irish dry stout, essences of treacle, coffee and dark chocolate come through the smoothness (helped by the addition of some Flahavan’s oats I’m told!). Thumbs up for this for sure.

The relatively new premises in Killarney’s Plunkett Street is very attractive. It is spread over two floors giving a total of about 80 covers. The family seafood business is based in Caherciveen, Co Kerry. Kerryfish was started in 1963 by the father Michael Quinlan and has now been passed down to the second generation of Quinlan’s, Liam, Ronan and Fintan. And expansion is always on the agenda here. They have shops and restaurants all over Kerry and beyond and you probably know that the Cork premises has also been enlarged and improved!

Also on this trip:

Check out the Kingdom 1795, Kerry Restaurant of the Year

Valentia Island's spectacular Bray Head Walk 

Cronin's Yard Loop Walk (near Carrauntoohil)

Castlerosse Hotel. Ace Base For The Kingdom