The Menu: Getting a caffeine fix in Cork

The Menu couldn’t be happier than to hymn the praises of the Cork Coffee Weekend.

The Menu: Getting a caffeine fix in Cork


The food and the music will come together on four Thursday nights in Cork’s Bodega, as Karen interprets the works of some of the legends of soul — beginning this Thursday with Amy Winehouse, and continuing on subsequent weeks to Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, and Etta James — while the MacCurtain Street-based White Rabbit Bar & BBQ serve up some of their splendid offerings.

The exclusive evening begins with the nosebag, followed by Karen and her band and then a DJ set from another Cork legend, Ian ‘Soulmaster’ Richards. Get further information on 021-4552222 and book tickets (€35 pp) now on


A hopped-up caffeine-freak at the best of times, The Menu couldn’t be happier than to hymn the praises of the Cork Coffee Weekend which continues until tomorrow.

An initiative of three local heroes, Eoin Kennedy, Dermot O’Sullivan and Caroline O’Keeffe, it is a celebration of 14 of the best independent Cork coffee houses and hospitality establishments specialising in excellent Irish-roasted coffee, much of it from Cork. It’s a splendid programme of coffee-related tastings and events.

The venues, all with planning permission bang up to date, include many of The Menu’s favourites and thoroughly deserve your support, keeping shekels in the local economy for the benefit of all. It finishes tomorrow (6pm-late) in Gulp’d Café with a set from DJ Stevie G.


One venue participating in the aforementioned Cork Coffee Weekend is the newly-opened Ali’s Kitchen, on Rory Gallagher Plaza, next to Paul St Shopping Centre. The Menu predicts that Ali’s sticky buns will come to dominate the culinary landscape in months to come and trigger a new confectionery revolution à la the cupcake craze.

Seek out the cinnamon buns in particular and bring along several friends to ensure the best possible chance of finishing off one of these humongous old-school classics.


Following young Mark Moriarty’s stunning triumph at the grand final in Milan last, the search is now on for the 2016 San Pellegrino Young Chef. The Menu trusts young Irish hopefuls will not be afraid to dream and submit applications to


The Caligula-like excesses of The Menu’s Yuletide consumption are now the stuff of memory and he, like many of his readers, has temporarily embraced his own version of Operation Transformation but without the shouting, which is why the Cutty Cake is currently banished from the kitchen.

Instead, The Menu more than makes do with a teaspoon of Big Red Kitchen’s Spiced Plum & Port Jam on a slice of sourdough toast or even a delicious home-baked oat biscuit and, while such a flavour combo may be redolent of the recent Christmas excess, it is in fact a sublimely balanced creation, cool, clean cinnamon mingling with the fruit before eventually the whole schmozzle settles into a delicious caramel finish.

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