Showing posts with label vegetarian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetarian. Show all posts

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Coop Buzzing on Sullivan's Quay since 1982!

Coop Buzzing on Sullivan's Quay since 1982! 

Mid week in the Quay Coop and there’s a busy lunch service in progress. No menu on the tables so you get your info from the notice boards in the inner of three upstairs room. The outer room, the biggest, overlooks the River Lee. 

Lots of help too from the friendly folk at the serving counter and so we make up our minds pretty quickly, grab a bottle of water from the chill cabinet (plenty of soft drinks there as well) and sit ourselves down with our number on a stick. Wine is also available here, just a few bottles of each colour, all available by the glass.

We don’t have long to wait. We didn’t order a starter. Soups and small salads are available along with a vegan Antipasti Board. Oh forgot to mention - you probably know anyhow - that the Quay Coop (and it is a coop) is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant. And a good one. Food here is fuss free and well priced, well cooked and neatly presented. You are well fed and they make no big no big deal about it, no formality.

Anyhow, our two dishes look inviting and we tuck in. I’m very happy with my Shepherd’s Pie. Puy Lentils are a key ingredient in a tasty mix that also includes, carrots, celery, mushrooms and onions in a red wine gravy topped with root veg mash. Well cooked and well dispatched!

Across the table, CL was happily making progress with her Lasagna composed of Mediterranean vegetables, puy lentils, in a rich red wine and tomato sauce, béchamel sauce with red and white cheddar. Not an iota went back, both plates polished off.

Oh I almost forgot. When you order a main course - and you have quite a choice - you may have two salads of your choice. Or, if you want something hot, as we did, you may have Courgettes in a Tomato and Pesto Sauce along with rustic wedges. Both were excellent.

Coffee is very good here (as it is downstairs in the coffee dock that opens earlier in the morning) so we choose that along with a couple of treats from quite a selection. With everything at hand we sat back, relaxed, and savoured the Apple Crumble and also a slice of Almond Cake along with the coffee. Enjoyed the food and the friendly service.

Quay Coop
Sullivan’s Quay
Phone: +353 21 4317 026

Restaurant Hours: Mon-Sat: 11am - 9pm; Sunday: 12 - 9pm

See recent account of the Quay Coop enterprise, including the wholefood shop and more, here 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Amazing Selection of Produce at Cork's Quay Coop

Cork's Quay Coop
Huge Selection of Produce in this Multi-Roomed Store 
With Arthur (left) before the mid-week breakfast meeting

You probably know where the Quay Coop is. On Sullivan’s Quay. A wren’s flight from the west end of the South Mall. But do you know what’s behind the door? The doors? Here, you may need a guide. Room after room filled with good things: a coffee dock downstairs, a restaurant upstairs. In the maze of the shop, you’ll breads, teas, a health area, and their own products including soups and nut loaf.

You’ll even come across Key Books. It is run by volunteers as a not-for-profit venture, benefitting a range of charitable and cultural ventures the Quay Coop support. Drop into Key Books for a browse – Tuesday to Saturday 12 to 5pm.

Still with me? Now we’re out the back and crossing the street to their production facility. Fr Matthew probably lived on this spot. A later building housed a lap-dancing club. And on this site now, with its contrasting stories, the Quay Coop are modernising their production facility, bringing it  up to the standard and speed necessary to serve the export market. Already, they export to the UK and now the Benelux countries are next in line. They are in fact currently looking for a production manager.

Out here too, you’ll see their electric delivery van, unless of course it is off delivering. They are very happy with this economical and environmentally friendly workhorse which is regularly on the road to their other two shops, one in Carrigaline, the other in Ballincollig.
A fraction of the selection of teas here

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We were here for breakfast and to meet the people behind the venture, have a chat and share tips. We being a blogger or two like myself plus people from various city bodies such as Chamber of Commerce, Cork City Library, the Metropole Hotel and so on, all invited in by Marketing Administrator Mia Tran. 

Arthur, who has been with the Quay Coop since its foundation in 1982, is our guide both to the history and the geography of the very impressive operation. The coop is quite an employer with 70 currently on the books, spread across ten different nationalities.

So the food here is vegetarian and vegan. You could say “alternative” and Arthur says that in the early years they were also a source of alternative information, helping the many backpackers and so on find accommodation and entertainment of their liking. They still do a bit of that but the internet has taken over that function as well.
from the sea

So things have changed, many alternatives now. And the Coop sometimes wonder where they stand now. Because Cork is small, they think everybody “knows about us”. “But do they? And that is why we are reaching out today.” Reaching out with hands full, I hasten to add, as they supplied us with a delicious breakfast, a terrific start to the day.

Arthur and Una and all the staff are rightly proud of their achievements here, especially their exporting business. Their nut loaf is the export star at the moment and you can find it even in Harrods!

On the other hand, Arthur is disappointed that there is no Irish organic vegetable grower capable of satisfying the daily demand in the Quay shops and restaurant. They do deal with quite a few but none have the scale to keep the Quay Coop going every week of the year. There are some though talking to Bord Bia about upscaling and Arthur is hopeful something will come of that.

What can you expect to find in this many-roomed store? Here’s a list that will give you a good idea: organic fruit and vegetables of all kinds, organic wines, fresh bread from our in-house bakery, herbs and spices, an extensive range of gluten-free products, chilled and frozen foods, meat alternatives, environmentally friendly household and cleaning products, health supplements, natural baby products, natural and organic cosmetics.

Upstairs, the restaurant has a diverse menu including a wide range of vegan and vegetarian starters, salads, main courses, specials, desserts, teas and coffees, with plenty of choice for those with dietary requirements, or on a tight budget. It is famous for its fantastic grub, extensive menu and generous portions.
The Coffee Dock in the Sullivan’s Quay Shop offers delicious breakfasts, lunches, sandwiches, salads and desserts; a wide range of vegetarian or vegan. Everything is available to eat-in or to-go.

Since 1982, The Quay Co-op was and is a workers op-operative based on Sullivan’s Quay, in the heart of Cork City. It follows a green policy, in food, in packaging, in energy and transport, and in recycling. Read more about the coop and its philosophy here.  Better still, call in and explore.

Quay Co-op Vegetarian Restaurant, Organic & Health Food Shop,

24 Sullivan's Quay,

Cork City

Co. Cork

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Izz Café On George’s Quay. Quality Food in Cork from “our mothers and grandmothers”.

Izz Café On George’s Quay
Quality Food in Cork from “our mothers and grandmothers”.

Izz Café have proved quite a hit in local farmer’s markets over the past few months. I, for one, have enjoyed their salads, their jars of good things, and their superb cakes.  Now, you don’t have to wait until Thursday in Mahon or Saturday in Douglas as the Palestinian family behind the tasty venture have opened a café at 14 George’s Quay. They will continue their market stall.

The new café is small but bright and airy and, by the way, also does takeaway, and was officially opened last week by none other than Darina Allen. I made my first visit there this week and enjoyed a lovely lunch.  The Alkarajeh family behind Izz Cafe are determined that their Cork customers will enjoy the “original quality of our mothers and grandmothers.” They’re off to a good start.

Not too sure what to order. There is no written menu yet but there will be as soon as they decide on what dishes to present. In the meantime, there is an electronic board showing all the choices: appetisers, manaeesh and desserts.

So there we were, staring at the displays until we spotted the Tasters Mix, a collection of their appetisers served with freshly baked bread (€9.50). So we absolutely enjoyed, with a glass of water (they do have soft drinks available),  a silky smooth hummus, Fattoush, Babaganoush, with olives and pomegranate seeds. That bread was just out of the oven and was a treat.

Manaeesh, the heading for the main dishes, is a popular Levantine food consisting of dough topped with thyme, cheese, or ground meat, etc. Similar to a pizza, it can be sliced or folded, and it can be served either for breakfast or lunch. Most of these are priced at €6.50.

While mostly vegetarian, you can also get chicken and beef versions on George’s Quay. But why not try the Zaatar and Cheese version? This is a mixture of Palestinian oregano, with sesame and olive oil, and a blend of white traditional cheese, spread on their traditional dough and baked together. I saw a few customers enjoying those!

Cinnamon Roll
And as the regular market-goers will know, Izz has irresistible cakes. Their Cinnamon Roll (one is enough!) had customers drooling. And that roll is also here in George’s Quay. Along with a whole lot more.

They have Bounty Cake (coconut and chocolate), Warbat (a kind of enhanced Baklava), and Saffron Cake. Even scones if you want traditional Irish! I went for the Basbooseh, a delicious melange of coconut with semolina, eggs, yogurt, sunflower oil, vanilla baking powder, rose water and sugar syrup.

Okay, so you can’t be eating large slices of cake all day long. What do you do if all you want is a cuppa? Bet you’d like a little bite to go with it. Sure you would and Izz has just the thing. It is called Maamoul and is a traditional Palestinian bite-sized dessert stuffed with walnut or date. Ideal with that mid-morning or mid-afternoon coffee (which is also excellent here).

Izz Café
14 George’s Quay
Phone: 085 149 5625
Also on Facebook and Instagram.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Cafe Paradiso. Back to the Garden.

Cafe Paradiso. Back to the Garden

Eden may have been lost with a single bite of forbidden fruit but the garden can always be regained, at least in the Cork region, with a visit to Cafe Paradiso. No fruit, no vegetable forbidden here! Every meal in the city centre restaurant reinforces what one of my friends, who travels widely in the hospitality industry, told me a few years back: "It is not alone the best vegetarian restaurant in Ireland, it is probably the best restaurant in Ireland".

And what is perhaps not generally known, except to the regulars of course, is that Paradiso has a superb wine list. The lower end and the slow-moving higher end have been chopped from the list and what remains is packed with quality, great choices, between approximately thirty and forty five euro a bottle.

We were part of a seven person group the other night so the wines were shared, along with many a good laugh. Good advice on the wine list is also available and so we started with the Höpler Grüner Veltliner 2014, 12.5% Burgenland, Austria and finished with the Friedrich Becker Spatburgunder Pinot Noir 2011, 13.5%, Pfalz, Germany.
Aubergine parcels....
Others we could have had included the Susana Balbo ’Crios’ Malbec 2013, 14%, Mendoza, Argentina and the Alvaro Palacios La Montesa Rioja 2012 in the reds while among the whites that caught my eye were Wittmann Riesling Trocken 2012, 12% Rheinhessen, Germany and the Dos Victorias ‘Jose Pariente’ Verdejo 2013, 13%, Rueda. But it is easy to get a good one here as the list is really superb. If you’re not sure, just ask your server! By the way, all the wines are available by the glass, by 250ml and 500ml carafe and by the bottle.

Back to the food then and I'm not going to bore you with all the details. We picked the three course option here and you have lots of choice for forty euro. Two courses will set you back thirty three euro.

I had been toying with going for the truffled sunchoke soup with hazelnut gougere and buttered shiitake from a list of six starters (all tempting) but settled instead on the Macroom Buffalo Mozzarella with roasted carrots, pickled fennel, chermoula, preserved lemon and pistachio dukka. Amazing flavours and textures on this plate and the roast carrots came in for compliments all around the table.
Choc dessert...

CL meanwhile was delighted with her choice: roast beetroot, braised scorzonera and Knockalara sheep’s cheese with watercress, orange pickle and ras-el-hanout crumb. Colour, flavour, texture all combined, the dish showing that beetroot goes as well with sheep’s as goat’s. Great stuff indeed.

There were also six choices of mains but, amazingly, the majority of our group went for the roast aubergine parcels of cavolo nero and coolea cheese with miso gravy, beluga lentils,

pumpkin gnocchi and a green pepper and caramelised walnut salsa. Aubergine is one of my favourite vegetables in any restaurant but this was vegetable heaven, every little bit, the gravy, the lentils. Even CL polished off the gnocchi, usually left on the side! “These were good ones”, I was told.

And you must try the sides as they are superb as well. They do include sprouts but not like you've known them. Here they are served with tomato, chilli and ginger and well worth the fiver as are the Paradiso chips with truffled aioli.

Time then, and desire too, for dessert. Lots of temptation but I made up my mind early on the Orange and Date Bread and Butter Pudding and its Rum Custard. Oh la la! And other desserts enjoyed at the table included a Dark chocolate mousse with gingered pear and salted caramel popcorn and also Vanilla pod ice cream with brutti ma buoni, espresso and a shot of frangelico. A sweet end to a terrific meal and service was flawless throughout. Very Highly Recommended.

More desserts, including popular Orange and Date pudding
The menu here is based largely on local and seasonal produce.  Gortnanain Farm is the primary source of veg (and honey). All cheeses (which include Coolea and Macroom) are Irish except for Feta and Halloumi. Mushrooms are Ballyhoura or foraged. More details on the restaurant, founded 23 years ago, here.

Cafe Paradiso
16 Lancaster Quay
(021) 427 7939
Opening Hours: Dinner Monday – Saturday, 5.30 – 10.00pm

Monday, October 3, 2011


Dee Collins


Just finished one of Dee’s Real Meals and I feel real good. The Thai Butternut Squash, Potato and Lentil meal was excellent, really well balanced, creamy (coconut milk) and a little crunchy (the lentils). Very tasty indeed and also very healthy.

Each of these award winning (Great Taste Gold) 400g carton meals contains 3 of your daily 5. The ingredients are 100 per cent wholefood; there are no artificial additives.

One carton makes a meal for one person but you may use it as a side for two people, maybe add it to rice or pasta or whatever you fancy. There has to be many combinations for these tasty treats.

The meal came as part of a goodie bag handed out to those attending last Saturday’s VegFest in Electric. The bag also included one of her burgers (add a bun and you have a massive meal) but the burgers are so famous now I decided to go for the other one first!

The weather wasn't the best on Saturday but Dee was pleased: “Thanks to everyone that made it to the first VegFest Cork, hope you all enjoyed the food and your goodie bags. John Conway from The Hollies gave a fascinating talk and for those of you that might have missed it, they are having an open day on the 16th October.”

“ We are also really looking forward to The Evening Echo coverage in their Social Diary this week for those of you that got snapped, keep an eye on this week’s paper!”

“We were so happy with the feedback we got from our new range of meals - they are available to purchase in Tesco stores below from Monday - (note-the packaging on the outer sleeves will be a little stronger in two weeks time if any of them got bashed about a bit!)”

“We are trialling the use of QR codes on the base of the sleeves, if you have a Smartphone - you can download a QR code scanner with an application called ScanLife. Using the application, a photo of the code is taken and it should link you to a special V.I.P Club sign up page. For those of you that can do this we will send you some €1.00 off coupons in the post to say thanks. For those of you that do not have a Smartphone - maybe a son/daughter/friend could scan the code for you.”

“Thanks for the support, we finished a little earlier than expected but next year we will have it bigger and better with music and lots of stalls.”

John Conway of The Hollies

As Dee said, John Conway’s talk was fascinating, all about an alternative way of gardening. The attractive things about it are firstly that you treat the earth as it would treat itself, everything possible is recycled, and secondly that it is a non dig method of cultivation (except when you’re lifting your spuds, of course!). Check out the website or try and make it to the open day.

Electric were busy upstairs and downstairs on Saturday but they still took time to treat us to some of their veggie taster plates and very nice they were too. As the event drew to a close we lingered with a cup of coffee and some of the gorgeous cupcakes supplied by D’s Delights .

You will find Dee’s Real Meals at selected Tesco Stores, Dunnes Stores, Supervalu and independent stores nationwide. Recently added Tesco outlets: Greystones, Baggot St Upper, Rathfarnham, Sandymount, Bloomfields, Ballybrack, Galway, Stillorgan, Merrion, Rathmines, Clarehall Extra, Dundrum Town, Ardkeen, Maynooth Extra, Douglas Extra and Naas Extra.