Showing posts with label The Oliver Plunkett. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Oliver Plunkett. Show all posts

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Where's the Beef? Ten of the best in Cork City

Where's the Beef?

Ten of the best in Cork City

(beef round-up for 2022/23)

Brown's Brasserie at BT Jan 2023 €15.50
French Dip: Rotisserie North Cork Sirloin, Emmental Cheese,
Caramelized Onion Emulsion, Red Wine Jus, ODB Sourdough

Impressive steak salad at Liberty Grill Aug 22

Cork City has had a long, and continuing, history in beef. Such was the scale of the trade here in the 18th century that it was known as the slaughterhouse of Ireland. 

And it wasn’t just Ireland. In 1756, France and Britain were at each other’s throats in the Seven Years War and “the Great Ox-slaying city of Cork” emerged as the Royal Navy’s preferred supplier for beef, pork and butter.

So where’s the beef now? Let me take you on a lunch-time tour of the city and check out what is on offer. Some terrific beef-based dishes in Liberty Grill, Market Lane, Nua Asador, Oliver Plunkett, On The Pig's Back, Sketch at The Imperial and Woodside Farm, Bella Napoli and L'Atitude 51and all were enjoyed over the past few months.

We’re starting with a beauty at Liberty Grill on Washington Street: a seared beef salad (vodka and chilli marinated fillet strips, chargrilled on leaves with balsamic onions, rustic potatoes, red peppers and toasted pecans) was outstanding, a highlight being the palate pleasing combination of the meat and balsamic onions. A terrific dish for €15.50.

Market Lane: Korean bulgogi steak sandwich
Dec 2022

Now (a different day, of course!), it is the turn of Market Lane and their superb Korean bulgogi steak sandwich on sourdough baguette, chilli, sesame and soy marinade, carrots, spring onions, lime mayo and with a helping of excellent house chips (€16.90). The marinade is key here and the kitchen certainly did it well and the meat was top quality; the sourdough was moistened as well and they all worked so well together, enhanced by the crunch of carrot strips and the onions, the salad leaves and those very tasty fries. A terrific dish and well priced.

Picanha Steak by Nua Asador May 2022

We make a visit to the Marina Market and the Nua Asador stall where Chef Victor Franca, in partnership with Tom Durcan Meats, serves up, without gas or electricity, just fire, the best of Irish beef in a Brazilian style. You’ll really enjoy the Picanha Steak with sourdough bread, grilled baby potatoes, chargrilled onions, Farofa, and Chimichurri Sauce (13.00).

Oliver Plunkett's Seared Steak Sandwich July 2022

It was a visit to the Oliver Plunkett that started me on this beef trail. Here’s why: Seared Steak Sandwich was worth every cent of the €18.95. Four generous slices of beef wrapped in Garlic Ciabatta, with a red onion and Smoky Bacon Jam, Pepper Jack Chips, Brandy Pepper Sauce and a Little Salad.

I wasn’t letting go of this, clinging on until the last bite. It was sensual, an enthralling mix of textures and flavours. The steak was ace,  cooked to perfection and so easy to slice. And then the enhancement, that garlic ciabatta, the onion and the bacon jam. The Brandy Pepper Sauce was another major player on the palate, deeply enticingly enhancing everything else. The salad too was perfect and then those Pepper Jack Chips, cheesy, tasty, delicious.

On the pig's back with Bourguignon Beef Baguette Oct 2022

Next stop is Douglas to visit On the Pig’s Back and enjoy their Bourguignon Beef Baguette: Braised Beef Brisket, Mushrooms, Bacon and Pearl Onions on Toasted Arbutus Baguette with Red Wine Jus. Just five-star lunch-ing, spot-on for the cool day, quite a warming ensemble, robed deliciously in the red wine jus. Love the French touch!

Delicious steak at Sketch Oct 2022

Here we are in Sketch, the bright and airy dining room in the lovely Imperial Hotel, a room where new executive chef Ali Honour is making her mark. There was a group of us and the Steak Sandwich (6oz Sirloin, Onions, Garlic Butter, Focaccia, Lettuce, Tomato, Fries) for  €19.00 proved very popular, ordered by three of the seven adults. The meat and the Focaccia were absolute top notch and all three were well satisfied.

Beautiful! Beef Burger by Woodside Farm Oct 2022

Alphabetically, Woodside Farm is our final destination and they are found every Thursday in Mahon Point Farmers Market (and at other markets on other days). They are perhaps best known for their magnificent free range pork but they also do a highly rated Beef Burger and serve it with relish and salad in a lovely bun, for 8 euro  (if I remember rightly). Superb meat and great value.

All their offerings are cooked and filled in front of you, and there's a chat as well, as the salads and relishes are added. And, if necessary, they even provide a tailor-made insulated envelope to take your purchases back to the office or home.

Bella Napoli Dec 2022

Bella Napoli came up Rigatoni with Ragu Napoletano with six-hour braised beef in an onion and tomato sauce served with rigatoni pasta and bruschetta (17 euro). I hit the jackpot here. This was beautifully cooked, the quality of the beef was top class and plenty of it as was also the case with the ragu. Very happy with this one.

L'Atitude pic Dec 2022

Slow-Braised Beef Cheeks, Celeriac Mash, Spiced Pickled Cranberries (a cool inclusion) was one of the highlights of a recent visit to L'Atitude, a superb dish in an impressively expanded menu and well worthy of inclusion here. More details at

* All these dishes enjoyed relatively recently but remember that menus and chefs change.

Monday, July 4, 2022

Oliver Plunkett Meal Brightens Dull Day In Cork City

Oliver Plunkett Meal 
Brightens Dull Day In Cork City

It’s a dull evening in a dull summer as we enter the Oliver Plunkett in the Cork street of the same name. There are quite a few dining outside but inside there are many, the bar tables almost full already with diners. At 6.00pm, we are among the first in the ground floor restaurant but soon it is packed. Not bad going for a Tuesday evening, Obviously, a very popular place.

And I could see why as I got my teeth into my main course:. The Seared Steak Sandwich was worth every cent of the €18.95. Four generous slices of beef wrapped in Garlic Ciabatta, with a red onion and Smoky Bacon Jam, Pepper Jack Chips, Brandy Pepper Sauce and a Little Salad.

I wasn’t letting go of this, clinging on until the last bite. It was sensual, an enthralling mix of textures and flavours. The steak was ace,  cooked to perfection and so easy to slice. And then the enhancement, that garlic ciabatta, the onion and the bacon jam. The Brandy Pepper Sauce was another major player on the palate, deeply enticingly enhancing everything else. The salad too was perfect and somewhat more than little. And then those Pepper Jack Chips, cheesy, tasty, delicious. Ten out of ten for sure or, since the chef is French, dix sur dix.

Another fine dish: Middle Eastern Spiced Corse Minced Lamb

There’s a burger on the mains list, not just any old burger mind you. This is the Beef Marrow Fat Smash Burger. Perhaps you’d prefer the Roast Half Chicken on the Bone (for extra flavour). Maybe the Twist on Bacon and Cabbage. And then there’s the Posh Style Fish & Chips. Lots to explore here, including Fresh Rigatoni Pasta, the Warm Salad of Marinated Chicken Skewers seem popular. Then there’s the Homemade Falafel and also the Middle Eastern Spiced Corse Minced Lamb.

The list of starters is just as varied and as impressive. But I went for one of the “smaller” ones, the Chicken Wings, picking the BBQ version from a choice of three styles. Served with a thick Blue Cheese Sauce and celery sticks, the wings vanished very quickly indeed. A bit of a mess ensued but we had enough tissues and lemon scented hand-wipes on hand (they were already in a little jar on the table).


Oh, I almost forgot. The regular menu also has a selection of sides plus a bunch of specials - do keep an eye out for these as they can indeed be special as we found out in an earlier visit to this very popular spot. Details here.

With a drinking assignment ahead, we stuck with the water on this occasion. Of course, there is a full bar for beers and spirits and more but they do have a list of cocktails and regular wines for diners. The servers were really busy as the number of customers increased but our corner of the restaurant, also busy (especially so when a group of nine gents arrived), continued to operate as smoothly as it had at the start and our server even managed to take time out to check with us every now and then. Well done indeed.

* Once upon a time, this building housed the Palm Court dancehall. In the early 60s, the city had ballrooms for various interests; one (the Grafton?) was known for attracting nurses, another (The Rest) for students, another (The Cavern) for pioneer beat aficionados (your white shirt collar turning blue as the lights twirled around the floor) but the Palm Court was a little racier as patrons here were always (almost always) guaranteed a clinger. The self explanatory clingers was a pleasurable way to spend an hour or two. The advert below was on the money.


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

A Covid Confused Year Yet Chefs Come Up With Amazing Dishes

 A Covid Confused Year Yett Chefs Come Up With Amazing Dishes 


Sunday, June 20, 2021

The Oliver Plunkett’s A Specials Kind Of Place

The Oliver Plunkett’s A Specials Kind Of Place

Be sure and keep an eye on the specials when you dine at the Oliver Plunkett, on the Cork street of the same name. And, yes, for this month, you will be dining on that street! There is quite a bit of shelter here and that came in handy as the evening we visited wasn't at all sunny. Yet we two for sure and most of the punters nearby seemed to thoroughly enjoying themselves and even a light mist later on did little to dampen spirits!

The Oliver Plunkett chef Fred Desormeaux is well-known for his fish dishes and when I saw tuna on the specials list, I knew I was on to a good thing. And so it proved. The Pan Fried Fresh Tuna & Prawns on warm baby potatoes and chorizo salad, with a Cherry sun blush tomato pesto was absolutely amazing, perhaps the best tuna I’ve ever tasted. Don’t think you’ll see this or its likes in many restaurant, not to mention bar, menus.

Tuna & Prawns

I ordered it medium, though Fred himself prefers it rare. It was flavoursome and juicy and so easy to slice. The salad was a highlight on its own, the prawns fresh and delicious. What a combination of flavour and texture. Go for it if you see it listed.

The Oliver Plunkett kitchen supports local and its fish comes from Pat O’Connell in the English Market who gets most of his from the boats that work out of Castletownbere. I had also started with the produce of the sea: Fresh Crab Roll (Fresh Crab, Lemon Mayonnaise, Pickled Cucumber, Salad Leaves, Roast Garlic Aioli). Another perfect combination, right down to the beautiful Brioche buns on which it was served!


CL was in the sea as well as we started, her choice the Panko Crumbed Atlantic Prawns with Mango & Sweet Chilli, Lime Coriander Mayo & Side Salad. Very happy with that though she had also eyed the special of Grilled Dublin Bay Prawns in Lemon and Garlic butter, with toasted Rosemary & Sea Salt Focaccia. 

And as we moved onto the mains, her final choice was between the recommended special of Roast Stuffed Chicken Supreme Black Pudding wrapped in streaky bacon, creamy mash served with Chicken jus and the regular Lamb Shawarma (Slow Cooked Spiced Shredded Lamb Shoulder in Buttermilk, on a Flat Bread with Hummus, Pickled Onion, Spicy Wedges, Mango & Sweet Chili Yoghurt). She picked the lamb and enjoyed the mix of flavours, again top quality and quite a substantial dish.


Dessert? Always the question and always a hesitation! So why not share our Raspberry Creme Brûlée? Why not indeed? And again we hit the jackpot. Studded with juicy fruit, this was perhaps the very best dish of its kind we’ve ever tasted. So that (along with the Tuna) makes two of the best ever on one menu. Not bad going at all.

By the way, watch out too for the breakfast here. Chef Desormeaux bases his selection on the renowned produce supplied by McCarthy Butchers in Kanturk. There’s also the possibly of a Sunday brunch being offered in the near future. Watch this space!


The Oliver Plunkett  

Oliver Plunkett Street


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Gonna be A Burger of a Week. Big and Bad Boys to Rock Cork

Gonna be A Burger of a Week
Big and Bad Boys to Rock Cork

The first Cork Burger Festival runs from January 30th until February 5th. The local cafes and restaurants have climbed aboard in impressive numbers and, if you love your burger, you are going to have some tremendous choices over the week. Below you'll find a selection of what is on offer. More details on the Festival Facebook page here

The White Horse in Ballincollig have a Seven Day Burger Battle on, with a tasty clash each night. Friday's duel between the Texan and the Mexican looks saucy with a repeat thrown in on Saturday if you want to switch sides.

Soho Bar have joined in the fun with their Three Rebels, three different sliders and a pint of beer for a tenner.

If you’re in Son of a Bun, watch out for the Wonka ticket. Each burger special you order on this fantabulous week will be hiding a Son of a Wonka ticket. If you happen to be the lucky winner of one of their 7 golden tickets you will be in for a treat! “For the next 5 months you will get to have our burger of the month on us!”  Limit 1 burger each month per ticket holder.

New Douglas restaurant, 12 Tables, are running a Burger Battle Royale. On one plate you've got the Mick O’ and, on the other, its The Big Fella. That’ll take some sorting.

If you’re up to big, then maybe the Oliver Plunket is the place to be. Here’s the challenge. The Big Boy (he who dares, WINS) 32oz burger topped with Bandon Vale cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onions served with a side of fries; €30, finish it and it's FREE!

If you can't make it to a restaurant, Davidson’s Craft Butchers have offers on burgers all week. Keep up to date here.

You’ll find the Great Griffin in Dripsey at Griffin's Garden Centre. It looks tempting. Check out their Facebook page for giveaways.

And be sure too to tie up the horse at the Bad Boys where you can tuck into their 8oz Smoked Rodeo Burger topped with Chilli Con Carne Cheese and Sour cream. Bad!

The Meatball Place are also on board with a selection of Speciality Burgers, not just for the week, but for the month!

Nine Market Street in Kinsale are doing a four-course Burger meal (dessert is an ice-cream burger). A fab meal at a great price of €25.00 the lot. Date is Saturday the 4th from 6.00pm.

Lots more places involved including the Silly Goose (with Ali’s Kitchen). Check it all out on festival’s Facebook page here.