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Thyme Restaurant Athlone


Custume Place, Athlone, Co. Westmeath.

+353 (090) 6478850

Price: € 0-60 (for two with wine)

Hours: Monday - Saturday 5 - 10 pm
Sunday 12 - 8 pm


Thyme restaurant is right in the centre of Athlone, down a short slope to the left just before you drive over the main bridge. It is a large corner site, which on the summers evening we visit looks very pretty in the evening sun, with window boxes and shrubs outside the font doors, The building is painted in yellow and blue which suits this spot on the banks of our greatest river.

Inside the restaurant has wooden floors, the walls are painted in shades of taupe, very possibly from the Farrow and Ball colour card. There is an exposed brick bar which breaks up the room, and a modern triptych hangs on one wall while a feature mirror is in place on another. The décor is tasteful and relaxing, and the room, while quite large is nicely divided by free standing screens.

Thyme is run by chef and proprietor John Coffey who started off as a teenager in Harry’s of Kinnegad, before working in Zeeland House and Bloomfield hotel. John has been running Thyme for about four years now, and the menu is very much on topic, with a well chosen value menu running each night that offers two courses for €19.95 or three for €24.95. Here you can choose from a tea smoked chicken and cashel blue salad, fishcakes with sundried tomato and caper mayonnaise or a smoked bacon and Whelan’s black pudding potato cake with fresh tomato relish. Main courses include choices such as minute steak with sautéed Savoy cabbage, a homemade burger, pan roasted Barbary duck breast or pan fried fillet of hake.

On our last visit we stuck to the a la carte, and after some very nice homemade bread with hummus and olive tapenade, we received an amuse Bouche of duck won tons with sweet chilli relish, which were very tasty. To start I had the duck confit with fig relish, which was exactly as duck confit should be, and the relish worked very well. Abigail picked the twice baked goat’s cheese soufflé on beetroot which was one of the highlights for both of us, and she finished every morsel. The main courses of spiced duck breast on a bed of noodles with chilli, sesame and soy dressing was a nice combination, and my pan fried hake with lemon buerre blanc and colcannon potato cake was delicious, made more so with a side order of sautéed cabbage with bacon and onion. Another side of homemade chips were superfluous to requirements, but one or two inevitably picked chips proved they were very homemade and very nice.

We finished with a shared dessert of chocolate fondant, perfectly gooey, with cherry compote and ice cream which was delicious and two coffees.

Thyme is very good, the service was friendly and faultless throughout, and John Coffey is a good chef with an eye for creating interesting dishes. The value menu is great value and features mostly dishes from the a la carte, so it is a great way to try this restaurant out for yourself.
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