At the edge of Ballina town, on the Sligo Road, you can’t miss the Murphy Brothers landmark building and its ample car parks.
It's a lively place with a busy, buzzy bar on the ground floor and the popular Market Kitchen restaurant above it, with views of the River Moy.
A pleasing restaurant with a verandah that can be set up with dining tables in fine weather, it is run by husband and wife team Susan Walsh and chef Kieran Sweeney - fresh, seasonal and local is their motto, and the quality and value offered explain its popularity.
With many of their valued suppliers listed on the menu cover, there is a sense of quality to the whole operation; beef, chicken, lamb and duck are all Irish and fully traceable, and even the bottled water, Fior Uisce, comes from nearby Tourmakeady.
Nicely balanced menus offer a good mix of meat, fish and vegetarian options, covering everything from steak to salmon to risotto. Starters could include an Ardsallagh goat cheese tart, Clare Island smoked salmon or a delicious dish of Achill Island crab claws with baked new potatoes, garlic, chilli and lime cream. A lovely modern classic starter to look out for is the seared Irish scallops, served with asparagus, crispy chorizo, béarnaise and Kelly’s of Newport black pudding crumble.
Mains might feature a roast rump of organic Mayo lamb, 12-hour slow-roast Elphin pork belly, a Market Garden fish board or MacHale’s prime Irish sirloin.
A grilled fillet of Clare Island organic salmon makes a pleasing dish in early summer, served with new potatoes, sugar snap peas, chorizo and tarragon hollandaise, and Silver Hill duck from Co Monaghan is always popular - roast breast, perhaps, served with a creamed leek and young spinach mash, crispy summer greens and a delicious beetroot and orange gravy.
With treats like warm apple tart tatin with homemade vanilla ice cream, and lemon posset with toasted almond cream and orange shortbread on offer, it would be a mistake to miss out on dessert - perhaps accompanied by a glass of dessert wine from an interesting list that includes well chosen house wines.
You can access the restaurant by its own entrance or via the bar, but be sure to book ahead at peak times, as it’s a popular spot.
The bar food menu is a little lighter and a little less expensive, but also very inviting, with good pizza and pasta dishes among a wide range. And if you’re in the ‘salmon capital’ during the day, they offer an extensive lunch menu. Children have their own menu with good choices, individually or as a three course meal plus a sugar-free cordial for just €11.
Great food is the key ingredient at Market Kitchen, but friendly, efficient service, a proper children’s menu, a good wine list - and the riverside location - all add to the appeal of this attractive restaurant.