The Menu: Re-openings, long tables, and Zoom cocktail making

These are tremulous times to be in the hospitality business and so The Menu is delighted to hear of Japanese-chef-turned-Corkonian Takashi Miyazaki’s plans to reopen his splendid Michelin starred restaurant, Ichigo Ichie, for Tanabata (July 7).
The Menu: Re-openings, long tables, and Zoom cocktail making
Japanese-chef-turned-Corkonian Takashi Miyazaki
Takashi Miyazaki, chef-proprietor of Michelin-starred Ichigo Ichie
Takashi Miyazaki, chef-proprietor of Michelin-starred Ichigo Ichie

These are tremulous times to be in the hospitality business and so The Menu is delighted to hear of Japanese-chef-turned-Corkonian Takashi Miyazaki’s plans to reopen his splendid Michelin starred restaurant, Ichigo Ichie, for Tanabata (July 7), the Japanese star festival based on reunion, with bookings open from Monday June 8 at 10am.

Tanabata is on of five traditional Japanese seasonal festivals (gosekku) and is based on a great celestial romance, as the stars Vega and Altair, representing two erstwhile lovers, a princess and a weaver who, in their romantic idyll, neglect their respective duties and are punished by the gods who separate them on either sides of a ‘river, the Milky Way, allowing them to meet just once a year.

Japanese-chef-turned-Corkonian Takashi Miyazaki
Japanese-chef-turned-Corkonian Takashi Miyazaki

Whatever you make of that, there is no denying we are long overdue a ‘reunion’ and one of The Menu’s very finest 2020 meals of a rather brief season before lockdown began was in Ichigo Ichie and Takashi will be delivering something similar over two sittings to between 10 and 18 guests per sitting. www.ichigoichie.ie/reservation

Although a comparative newcomer, Cork’s Long Table dinner, running the length of the South Mall and featuring fine fare delivered by a select handful of local restaurants, had been so embraced by the local dining public as to already constitute something in the order of a local institution in the making on Leeside.

Very obviously, in the current climate, such a gathering could not proceed as before so instead it will be presented as Cork’s Long Table Picnic at Home (June 21) as part of the Midsummer’s Moments from the Cork Midsummer Festival, with exquisite hampers of local produce and beverages available for domestic consumption on the day and no doubt moves will be made to ensure an online virtual gathering as well.

Hampers are designed for two diners, limited in numbers, to be collected from the Imperial Hotel. (Participating establishments: The Imperial Hotel, Farmgate Café, Ali's Kitchen, Dockland Restaurant, Nash 19, Crawford and Co, Jacobs and Electric.)

Douglas-based diner, 12 Tables, is a great favourite with local chompers, including The Menu’s progeny who rate it very highly on their own Burger-ometer, so they are just some of the many citizens in the locale who are delighted to hear of the takeaway dinner service (Fri/Sat) begun earlier last month and which has now been expanded to include a click and collect brunch offering (Sat/Sun), with allocated time slots for collection from the garden to avoid lengthy queues. www.12tables.ie

The Menu’s great comrade, Oisin Davis, the ONLY man to have wielding the cocktail shaker at any rocking party, will be bringing his Great Irish Beverages outfit together with the Celtic Whiskey Shop to present the Cocktail Tour, a brand new home cocktail delivery service and online Zoom tutorial.

Each week, Oisin picks two different cocktails from around the world and demonstrates their creation to Zoom guests, using all the kit and caboodle as dispatched by the Celtic Whiskey Shop.

Each week’s cocktails are announced on social media and for €42.50 including delivery, each customer receives a package with all the mixing equipment, a little gift and all the alcohol and ingredients needed to make two serves of two different cocktails, making four cocktails in total, with all customers emailed their Zoom meeting ID just before the demo every Thursday at 8pm, with other guests joining each week including master distillers, well known bartenders and chefs offering cocktail-friendly food pairings. (https://www.celticwhiskeyshop.com/https://www.greatirishbeverages.com)

Blackcastle Farm is a necessary rebranding of Tipperary-based farmer John Commins’ Piedmontese beef, which he and wife Ann have been rearing on their Two-Mile-Borris farm since 2005, because the Italian ancestry of these now very much Irish cattle required endless explanation as to provenance.

Mind you, anyone savouring a smokey sliver of the exquisite sirloin steaks recently coming from The Menu’s BBQ, slicing as smoothly as the garlic butter they were basted in, would have learned all they ever really needed to know about this fine Irish product. www.blackcastlefarm.ie

TODAY’S SPECIAL

The Menu has written about Food For Humans before and will undoubtedly do so again though many readers will struggle to access Stephen Sinnot’s most excellent produce. Rather, The Menu encourages each and every one to seek out their own top quality local grower, ensuring they survive and prosper, to deliver finest local seasonal Irish produce for ALL our tables.

This week The Menu took delivery of new season carrots (Nantes) reasoning that 4kg would be sufficient to also pickle and add to his fermented krauts. Dream on, dear deluded Menu, for they hardly lasted a wet weekend not to mind a rather exquisite sunshine-filled one, his progeny eating handfuls of them like sweets.

As well as serving them simply blanched in boiling salted water with a little butter, The Menu pulled out the stops for one of the many BBQs that have largely supplanted any indoor cooking during this unfeasibly fine spell, one especially popular dish being a class of salad, blanched and served with (also blanched) cauliflower, dressed in finest olive oil and chopped preserved lemons and finished with some fresh oregano from the herb bed. www.foodforhumans.ie

Contact The Menu at themenu@examiner.ie Also, download the entirely free EatForIreland app connecting the Irish food world (independent producers, growers, hospitality outlets and food retailers) to prospective food shoppers, especially those cocooning at home.(http://eatforireland.ie)

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