Cian's on Bridge Street is the latest addition to great dining in Westport. Local man Cian Hayes re-opened the former mangos in June, and is getting rave reviews for his local innovative menu. Full review to follow.
Mango’s is a bijou little restaurant on Bridge Street in Westport, one of our favourite towns. Pat Kelly's restaurant is situated on the left at the very top of the street as you drive up the one way system.
It is a narrow restaurant with a vibrant blue sign on the top, so you should find it fairly easily. The dining room is semi visible through a stylish wooden blind, and the window is doted with awards and clippings praising the food. It is very inviting, has pots of charm and an interesting menu of delightful sounding seafood dishes.
I was reading Bill Bryson’s ‘Notes from a Small Island’ while in Westport. He was on a circuit of Britain before a move back to the United States with his family, and two of his destinations are model towns build by rich industrialists during the eighteenth and nineteenth century for their growing workforces.
There are a lot of these towns in Britain - while we on the other hand have very few - and probably the most successful of these is Westport, whose very sensible street plan makes you wonder what Government planners were, and indeed are, thinking most of the time. Westport is easy to navigate, it’s proportional, and a joy to walk around and besides all that it has some very good restaurants, of which Mango’s is undoubtedly one.
Inside the dining room is a medium sized space with smart table cloths and fine woo and cream upholstered chairs. The walls are cream and a deep burgundy red and are decorated with maritime paintings, prints and artefacts on the walls. It is one of the most charming rooms I have been in, and the easy-going and friendly staff are just the icing on the cake.
The menu is a seafood delight, with duo’s of this and combos of that. The menu changes seasonally, so rather than get too specific let us give you a flavour. The seafood chowder is always good, and there is a wonderful seafood cocktail with fresh and smoked fish and sauce sprinkled with brandy. Try the Blue Bells goats cheese, I’ve just had some on a cracker, it’s great, while other options may include oysters, scallops with Kelly’s black pudding or Silverhill duck salad.
Main courses are split between the pasta and rice, seafood and meat options. There is a couple of risottos and linguine with a choice of several seafood combinations, such as classic clam and prawns in a light tomato sauce, or scallops and prawns in a cream sauce. For committed carnivores enjoy the local lamb cutlets or the roast duck a l’orange.
On our most recent visit a shared starter of Clew Bay scallops on Kelly’s black pudding was ridiculously generous, with huge juicy scallops complemented by the soft, slightly spicy pudding. The two sat atop a bed of light mash, and would make a perfectly adequate light bite on its own.
I loved the special of Hake, with mussels, clams and prawns baked in a tinfoil parcel, with white wine. Again generosity was the order of the day, while the brunette’s seafood linguine was perfectly al dente, with piles of seafood, and a delicate tomato sauce set it all off.
A couple of glasses of Sauvignon Blanc from well chosen wine list were a perfect accompaniment, and Mango’s sell a selection of 50cl bottles, which are perfect for two, and good value around the €16 mark.
Mangos is pretty special, it just kind of calls out to you. It’s like a little voice in your head…. ‘Come in’ it says ‘we do great fish.’ And so you do go in. And it is great fish.