Looking out on a beautiful Friday evening across Clew Bay, it is fair to surmise that you have one of the best views on the planet, never mind the country. The vista is simply extraordinary, looking towards Croagh Patrick, across the causeway and the islands. Purple peaks blend in with the sky as the evening progresses, but until the cover of darkness falls the views remain spectacular. It is rarely I write a sentence with some many superlatives, but this is one of those times.
We are here for the launch of the Gourmet Greenway which seeks to promote local food and food producers, in the hotel, the local area and indeed further afield, highlighting the quality and value inherent in buying quality food that is locally made by people who care.
The evening’s centrepiece was the seven course tasting menu, featuring some of the suppliers who are members of Gourmet Greenway. Evening Started with Canapes of Natural Oysters, Mussels, Black Pudding Muffins, Sri Lanken Tuna & Sweetcorn, Seaweed & Goats Cheese Pearls.
We then sat down and started with homemade bread selection created by Café Rua & Mulranny Chef Helen and comprised Dillisk Soda Bread, Olive Focaccia and Tomato Bread. These were quickly followed by an Amuse Bouche of brown crab custard served in a scallop shell. There was a fabulous crab flavour here, which is no easy thing with this delicate seafood.
Our starter was a trio of mackerel; one piece smoked, one pickled and a mousse, served with purple potatoes and wasabi caviar amongst other elements. I am a huge mackerel fan, and all three pieces here were perfect. This was a beautifully made plate of food and the presentation was excellent.
We stuck with the sea for the next course; a butter poached fillet of halibut with bacon crumbed asparagus and sea herbs, while an adventurous smoked salmon and horseradish ice cream in a dillisk cone provided a unique take on sorbet.
Wild Atlantic sea spray lamb was cooked sous vide and then roasted with a wild garlic and pumpkin crust was the centrepiece of the main course, but a spiced lamb sausage stole the thunder here, and some of Sri Lankan head chef Chamila Mananwatta influences came to the fore.
Desserts of deconstructed apple and rhubarb crumble and a selection os local cheese brought up the end.
Matching wines were from Spain, and a fabulous selection was chosen, including a new addition to the Irish market, the Coto Mayor Sauvignon Blanc from Rioja. Wines were matched and described by Bren Smith – Forrestal Wine Merchants & JJ Galvin, who did a great job of piquing people's interest.
Service was impeccable, and a lovely evening of great Irish food was had by all. We have always liked Mulranny; maybe this summer take a trip, and enjoy some real Irish hospitality and fabulous Irish produce all cooked by a man from Sri Lanka.