THERE are many restaurants in Britain where you can be sure of an Irish welcome, as well as a dish or two influenced by home.
Here are a few of our favourites…
Saltire Court, 10 (1F) Cambridge Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2ED dineedinburgh.co.uk
In the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, the multi-award winning Dine Edinburgh is a brasserie-style restaurant in the cultural hub of the Scottish capital. Situated above the Traverse Theatre, it is owned by Paul Brennan — Irish on both sides of his family. His restaurant serves the finest locally sourced produce from the Borders and Highlands of Scotland whilst championing small independent cottage industries. Expect dishes such as baked razor clams, or red cabbage and mango slaw with brioche tuile.
224 Hope Street, Glasgow, G2 2UG, 0141 332 2757 www.belhavenpubs.co.uk/pubs/lanarkshire/molly-malones
Most Irish pubs in Britain now serve some food along with the alcohol, often substantial, sometimes imaginative, sometimes not. A handful, however, have taken their culinary interest a step further and now regard their dishes as a vitally important part of what they offer. Molly Malone’s is one such establishment. The pub is situated in the heart of the entertainment hub of Glasgow, just a stone’s throw away from The Theatre Royal and The Pavilion Theatre. The food is generally basic, hearty fare, but served with innovation and panache. As well as one of the best pints of Guinness in town.
21/29 Ashton Lane, Glasgow, G12 8SJ, 0141 339 0747 www.jintys.co.uk/
Jinty’s is another Glasgow bar where you’ll be served a meal that is substantially more than just pub grub. You’ll get burgers, Scottish pies (a delicacy in their on right), but you’ll also get a selection of seafood that wouldn’t disgrace a top restaurant.
There’s great Guinness, great desserts, and everything from oysters to haggis pakoras. And why not? Glasgow is reputedly the birthplace of chicken tikka masala. Many years ago a customer at a nearby Bangladeshi restaurant wanted gravy on his chicken tikka (“It’s too dry, Jimmy”). The customer is always right, a sauce was quickly curated, and so was born Britain’s national dish. Perhaps Jinty’s haggis pakora will reach the same heights of fame.
Jinty’s father, by the way, was Vincent O’Kine, a well-known boxer from the Maryhill area of Glasgow.
Manhattan Loft Gardens, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 20 International Way, London E20 1FD www.allegra-restaurant.com
Head chef at Allegra in the stunning Manhattan Loft Gardens is Irishman Patrick Powell. He began learning his trade at Dublin’s Michelin-star L’Ecrivain under the acclaimed Irish chef Derry Clarke. He’s now in charge of the Allegra, due to reopen next month. His menu’s focus is modern European influenced by produce from their organic farm just 40 minutes away.
148 Clapham Manor St, London SW4 6BX, 020 7720 4662 www.sorellarestaurant.co.uk
A neighbourhood Italian inspired restaurant owned and run by Robin and Sarah Gill and Daniel Joines. Head chef is Ross Mangan.
Robin, from Sandycove, Dublin, spent many years learning his trade on the Amalfi coast.
28 Upper Grosvenor St, Mayfair, London W1K 7EH, 020 7499 9943 www.corrigansmayfair.co.uk/
Born and raised in Ballyivor, Co. Meath, Richard Corrigan is probably the best-known Irish chef in London. So you can always expect something Irish on the menu at his eponymous restaurant in Mayfair — especially with fellow Irish chef Aiden McGee in charge.
Corrigan’s Mayfair redefines the concept of quintessential British and Irish cuisine, fusing seasonal produce with Richard’s unmistakable flair.
Expect Tipperary beef tartare, or the likes of Carlingford oysters and Irish beef en croute. Many of the ingredients will have come from his farm in Cavan too.
Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill
11-15 Swallow St, Mayfair, London, W1B 4DG, 020 7734 4756 www.bentleys.org
Bentley’s has been serving its seafood delights and feeding the hungry shopping masses for over 100 years. Richard Corrigan has been guiding the restaurant for the last dozen years, and turned it into one of the top tables in Europe.
Core by Clare Smyth
92 Kensington Park Rd, Notting Hill, London, W11 2PN, 020 3937 5086 www.corebyclaresmyth.com
Clare Smyth has been called the world’s best female chef — named as such at the World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards gala in Bilbao in June, 2018. Called an outrageously outdated category, the Co. Antrim woman qualifies, quite simply, as one of the best chefs in the world, never mind gender.
She left the farm in Northern Ireland at 16 to train in England, working under Heston Blumenthal and the Roux brothers. She eventually became head chef at Gordon Ramsay’s Chelsea restaurant, earning herself three Michelin stars and an MBE into the bargain.
108 Essex Rd, Islington, London, N1 8LX
The first bar from the Irish duo Aaron Wall and Ciarán Smith, this speakeasy-style establishment — complete with leather banquettes and bare brick walls — serves terrific cocktails such as the Whiskey Smash.
That’s Roe & Co Irish Whiskey, Nolly Prat (vermouth), mint and spinach syrup, orange bitters. Or you might want to sample their Fan a Canta cocktail — Dingle Irish gin, carrot and orange sherbet, acid mix, saline, soda.
Goes perfectly with Tayto crisp sandwiches. Really.
Or you might want to try their “Da’s Irish Stew” – lamb, carrots, onion, mushroom, parsley, thyme, garlic and “served with Ma’s brown bread”.
Then afterwards you can tuck into the Guinness like your old Uncle Jimmy, you know, the one who was “fond of a drink”.
Shenanigans Irish Pub & Restaurant, 77 Tithebarn Street, Liverpool, L2 2EN, 0151 255 0000 www.shenanigansliverpool.co.uk
Great selection of beers and wine to go with some well-above-average pub grub, The Sunday roast, in particular, is spoken of in hushed tones. They even offer an exceptionally and imaginative fine vegetarian roast option.
147 Westwood Road, Earlsdon, Coventry, CV5 6GD otoolescafe.com
An Irish family-run restaurant, with a very ethical outlook. To go with their full Irish breakfasts, soda bread, scones, barmbrack, they serve the award-winning coffee, Indigo Valley. The beans are either Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance certified.
The Victoria Comet
38 Neville St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5DF, 0191 261 7921 www.nicholsonspubs.co.uk
Classic gastropub grub with strong Irish influences. Colcannon cake to go along with your marinaded salmon, and they serve an excellent pint of Guinness.
The pub might just look familiar if you’re a keen film buff.
It was a set in the cult gangster film classic ‘Get Carter’, as the first stop for Michael Caine’s hitman character when he arrives in Newcastle .