CORK

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS EATING OUT -

ORSO KITCHEN & BAR

8 Pem­broke St, Cork City, 021-2438000, orso.ie ¤ Opened by the same team be­hind Mar­ket Lane, El­bow Lane and Cas­tle Café, this small but per­fectly formed café brings Persian flavours to Pem­broke St. Dur­ing the day you can or­der from The Bar, a long counter filled with Ot­tolenghi-style large bowls of sal­ads and sun­dries.

Break­fast is daily from 8.30am-11.30am and high­lights in­clude the warm ba­nana flat­bread with a creamy lime zest fill­ing (¤4.50) and the Break­fast Moglai – a crispy dough bread stuffed with ba­con, egg, cheese and co­rian­der (¤6.50).

For lunch, go for the Manoushi, a Le­banese flat bread filled meat and cheese (¤8.90) or for a salad of pearl cous­cous with ca­pers, cu­cum­ber, pomegranate and pars­ley (¤7). The sweet treats are plen­ti­ful; we’ll be back for their cour­gette cake (¤4.25) and their rose­wa­ter and pis­ta­chio meringue (¤4.50).

Night­time sees the Kitchen tak­ing over, and the Mid­dle Eastern in­flu­ence is strong in this menu too. It’s ca­sual – the menu isn’t di­vided into starters or mains and shar­ing is en­cour­aged. There are plenty of smaller dishes at around ¤8, such as Moroc­can spiced beef pat­ties (¤8), and bulgar wheat and chick­pea falafel (¤8.50).

There are more baked goods from Le­banon, this time in the form of Sfee­has, de­li­cious mini pies that are also stuffed with meat (¤8). They’re served at Orso with a crispy kale and a creamy dip. The menu holds a cou­ple of larg­ers plates for the heftier ap­petite, in­clud­ing a slow cooked lamb tagine (¤18.50) or a sea­sonal game pie with their own Orso spiced pota­toes (¤17).

There’s a small but well-se­lected choice of craft beer and cock­tails, and ser­vice is fast and friendly. They also host regular barista classes, led by their “pro­fes­sional cof­fee mas­ter” Yuliyan. The next classes are on May 10th and May 25th, and they’re open to peo­ple who want to up­scale their hos­pi­tal­ity skills or just those who re­ally loves cof­fee and wants to find out more about brew­ing.

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