KERRY

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS | EATING OUT - Shel­ter from the Storm. I Am Dandy De­li­cious

Beau­ti­ful de­sign, whether it’s Ir­ish or in­ter­na­tional, never fails to cheer me up. So, when I take refuge from the rainy streets of Gal­way into the up­stairs craft shop at Cof­feew­erk + Press, and find my­self sur­rounded by Fal­con pie dishes, Gal­way based Tweed Project blan­kets and Rian Poortvliet gnome prints, I sip on a per­fect flat white and note how my mood shifts in a con­sid­er­ably more pos­i­tive di­rec­tion.

Cof­feew­erk + Press is the pas­sion project of Daniel Ul­richs, whose fam­ily have owned and run the toy shop Wooden Heart in Gal­way since the late 1970s. Ini­tially, Daniel set up this lit­tle sis­ter com­pany as a pub­lisher for post­cards and prints by lo­cal artists, which they still ex­hibit and sell to­day. He ex­panded the busi­ness to open the cof­fee and craft shop in May.

“It’s about start­ing a di­a­logue be­tween the cus­tomer and the de­sign pieces,” Ul­richs says. “Even if they don’t buy any­thing, it’s nice for peo­ple just to be around th­ese beau­ti­ful things.”

I sit on the bay win­dow on the sec­ond floor, look­ing out over a rain splat­tered Quay St. A vin­tage side­board, com­plete with record player, sits un­der a slate fire­place and spins Bob Dy­lan’s

It couldn’t be more ap­pro­pri­ate. Gestal­ten books such as and

sit along­side the Ard Bia cook­book on a dis­play to my left.

Home­ware and jew­ellery by Dutch de­sign duo On­shus catche my eye, as well as the hand­made soy can­dles by Cal­i­for­nian PF Can­dle Co. The Rian Poortvliet gnomes are framed and hung over vin­tage fil­ing draw­ers, and be­spoke shelves, de­signed by Ul­richs and a friend es­pe­cially for the space, are the ob­ject of ad­mi­ra­tion on my in­sta­gram feed when I post a pic.

Down­stairs, their baris­tas make cof­fee us­ing beans from The Barn in Berlin and Copen­hagen’s Cof­fee Col­lec­tive, both of which are avail­able to buy by the bag, along­side Ir­ish ap­ple juice and a se­lec­tion of the spe­cial­ity tea that Cof­feew­erk + Press also serve. My flat white is fault­less. It’s the right strength of cof­fee topped by the cor­rect amount

Idás Restau­rant

John Street Din­gle Co Kerry face­book.com/idas­restau­rant € Din­gle is not short of good restau­rants, with stel­lar sea­sonal and year-round choices from lo­cal stal­warts such as Out of the Blue and The Global Vil­lage. Last year, Idás Restau­rant joined this fine com­pany when they moved from their orig­i­nal premises in the Gaeltacht town of Baile na nGall to John Street in Din­gle. The chef at the helm is Kevin Mur­phy, and it’s his great-grand­fa­ther, whose lo­cal nick­name was Idás, whom the restau­rant is named af­ter. Mur­phy trained as an artist but found his way into cook­ing, a self-taught chef whose love of lo­cal be­comes clear at a glance at his menu.

The stand­out dish on our visit is the seared scal­lops with braised pork cheek and kale, smoked gar­lic sauce and Pomme An­nas (¤29). Ev­ery­thing about this dish works. The pork is slow­cooked and sticky with flavour, the kale sweaty with pork jus and the scal­lops caramelised yet soft and plump. The Pomme An­nas, a kind of but­ter bat­tered spud, are out­landishly de­li­cious. The con­fit of wild hal­ibut (¤32) is a sim­ply stun­ning dish, with Glen­beigh mus­sels seeped in but­ter­milk rest­ing ar­tis­ti­cally on the pieces of fish, sur­rounded by sea veg­eta­bles.

The broth of for­aged land and sea veg­eta­bles, wild herbs and Bal­ly­houra white beech mush­rooms (¤8) is a bit dis­ap­point­ing. I ap­plaud its dashi base and rel­ish the flavour of those Cork grown Bal­ly­houra mush­rooms, but the Car­rageen sea­weed in the broth is too slimy in this con­text for me. The over­rid­ing taste is the bit­ter­ness of the gor­geously thick, green leaves that float in the dashi, whereas I was hop­ing for a more umami-based ex­pe­ri­ence. Still, it’s one of the most in­ter­est­ing starters I’ve had this year and is pleas­ingly evoca­tive of the wild­ness of this restau­rant’s lo­cal­ity.

I’m in­tox­i­cated by the po­ten­tial of the dessert of fen­nel poached pear, lemon and honey meringue and the restau­rant’s sig­na­ture nas­tur­tium ice cream (¤9). In the end, though I enjoy the dish, I don’t get enough fen­nel from the pear and the meringue is pow­dery rather than my per­sonal pref­er­ence of gooey in­te­rior and crisp ex­te­rior.

I love how Idás menu re­flects what’s hap­pen­ing in Ire­land’s food land­scape to­day, with its sin­cere em­pha­sis on for­aged, lo­cal and wild in­gre­di­ents. For a town that cares about food - a col­lec­tive pas­sion ev­i­dent in the suc­cess of the an­nual Din­gle Food Fes­ti­val (din­gle­food.com) and the en­thu­si­asm of the Din­gle Cook­ery School (din­gle­cook­eryschool.ie) – Idás is an­other strong call­ing card of the stan­dard that the King­dom of Kerry has to of­fer visi­tors and lo­cals alike.

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