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: firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter: @corkbilly
Facebook: Billy Lyons
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.
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.