Well known local chef, Shamzuri Mohid Hanifa, offers excellent modern European and Asian food at this cheerful white-washed restaurant on the edge of the pretty village of Jamestown and it has become a firm favourite with local diners and visitors, many of whom arrive by boat.
Bright red paintwork, window boxes and hanging baskets give it an attractive cottage appearance; inside it’s cosy and uncluttered, with subtle lighting, simple, classically linen-clad tables and smartly turned out staff waiting to show you to your table.
Simply worded à la carte menus credit suppliers and offer six or seven appealing dishes on each course – and there are daily specials too, reeled off by the friendly and well-informed staff.
Begin, perhaps, with delicious pan seared scallops with black pudding, or a delicate dish of lemon sole stuffed with crab and salmon mousse and served with a light creamy sauce – both very tasty and the cooking has finesse; although portions tend to be generous in the country, they are well-judged here to start the meal gently.
Main courses are also likely to include some seafood (pan-fried seabass with braised pak choy perhaps); lamb is a favourite too, and there may be some unusual dishes such as guinea fowl with a peach and pistachio stuffing, or local Thornhill duck breast served with Madeira sauce.
Side vegetables are more imaginative than is usual in Irish restaurants – a range of potato dishes may include classic lyonnaise, diced potato with a light creamy curry sauce (a particular favourite), and some really good mash, while another late season side dish might be a tasty autumnal mixture of diced turnip, carrot and parsnip.
To finish, there are farmhouse cheeses and a tempting choice of desserts, including good ice creams; an assiette of desserts makes a good choice for sharing – beautifully presented and, perhaps, including a feather light mango mousse and miniature baked Alaska.
Coffee is good, and a concise, well-priced wine list includes some organic bottles and a wine of the month.
Interesting, perfectly cooked, and well-presented food is the norm here, and it’s served by friendly and efficient staff – together with pleasing surroundings and good value, this makes for some memorable meals.
For those arriving in Jamestown by boat, it’s about half a mile from the quay, but it’s a pleasant walk through the village – pavement all the way and past two particularly enticing pubs for a visit in each direction, perhaps.
Reservations are not essential, but they are advised – this is an understandably popular little restaurant and it can be very busy, especially at weekends.