Sitting snugly on Cashel Main Street, Mikey Ryan’s Bar & Kitchen has all the exterior appearance of a traditional Irish pub. Reopening with new owners in August 2017, the interior has had an opulent upgrade whilst still maintaining many of the original 19th century features.
Elegant wall panelling, plush fabric seating along with carefully chosen accessories creates a very modern but cosy ambiance.
With Head Chef Stephen Hayes leading the kitchen we knew the food was going to be of a superb standard. Chef Hayes holds an enviable CV, previously of the highly acclaimed De Librije in the Netherlands, Cliff House Hotel and The Merrion Hotel. In 2021 Stephen will be moving to Cashel Palace Hotel, right next door to Mikey Ryan’s. A chef with ambition and drive is always a recipe for the successful execution of a clever menu.
This is an exciting five star project, seeing the owners recruit only the cream of the Irish Hospitality Industry. Adriaan Bartels previously of Cliff House Hotel is overseeing this full rebuild. Our review focuses on Mikey Ryan’s but it was exciting to see the humble beginnings of the new Cashel Palace Hotel. The passion and enthusiasm from Adriaan is palpable . Tipperary is a beautiful county, renowned for its excellent produce but we feel with the dynamic duo of Bartels and Hayes Cashel will be firmly holding its own on the Irish culinary map. We expect all of the esteemed food and travel critics will be landing in their droves in 2021.
Starting off with Smoked Salmon, Gin & Tonic Gel Pickled Vegetables €9.95. This dish was just as gorgeous as it looks. Silky swirls of smoked salmon elegantly accentuated by cool little cubes of Gin & Tonic Gel. A scattering of pickled onions and carrots heightened the overall intensity of flavour beautifully.
Across the table a hearty looking Mushrooms on Toast €9.95 served with Shallot Jam, and melting Crozier Blue was devoured with relish.
Selecting the Beef Short Rib €16.95 from the daily specials menu proved to be quite special indeed. A serious piece of meat that glided off the bone and fell apart at the mere sight of the fork. Served with creamy mash, a medley of fresh vegetables all complimented by an exceptionally flavoursome red wine jus.
Our second main was chosen from the specials menu also. A plump fillet of Pan Fried Hake €16.95. Skin with that all important golden tinge and essential crispiness while the flesh maintained a sweet succulence beneath. Served with buttered green beans and tender stem broccoli. Baby potatoes and a sweet, smooth beurre blanc completing this fine plate.
Unable to resist the temptation of Cookies and Ice Cream €7.50. This is the dessert of childhood (and many adult) dreams. Two large homemade, warm chocolate chip cookies sandwiched together with vanilla ice cream and drizzled in a sublime salted caramel sauce. Big enough to share, but why would you!
Our second dessert of Warm Rhubarb Crumble was utterly divine. A delightful buttery crumb top sheltering the delectable warm rhubarb. A comforting classic executed to perfection.
We walked off some of our delicious lunch with a stroll around the Rock of Cashel. Cashel is a wonderfully quaint and pretty town. With the planned opening of Cashel Palace Hotel in 2021, this will be on our list of 2021 staycation destinations for sure. But we won’t be waiting until then to enjoy the great food on offer in Mikey Ryan’s again.