All posts tagged: restaurant

Remembering elBulli

Sunday October 18th  of 2009, table for 2 people at 7.30 p.m. under the name: CIARAN HAYDEN It is almost six years since I had the best dining experience of my life in elBulli restaurant. My friend Ciarán had won the gastronomic lottery and managed to get one of the 8,000 table bookings they offered a year. elBulli was a three Michelin star restaurant with head chef Ferran Adria at the helm until it closed a few years ago. The Godfather of molecular gastronomy’s cuisine was so sought after that the restaurant, on the Catalonian Costa Brava, received over two million requests a year for just 8,000 tables. Naturally, Ciarán and I thought we hadn’t a hope. He rang me a week before Christmas in 2008 to tell me about the table and I’m probably still not over it. Although it was over five years ago, I can still taste every dish. It was one of the most spectacular nights of my life.  Adrià closed the restaurant in 2011 because it was losing so much money. I was …

Review – The Cavern, Baggot Street

One of the surest ways to my heart is a good cheese board. I don’t tend to order them in restaurants as they are often a menu’s lonely, back of the fridge afterthought, dragged out and given a quick shave in the hope the diner doesn’t notice. We do. It’s like the guy who douses himself with Lynx instead of showering. We just know.  So I was very excited about seeing what the Cavern, the new baby offshoot of Baggot Street Wines, offered on their cheese board. I’m a big fan of the wine shop, their staff are lovely, unpretentious and helpful and when they introduced a very good selection of Sheridan’s cheeses ‘to go’ by their cash register, I hoped it would evolve into a wine cellar. Enter The Cavern. I went on a Thursday evening with a very good friend who kindly ordered champagne to toast a recent happy event. It was delicious with star-like tiny bubbles. The staff members were attentive and warm, answering any questions we had and topping up drinks at just …

Recipe: Eton Mess by Gary O’Hanlon

Gary O’Hanlon, chef at Viewmount House in Longford shares a perfect summer dessert recipe, a summer cracker!   Eton Mess An English classic that traditionally is made with strawberries it was served at Eton College at the annual cricket game against the pupils of Harrow School. Bananas were also used and in fact initially it was made without meringue but that came about around the 1970s. As time has gone on and as I often say, there are no rules in cooking. If you want to put your own little twist on things always feel free to do so. If you have any fruit left over or about to go off simply pick up some cream, meringue nests and away you go. It can be strawberry Eton Mess, banana Eton Mess,  blackberry Eton Mess or simply everything I found sweet in my fridge Eton Mess. A summer cracker. Mixed Berry Eton Mess Ingredients 1 meringue nest (store bought is fine or one you made yourself) 6 raspberries 4 strawberries 6 blueberries 6 blackberries 200ml cream the scrapings of half a vanilla …

My favourite Spring Recipe – Ross Lewis, Chapter One restaurant

Fancy attempting a Michelin chef’s recipe? Try this Spring dish from the wonderfully talented, and one of my favourite chefs, Ross Lewis. There are elements you can take on, or leave out, depending on how much time you have as there is a lot involved. It takes some love and attention, but it’s worth it. Steamed Sea bass with salt baked organic celeriac,rope mussels in a Craigie’s cider dressing and tarragon essence with roasted Jerusalem artichoke. N.B. read the recipe before beginning and begin with your tarragon gel the day before, if using For the mussels 1 kilo mussels, scrubbed and beards removed Heat 200ml of water in a pan large enough to hold the mussels. When the water comes to the boil, put in the cleaned mussels and close the lid. Cook over a medium high heat, shaking occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, until the shells have opened. Remove from the heat and drain in a colander, reserving the juices. When cool, remove from the shells. For the Apple Vinaigrette 500ml Craigie’s cider reduced to …

There once was a trip to elBulli

I was recently reminded of how lucky I was to get to dine  in elBulli restaurant. Although it was over three years ago, I can still taste every dish. It was one of the most spectacular nights of my life. Here are some words I wrote about it shortly after returning: elBulli Some people are so determined to eat in Spain’s elBulli restaurant that they’ll book a table four years in advance – like a chap I met last year who planned a table for his wife’s 40th birthday. Others, like me, create 11 new email addresses and enter the annual lottery for reservations. Since there are around 400 applicants for each available cover, we usually don’t hear anything back. But there’s always the chance of a Christmas miracle. In late December 2008, my friend Ciarán called me, breathless. “Guess where we’re going next October 17th?” I had bullied (pardon) him into entering the lottery too; if either of us got in, we would take the other person. elBulli is housed in a plain, unassuming …

Avoca Food Market and Salt Café, Monkstown, Dublin

There is a gorgeous lull between Christmas and New Year where all that matters is what the next meal is. I was lucky enough to have my family come from Donegal to stay in Dublin this year, and after the chocolate comas, and tripping over the puppy one too many times came the, ‘What do we do now?’. We had a fine December afternoon in Dun Laoghaire seeing where James Joyce had once slept in the Martello Tower. Crouched, and with delicate steps, we reached the breezy and utterly lovely view at the top of those unforgiving stairs. Then onwards for lunch. It was my choice; and it was easy. Avoca is always somewhere  I love to go with my parents when they are in town. It’s like hiring a car and being given a Volvo. It’s reliable, trustworthy and you are guaranteed happy passengers and tummies. It’ll never be a sexy MG, but it will never as boring as a Ford. A solid all rounder. Salt at Avoca in Monkstown is one of my favourite …

Restaurant Review: Mishkins, Catherine Street, London

I love birthdays. I love the delicious fluttery feeling in your tummy on the morning of it. I love the cards, the messages of love from my parents that make me cry, the breakfast, the lunch, the bubbles, the dinner, the karaoke where possible, the candles and the cake crumbs. I’m cheeky enough to stretch it into a birthday week. But this year, my best friend Niamh, knows me well enough to give me a gift that would turn it into a birthday season. While my birthday is at the end of June, she booked us a trip to London to visit our friend a few months later. After a gorgeous weekend trip, the last stop was to meet a friend for lunch at Mishkins, opposite the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane, before heading to the airport. It’s owned by Russell Norman, proprietor of quite a few achingly hipster spots in London like ‘Polpo’ and ‘Polpetto.’ Mishkins describe themselves as a ‘kind of Jewish deli with cocktails.’ It’s not kosher, but the menu is laden with …