9 Market Street, Kinsale
Leona and Dee offer cooking that appears simple – sausage rolls, sandwiches; pasta dishes; seafood chowder; Wagyu burger – but here’s their secret in 9 Market Street: this cooking is technically super-charged. The consideration and finesse that bring these dishes together is quite masterful, so that bowl of French onion soup will stop you in your tracks, as you revel in its luxuriousness, its perfect balance, the crispness of the croute and the slinky sexiness of the long-simmered onion. A great addition to Kinsale.
9 Market Street, Kinsale
With the opening of Pickle, their new restaurant on Dublin’s Camden Street, Sunil Ghai and Benny Jacob are once again challenging the way we think about ethnic cooking.
Of course, Sunil Guy done this sort of thing before. When Ananda opened, in Dundrum in south Dublin 8 years ago, Mr Ghai upended people’s expectations of how you could cook and serve Indian cuisine.
Gin - The New Wave
Think of Liam and Sinead Cabot as the gamekeepers turned poachers.
You might known them as one of the handful of truly individualistic wine merchants in Ireland. But, you also need to know them as winemakers, operating out of Slovenia, working together to fashion a wine they call Roka, made using blaufrankisch grapes, grown on a half-hectare vineyard that faces east, in a place caled Kog, in the Stajerska region.
Ask people what they want from a restaurant, and the chances are they won’t say that they want the most-cutting edge cooking, or the most fashionable room.
What they will tell you that they want from a restaurant is to have a comfortable and welcoming space where the staff remember them, and where they can, if they wish, go into an auto-pilot state.
What they want is a restaurant where they can relax.
I’m having the Aztec soup and the most gorgeous chicken sandwich with jalapeño mayo on Tartine bread with crisp fresh leaves and I’m thinking to myself: it was worth driving all the way to the Longmile Road just to eat this.
I’m also thinking that if I next happen to be on the Longmile Road around breakfast time, I will drop in for the homemade baked beans with bacon bits and habanero on toast, which comes with a poached egg, and which should get the day off to a flying start, especially with a cup of good Ariosa coffee.
Let’s talk about Gin.
With new gin brands being launched at an extraordinary rate, it may seem that gin is finally having its moment in the sun but as Dave Broom explains in his excellent new book Gin - The Manual, gin has had many moments through the centuries, and not all of them as refined as the current boom. Born in Scotland, Dave Broom is best known for his encyclopaedic work, ‘The World Atlas of Whiskey’, a book widely considered the masterwork on the subject of whiskey.
Sally McKenna follows the Mexican Ambassador on a diplomatic tour of the Great Northern Distillery
Some restaurant rooms are the hubs, the heartbeats, of our culinary culture.
La Cucina is one of those hubs, the place where the heart beats fast and loud.
Places like La Cucina change how people behave. Just look at the room, for example, on this Friday night. It’s jammers. Not busy jammers, but crazy jammers. People are hugger mugger in the space, waiting in line like sardines in a can for their takeaways, packed into the tables and chairs of the newly refashioned room as they study the menus and decide what to eat.
Review by John McKenna