Hello readers, how’s the month coming along?. I know it’s been a few weeks since my last post , so here goes a small post about what have been up to. I spent a good few days at a friend’s ( Maireads) wedding in Kinsale, a port and fishing town in County Cork, Ireland. I learnt that a chef I loved watching on BBC , more than any other was a resident of Kinsale. Chef Keith Floyd’s love for food, travel and most importantly wine..and tons of wine on his cookery shows resonated with my foodie soul. So here’s to you keith , a blog about some of the best restaurants to dine at in Kinsale, Ireland.
We visited this restaurant with a few friends on our first night. It had cozy athmospere and a friendly host. We were offered Soda bread to die for as soon as we sat down. The bread was soo good, we finished ours while waiting for 2 more friends and ate theirs before they arrived because we reasoned all that restaurant air will affect the bread….yes…it wasnt exactly science, but we had to come up with something to justify chewing every slice. Our friends turned up and we thought we got away with it…until our host revealed what we did ” They ate all your bread, that one’s the leader, so I will bring you more from the kitchen, share with them if you wish”. Just unbelievable.
We also ordered some creamy chowder made with locally sourced chunks of seafood ( loved the depths of flavor and you also get a decent amount of fish) , A tuna and asparagus special dish, local mussels in a white wine sauce and Rib eye steak. This was all simply very competent and good cooking.
Following good recommendations from Cristina and Miguel who only seemed to exist on a diet of chowder and mussels and some decent recommendations from two drunk Irish guys at Mairead’s beautiful wedding , we visited the creatively named Fishy Fishy owned by husband and wife team Martin and Marie for lunch. A restaurant soo good they named it twice, this place served some of the tastiest steamed local lobster have ever had…well almost as good as the lobster I had at Zuma. The dish was accompanied with mustard cream and silky smooth mash.Every bite was worth the it, which was just as well seeing as the dish costs 36 pounds. The bread was good (albeit high tide’s bread is still my favourite) and the chowder was a bit different being that it was tomato based. I liked it , however my Portugese friends absolutely loved it.
Fishy Fishy , so good they named it twice
Seafood chowder with shellfish and tomato stock,flavoured with tarragon and coriander
Steamed local mussels with fresh basil and lemon butter sauce
Lobster Thermidor : steamed local lobster out of the shell, finished wth mustard sauce and house mash
This restaurant and takeaway joint which opened in 1975 , served fish and chips as good as any place around. In terms of value for money, it’s pretty hard to beat with a fish supper takeway consisting of their catch of the day , chips and mushy peas costing just under 8 euros. Besides the value , they also serve fish delivered daily from West Cork , so you can be rest assured everything you get is going to be fresh. Food came out in good time and a quick drive back to Macdonald Kinsale hotel and Spa followed.The haddock I ordered was fried in perfectly crispy batter , with every bite delivering on texture and flavor. The hotel back drop wasnt too bad either.
Dinos traditional fish and chips restaurant
Dinos Fish and Chips
Eating my takeaway at Kinsale’s Macdonald spa hotel
Following some glowing reviews on the Michelin guide website and Tripadvisor (yes, I know how some chefs feel about the latter), I decided my last supper in Kinsale would be at a restaurant on Market street called Bastion. What actually caught my eye was their Bib Gourmand status, a sign if there was any that this was going to be skilled cooking at a good value. This coupled with main on their menu called “All the duck” got me quite excited about visiting this restaurant. On getting to the restaurant I found out that their new menu was missing the duck dish (the horror). In it’s place was rabbit leg and loin dish , so I went for that instead. I knew I would like the main the minute that treacle butter (my first picture below) touched my lips. This was soon followed by a tasty beetroots and goat cheese starter that had goats cheese foam with air dried beetroots across the top, candy walnuts , basil oil , beetroots and grenaldine jelly. All the flavours complimented each other.
2020 update : Bastion was awarded one Michelin star in 2019 for their high quality cooking. This makes it the first restaurant to receive such a star in Kinsale and the 4th in Cork. Congratulations to Paul McDonald , Helen Noonan and the team.
Bread and treacle butter
Beetroots and Goats cheese
Confit rabbit leg in covered in tarragon crumbs , roasted loin , potato terrine , iberico ham and violet mustard main was very and i mean very moerish. The mustard , ham and rabbit combination was a match made in heaven. Duck… what duck.
The Beef fillet with parmesan ravioli, girole mushroom, madeira onion puree and roasted shallot was also a tasty dish. My foodie partner thought it was just a touch salty , however on having a bite I thought they got the balance right. The meat was tender with a great depth of flavor. It was almost like they marinated it in beef broth or some marinade for a while. I absolutely loved it.
The desserts were sooo delicious, the chocolate tart, almond crumble and homemade vanilla bean ice cream was moan inducing. Yep it was that good. Their roasted banana’s, espresso sponge, banana panacotta, set cream and salted caramel was simple, yet very mouth watering and delicious. We also enjoyed their cheese board, with cheese all from the Cork area (exception of their blue cheese).
Chocolate Tart and home made vanilla bean ice cream
Irish cheese board
There goes my blog post about some of the best restaurants to dine at in Kinsale, Ireland. I really enjoyed the time I spent in this lovely place. The wedding, food and people was amazing. Kinsale’s definitely a place worth visiting for a long weekend. Let me know what you think of the place in the comments section.