The Bakehouse does for the community of Miltown Malbay, what a good pub does for any Irish town, it provides people with a place they can always rely on for good food, good value and a warm welcome. Chef Eddie has run the Bakehouse with his partner Irene for the past seven years. Their place is warm and cheerful with local art lining the walls, big blackboards provide info about food events past and future and a framed newspaper piece about Eddie’s time as a chef in a rock-n-roll circus puts an interesting face to the man.
Edie is proud of the food produced locally, beef killed in Kilkee and sold across the street, the neighbouring famous St.Tola goats cheese. Crab claws are processed nearby and any dish you ask about, you’ll be told about where it came from so you can choose the food that’s closest to home. I’m a sucker for crab claws and so I had these in the best way with garlic butter. Served on a timbale of well-flavoured couscous this was a perfect starter and a good teaser for the main. The Mussels were top of the charts, steamed in garlic butter and white wine, they were pink, plump and juicy there were no survivors. The ribs were meaty and well roasted with a sticky, sweet barbeque sauce.
I chose the T-bone for my main, a more fully flavoured and well-hung piece of meat I haven’t had. What a treat to have a proper steak, a 16oz er, with mushrooms, onion rings, tomato and garlic butter. Sides of braised leeks were a welcome surprise, the crisp roasties were perfect and a great into to the other mains. The monkfish was elegantly plated up with a punchy Provencal reduction, tiger prawns and chorizo. The dish of the day here was the fresh cod and chips. Locally caught from a sustainable source, this fish was white, light, falling apart and so perfect that another helping was called for. The chips were off the charts and the happiness at the table was too.
Deserts are hearty numbers like pear and almond tart, apple tart, and a chocolate fudge cake to leave your spouse for. The brownie was my favourite, light yet indulgent, with a fruit coulis and vanilla ice cream.
The Bakehouse serves the community well, they are always open, they want it that way. How many restaurants have that much heart, and the best of food?
Valerie O’Connor 02/12/2011