Builin Blasta (Tasty Loaf) is a gem of a cafe located in the craft center (An Ceardlann) in Spiddal, Co. Galway. The cafe is owned and run by Chef Jamie (J-Me) Peaker who hails from New Zealand. J-Me’s cv includes a stint at well known London eatery The Ivy before he opened Builin Blasta in Spiddal. The cafe is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and on Sunday from 11am until 5pm. Breads, pastries, tarts, sausage rolls, scones, desserts, dressings and preserves are all made on site. You can also purchase their dressings and chutneys to takeaway and they will also provide you with the recipe for their scones if you would like to try and make them yourself!
Firstly, ginger is my thing. I love it in all its forms; ginger ale is even my choice of mixer with Vodka! Ginger and treacle as a combination is another favourite. After a long search for a recipe for a Ginger & Treacle bread and finding none that perfectly suited what I was trying to create, I came up with this recipe which gives me everything I was looking for in a Ginger & Treacle bread.
After including The Fatted Calf on my list of must visits for 2014, I was glad to get an early opportunity to visit for lunch on a blustery Saturday in early February. Glasson is easily accessible from Athlone and well worth the trip even from farther afield. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday to Sunday.
This recipe makes a wonderfully tangy version of this classic. Hope you like it.
I have been in South Africa many times and have travelled the Garden Route on three of my visits. Prior to the second visit, I became aware of Bramon Wine Estate and booked a lunch at their restaurant. I was drawn to the place by virtue of the gorgeous pictures on their website, the type of food they serve (sharing plates/tapas style) and the fact that they make a sparkling wine from Sauvignon Blanc grapes (or a Methode Cap Classique (MCC) as South African bubbly is called). On our first visit, we had booked an outside table for lunch (among the vines) and hoped the weather would oblige – and we were so thankful it did. On our second visit, we dropped by without a reservation and we got an outside table but all the tables between the vines were booked.
Ballymaloe House has long been on my list to visit, as I imagine it is for many people. A friend booked in to do a couple of consecutive courses at the famed Cookery School and I decided to use the opportunity to tag along, sightsee around Cork and have dinner in Ballymaloe House. We spent one night in Cork City and my friend was booked into Cookery School accommodation for the next night, being the night before her first school course. Upon enquiring with the Cookery School, they were very accommodating to me too and I was able to avail of B & B there too for one night even though I was not attending the course. Now I am sure it is not always possible to this, but I was grateful it was available for the night I wanted to stay. I was very impressed with the quality of the Cookery School accommodation. We stayed in Mrs Walsh’s cottage which is an 8-bedroomed house (all bedrooms en-suite – including two twin rooms) complete with …
There are so many good restaurants throughout Ireland that I am hearing good things about that I failed to visit in 2013. I also read many interesting accounts of trips to food festivals that I didn’t get to last year. It’s not possible to get to all the places I would like to – real life gets in the way! But, here is a list of 10 places I would like to get to in 2014. 1. MacNean House & Restaurant, Blacklion, Co. Cavan Neven Maguire’s restaurant and cooking is legendary. This may take some planning and some luck in securing a reservation but I definitely need to visit after hearing so many good things both online and from friends. I am told that if you stay overnight at MacNean House that the breakfast is also an experience in itself.
1. Cava Bodega, Middle Street, Galway Galway people are thrilled with the reopening of this popular Tapas restaurant. It is now situated on Middle Street in the City and has fast become a favourite of many. Visit for quality tapas y vino in a gorgeous setting at reasonable prices. http://www.cavarestaurant.ie
Food lovers in Galway were very disappointed when the original Cava Tapas restaurant on Dominic Street closed its doors. Many believed (and hoped) that Cava would re-open and thankfully it has – as Cava Bodega – in Middle Street. I have been to the new Cava Bodega twice since it opened in September last and I love it. I love everything about it; the gorgeous space, the menu and JP’s wonderful food, the staff and the atmosphere. I love this way of eating, sharing and sampling and being able to try out so many of the dishes. The decor is what I would describe as “homemade” and its lovely and cosy, but yet you don’t feel as if you are on top of your neighbouring diners. It really has been transformed into a beautiful dining space and if you are seated downstairs you will be able to observe the busy kitchen in action. The menu is laid out in many sections; Nibbles, Pinchos (Spanish Canapes), Cured Meats & Cheese, Vegetables & Pulses, Fish, Meat and …
Kai Cafe & Restaurant is a beautifully designed restaurant located at Sea Road, Galway. It is run by Chef Jess Murphy and her husband David. I have visited Kai three times since it opened and each time the experience has surpassed the previous visit. Kai is now, in my opinion, the best restaurant in Galway. It is the combination of exquisite food, excellent service and the warm and welcoming atmosphere that makes this restaurant a winner for me. The menu comprises five choices in each of its Beginning, Middle and End categories. On my most recent visit, the menu read so well it was really difficult to choose. For starters, my dining companion chose Connemara Crab & Green Goddess and I chose a Toons Bridge Mozzarella Caprese. Other dishes included a Scallop ceviche with citrus and shiso, Lobster on toast and a Hen House board from Friendly Farmer. I was completely torn between the Caprese and the Hen House board but opted for the Caprese after much deliberation. For mains, I chose the Lamb Rack …