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Sally's blog

All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

Ali's Kitchen, Cork

Forget Batman vs Superman. Forget Marvel. Forget The Avengers.
If you are searching for something that zings like Thor’s hammer and connects like Hulk’s left fist, then you have just one destination in 2016.
Come with us to Rory Gallagher Place in Cork city, and get ready to meet the girl with the punchiest style since Violet Parr in The Incredibles.
Yup, that’s Ali Honour, firing out the food in her smart, open-plan space, Ali’s Kitchen, and knocking you for six with the best breakfast the city can muster.

Leslie Williams finds classic choucroute in Limerick's One Pery Square

Number One Pery Square in Limerick’s Georgian Quarter has featured in Megabites before, for the elegance of its surroundings and the quality of the welcome from Patricia Roberts and the rest of the team. And, of course, for their spa and their food and wine offering. The reason Pery Square are featuring today can be summed up in one word – choucroute.  

Zamora is the sort of place every city needs. Lucky for Cork, it resides in Academy Street.

If the modern mantra dictates that a new restaurant shall be managed by young men with haircuts from Barnets & Beards, who wear braces, and who work in a room whose walls are bare naked, then Cork's Zamora pushes the buttons.
It's right on trend: stripped-back aesthetic, fallen-from-the-skies design and decor and arrangement, one-pager menu; hip-hot wine selection and, of course, beards, barnets and braces.


Certain things improve the quality of urban life immeasurably. Good buskers. Good parks. Street artists. Intelligent signage. And KC Peaches.
KCP gives Dublin two of the most happening rooms in the city, places that summon the zeitgeist of Dublin 2013. And now, with the new KC Peaches Dame Street, Dubliners and visitors get a third bite of one of the town’s best spaces.

You want it darker: Shane and Charlotte of Dublin’s Sceal Bakery are bringing the San Francisco baking style to Dublin.

Time was, if you wanted to be a baker, you went to Paris. Then, thirty years ago, the axis shifted. You want to be a baker? San Francisco became your destination. Home of ACME bakery, of Chad Robertson’s Tartine, of Craftsman and Wolves, of B. Patisserie, home of San Francisco sourdough. When Paul Bertolli wrote “Chez Panisse Cooking”, way back in 1988, the book included lengthy recipes on how to make pain au levain, and spontaneously leavened sourdough bread. Thirty years ago, the guys in San Francisco had already taken on the mantle. They defined the cutting-edge.

Gina Murphy and Maggie Roche together form a mighty two-hander that powers the food and the mood of Hugo’s Restaurant.

What’s more important to you in a restaurant: cutting-edge, or comfort?

In the media, it’s no contest: cutting-edge wins out, everytime. Reviewers never stress the comfort of a room, or its cooking. We write about the guys who move fast, and break things, and who ask you to sit on an orange crate while they are at it.

Everyone is happy to join the queue in Strandfield, even though it’s the longest queue for food in County Louth.

“Are you always, like, this busy?” we asked the waitress in Strandfield.
“Mother’s Day? The queue was right back to this door,” she replied, pointing to the double doors that form the entrance to the restaurant from the shop and flower shop.
We were sitting near to that door, which meant a 50-yard Mother’s Day queue for food at Strandfield.
We’re not surprised. Strandfield is ace. Hannah Byrne’s inspired concept is smart, functional, blessed with incredibly fine staff, and it’s in the right place: a 2-minute detour off the M1, and right in between Dundalk and Newry.


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