Augustine’s, Cork

Augustine's

What a treat. Sometimes a restaurant ticks all the boxes. The atmosphere was buzzing, the room cozy and restful, the service friendly and professional. The dishes here are uncomplicated but exceptionally good quality. I believe Augustine’s is rammed at the weekends, and after eating here, it’s no surprise why.

I take my hat off to our server, who I suspect may have been the restaurant manager. When taking our drinks order, she asked if we wanted “still, sparkling or tap“. This is something you don’t see enough of in restaurants. I’ve started ordering tap water in restaurants lately, as it’s better for the environment and my pocket. All too often I’ve encountered snooty waiters who are programmed to turn up their nose at the mere mention of the word “tap”. Next time you order tap water in a restaurant, check your waiter’s expression. It’s probably a good indicator of the general standard of service there. I was so pleased that I was given the option of tap water (easily pleased eh?) that I ordered us a couple of bellinis and a good half-bottle of Bordeaux for myself. Restaurateurs, please don’t instruct your waiters to discourage customers from ordering anything other than bottled water. You might think you’re putting manners on the cheapskates but you also run the risk of alienating customers who might otherwise spend big.

Consommée

An amuse bouche of “Tomato consommée” was a nice surprise. Well seasoned with serious depth of flavour but I felt that the herb element was too strong. I would have preferred if the tomato was more prominent which would have made the soup fresher and lighter.

Black Pudding

Quail

The Wife, already a Clonakilty fan, was in black pudding heaven. She ordered the “Boudin of Clonakilty black pudding with apple compote, onion marmalade, cider jus & apricot preserve” to start. To be honest, I couldn’t locate the compote, marmalade, jus and preserve in this dish. All I could see was a mound of black pudding in a bright red soup. It looked very curious but it tasted absolutely sublime. I would have been suffering from “dish envy” were it not for the fact that I was raving about my own choice: “Warm organic salad of pan-roast quail with green beans, port soaked raisins, pistachios and spaghetti of parsnip“. It was a wonderful dish. The flavours and textures were so distinct and yet worked perfectly together, I loved it. The chef here certainly knows how to match flavours. For me, the best dish of the meal.

Hake

Beef Wellington

Onto mains. The Wife chose a daily special of “Slow Roast troncon of hake with a smoked bacon and puy lentil casserole, served with pomme purée“. This dish was really good, but she was unable to finish it as it was very filling. I ignored the glorious summer evening and ordered what I consider quite a wintery dish: “Beef Wellington served with braised red cabbage and potato gratin“. It was a good match for my Bordeaux and everything a Wellington should be – crisp and buttery pastry, a well-flavoured duxelle and the beef was cooked perfectly medium-rare as I had ordered it. It was served on a vast mound of lightly-spiced red cabbage along with a side portion of gratin dauphinoise. I was sceptical about the dauphinoise as it looked quite dry, but I suspect this is how it’s supposed to be cooked. It was not swimming in cream, but it was soft, buttery and perfectly seasoned. This is what I consider to be a “complete” dish and certainly the best “Beef Wellington” I’ve ever eaten.

Chocolate Fondant

At this point, we were both completely stuffed. The Wife refused to order a dessert but I managed to persuade her to share my “Chocolate fondant, cherry sauce & pistachio ice-cream“. The waiter was happy to bring us two spoons. After such a high-quality meal, the fondant was everything I would have expected: molten and unctuous. The sharp cherry sauce was a nice counterpoint to the rich fondant and the ice-cream gave a nice nutty crunch to the dish. I really don’t want to analyse it too much but here was yet another dish that’s perfectly balanced in both flavour and texture. I don’t know who the chef is, but he has serious talent.

The people of Cork are truly lucky to have a restaurant of this calibre in the city. Our bill came to around €130 and was worth every cent. I’ll be back…

Augustine’s, 7 Washington Street, Cork City.
http://www.augustines.ie/
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10 Responses to “Augustine’s, Cork”


  1. 1 italian foodie June 3, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    lol, I was wondering if this was the next review:) I LOVED this place, everything was just so right. The chef/owner seems to be really hands on and came out to us about 3 times to see if everything was ok and then gave us a taster of every dessert on the menu, we rolled out of there. Snap on the quail starter, absolutely devine and the most memorable dish for us too. Just back from the Ice house hotel on ballina http://www.icehousehotel.ie and was so dissapointed with the food, not a patch on Augustines. The thing I love about it too is that you don’t hear much about it in the press, they seem to concentrate more on the food and it shows….

  2. 2 Conor June 4, 2009 at 10:00 am

    That’s great, nice to see they’re so consistent. My praise is probably a bit ‘gushing’ but I do think it’s deserved. I love the fact that they’re not trying to create art, instead they’re just delivering great food in a nice setting. Hats off to them.

    Just had a look at the Ice House, looks cool. I’ll give the restaurant a miss if I go there!

  3. 3 aoife mc June 4, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Oh my goodness, this looks delish! I have heard great things about Augustine’s. Last time we were in Cork we chose Cafe Paradiso over Augustine’s actually, and it was beautiful as well. We’re just going to have to make another trip down to Cork to try Augustine’s (and to have another munch around The English Market!)

  4. 4 claire October 8, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I passed Augustines today and it is closed down! Anyone know if they ahve gone out of business?

  5. 6 chris October 29, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Yes,looks like Augustines is closed and the venue is for let! One of best restaurants in Cork…

  6. 8 Lars February 4, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Hi,
    I just called them, and they said that they moved to the Clarion Hotel? Can anyone confirm, that the quality of food as well as the ambience are the same there? We were planning to go there on Saturday, and are coming from out of town …

    • 9 Toasted Special February 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm

      Hi Lars. Not sure about the standard of food in the new venue, but I’ve heard that the hotel dining room is not the most attractive and the ambience suffers as a result. Pity.

      Hope you enjoy your meal.


  1. 1 Eating & Drinking in Cork | Toasted Special Trackback on June 16, 2009 at 10:42 pm
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