If the modern mantra dictates that a new restaurant shall be managed by young men with haircuts from Barnets & Beards, who wear braces, and who work in a room whose walls are bare naked, then Cork's Zamora pushes the buttons.
It's right on trend: stripped-back aesthetic, fallen-from-the-skies design and decor and arrangement, one-pager menu; hip-hot wine selection and, of course, beards, barnets and braces.
The restaurant used to be a couple of old jewellery shops, on Academy Street, and the new style means that it's one of those places that is very easy to walk into: it's inviting, in an unpretentious, just-walk-in-and-just-grab-a-coffee way, and that coffee is very worth grabbing: an espresso and a cappuccino were both magnificent.
Away from the caffeine, we had the day's soup of tomato and basil, served with brown bread, and a dish of tempura of prawns and hake with salad. The soup was good, the fish was very good, and the salad was nearly very good, though the leaves could have been less profuse and more distinctly dressed.
But there was enough going on here to suggest that Zamora will come to offer a lot: the wines are superb, and most of them are available on tap. The room is comfortable, and service is polite and efficient. There is no nonsense here – Zamora is the sort of place that every city needs scores of – good to walk into for coffee or a good glass of wine, good to make a Friday night special, a place that enriches the cultural fabric of the city, but does so quietly and with professionalism. We'll be back.
11-12 Academy Street, Cork www.zamora.ie Tel: (021) 239 0540