This was my second time to visit this restaurant in the past two years. I don’t remember much about my previous visit so it can’t have been too memorable (good or bad). However, the place has an excellent reputation, has won awards over the years and is run by the same owner for a long number of years. So, in the company of two others, I made a return visit. This time I was wearing my reviewer’s hat.
The room is dark and old, with one wall stripped back to the bare stonework. It’s not an elegant room but it is spacious, the tables are placed well apart and there are tablecloths. We were shown to a pleasant table by the window where we could look across the Square at the abandoned chip van that has been perched there, on blocks, for at least twelve months. But I digress. We were given our menus to study.
I chose the spicy squid to start and I was quite disappointed with what was served to me. I got pan-fried tentacles (sliced) and some crispy fried whole, tentacles. The spicy sauce was a bit too hot for me and I’m used to spicy food. I wouldn’t recommend this dish. I’ve had such lovely squid in Cavistons of Glasthule and in Out Of The Blu in Dingle. The squid in Rosscarbery failed to shine.
For my main course I had the special fish of the day which was John Dory – one of my favourite fish. I was served a generous portion of two fillets but they were a little too dry, as though they had been kept warm for a bit too long. They were accompanied, on the plate, by baby carrots with the green stalks still attached. I know that this way of serving carrots is fashionable but who eats the stalks? Just cut them off in the kitchen and be done with it. Vegetables for the table were overcooked and bland yellow and green baby courgettes and garden peas. A very uninspired offering. A dish of mashed potatoes were also served and they were delicious. They were covered with a sprinkling of toasted breadcrumbs which worked well with the creamy mash.
We encountered all the front of house staff. The proprietor showed us to our table and we were served at different times by each of the two waitresses. The senior lady was very accomplished at her work but the younger girl could do with a training day. She reached across people to set out cutlery and to take items away. She cleared plates at the table, she actually cleared from one of my co-diner’s plates directly to my plate while my plate was still in front of me. This is a big No-No for a restaurant that charges the kind of prices that O’Callaghan Walshe’s charges.
My pal told me that the scampi was absolutely top class. She even went as far as to say that it is the best scampi she’s ever had. Now that is certainly a recommendation. But check out the price. It would want to be bloody good!
The bill came to over €100 and I don’t think it was worth it. The meal was overpriced and underwhelming.