Time Bistro is a new restaurant in Thurles serving modern Irish food in a contemporary setting. All very well, but what is important here is that the people running it are Marino and Alvaro, who made Bates in Rathdrum one of the best restaurants in Leinster. The bar has been raised for Tipperary food.
Time Bistro occupies the premises that once housed Park Avenue, and is just across from the railway station on a prominent corner site. Inside the restaurant is beautifully decorated, with feature wallpaper, chairs upholstered in a striking striped fabric and big comfy booths in a deep purple. Exposed brick complements the soft furnishing and the effect is both pleasing and impressive.
The kitchen is open plan, and diners can see the chefs cook the food, while upstairs is another fine room, which acts as an overflow at weekends, or is used for private parties and functions.
The menu is also new, and so is a work in progress as I write this, but already it features locally sourced produce and seasonal dishes that are high on presentation and taste. The wine list is well chosen and features some excellent wines; we shared a brilliant Albarino, some organic Shiraz from Australia and a very special 2010 Tomassi Amorone.
We ate dinner as a trio; myself, daughter and food scientist Abigail, and our cousin Seamas Cullagh, who lives locally and hadn't been in to the new restaurant since it changed hands. Between us we had a good cross section of the menu, and bearing in mind it changes regularly, rather than list dishes I'll just write about what we ate.
To start Abigail had the homemade pappardelle pasta with truffle and cream, which was perfectly cooked and simply delicious. Seamas probably had the star dish in this course though; three perfect scallops with a mango and passion fruit purée looked and tasted amazing, while my prawns with chilli and garlic were really very good indeed, just overshadowed by the perfection of the scallops.
Abigail loved her main course of sea trout, while Seamas reckoned he had never tasted a proper burger before the massive tower of meat he received in a homemade Brioche bun. I stayed true to bistro with a classic; rib eye steak and hand cut chips with Bearnaise. The meats here are all hung for 30 days or so, and the steak was both tender and packed full of flavour.
We finished with a perfectly crispy outside, gooey inside chocolate pudding and some good coffee.
I predict Time Bistro will become the most popular restaurant in Thurles and the surrounding county. They are serving excellent food at fair prices, in a lovely room. There is nothing here not to like. Try it soon