Victor Murphy, Stephen McGlynn and chef Eoin O' Reilly are the team behind the café at Cork Opera House and a “fresh and exciting twist on modern culinary classics” is the promise, with plenty of organic salads and house-baked treats.
Friendly staff are ready to welcome customers from breakfast time each day, making this a good destination whether you want a full meal or just a coffee or tea and one of their more-ish home bakes.
Lunch is popular and the once under-used foyer fills up quickly, though there is still plenty of space if you want to make your way to the box office and book a seat. The mission statement is “seasonal produce, locally sourced”, with some great suppliers mentioned on the menu, including Knockalara Cheese and Ballyhoura Mushrooms.
Menus are refreshingly clear and easy to understand - the lunch menu is detailed on a board over the kitchen area, but there’s also a copy that you may study at leisure at your table.
The style is eclectic with choices offering everything from an organic salad to a free range Thai style pork burger, or pan fried fish of the day. Simple dishes can be very good - a main course of free range egg with Ballyhoura wild mushrooms, spring onion, parmesan, pickles and organic leaves makes a gorgeous combination, for example, with a light hand at work.
Terrific presentation just makes you want to get eating. A flavour-packed mezze slate, for example, with mini bowls of aubergine compote, roasted parsnip hummus, bean salad, roasted peppers, tomato tapenade and marinated olive is an irresistible mix of colour and texture.
There are sandwiches (including one with delicious Hegarty’s Cheddar) and sweet things a-plenty too. So no matter what time you call, you may eat as much or as little as you like and you can be sure it will be full of good things from the area, fresh and very tasty. They specialise in pre-theatre bites and are open until nine o’clock on show nights.