With Irish cheeses and handmade terrines, fresh-shucked oysters, champagne and plenty of spiced beef, the launch of the Taste of Cork festival took place last Thursday in the English Market and it’s shaping up to be something well worth checking out.Although I was rather underwhelmed with my experience at the first Taste of Dublin, the teething problems – portion size, rain shelter, muck underfoot – seem to have been ironed out and, for the event’s Cork debut, the organisers have chosen the historic surroundings of the Cork City Gaol (or Jail, depending on where you grew up!) for the weekend of Friday 27 to Sunday 29 June. The restaurant line up includes Jacobs on the Mall, Seamus O’Connell’s Ivory Tower, the very familiar Ballymaloe House, and Mallow’s representative – Longueville House. We’re planning on a family day out – time to book those tickets!
Category: Eating Out
Just a reminder that the Festival of World Cultures kicks off tonight in Dún Laoghaire. It is taking place all weekend with lots of free music and plenty of good eating. Slow Food has a stand in the Cool Earth eco-fair in the Town Hall so, if you’re interested in learning about SF – and tasting some products from artisan producers! – call in over the weekend.
After discovering a leak in the ceiling of our bedroom in the Dublin flat on Monday and subsequently having to spend the night on the floor in the kitchen, neither the Husband nor myself were in any particular hurry to get back there on Tuesday evening. Heavy rain plus no umbrella (the Husband) and flip flops (me) didn’t help morale on our walk home so we decided to meet in Ranelagh and try out the recently opened wine bar – Wine Upstairs – over Tribeca. The restaurant is always buzzing, as it was last night, but, after we had shaken our bedraggled selves off, stashed my umbrella and walked up the stairs, we arrived in an airy room, with lots of tables, plenty of bottles of wine on display – and no other people. Stashing ourselves in the corner by the New Zealand wines, the Husband looked at wines while I devoted myself to a perusal of the short, but well formed, menu.
For anyone who is interested in the relationship between food and farming in Ireland, the annual Euro-toques National Food Forum and Fair – entitled Reconnecting: Farming, Food & Rural Communities – will be taking place at Brooklodge Hotel in Macreddin Village, Co Wicklow on Sunday 2 September. On this year’s panel are Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Trevor Sargent; UK organic movement pioneer and champion Helen Browning; Gerry Scully, the programme manager for Rural Development with Teagasc; Irish Farmers Journal columnist and farmer Peter Young; and Ross Lewis, chef/proprietor of Chapter One Restaurant and Commissioner of Euro-toques Ireland.
Sitting on the N4 on Saturday night, watching the car temperature gage climb dangerously in the not-moving traffic and the clock moving much faster than we were able to, I was glad that I was heading off to dinner at Richard Corrigan‘s Café La Serre rather than continuing on with the crowds to Barbra Streisland’s first Irish concert in Castletown House, near Celbridge. We were taking my American Cousin and her Fiancé for a long-awaited dinner in advance of their August wedding – we didn’t realise that our trip to their Celbridge home was going to coincide with one of the flashiest traffic jams in years. Tickets, after all, were priced from €118.50 to €885!
Thanks to Slow Food Dublin for an educational, entertaining and delicious evening at last night’s Malaysian food cookery demonstration and dinner. With four trips to visit my family in Malaysia over the past five years, I’ve enjoyed every opportunity to sample the foods on offer and Mee Goring, Roti Canai, Teh Tarik, Kaya and Murtabak are just a few of the things that I love to eat while travelling there. While there may not have been any Teh Tarik or Roti on offer last night, chefs Rama and Mat Ju cooked up a storm in front of the crowd – yummy Mee Goring, morish Onion Bhajis, a well-flavoured Vegetable Curry, and Dosai – fermented lentil and rice pancakes – with Coconut Chutney. After the demonstration, we feasted on a buffet which also included slow-cooked Beef Rendang, Nasi Lemak or Coconut Rice, and a few savoury additions – crispy ikan billis (dried anchovies), hard boiled eggs, chutney, peanuts and fresh cucumber.
Last night, Anne Kennedy of Greatfood.ie and I, in need of a glass of wine and some food, ended up – at her suggestion – at the newly decked out and recently reopened Shelbourne Bar in The Shelbourne on St Stephen’s Green. My memories of the old Shelbourne, admittedly after a couple of dynamite martinis in the Horseshoe Bar in the depths of winter, was of a gradually-getting-shabbier, heavy-with-tradition place. A grand old dame of Dublin, it was long overdue a facelift – although perhaps not one that went hand in hand with an American hotel chain. The Shelbourne Bar, where we ended up, is now a comfortable, light, bright L-shaped room on the left as you enter the hotel.
Wine, wine and more wine – if that’s what you’re looking for then the recently opened Olesya’s Wine Bar on Dublin’s Exchequer Street is the perfect place. With a long wine list, which includes choices from Georgia and the Lebanon alongside a good selection of new and old world wines, there’s plenty to choose from, should you wish to imbibe by the glass or bottle.