Apologies, generally, for the lack of consistent communication from The Swashbuachaill but the non-virtual world has been making fiercesome inroads on my time over the last couple of weeks. And one of those intrusions from the non-virtual world included a bolt out of the blue that left me near enough speechless – an invitation from John and Sally McKenna to become a Contributing Editor to the renowned Bridgestone Guide, Ireland’s food bible. I can’t say how proud and pleased I am to have been invited and hope I can live up to the challenge. That I should have been invited along with Aoife ‘The Daily Spud’ Cox only makes me prouder still. Obviously, when Dear Old Sainted Mother Swashbuachaill reads my new Bridgestone profile below she will realise for the first time that I may not be one of the world’s finest surgeons having spent the past three decades in Africa curing stuff and so on and so forth.
Honestly, The Swashbuachaill is not on a retainer from The Electric; it was sheer coincidence that I was asked to do these reviews within days of each other. Hardly surprising, when you think about it, as The Electric is getting noticed in a lot of places. Nominated for the Restaurant Association of Ireland awards in 2011 as best casual dining in its first year of opening gives you an idea of the standards they are aiming to reach.
It’s surprising how many people are unaware of the existence of Star Anise but Bridge St, where it is located, is a connecting street, a class of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it link between the quays and MacCurtain St, so perhaps that may be why. Actually, I worked on Bridge St many moons ago and it is one of my favourite streets in Cork, a little self-contained universe including Cork Coffee Roasters Café, one of the very best coffee shops in the country. Star Anise, too, has become another valuable member of that community, it is a rare gift to be able to create a feeling of real welcome. And Star Anise has that gift.
Haven’t had a chance yet to watch the Frontline programme on the issue on RTÉ last night but hope to see it this evening. Meanwhile, here are some more thoughts on the Calories on Menus issue.Continue reading “Count Me Out – do restaurants owe us a responsibility to list calories on menus?”
When I recently learned of plans to bring in legislation requiring restaurants to itemise the calories in each dish on their menus, my initial reaction, rightly or wrongly, was one of absolute disgust at what I perceived to be idiocy in the extreme. Most alarmingly, it seemed this process was being shepherded through with almost zero public debate. I began to tweet about it but Twitter leaves little room for nuance in any debate so I established a facebook page, hoping it would become a forum for debate and a place in which others could add links to other resources of information.Continue reading “Count Me Out – thoughts about putting calories on restaurant menus”
Greene’s is now of an age, nearly 20, which might qualify it for institution status in Cork but partly due to its location, a little off the main drag, and partly due to varying fortunes in the kitchen over the years, it seems to have lost some of its lustre. But the current chef, Fred Desormeaux is cooking some very, very fine food making it well worth a reappraisal.
My review of Sage Restaurant in Midleton was published in yesterday’s Irish Examiner but I can always find a few more words to add to anything I have published, being a great man altogether for the guff. When it comes to Sage, I’d have no trouble at all filling a newspaper – I am a big fan of the restaurant.
Many thanks to all who sent lovely messages saying how greatly you were missing updates from The Swashbuachaill. I can only assume they were genuine as Dear Old Sainted Mother Swashbuachaill is currently barred from the local internet cafe after burning out three hard drives ‘liking’ my last post. So, I believe some sort of explanation for The Swashbuachaill’s absence is in order.
There’s an awful lot of stuff to be found in The Swashbuachaill’s head. What some may call weird, others call wonderful (that would be Dear Old Sainted Mother Swashbuachaill leading the charge on the latter) but all agree the biggest thing in The Swashbuachaill noggin is the Sweet Tooth.
After a week of nocturnal childherding a sickening Daddy’s Little Girl, I handed her over to Mrs Swashbuachaill at 8 of the A.M. and repaired to the boudoir for a couple of hours shuteye. Which meant I reached Douglas Farmer’s Mkt, where the bulk of my weekly shopping is done, well after 12pm to a market that closes at 2pm on the last weekend before Christmas. Bedlam in the shopping centre and car park around the market but, within, a little haven for me to practice coffee drinking and yapping on an industrial scale. There are a lot more fabulous stalls than those featured but I had to do a little shopping as well including securing the bones of my Christmas Dinner so more pics will have to follow at a later date. There’s one more market on next Saturday, Christmas Eve, and many of the same stallholders are also in Mahon Mkt on Thursdays. Bear with me on the technical front – it’s the first time I’ve tried to do any class of moving image thingamajig. Anyhoo, click back and have a look and do, please, let me know what you think including advice on how to make it better! Happy Christmas!