Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Lemon Tree

Sofie and myself have planned last night to take a nice walk along the Bird Sanctuary in Blarney. It is a nice walk and you almost forget that you are walking along the Cork-Mallow Road. But it wasn't meant to be as it started to pour down in bucket loads. So we decided the next best thing and headed for a bite to eat. Blarney got a couple of restaurants, none to write home about really but for something easy it is fine. We hoped to pay the Indian restaurant a visit (both of us being veggies) but they were still closed by 6:15 (or they are simply closed on a Tuesday). Golden Panda was not an option either as they are also closed on a Tuesday. So we opted for the Lemon Tree. It has been a while I paid them a visit and I wasn't blown away back then. But since Ian Forrest was trained at the Ballymaloe Cookery School I had some hope. We decided to have only one course rather than going for the full monty. Sofie opted for the Traditional Fish & Chips. The fish was coated in a beer batter and the tartar sauce was supposed to be homemade. The fish was lovely soft underneath the crisp batter. Sofie wasn't blown away by the chips or the tartar which she doubted was homemade. I decided on Linguine with crabmeat and chilli. I love pasta - practically live on it - but these linguine had the feel of noodles rather than pasta. If they have been in fact linguine (and I would argue this case) they were cooked too long. The crabmeat was plentiful but didn't have much taste. Raw onions were sprinkled over the lot and still don't understand the fascination. Simply pan fry them in a little butter and then sprinkle them over whatever they are meant to cover. I love spicy food and the first two bites had a nice kick to it....however it disappeared after that. The chef thought he might be very inventive if he melts big lumps of cheese over the edges of the dish...trust me, it didn't work as the cheese halfway melted returned to its old form when the dish was served and it left me with big chewy lumps. The waitress was a hearty woman who was lovely and attentive, always asking if we 'girls were alrite' ;-)

Seriously, these restaurants are good for my figure as I never finish a meal.
There are a few more restaurants in Blarney. I might try the Thai the next time. I have also heard good things about Muskerry Arms (the restaurant) and I have been there once and have to say that the presentation and the flavour of the meal I had was lovely. So I might pay them another visit soon.

6 comments:

Irish Wine Contemplations said...

Elke,

Sounds like a real stinker... I'm not sure about any of the restuarants in Blarney to be honest. Have you tried the new Italian Ice Cream shop in Blarney yet?

Cheers,
Will

Elke said...

Hi Will,

Trust me, you won't be missing anything if you ignore Blarney on the Gourmet map. I have tried the ice cream and there is nothing Italian about it (and I love ice cream). Saying that, my sister-in-law loves it and the kids in Blarney are happy out. I had three different flavours and if I had my euyes closed wouldn't have been able to taste the difference in any of them. I used to live in Berlin and next door was an Italian restaurant where mamma cooked and Il papa was front of house while the two sons helping everywhere. They made their own ice cream and wow...that was ice cream. I also find the Blarney guys a bit overpriced. But as I said, the rest of Blarney seems to love it. I might be just a bit to snobby sometimes ;-)

Elke

Irish Wine Contemplations said...

Your comments on the Italian Ice Cream are very interesting. My family in Cork are bonkers for their pre-made desserts but on a recent trip down home I was distinctly underwhelmed by the ice-cream that I had. I didn't get any sense that it was home-made or even made from real fruit. Half of my ice-cream actually went into the bin that day.

Elke said...

I think, the problem is the food authorities.They put on so many regulations on people. I started making my own ice cream ages ago and at one of the last dinner parties I had, I made a summer berry ice cream bombe filled with vanilla parfait. Have to say...it was yummy and looked the part.

Deborah said...

Wow, sounds like a bummer Elke. I ate in the Muskerry Arms last year and it was fairly decent. Nothing exceptional, but good solid food.

Elke said...

Hi Deborah,

My family and friends think I am a food snob. I have been there last year when my sister-in-law from Spain was over and she stayed with her mum in Blarney so we decided to have all the girls together and go to the Muskerry Arms. I had a pasta dish as it was the only vegetarian option on the menu and it was okay but something I could have easily done better at home. I love full flavour and it didn't deliver on that note but at least the pasta was al dente. You will love Cafe Paradiso. I take any excuse to go there ;-)

Elke