Brasserie One, Limerick

On our recent trip to Limerick we stayed in the fabulous No. 1 Pery Square Hotel and one of the deciding factors for staying there was that we’d heard good things about their restaurant, Brasserie One. We booked in for an early dinner at half six because we had our ten-month old son with us and we knew we’d have to finish up early enough to get him to bed.  As it was a Tuesday it was very quiet and once again we were the only diners in the room, which, as it happens, is a great space that is beautifully furnished and has floor boards made from old wine barrels.

To begin, I went for the Gressingham duck comprising smoked breast, confit leg and liver puree with chicory & orange chutney. This was a nicely thought out plate of food, lots of different textures from the duck in various guises and the slight coffee flavour from the chutney added another great dimension; the leg had been shredded and rolled into a croquette and was the only warm component, the different temperatures adding another layer of contrast. My only complaint would be that with two cured ingredients the dish was a little bit salty. Pauline ordered the seared smoked salmon, artichoke crisps and grapefruit: it was a lovely salad and I’d love to know the provenance of the intensely smoky salmon so I could buy some myself. One slight fault though was the vinaigrette could have had a bit more acidity to cut through the richness of the fish.

For my main course, I chose the hake with spiced lentils, celeriac and beetroot; this could have been a lot better if the separate celeriac and beetroot purees had not, for some strange reason, been served cold; the lentils also didn’t seem that spicy but at least the fish was good. Pauline fared much better with her halibut, basil crushed potatoes, aubergine caviar and sauce vierge: the tomatoes in the sauce naturally complemented the basil and the halibut was very generously portioned. In fact, we liked it so much we’ve made a version at home a couple of times since.

To finish, I ordered the ice coconut parfait, mango gazpacho, poppy seeds and chilli: I couldn’t really taste any chilli but the parfait was excellent although it could have done with being thawed a bit more before service. Our other dessert was a tarte tatin, which was also good and, as mentioned on the menu, well suited to sharing.

For drinks we decided to get a bottle of white as we were eating fish for most of our courses and I chose the Condrieu Les Grandes Chaillées, Domaine du Monteillet (€40) made from the viognier grape: it was outstanding with just the right amount of oak and a luscious mouthfeel – it paired particularly well with the halibut. We also had two sweet wines to go with our puddings, mine was a fabulous German Eiswein (€12) whose name I can’t remember and Pauline’s was the unusual but, nonetheless, lovely Liqueur Muscat, Barossa (€10). Service was impeccable and thankfully not intrusive given we were the only people there and the total bill, not including tip, was €130

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