Bruce and Laura Mulcahy’s stylish contemporary restaurant has long been one of Kenmare’s most consistently pleasing dining venues and, allthough they have relocated to bigger premises on Main Street, the style, the cooking and the service are all as good as ever.
The room is spacious and stylish - with the same comfortable high back leather chairs, well-spaced smart modern table settings (including lovely, well-designed cutlery brought back from Thailand) and original artwork on the walls - but the big difference now is the handsome big bar area just inside the door. The previous premises had no space to relax before or after a meal, so this is a major improvement and also allows for informal daytime meals and other activities.
The friendliness of the welcome is genuine here, and iced water and delicious breads are soon on the table - the breads come on a pretty little bamboo tray, together with a choice of good Irish butter or an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip.
Carefully designed to offer quality, balance and value, Bruce's menus are fresh and imaginative, offering his trademark spicy dishes inspired by extensive travels but always with a firm foundation of seasonal local foods - and some dishes are offered in two sizes.
Being so near the sea, fish features prominently, typically in a starter sushi of salmon, prawn and cod enlivened with pickled ginger and wasabi, which may also be available as a main course. Halibut, lemon sole and scallops often feature on the main courses and are well worth looking out for, and Kerry lamb is also a favourite of course.
A children's menu is not offered but dishes from the main menu can be adapted for children, with chicken and pasta the most popular choices - a solution that many will find preferable.
The excellent cooking is backed up by charming and knowledgeable staff, working under Laura Mulcahy’s direction - and the wine list is carefully selected to match the food. House wines are offered by the glass, with quite a few half bottles size and some dessert wines also available, and there is now also a full bar.