Food critic Tom Doorley serves up defence in tit-for-tat review row

Food critic Tom Doorley served up a varied menu of tweets yesterday to hit back at broadcaster Neil Prendeville for the coverage of his review of a Cork City restaurant.

Doorley, whose highly critical review of the new casual dining outlet, Coqbull, prompted a wide-ranging debate on Prendeville’s RedFM show on Monday, took to Twitter to break his silence.

“I shall be making no comment about a certain broadcaster and his Coq. I think enough has been said already,” he tweeted.

It was seen as a veiled reference to an incident in October 2009 when Prendeville exposed himself on an Aer Lingus flight.

Doorley savaged the casual dining chicken and burger restaurant in his weekly review in Saturday’s Irish Daily Mail.

The restaurant took to Twitter on Sunday and responded: “Tom YOU are so full of BULL” — they tweeted a picture of a billboard outside the restaurant bearing the same message.

Prendeville followed up on the spat during his show on Monday but Doorley wasn’t available to discuss the review live.

Prendeville spoke to Coqbull executive chef Mike Ryan, also involved in the Cornstore, who defended the food and staff.

They both accused Doorley of penning a personal attack on the restaurant at a time when the business environment has never been tougher.

They also suggested Doorley has a bias against Cork restaurants, citing two previous reviews which were extremely critical of city eateries.

But on Twitter yesterday, Doorley said he never debates his reviews and he criticised the radio discussion of it, suggesting it was a “trifle lacking in balance”.

He said comments during the show about him living in Waterford, and that he had been “hiding” since the review, had caused him “much mirth”.

The Neil Prendeville Show responded on Twitter later with a photograph of a jammed Coqbull restaurant on Monday evening.

As the tit for tat continued, Doorley followed up with a tweet saying he was hopeful that Coqbull “does the decent thing” and gives Prendeville “a small shareholding”.

Several people joined in the Twitter spat, with some backing Doorley’s stance, and others supporting Coqbull.

One user said the review was just one person’s opinion, and that the free publicity it had generated was priceless.

Another person said they were dying to try the restaurant after all the talk, while another punter raved yesterday about its €10 burger lunch.

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