Anocht at the Kilkenny Design Centre
On a recent trip and stay in Kilkenny have a read of my Kilkenny Experience to Remember post – I dined at the Award Winning Anocht. I didn’t choose this restaurant to dine in but now that I have dined there, I would choose to dine there again and very much look forward to doing so … my goodness that was a mouthful!
Anocht as mentioned in an Award Winning restaurant, having won the 2014 Gold Medal Award for Best Casual Dining Restaurant, an achievement to be proud of and that they are, as I their trophy was proudly placed on the table next us.
Anocht usually opens from Thursday through to Saturday from 6pm to 9.30pm offering its customers a choice to dine from either their À la carte menu or early bird menu. The produce used in Anocht’s dishes are, when possible, locally sourced and their main local suppliers and cooking inspirations include Paddy White butchers, Thos Farrell Greengrocer, Fishman’s Market, Mileeven Honey, Second Nature Oils, Taste the View, Slaney Valley, Inistioge Preserves and Highbank Orchards. To complement their dining menus and whet your whistle you can choose from a selection of wines that have been supplied by Le Cave Wine Merchants of Kilkenny, and devilishly tempting cocktails.
The restaurant itself is upstairs from the Kilkenny Design Shop in the Design Centre. It’s a bright and airy space with a high beamed ceiling and windows that look out onto the beautiful Kilkenny Castle and the historical Castle Yard. The walls are neutral apart from the art that adorns it and when I was there the tables were covered in crisp white table clothes and decorated with fresh wild bohemian looking flowers. It’s ideal for groups of people but also more than charming enough for a romantic meal for two especially in the evenings when the lighting is a complimentary glow.
The evening I dined there, I was one of a group and we all enjoyed a Trio Tasting Platter of …
- Knockdrinna Goats Cheese and Beetroot Tart with Smithwick’s Infused Red Onion
- Kilmore Quay Potted Prawn and Crabmeat – lime, apple and pecan salad and Smithwick’s Treacle Toast
- Millevan Glazed Pork Belly with Wild Mushroom and Smithwick’s Risotto, Savoy Cabbage and Brambly Purée
along with speciality breads … Smethwick’s and Treacle Soda Bread and Herb & Garlic Irish Cheddar Yeast Bread.
These starters didn’t last long and the bread was devoured along with the garlic/herb butter it was served with. Who would have known Smithwick’s could be so delicious when infused with the right ingredients! The Goats Cheese was creamy, the Potted Prawn and Crab meat was fresh and in perfect ratio, the Pork Belly and Mushroom Risotto were perfectly seasoned and cooked. A delightful start.
Our Mains was a choice of …
- Lamb – 12 hour slow-cooked shoulder in Smithwick’s, champ mash, smoky bacon peas and Smithwick’s lamb jus.
- Lemon & Rosemary Pan-Fried Seabass – sweet onion and Smithwick’s mash, coconut sauce and pineapple salsa.
- Carrot & Asparagus Wellington – chargrilled vegetables, Smithwick’s foam
Although tempted or possibly intrigued by the Smithwick’s foam I chose the Lemon & Rosemary Pan-Fried Seabass and I am delighted I did because it was divine. The Smithwick’s jus flavoured it beautifully and tell me one Irish person who doesn’t like a good mash?
Finally for dessert we enjoyed a Trio of Desserts …
Smithwick’s Chocolate Mousse, Honeycomb Cheesecake and Raspberry Sorbet … I couldn’t have chosen better if I wanted to. I started by cleansing my palette with the refreshing sorbet and then happily worked my way through the chocolatey Mousse, trying politely to lick my spoon of all its chocolatiness and finally satisfied my sweet tooth with the creamy and crunchy Cheesecake. A final glass of wine and an espresso and I was a very very happy foodie.