Thursday, August 16, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Connemara Smokehouse and the Roberts family
Here at Kai we are always looking for the best quality products to use in the kitchen. We don’t just use the best quality products regardless of source or content, but we are committed to finding the best natural, organic and locally sourced produce.
There is a growing number of smokehouses throughout the country ands we are lucky to have one of the finest production facilities just out the road.
The family run Connemara Smokehouse has been in operation by the Roberts family since 1979, and is now run by husband and wife Graham and Saoirse.
Grahams parents, John and Bridget founded Connemara Smokehouse with a smoking kiln that was first commissioned in 1946—and it’s still smoking today.
Situated on Bunowen Pier, just outside Ballyconneely the company encourage visitors to tour their facility and learn about its products and the process of smoking.
The smokehouse is one of the few remaining smokehouses that specializes in smoking wild Atlantic Salmon, along with tuna, herring, cod and mackerel.
Connemara Smokehouse Smoked Mackeral fishcakes at Kai
Graham Roberts hand-fillets each fish to ensure quality and consistency is upheld with all of the companys products.
Have a look at the Nationwide feature on Connemara Smokehouse to get a real sense of what goes on there -
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
100mls olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
zest of 1 orange
2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
2 sprigs fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon tomato passata
100mls water or vegetable stock
200g Knockalara cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
40g plain flour
200mls sparkling water
oil for deep-frying
Friday, May 4, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
Plain goat (6-8 weeks)
Mature goat (4-5 months)
Italian herbs & olives
Fenugreek (walnut flavour)
Mild Gouda (6-8 weeks old)
Medium mature (4-5 months)
Mature (8 months +)
Italian herbs & olives
Garlic & herbs
Basil & garlic
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
This Friday Kai will host a complimentary tasting of the wonderful Elephant Hill wines with the vineyards owner. Hailing from Hawkes Bay, just like Kai's owner, and head chef, Gunter Thies's vineyard is located on the idyllic Te Awanga coast in New Zealand.
The restaurant stocks his wines including foodie favourite, Elephant Hill Sauvignon Blanc. He's in Galway for the weekend, so this Friday at 6pm Gunter is coming to Kai to do a one-hour tutored tasting of his lovely wines in our upstairs dining room.
Admission is on a first come first served basis as places are limited. Entry is free, although there will be a collection box for Self Help Africa.
For more information contact Kai on 091 526003
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Pigs on the Green
Newcomers to the pork business are Fergus and Sandra Dunne, one time organic vegetable farmers, they decided to venture into the world of pigs.
Having run an organic shop, Fergus said the couple wanted to combine the organic and retail experience to try something new.
On a small farm just outside of Tullamore the couple are rearing more than 50 free range native Irish pigs. The Tamworth pigs, formally know as the Irish grazer, got their name after being sent to Tamworth for a spot of hard labour.
Tamworths are known for their taste, and hardy nature; “We need good fencing”, says Fergus.
In business for just a year Pigs on the Green have established themselves as having some of the finest sausages you will be lucky to come across. We feature them heavily on our Sunday brunch menu.
At Kai we love the Pigs on the Green black pudding sausages, they are incredibly moist and so tasty. The quality of the meat making up the sausages is superb, with no fillers or nasty ingredients bulking them out.
The beauty of a free range roaming animal is that they build up quality fats, and protein, which comes through in the flavour of the meat. The health benefits are also notable where healthy animals are high in Omega 6.
Fergus and his wife have 4 sausage varieties at the moment; black pudding, chilli, breakfast sausage, and an Italian sausage. He also produces streaky and back bacon, loins, belly, and neck fillet. There is a pancetta on the way, and he is talking about producing a pork leg confit - which sounds incredible!
If you want to know more about the Pigs on the Green, drop in and try their produce at Kai, or pick up some to cook for yourself at McCambridges, Mortons, or Joyces in Knocknacarra.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Learn the secrets behind the foods we are designed to eat and how they improve health and fitness.
iPaleo is an up to date template based on our ancestral diet that takes into account our modern
lifestyle. It is not a diet but rather a paradigm that can be used to follow a healthier approach to
what you eat and how you eat. Barry Murray, Performance Nutritionist and Health Expert, is the
man behind this and has spent the last several years researching it himself and debunking a lot of the myths about diet and nutrition. Living healthily, losing weight and feeling good does not need to be that complicated. The first and most important step is to eat real food that we are designed to
Come to Kai to enjoy the finest “real food” dishes prepared by head chef Jess Murphy and let Barry explain how and why it all works.
Date: Saturday 7th April
Cost: 50euro (includes information sheets and sample recipes)
Friday, March 16, 2012
There is only one supplier that we use for our meats - the one and only Bradys Butchers in Athenry!
There is no shortage of meat suppliers in the West, but a problem that we face as a restaurant is sourcing meat that is consistently high quality.
A butcher shop with its own abattoir can be seen as one that cares for its produce and ensures that it is well looked after from field to fork.(although the cooking is up to you)
Many butchers no longer slaughter animals, but merely buy in their produce. This is fine so long as the meat is well prepared, but it means that the butcher has lost out on a very important process in ensuring that the meat is ethical, and well cared for. The connection between the animal and the meat is one that is very important to Bradys butchers.
Meat that is prepared from the slaughter house to the butcher counter gets a little extra loving - and that's what Kai is all about.
28 day dry aged steaks from Bradys are hung for longer to produce a more tender cut of beef. Bradys steaks are served regularly on the dinner menu, and we continually get glowing reports on the quality of the meat. Most of our diners even ask for their leftovers to be packed up to take home - it really is that good!!
Bradys say "Our Beef and Lamb produce is carefully selected from our quality approved local farmers and expertly matured to ensure exceptional quality and tenderness", and we ♥ that!
You will probably be familiar with Bradys Lamb Koftas which we regularly make with Bradys lamb for the lunch menu.
Next time your in the restaurant and you see Bradys on the menu - make sure to order it - you will not be disappointed!!
Find out more about Bradys Meats at www.bradysbutchers.com
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
One of the few farm suppliers here at Kai is Loughboora Farm, you may be familiar with the Loughboora farm plate that features often on our menus.
The produce from Loughboora farm is mature, distinctive and robust. Certified organic since 1997 the lads are well seasoned and know exactly what works, and how to supply a consistent high quality product. This is particularly important when working in the food industry.
The farm is mostly grassland, and in addition to yummy vegetables the land is currently stocked with forty suckler cows and roughly one hundred breeding ewes.
About fifteen acres, and seven large polytunnels are devoted to vegetable production, growing over forty different species of vegetables all year round.
It is from these acres that we get most of our organic vegetables. The farm also run one of the biggest box delivery schemes in the country with the ability to provide for two hundred households.
We can say almost everything comes from Loughboora from blood oranges to the in-season and incredibly health beneficial Kale, not forgetting their amazing purple sprouting.
The only non-organic vegetables we are using are the amazing Heirloom carrots which we get from Niall Burke, and due to a very bad season our potatoes are not organic either. As soon as the new potatoes come in Loughoora will be supplying us with their wonderful organic variety.
We are one of the few restaurants lucky to benefit from Loughboora’s wonderful produce.
If your looking to find the produce out of Kai you will find it at the farms market stalls in Tullamore, Thurles and the University of Limerick. Other stall-holders supplement their own produce with their produce at farmer markets from Galway to Killaloe and many places in between. They also supply the Organic Store, Birr, The Grainey, Scariff, and Sheridan’s Cheese Mongers.
For more information on the farm contact Tony Garahy 057-9345005
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Last Wednesday saw the first night of the Kai Cookbook club kick off, much to the delight of all in attendance.
A 6 course meal of gastronomic delight awaited 12 hungry diners from Nose to Tail, one of the classic cookbook staples from Fergus Henderson.
The banquet style meal was served in the upstairs dining room where a group of people entered as strangers, but left as friends.
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Musicians, poets, and teachers gazed across the table at foodies, voyeurs, and would be experimentalists.
The first course was a typical French onion soup with bone marrow on toast. The soup came in a cup packing a real punch – a full on warm onion flavour, probably even an improvement on the French staple.
Next up were two salads served in long bowls, one of which guests found most frightening, Pigs head salad, and a more welcomed anchovy and baby gem salad.
The idea was that the anchovy salad would be eaten first and would cut the fat of the following dish.
“Where’s the pigs head”, “Is that it?” exclaimed the diners. The curiosity over the pig meat settled with sounds of pleasure coming from those who had began to eat the slow cooked pork.
The head had been soaked in whiskey for 6 days before being slow cooked, and its meat then tossed in a fresh salad with complimenting mustard vinaigrette.
PIGS HEAD IN WHISKEY
The start of the meal was filled with talk about the pigs head, how it would be served, what it would look like, and how horrid the whole concept of eating an animal head was.
However diners then recalled having trotters for dinner as children, and by the time the bottom of the pigs head bowl was scraped clean, images from the butcher boy had been dispelled, and a rather satisfied look decorated faces around the table.
It was curious how the attitudes of people changed as the exploration into the pigs head went from squeamish to pleasure, and a want for more. This I think immediately made the evening a success.
The idea of the club is to get people talking, create a talking point, to debate, deconstruct and leave satisfied. Half way through the meal this had most definitely been achieved.
Next up were two more meat dishes with accompanying roasties. The meat however was so impressive the veggies pretty much remained in their resting place.
First up was a free range ham cooked in hay. And naturally we all had a lot to question about the hay. The ham was the most succulent and tasty ham I have ever had the privilege of eating, with such a rich pork flavour, and a banging parsley sauce on the side. Christmas hams will never be the same again!
HAM IN HAY
A boiled chicken was served at the same time, just big enough for the table, passed up and down so everyone could tear a sample of meat from the carcass – medieval style.
The finale was a blackberry fool with rabbit shortbread biscuits, a most appropriate desert to clean the pallet and to send the diners home with a want for more.
Washed down with a fine red and white wine Jess took time to talk about the dishes and how they were cooked outlining that it took her up to 6 days to prepare some of the dishes.
All guests were given copies of the menu and recipes to take home, which no doubt will be tried at some stage to unsuspecting guests at the dinner parties. Pork butchers across the city will be getting pig orders in the coming weeks for sure!
If you want to get in to next months cookbook club dinner I would advise you to book early, every person present last week said they would most definitely return next month, and I will certainly be in attendance!
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Over the last 8 months we have made many new friends, created beautiful new dishes, and explored the amazing produce we have here in the West of Ireland.
Kai has not yet made its way through all 4 seasons, but so far we have had a menu bursting with incredible forage, and the freshest farm grown vegetables, meat, fish, and fruit. It goes to show that even in winter there is no need for us to stick solely to meat and spuds, not that there is anything wrong with that!
Morning, and afternoon coffee time at Kai always warms our hearts, with the fire raging and friendly faces having their regular coffee we are humbled by the space we provide to mothers and children, doctors and lawyers, students and teachers.
They say one happy customer will put a smile on the face of 10, who will all with time return. This year we seem to have pleased many of the reviewers and critics, and have received much media attention and award nominations.
The café and restaurant has created a buzz - but that is not about the food. It is true we pride ourselves on our food, but the reaction of our customers is what attracts the reviewers and critics. Without you guys coming in everyday and enjoying our food, none of the reviewers would know about us.
We would like to thank all of you for your custom, and for telling the critics to come, thanks also the critics for telling others to come.
Taking a chance in a recession to start a new business is an incredibly frightening place to be, but our customers have shown us that we were right, and we will continue in the same vein.
The team at Kai hope to put on a number of exciting foodie events over the coming months, and we hope you will all join us.
If any of you ever have any feedback for us please drop us a line.
May 2012 be abundant and prosperous for everyone.
- The team at Kai
Monday, January 9, 2012
We only work with the best producers and we are delighted that Bridgestone has recognised Castlemine Farm as the Farmer of the Year in the 2012 Bridgestone Top 100.
Castlemine produce the finest free range, grass fed animals with beautiful lamb, beef, and pork coming from their Roscommon Farm. The benefit of rearing animals this way ensures better quality meat, and healthier animals.
Brendan and Derek Allen are third generation farmers using traditional farming methods, producing some of the finest meat we have seen through our kitchen.
We love to use Castlemine meat as the quality is impeccable, and its full flavored taste is a reflection of the respect and attention the Allen brothers give their animals.
Their 250 acres at Castlemine is the home to specialty breeds like the Black Angus and Hereford beef, a variety of lamb breeds, and free-range pig breeds like Saddleback, Gloucestershire Old Spots and Tamworths. These pigs are always outdoors and their meat develops intense flavor, plus a good covering of fat which makes it moist, tender and truly tasty during cooking
How Free range are the Castlemine pigs? Have a look for yourself
If you were lucky enough to purchase one of the boys bronze turkeys at Christmas you will know the benefits of traditional farming methods – if not, make sure you get your name down early for next year.
The guys at Castlemine are up to speed with modern living, so rather than telling you where you can buy their produce, you can log on to their website and buy all of their meats online.
If you cannot get down to Kai for lunch or dinner, get Castlemine meats through your front door at www.castleminefarm.ie
Friday, January 6, 2012
There is only one guy that we like to buy our fish from, and its Stefan Griebach, the most passionate Frenchman in town. This guy loves his job, he understands the fishing industry, and he knows what people want.
If it weren’t for Stefan every menu in town would still be bursting with Cod and Plaice. However, Stefan has kindly brought in more exotic fish like Megrim and Sweaty Betty, which our customers are crazy about.
Stefan explains his fish, he educates his customers about his products and tells them how best to cook it, and that’s not just to the public. Stefan brings fish in to the restaraunt everyday for us to choose from, if there is something new on offer he will tell us all about its taste, texture, and best way to cook it. This is the benefit with working closely with suppliers, rather than just ordering from a list. We take as much a hands on approach as the fisherman that land the catch.
The philosophy at Gannett is much the same as ours, Stefan and his team sell wild sustainable fish, and is continually introducing new fish to the market. As he says himself the waters are brimming with tonnes of amazing fish, but people are slow to buy them as they have never heard of them before.
One thing that amuses me most is that 10 years ago the ugly Monkfish was thrown back, and now its a luxury. And now a fish that looks beautiful but given a rather comical name is a late evening hit – Sweaty Betty.
Also known as The Greater Forked Beard – Sweaty Betty is one of the best fish in Irish waters – it lives in huge number just West of the Aran islands, and is completely sustainable, arguably a great alternative to the common Hake.
It is down to suppliers like Stefan to ensure the quality and origin of the fish we buy is 100%, and our neighbourhood Frenchman is the epitome of someone who loves his job, and takes pride in what he does.
He came here from France in 1997. He had firsthand experience of the fishmarkets in France and, on his arrival here he worked his way up through salmon farming and fish wholesaling and learned the industry the hard way.
In 2006 he saw his opportunity, formed Gannet Fishmongers, and opened his first fish stall in the Galway market.
When the fishing boats arrive in Rosaveal to auction their catch, Stefan goes through the boxes and picks the freshest fish for his five market stalls, his shop in the Eyre Square Centre and Kai.
If you want the best catch for your kitchen table be sure to visit Gannett at Galway, Oranmore, Loughrea, Moycullen and Ballinasloe markets, or at their shop in the Eyre Square market.