Showing posts with label fish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fish. Show all posts

Monday, September 16, 2019

Kinsale's Bulman Buzzing on Misty Autumn Night

Kinsale's Bulman Buzzing
 on Misty Autumn Night

The mist had started before we set off for The Bulman in Kinsale. But when it comes to going for a walk - this from Perryville up to the Bulman - we need little encouragement to err on the silly side and that was forthcoming from our host. So off we went, on the scenic Scilly Walk. It is indeed an interesting walk with views to the harbour and the bay. And the trees sheltered us from the increasingly thick mist and we were quite dry when we entered the Bulman.

What a surprise to find the bar full (diners mostly) on this miserable Tuesday evening. We picked our way through and made our way upstairs to Toddie's, the restaurant, and that too was packed. Just as well we had booked. Soon we were seated amidst the groups, both large and small, and we went on to enjoy the buzz, the food and the drink (they have their own beer here, brewed by the nearby accomplished Black's Brewery). At the end, we asked for a cab but a lady who had served us earlier offered to drive us down - we didn't know then that she is one of the owners. Nice touch, especially after her 12 hour shift!

A few years back, I was introducing a Swedish journalist to the Kinsale area and, after visiting nearby Charlesfort, Pelle and I ended up at the Bulman for lunch. He loved the local Stonewell cider and was very impressed with the place and the food. On this occasion, it was our turn to be impressed and we have no hesitation in giving it the blog's Very Highly Recommended tag.

Oysters in the Bulman have a little section of their own on the menu. They all come from Jamie at the local Haven Shellfish. You may have them hot or cold or as Bloody Mary Shots  The cold Rock Oysters come with either Teriyaki  or a Shallot Vinaigrette.  You may have the hot with Courgette, Lime & Parmesan or, as I had above, with Leek & Gruyere. Perhaps the best hot oyster dish I've ever had.
Starters here are high on quality and are not short on quantity either.
This Irish Prawn and Avocado Salad with Marie Rose sauce and mixed leaves
is a great example, the dish loaded with the flavour-packed small local prawns. 
The Bulman's flowers enjoying the natural sprinkle.
The Hake (below) was one of the nightly specials and so was this Pan seared fillet of organic salmon, with Wasabi
mashed potatoes, broccoli and teriyaki sauce. Another winner, even if the wasabi potato wasn't finished! But they do have other side dishes, so just ask if you think you won't like an element of a dish on the menu.

The Bulman, as you might expect, are strong on fish, most from Kinsale
boats. This Oven Roasted Fillet of Hake, Ratatouille, baby new potatoes,
and broccoli, was excellent, the fish and the Ratatouille a
delicious moist combination. So good. Clean plate!  
Just one dessert but two spoons and our server diplomatically placed it in "neutral"territory!
But what a dessert! Fresh Strawberry Tartlet with Strawberry Ice Cream. Oh la la!
The Bulman
Summercove
Kinsale
Co. Cork

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Something Fishy on Donegal's Food Coast. Learning to Love the ‘Weed in Malin Caifé


Something Fishy on Donegal's Food Coast
Learning to Love the ‘Weed in Malin Caifé

At long last, Ireland seems to have realised the good things in our seas (and coasts) and chefs up and down the country are leading the way. Take these three very different places that I came across in a short visit to Donegal last month: Wild Strands Caifé in Malin, Fisk in Downings, and Johnny’s Ranch Truck in Ramelton. The first two may be described loosely as cutting edge while Johnny, committed to serving fresh, tasty local food, is no doubt more traditional.

Wild Strands Caifé
You’ll find the Wild Strands Caifé in the Community Centre at Malin. The distinguishing factor here is seaweed. I didn't see it when my dish arrived and asked the server. She explained they use it in the cooking, in the sauces and in the dressings. It was an element in my Fish (haddock on the day) with Abernethy Black Garlic Butter on a flatbread with a small side salad. 

Fish (haddock on the day) with Abernethy Black Garlic Butter on a flatbread with a small side salad


William McElhinney is the man leading the quiet revolution here and not just with the seaweed. Convinced that our ancestors used some kind of hot stone to make their bread, he is trying to replicate the method with a special oven. 

His Ineuran wood-fired oven is used to make beautiful and versatile flatbreads that are the base on which many of the dishes are served. Their Vegan Ineuran Flatbread are all cooked in the wood fired oven using local, seasonal or organic produce with the wonders of seaweed. Here, on the stone, he also cooks his local meats (from Boggs Butchers) “with our own seaweed spice mix along with Carraigín moss”.


We had a lovely chat with his enthusiastic daughter, Réaltín, and she  filled us in. Not alone that, we finished up with two of the loveliest cakes that we’ve ever tasted. Couldn't get over the amazing Coffee Cake and Carrot Cake as we devoured the slices before taking on the steps at Fanad Lighthouse a couple of hours later. 

Fisk
Mackerel Fillet with spicy tomato sauce

In Downings, you’ll see a blue sign with the word Fisk on it, but your eyes may well be drawn to the splendid view of Sheephaven Bay in the opposite direction. Take that in and then look towards Fisk and more than likely you’ll see lots of people around. “Will we ever get in here?” you ask. It takes a bit of persistence, we had to come back the following night.

Fisk is all about fish, is tiny and is hugely popular because of the innovative way in which the fish is cooked and presented. Cutting edge in a hole in the wall. Fisk (guessing it may be Swedish for fish) has room for about 15 people and takes no bookings. But they do start a waiting list each evening and you can pass the time in the adjoining Harbour Bar, another popular spot here.
Sardines with pickled veg




Fisk specials
The menu keeps changing and there’s always a specials board on the white wall. Also inside it is a bit higgledy piggledy with a few tables of various sizes, even a shelf on the wall where four guests on high stools may be accommodated. 

The place may not be the most comfortable but the fish is different class. Different fish too - you don’t often see sardines and mackerel offered in Irish restaurants. Certainly not sardines with pickled veg. Virtually all small plates here and some delicious wines to pair with them. No point in giving you their phone number so get in early and be prepared to wait a pleasant hour or so in the bar.

Johnny’s Ranch Truck
Johnny's Fish 'n Chips

You’ll have to wait a wee while too at Johnny’s Ranch Food Truck by the quayside in Ramelton. Johnny Patterson apologises for our very short delay: “Your order is cooked from scratch, no precook here.” He opens most evenings here and you could check his Facebook page to make sure or maybe ring in your order to 083 8399305.

What surprises first timers to this food truck is the long menu, not just fish but meat too from the butcher about fifty yards down the street. That butcher provides the meat for “Ulster’s Best Burger 2019”. There’s even a Lennonside Beef Stroganoff with rice or chips. The local meat finds it way into tasty baguettes and tacos and more.

And the Fish ’n Chips from Ulster’s Best Takeaway 2019 is the stuff of legends. For just €8.50, I got three large pieces of battered haddock and a big box of chips. Took the package over to a rickety quay-side seat and took my delicious time with that fresh fish and superb chips. Well worth seeking out of an evening, early or late!

Also on this trip: Kinnegar Brewery
 Mary T. From Mallow to Donegal's Castle Grove
Superb Day Out at Oakfield Park & Buffers Bistro
Malin Head, Fanad and Rosguill Peninsulas
Downings. A Great Base for Donegal Visit

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Ballycotton's Pier 26. A Natural for Fish!

Ballycotton's Pier 26. A Natural for Fish!
These delicious Crab Claws came with Garlic Butter and Organic Leaves. I think I've have preferred it if the claws hadn't been released from the shell. But they had and I missed that little bit of a tussle! Better outcome though than last year in a West Cork dining room when they came entire and I was presented with a plastic hammer!

In Ballycotton's excellent Pier 26 restaurant, head chef Colin Hennessy can't write the menu (at least the fish part) until the boats come in at the pier below. Only then does he know what he has to work with and that is why you'll find most of the fish dishes on the Specials Board. There is a lovely bar alongside, even a handful of rooms, all now under the Pier 26 name.

We were there recently - be sure and book before you go - and enjoyed our meal from start to finish. Fish, of course dominated, at least until the desserts!



We started with a couple of aperitifs. I enjoyed my Kir as I looked out the large window in front of me towards the island and its lighthouse. If you are in the inner room, you'll miss that view. CL had her back to the water as she concentrated on her Pimm's (left).



Fresh Crab with pickled gooseberries and organic leaves. An unusual combination but another excellent starter.

Roast Fillet of Hake, summer greens and pickled fennel. Just perfect. By the way, you get some fabulous sides here as well including Buttered Mash, Skinny Fries,  Buttered Summer Greens, John Kennefick's British Queens, Truffle Aioli and Parmesan Fries...

John Dory is a favourite here. This winner is served with Purple Broccoli, Heritage tomatoes and the combination with that seafood bisque is hard to beat.


No fishy dessert, that I know of. This flower enhanced Pavlova with fresh strawberries, blackberries, poached apricots and Chantilly Cream (and a bit of rhubarb too) was a beauty while the Raspberry Soufflé with white chocolate ice cream (below) was just the ticket to finish off an excellent meal.

Next time I'm down, I may well try this Seafood Platter. What do you think?


Thursday, January 4, 2018

SeaFest Rotation Gone by the Bord? Millions Slip Through Cork Nets as Galway Gains

SeaFest Rotation Gone by the Bord?

Millions Slip Through Cork Nets as Galway Gains
Rory O'Connell, a regular at SeaFest

Ireland’s national maritime festival SeaFest attracted 101,113 visitors to Galway Harbour during the three day event in 2017, generating €6.3 million for the city.

The figures, details here, showed a phenomenal 68% growth in attendance in just one year. The 2016 SeaFest saw 60,000 visitors attend the festival in Galway, and in 2015, its inaugural year, it netted 10,000 visitors.

It has been confirmed that SeaFest 2018 will take place in Galway from 29th June to 1st July.  It incorporates a series of marine-related business and research events, the annual Our Ocean Wealth Summit, as well as a maritime festival.

Run by the Marine Institute, with major partners BIM (Bord Iascaigh Mara) and Bord Bia, the initial Seafest was held in Ringaksiddy, County Cork, in 2015 when The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, was Simon Coveney TD. Report on the Cork event here.

There was much more than fish demos in Ringaskiddy with linked events around the harbour including Captain Your Own Ship in the Simulator of the National Maritime College, the base for the event. There were SeaFest Science Talks, the BIM Beaufort Scale Hurricane Experience, Marine Recreation and Tourism and much more. 

It was a two day event and the impression given then was that this festival would “tour” Ireland annually and “plans are in hand to bring it to Galway in 2016”. So Cork is not the only loser as the Festival now seems set for a permanent stay in Galway. Fishing places such as Killybegs (Ireland’s largest fishing port), Dingle, Kilmore Quay, Howth, Greenore, Castletownbere, Burtonport, Dunmore East and Greencastle, and Cork of course, will be wondering and, one suspects, waiting.

Read all about SeaFest and its success in Galway here

Monday, November 13, 2017

Master the art of great soup from six simple broths. Broth to Bowl by Drew Smith.

Master the art of great soup from six simple broths.

Broth to Bowl by Drew Smith.

“You might find your definition of the word soup somewhat stretched in these pages but that is the way of my kitchen.” 

So says author Drew Smith in the introduction to his new book, Broth to Bowl. The word soup is “stretched” here, in many delightful ways as he shows us how to master the art of great soup from six simple broths. 

And, by the way, Drew is adamant: “a stock cube will not do”. “For soup to be nutritionally optimal and full of flavour, you must begin with a solid foundation – a good broth.”

“Soup is the heart and soul of the kitchen. Menus invite you to think that a soup is a single event, which it is if you are running a restaurant. But at home, probably the last thing you want is 75 bowls of cauliflower cheese soup. 

What we want is evolution, so one recipe leads logically into the next and so on. Less work. One job = three or four or more, completely different meals, a vegetable tea becomes a chunky vegetable broth becomes a creamy soup. The same liquid can find its way into ragouts, stews, casseroles and all manner of sauces.” 
Ingredients I gathered for vegetable tea and vegetable broth

If you are on a budget, this book is for you. “It may seem at first glance that we are using humble, cheap everyday ingredients, but for the most part these are what our bodies need and crave. We have become very wasteful as a society. We like our meat to be neat little red fillets. 

But much, if not most, of the nutritional benefits of eating meat at all are to be found in and around the bones, the marrow, the collagen-rich elements like cheek and trotter. We buy breast of chicken and ignore the rest of the bird, despite knowing through history that a soup made from the carcass has always been given as a restorative. So too was beef tea.”

Vegetable tea, the basis..

Let us go through the section headings. We’ll start with Vegetable Tea. It is the first recipe you’ll see and that is the start, and also the basis, for many more, including Potassium Broth (“If you had to live on one simple recipe, then this might be a good choice”), Kale Vichyssoise, Laksa and Gazpacho (for when the temperature rises above 25 degrees!).

... for the broth
Now we move on to Chicken (Drew is not a fan of buying poultry in pieces) and other birds. Start here with chicken broth, roast or poached. Then hop around the world with Quick Tom Yum, Cockaleekie, and the French St Hubert’s Soup (pheasant with lentils).

The red meats are next, beginning with the Basic Beef Bone Broth and that can be the basis for so much more. There's a Proper Borscht, a Rich Man’s Pho, a French Potée (a soup, broth and stew all in one), and the legendary Italian bollito misto.

There is a shortish, but no less interesting, chapter under Fish, including Fish Chowder, Jane Grigson’s Lobster Bisque, Dalston Bouillabaisse, and a magnificent Oyster Soup!

And we stay with the sea as we turn the focus to Kombu. How about a Japanese Bonito Broth? Monkfish in dashi with ginger? A Tonkotsu Ramen? 

My chunky vegetable broth

It is much the same pattern all the way through. Start simply and build from there. So, in the end, it may be more to accurate to say that soup (the food that is), is expanded, enhanced, deepened, in this well laid out, well illustrated, book, while happily admitting that soup (the word) is well and truly stretched.

* In addition to the recipes, there is advice on buying your produce and on the equipment you’ll need. And a list of various garnishes too.

  • Drew Smith is the author of Oyster: A Gastronomic History with Recipes and translator of La Mère Brazier. The former editor of The Good Food Guide, he has been a restaurant writer for the Guardian and has won the Glenfiddich award three times.

* Broth to Bowl: Mastering the Art of Great Soup from Six Simple Broths by Drew Smith - Modern Books, published October 2017, Hardback, 4 colour with photographs, 160 pages, RRP: £20.




Vegetable Tea



This is a sequence. It starts out as a light tea, becomes a soup and then transforms itself

again and again. You can drink this first-stage broth as an alternative to tea and coffee.

Once you get the hang of it, vary the spices, vegetables and herbs with the seasons.

Put 4 litres of water on to boil in a deep pot or saucepan while you deal with the vegetables. Peel and trim the carrots and cut into thirds. Peel and quarter the onions. Dice the leek. Quarter the potatoes – you can leave the skin on. As the water comes to the boil, drop the vegetables in and add the spices. Trim the top leaves off the parsley, save for arnish, and throw the stalks in the mix. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Strain and discard the vegetables, keeping only the liquid. Warm through, garnish with a few leaves of parsley and add a slurp of olive oil if you like. Serve in a mug or glass or take a thermos to work.

COOK’S TIP: There’s nothing wrong with the leftover vegetables. You can have them for dinner, dressed with a little meat broth. Or take out the potato and carrot, dice and mix with mayonnaise for a cold salad.

Ingredients:

3 CARROTS
2 ONIONS
1 LEEK
2 POTATOES
6 BLACK PEPPERCORNS
1 BAY LEAF
Bunch of fresh PARSLEY
SEA SALT to taste
OLIVE OIL to serve (optional)
MAKES 4 LITRES

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Turbot A Royal Star At Rachel’s


Turbot A Royal Star At Rachel’s

Turbot is sometimes called the King of the Sea and we had a taste of flatfish royalty in Rachel’s last Friday evening, both of us taking the fish special as our main course.

It is a truly wonderful fish and the team at Rachel's certainly did it justice. Served with a basil hollandaise sauce and creamed veg (mainly green), it was a delight. Side dishes of Irish potatoes and a most deliciously dressed salad added to the fish. Indeed, I'd have been quite happy with a plate of those smoky tasty spuds on their own.

A friend of mine from Castletownbere says Turbot (Tubard in Irish) is the finest fish we have around the coast. This large strong predator is highly prized, up there with lobster and Dover Sole. So it can be expensive; ours was priced at €32.00.

Not the most expensive I've enjoyed. That was in 2012 in Nerua in Bilbao (a world top 100 restaurant) and the price then was €35.00 but, served with with rosemary jus and pickled turnip, it was perfection on the plate and on the palate.
Turbot, with Rosemary jus, in Bilbao

Just last year, I had one of the least expensive Turbot dishes ever at the Electric Fish-bar. Pan-roasted Turbot fillets, with a parmesan and herb crust and a rocket pesto was just €15.00. The Electric effort was basic but positively exquisite, all the elements, not least that delicious complementary crust, playing a part.

So back to Rachel’s where there was a terrific buzz in the large comfortable split-level room, the design of which has been termed industrial chic. No live music at that early hour (we started at 6.30) but Myles Davis tunes were on the system there. A cool combination, even cooler with a glass of Vidal Sauvignon blanc from Marlborough (7.50).
Crispy egg on top of this starter.

Starters range from €7.00 to €12.50. But it is quality all the way. One pick was the Jamon Serrano Gran Reserva, Ardsallagh Goats Cheese,  Onion Confiture, Toasted Almonds and Crispy Egg. Quite a plateful in terms of both quantity and quality. No shortage of that expensive and exquisite ham and that crispy egg was a tasty bonus.

Much the same story with our other choice:  Ballycotton Smoked Mackerel, Pickled beetroot, soft-boiled egg, peas and dill. A delicious mix of flavours and textures.
Smoked mackerel

And since we were celebrating a birthday (a little bit late), we also had desserts from a list that includes a 3-cheese cheeseboard, all priced at €6.50. 

Torta di Cappuccino, chocolate ice-cream, hazelnut crumb was my choice and quite good while CL, preferring something a little lighter, found the Apple jelly, crême Anglaise, butter shortbread, cinnamon apple snow tastily appropriate.

Service was friendly and excellent, a minor snag sorted in double-quick time. After the sweet ending, it was time to hit the streets and go in search of some more jazz tunes - easily found considering the weekend that was in it.
Torta



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Variety is the spice of life at The Cornstore.

Variety is the spice of life at The Cornstore.

60-day steak

The ever-popular Cornstore specialise in great steaks, quality seafood, and fabulous cocktails. But within, and outside of, that, they produce a stunning variety, enough to keep the punters returning time and again. Last Wednesday night was cold and showery but that didn't stop the customers visiting the Cornstore.

And with the ground floor full, there was quite a buzz about the place. Great place for groups of six or eight or more to dine but no shortage of couples either on the night. And, aside from the three “pillars” mentioned, you can get something to suit your palate (and your wallet) from a selection of menus: the Early Bird (two course for €25.00), a 3-course Gourmet menu for €35.00, and the A La Carte. And then they do lunch everyday, with brunch on Sundays.

And, of course, there are the specials. Not just one to two on a board. On Wednesday, for instance, there were two extra starters and four extra main courses. Indeed, it was from the specials that we choose most of our meal.

The staff here rarely stand still but at the same time, they are courteous, friendly and helpful. Great to be in out of the cold, studying those menus, the wine list (with lots of helpful hints), the cocktail list, the beer list, the whiskey lists. I could go on… 

Our drinks, in the end, were a glass of a gorgeous Colleita de Martis Albarino (what a finish, and perfect for the fish) and one of a smooth El Bar Malbec from Argentinian with ”an alluring nose and blackberry flavours” that lived up to the blurb as it mixed with the Brazilian style steak, Tango and Samba.
Cheese fritters

My starter pick from the specials list (don’t worry about boards, it comes with the menus) was the Duck spring rolls with spicy sesame hoisin dipping sauce. A pair of tasty beauties, nice little salad too.

CL was enjoying her generous Goats cheese fritters, red pepper, black olives, tomato, fig purée ad balsamic reduction. The superb accompaniments enhanced the cheese no end.

And then for the South America touch. My Picanha steak had been Dry aged for 60 days and was served Surf & Turf style with a Prawn skewer, a shrimp & cod mash, Prawn skewers and a Béarnaise sauce. They recommend medium for this cut which you may see on a video here. The beef was perfect and I must admit I was really delighted with the mash!
Sole

The beef came from the specials as did CL’s pick: the Poached Roulade of Lemon Sole, stuffed with mussel mousse on potato confit, samphire and sauce Veronique. Again, the fish was perfect, tender and moist and the stuffing was outstanding.

I’m sure the desserts would have been special as well but our two courses had already filled us and soon we were waddling over to Patrick Street to catch the bus home, happy out!

The Cornstore are always ready and willing to take part in special events in the city and will be one of the restaurants on the Gourmet Trail (23rd Sep) during the Oyster Festival the weekend after this. You can check what they doing and even win two tickets for the Trail here

Monday, August 21, 2017

Fish Out In Force at the Bayview. Not the usual suspects!

Fish Out In Force at the Bayview.

Not the usual suspects!
Octopus

For me, the humble mackerel was probably the highlight of Chef Ciaran Scully’s Seafood Evening at the spectacularly situated Bayview Hotel last Friday. But there were starring roles too in Ballycotton for less familiar fish, such as Megrim and Witch.

Witch? This is a flounder, known in the UK as Torbay sole. It is caught in abundance around our coasts and about 95% is exported! Megrim, also common, has the sole flavour and a slightly softer texture. The other fish that featured in the six course menu (including a fishless dessert) were Dublin Bay Prawns and Octopus.

The prawns were first up. They were grilled, scented with Rosemary from the garden, shell oil and Atlantic sea-salt, and served with carrot, cappuccino of Bisque, and Leamlara Celery cress.

Then came the Seared filet of Mackerel with cucumber, pickled Mushroom, Wasabi cream, dried sea grass, Purslane and sea spinach. Chef Scully says the mackerel haven't arrived in force yet this season but he had some good plump ones here and created a terrific dish.

Time now for the Megrim soup. First came the garnish (Coolea cheese croute, saffron rouille, fennel and tomato) and then the soup was poured, a perfect match. Second time in a week that the soup came midway through a meal. No problem on either occasion!


And it was also the second time in a week that I had octopus. This was landed in Duncannon (Wexford) but, like all the other fish, was caught by a Ballycotton boat. The Char-grilled Octopus was glazed with apple syrup and served with sweetcorn purée, chorizo lime and oil, a delightful combination of flavours and textures.

Now it was the turn of the Witch fillet, with lemon and potato purée, brown shrimp, parsley, capers, nut brown butter, samphire. Quite a finalé to the fish dishes.

Dessert was Caramelised pineapple, coconut parfait and Mount Gay rum with mango jelly, pineapple sorbet, fizzy citrus syrup, Speculoos biscuit, pina colada foam. Delicious with plenty of fruit flavours to match with the Brumes de la Tour Blanche Sauternes, an intense wine with concentrated fruit, yet with a refreshing acidity.

The wines for the evening came from Eno Wine and their Commercial Director Donie O’Brien was on hand to give a brief rundown on each wine, starting with the amazing Pares Balta organic Cava.The family keep bee hives (to assist in pollination) and sheep flocks (to fertilise the vineyards in autumn). When presented with a Cava like this, it is hard to believe that it is still one of the lesser known sparkling wines in Ireland.


That is not the case though with Albarino, which has been gaining in popularity for “past 25 years” according to Donie. And he had a delicious example, the Etra Albarino, aromatic, full of fruit and again that acidity that means its goes well with food, especially food from the sea!

It is often compared to Sauvignon blanc and we soon had the chance to compare as the next wine was Domaine L’Aumonier, an organic wine from the Loire produced by Sophie and Thierry Chardon. A fruity and pleasant wine to taste on all occasions. It is aromatic, well balanced between freshness and intensity and the perfect match for the Octopus and its sauce.

Donie reckons that the Godello grape is becoming ever more popular in Ireland and may well follow Albarino on the way to even greater acceptance here. Certainly the one he had is a gem, a great match with the Witch dish. This was the Celdina from Galicia. Donie says it has the richness and weight of Chardonnay but with a bit more crispness. Beautiful aromas too and, while good with fish, has the wherewithal to “accompany chicken, turkey and pork dishes even when served with a sauce”.

After that it was the turn of the dessert and the Sauternes to bring the very pleasant event to a close.

The fish was finished for the night but I started the next day with more fish. I was staying in the lovely Garryvoe Hotel, a sister of the Bayview across the bay, and was delighted to see plaice on the breakfast menu. Ballycotton Bay is noted for its plaice and this reinforced that opinion. No wine though!

The next special food evening in the Bayview’s Capricho restaurant, “Ingenuity and the Bounty”, again seafood themed, is scheduled for Monday September 4th and is also part of FEAST. More info here.  
Bookings: 021 4646 746.

Maria Coleman and Chef Ciaran Scully have been filling me in on future themed evenings. Our Portuguese Night – Isaac's Soiree (this date has moved from the 15th of September to the 6th of October) - will consist of a Portuguese tasting menu to include paired Portuguese wines. Keeping it simple there will be no choice! We will also have music on the night."

"Following that on the 20th October we will be having the Bayview Swing- this will be held on the 20th of October 2017. It will be a themed 1920’s event to ease into the Jazz weekend in Cork. A Black tie event/1920’s theme, Full four course dinner, Prosecco and oysters arrival reception, Live music."

"All event are €65 per person and we are doing a special over night to include the above at €110 per person sharing."

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fenn’s Quay's Special


Fenn’s Quay's Special
Cod
From breakfast ’til late at night Fenn’s Quay will feed you, and feed you well. Lots of menus here, including a set lunch and an Early Bird. That Early Bird is, unusually, available on Saturdays up to 6.30.

It is good value and has quite a few dishes from the A La Carte. As it happened, it was the A La Carte that we concentrated on last weekend. We noticed some dishes that are almost fixtures here, such as the O’Mahony's Feather-blade and the same O'Mahony’s Collar of Bacon.
Beetroot cured salmon
But there is no shortage of variety in Fenn’s Quay, once you factor in a packed specials board. And, conveniently, they also include a written list of the specials as well as the traditional blackboard.

We tend to make good use of the specials and we did so here as well, though neither of the starters featured on the board.

CL choose Cork Dry Gin and Beetroot cured salmon with buttermilk dillisk and cucumber pickle (€10.00), a very well judged combination, very tasty indeed. 

Braised lentils and beef tongue with pickled quail egg
I was delighted with my Braised lentils and beef tongue with pickled quail egg (€10.00). The broth or jus - I used some of their well-made bread to mop it up - was full of the flavours from the tongue and the lentils and the quail was the first of my Easter eggs. Happy out!

We had been tempted by one of special starters, a Fish Platter with O’Connell’s smoked salmon, smoked mackerel, fish croquette and beer battered cod.
Dessert

We would though have O’Connell's cod on the double as we agreed on the mains, the Fish of the Day special (19.00). Details are: Cod, spinach, cod skin and cod purée, served with roasted cauliflower florets and peas. All added up to an exquisite dish, the fish as fresh as could be and cooked perfectly and that cauliflower was excellent. 

The dessert special was another winner: Bewley's Pannacotta with dark chocolate and brandy mousse (€6.50); had an idea this was going to be delicious (and it was!) and so we left the popular Mimi’s Cork Dry Gin and Tonic Dessert behind!

They have a short but well judged list of wines here, some available by the glass and most, if not all, by the carafe and bottle. And also they had a couple of specials on the board. Unusually, they also have a list of craft beers, Blacks and Mountain Man among them, but I went for a regular favourite the Stonewell Medium Cry Cider (€6.50). Food and presentation was top notch, service too and so it was a happy if overdue return to No. 5 Fenn’s Quay. Very Highly Recommended.