Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fleming's in Cork

I have never been to Fleming's before but since Caz and Jan will have their wedding reception there, I felt the need to paying them a visit. Second reason was that it was Steve's birthday and I wanted to take him somewhere where we haven't been before. Caz, Jan, Ben and Malene joined in and we went off to enjoy a lovely evening.

Michael Fleming is patron and headchef of the place and he is a lovely fella as he came out to greet Caz (hmmm, she might be going more often than she let on) and to tell us to forget the menu but that he will look after us....and gosh, he did.

He was talking about a symphony of fish which was basically a pond on a plate with salmon, seabass, hake and turbot in a orange white wine I wanted to try the vegetable strudel, he offered me the symphony as a starter. Wow, the starter was as big as the main courses (the others all opted for the symphony as main course) so I ended up with 2 main course but trust me, I managed well to polish the plates.

The portions of fish were arranged around a pile of vegetable juliennes and chopped orange pieces cooked in a orange white wine sauce which was creamy, fresh, zingy without being too citrussy and complimented the different fish types just perfectly.

My 'main' course was a generous portion of vegetable strudel with peppers, zucchini, mini sweetcorn served with a pappadum basket filled with salad leaves. Accompanied by a roasted red pepper sauce with a pesto swirl made the dish just yummy.

I was trying to order a lemon tart but the waitress told me NO........and a few moments later I knew why. Michael had prepared a plate of mixed desserts for us with a piece of lemon tart (I would say it was better than mine but Steve didn't agree), vanilla icecream and Millefeuille with Strawberries that was so light that it almost floated above the plate. Only the elegant surroundings stopped me from licking the plate clean.

All that was nicely washed down with a Sancerre from Loire which was perfect with each course.

Fleming's is an impressive Georgian house that is set on five acres of garden and patio areas on a hillside overlooking the river and city (part of the industrial part as well). The house has a distinct style and the restaurant is in the old drawing rooms, which are linked by double doors and now make a lovely long dining room along the front of the house, with large shuttered windows and all the original features including high ceilings, polished wooden floors and elegant fireplaces - a fine setting for Michael Fleming’s excellent classical and modern French cooking.

The staff is very friendly, informative and helpful without being too formal. Michael is very much hands on and comes out to see how you liked the food and extras are no trouble at all for him.

The only thing I regret is that I haven't been there sooner.....and Happy Birthday Steve

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