|Dining Room Pembroke|
I am getting asked quite often where I recommend to eat in Cork – a very personal question really but I will give my opinion of course. But for some reasons, I never think of restaurants in hotels in Cork – a big oversight on my part as we have wonderful hotels with great restaurants. Regular readers of this blog know that I am already impressed by the team in River Lee Hotel but now I like to add the Pembroke Restaurant at the Imperial Hotel to that list of great restaurants in Cork.
Mr T and myself spent a midweek break in Imperial and booked dinner at the Pembroke. I have to admit, my expectations were low but to my big surprise, I feel in love with the hotel, the staff and yes, the food. Prembroke has in Craig Mills a chef who has a wonderfully light hand in preparing fish and he proved it in my dish of Tian of Crab and the pan-fried Hake with Lemon-Saffron Sauce. Both dishes were executed perfectly – for me a talent quite rare these days. Mr T tucked into a goats cheese tart for starter and a Trio of Pork Plate for main – and that was a plate of meat, you will have to have a great appetite to be able to finish this dish. It included Jack McCarthy Black Pudding, Pork Belly & Cutlet. Side dishes included potatoes that were roasted with caraway seeds which gave them a new dimension. Mixed vegetables completed the sides. We took our time enjoying the main course and I was able to savour every flavour. The fish is supplied by Jim Good of the Good Fish Company and the meat is sourced in Ireland – another point I am very happy about.
The dessert list was short but catered for all sweet tooth fairies and included chocolate, panna cotta, cheesecake and ice cream – we opted for strawberry cheese cake and hazelnut panna cotta. All desserts are made in-house (for me a big plus) and the hazelnut panna cotta had a wonderful subtle hint of hazelnut and the right amount of ‘wobble’ (yes, I wobbled). All in all, a wonderful meal, perfectly cooked and Mr T and I left with big smiles on our faces. The in-house bar ‘Souths’ is the perfect spot for an after-dinner tipple and it rounded our evening up just nicely.
|Tian of Crabmeat|
The staff is overall excellent. In the restaurant they are extremely attentive without being intrusive. Our waitress was a girl called Karen and she was personal but not too much, she had a nice sense of humour and I wish her all the best for her studies and research – we couldn’t have asked for a better waitress. It is always a good sign when employees are smiling – and we saw quite a few walking up and down, simply smiling. A great place to eat and apparently to work as well.
I have been to the cafe, Lafayette a few times and love the atmosphere of bygone times with their attractive tiling on the walls and the large windows looking onto South Mall but I might be changing the view in future to Pembroke Street instead.
So, from now on, Pembroke will be on my list of places to go if someone is asking for a dinner recommendation again.
By the way, the Imperial has a great Easter Offer on:
The 4-star, Imperial Hotel, located in the heart of Cork city has a fantastic three night Easter offer available over Easter weekend. You can enjoy three night’s bed and full Irish breakfast from just €155 per person sharing. This cracking Easter deal also includes a sweet treat from the Easter Bunny on Easter Sunday. An egg hunt will take place for children at 2.00pm and non-residents who are in for Easter Lunch will also be welcome to partake in the fun! Easter Lunch costs €25 per adult (3 courses) and €13 per child.
|Goats Cheese Parcel with Beetroot Chutney|
|Pan-Fried Hake with Saffron & Lemon Sauce|
|Trio of Pork|
|Lafayette Tea Rooms|
|Hazelnut Panna Cotta|