Tom’s Table at the Red Cow Hotel, on the busiest interchange in the country is probably not the first place you think of for quiet, comfortable casual dining, but they have done a fine job, and stained glass, high ceiling, expensive tables and chairs and sparkling stemware and cutlery make this a great destination for a business dinner of casual meet up in a very accessible spot.
As I take my seat I am struck with the attention to detail here, someone has put in a lot of effort, and it feels personal. While big, the room manages to feel cosy, and the use of statement room dividers and very good finishes helps. There is a piece of prose on the wall, telling us that the idea was to create the feeling of eating with friends and family in a country kitchen, and for some reason it works!
The menu is short and well put together and starters include seafood chowder, Greek style avocado salad, Irish corned beef hash with cauliflower puree and egg and a taste of the sea. Mains include pan fried hake, a choice of steaks, vegetarian beetroot and chickpea fritters and lamb shank.
The taste of the sea called out to me, and a starter of crab bon bons, scallop, bacon and black pudding with oyster tempura was a small triumph. The little spheres of crab are just that; plenty of crab, not too much filler, while the sweet scallop meat was complemented with the rich flavour of the black pudding. Very good starter, nicely presented and my waitress is friendly and knowledgeable on the dishes and the menu .
Pork is an overlooked meat I think, and so a pork chop on the bone hits the spot, it’s tenderly cooked and very juicy, and apple mash, a crumbling of black pudding and an almost tangy cider sauce sets of little taste explosions. This is simple, honest home cooking at its best.
A Key Lime pie with whipped cream and a cup of good coffee send me on my way. On the way out I notice their sharing table, which can cater for parties of 12 and would make a great spot for a family or friends meet up in a very accessible location.
Top marks for realising the vision so successfully. Honest well made food is always in style and it was a pleasure to enjoy it done so well.