Beautiful edible treats; premium yogurt and my vote is for these oatmeal

The Menu offers last-minute tips for Lotharios who arrive late and haven’t yet arranged Valentine’s Day love shows.

Cork’s English Market is always a treasure trove of fine gourmet shopping to charm any heart. The Chocolate Shop remains, of course, one of The Menu’s most favorite edible emporiums to be found anywhere in the world and the selection available is unrivaled in this country, including VDay baskets.

Roughty’s Little Sister offers stunning locally grown flowers and wildflowers, for a beautiful floral display with a minimal carbon footprint, as well as food baskets including the Pure Cork Tapas Box.

Another menu favourite, On The Pig’s Back, features a Valentine’s Cheese and Charcuterie Basket, featuring cheeses from one of the best selections of Irish and French cheeses in the country, as well as a host of other delicacies.

While the cheap card and the faded flowers of the garage forecourt may not win hearts, the situation could well be saved if said card were to contain a receipt for an exclusive champagne dinner (March 3) at the K Club’s Barton restaurant , with six delicious courses accompanied by Laurent Perrier Champagnes, and including a Champagne aperitif. Tickets are limited and an extra offer of a room for the night at €299 for two people is almost a must-have addition if you’re making up for neglecting the day in question!

The best yogurt in the country

Velvet Cloud Yogurt

Many producers of high-end Irish specialty foods, whose production forms the backbone of the country’s top menus, have been the least noted victims of the pandemic’s impact on the hospitality sector, one of their biggest markets having closed overnight and Mayo’s Velvet Cloud is one of them, producers of what The Menu considers the best yoghurt in the country, incredibly rich, creamy and full of flavor Velvet Cloud, which happens to be made at from sheep’s milk. For many potential consumers the very idea of ​​sheep’s milk yogurt may be off-putting, so Velvet Cloud is offering free samples to convert the wary, a free sample of the large 450g pot of Velvet Cloud sheep’s milk yogurt. Just add postage and packaging and it will be deducted from your first order – and take it from The Menu, it won’t be your last order.

Exclusive tacos

The new Eatyard Street Sessions kick off with a promising program of chef takeovers in the shipping container kitchen at Eatyard at the Bernard Shaw, in Glasnevin, Dublin, serving a unique limited menu and the first chef is Lily Ramirez-Foran (13 February) who will serve an exclusive taco from his brand new book, Tacos, the first imprint of a new series from the very wonderful Irish publishing start-up Blasta Books.


The Organics of James Kelly Ballymore
The Organics of James Kelly Ballymore

James Kelly’s family have farmed on the Kildare and Wicklow border for five generations, but James started running the family farming business in the organic direction in 2015, harvesting his first organic crops the following year in 2016. After having grown some quite extraordinary milling wheat, but finding it very difficult to grind easily, he then set up his own mill on his farm in Ballymore Eustace, Co Kildare, and now retails through his Ballymore Organics brand, a range of superb stone-ground flours (wholemeal and plain) as well as semolina and oats.

Semolina is one of those edible echoes of The Menu’s childhood that still resonates today, when he enjoyed it cooked like an elemental, simple pudding of milk, sugar and the magic grain made from the middlemen. (endosperm) of wheat, flavored with a pinch of nutmeg, baked and served with a generous dollop of homemade jam. All of James’s grains are freshly ground the day of dispatch and The Menu has also used this nutty flavored semolina to make utterly divine fresh pastas and have since used it as an excellent coating for fried fish and chicken, and they’re quite superb in Basbosa, a delicious Syrian cake recipe recently acquired by The Menu from Ahmed Saqqa, chef/owner of The Four Liars restaurant in Shandon.

But back to oats. Also ground on the day of shipment, they have a golden honeyed hue and a nutty taste. This golden color is because the oats are truly raw, unlike those more usual “perfect” flat white flakes that are achieved by steaming and heating the grain just before it is flattened, a process of “cooking” which means they have already begun to drop some of their original nutritional bioavailability. Quite simply, these are the best oats The Menu has ever eaten and that is high praise indeed as it is universally agreed that we produce probably the best oats in the world under our ideal climatic conditions.

Like overnight oatmeal, made with freshly squeezed apple juice and natural yogurt, and served with fruit, it’s utterly gorgeous and has become today’s school lunch. and a bedtime snack of choice for No 2 Son and even a simple muesli of raw oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit would fuel an army for a three day march.

The menu itself, however, failed to look beyond serving them as a nice bowl of old-fashioned porridge, soaked overnight in part water and gently cooked in a bath. blend the next morning with two more parts milk and a pinch of salt, until the starch turns into a smooth cream contrasting with the textured bite of the deeply flavorful oats. Over the years The Menu has added all sorts of fabulous additions to its morning porridge, but with oats this good it’s kept simple, a spoonful of brown sugar, left to melt into a syrup on the surface of the porridge hot, then a sip of mixed crème fraîche. As Ms. Goldilocks herself would say, “Just right!”

(Available for nationwide delivery.)

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