Malt House Granary shows to to fill a restaurant in a recession

We were recently taken out to dinner by my parents and decided to try the Malt House Granary in Clonakilty. We had only been once before, 5 years ago, and had not liked the heavy food. But a recent review which highlighted the new ownership made us want to try again. And oh boy were we glad we did.

We like eating very early and sat down at 7.30 to a totally empty restaurant which had me worried. I needn’t have. By 9pm they were turning people away at the door.

The menu is a great mix of local produce with a strong focus on fish and shellfish. Finally a restaurant in West Cork that offers something other than 5 different types of white fish!

As with other great meals I have had recently (like in Fenn’s Quay), I’ll let the pictures do the talking below. In summary, superb cooking with fantastic deep savoury flavours and a lightness of touch.

12092009689

12092009690

12092009691

12092009692

12092009694

12092009696

12092009697

The portion sizes were on the overly-large size but the value was amazing. Where most places seem to try and get €22+ for mains, they were mid-teens for almost everything. We all raved about the food but were bursting at the seams as we left. We agreed that a main+coffee would make a fantastic early quick filling dinner for little more than you’d pay in a thousand crappy restaurants all over Ireland.

On the drive back through Clon we spotted several other restaurants that looked almost empty. If they want to stay in business, they should study what Elaine McCarthy and her team are doing in the Malt House Granary. It’s simple to say but hard to do: “fantastic fresh food, cooked with skill and sold with value in mind”.

I think I’ve found my new favourite fish restaurant in Ireland. Yes it is that good.

Conor O'Neill

Tech guy who likes running slowly

Bandon, Cork, Ireland http://conoroneill.com