From a new sustainable coffee shop opening in the heart of Galway to the launch of Ireland’s first ‘tailored to your taste’ wine subscription company, here's what's hot in food and drink this week...
Though it can be hard to see past the daily deluge of devastating headlines, there is plenty of good news in the world right now — particularly in the food and drink industry.
That's why we've launched our new online series Bite-Size. You might already recognise it from our magazine (which is free with the Business Post Newspaper on the first Sunday of every month), where we bring you the ultimate guide to all things hot in food and drink each month. Now coming to you as a weekly online series, bite-size will roundup all the latest foodie news that we feel you need to know about.
Go make yourself a comforting cup of something warm and take this as a break from all that doomscrolling you're doing. This is a bad-news free zone.
It’s no secret that Ireland has an abundance of great coffee shops. But a coffee shop with a conscience? Well, that’s a little harder to come by...until now. Kali Coffee Bar is the latest addition to the Irish coffee scene. Located in Salthill, Co. Galway, Kali Coffee Bar is keeping things local and sustainable by serving up steaming hot cups of Calendar Coffee. And on the sustainable note, there’s no extra charge for oat milk in your coffee. A little hideaway from the hustle and bustle of the Prom, Kali Coffee Bar is the ideal endpoint to an energetic walk by the sea. Bonus points that they’re dog-friendly too! Be sure to follow @kalicoffeebar on Instagram for owners, Laura and Enda’s, hilarious latte art offs.
As a nation, our shopping habits have changed drastically over the past ten months, with online deliveries exceeding capacity, our high streets changing beyond recognition and many of us still uneasy about entering supermarkets. Subscription boxes have since come into their own – with everything from meat, veg, chocolate and beer being delivered straight to your door – and now seafood boxes are having their moment. Sustainable Seafood Ireland (SSI) have launched their very own subscription service where sustainable, ethical, local and high-quality fish is delivered to your door each month. Memberships start at €50 and can be delivered weekly, fortnightly or monthly. All fish comes vacuum-sealed in compostable bags and boxes will change regularly depending on what’s best in season. What’s more, subscribers will also receive the perk of exclusive restaurant discounts, Salty Bouy discounts, access to exclusive off-the-menu items, cookery courses and much more. See sustainableseafood.ie for more information.
Over the bar
Former Tipperary hurling star and two-time All-Ireland winner John O’Brien has swapped hurls and sliothars for grains and malt with the launch of Jim Mac Irish Whiskey. Inspired by his late uncle Jim McDonnell and the ancient game of hurling, Jim Mac Irish Whiskey is a special premium blended Irish whiskey, packed with character and featuring a careful mix of grain and malt. The grain has been matured in first-fill American bourbon casks while the malt has been exclusively matured in first-fill Oloroso sherry casks giving it a rich depth of flavour. With hints of spiced fruit and vanilla, the whiskey develops into a warm, lingering and smooth finish. The first edition of Jim Mac Irish Whiskey was created in collaboration with an award-winning Irish distillery and is priced at €45. Available online at celticwhiskeyshop.com and irishmalts.com and in selected off-licenses nationwide.
When it comes to coffee, we’re always on the hunt to find better beans. But better can mean different things to different people. Are we talking about better taste? A better deal for the growers? Or better for the environment? Whereas before you might have had to select just one of these options, the newly launched Master Origin Peru Organi by Nespresso gives you all that one aromatic cup. Building on the current coffees available in that range, Nespresso’s Master Origin Peru Organic transports coffee connoisseurs high into the slopes of the Andes to discover an elegant coffee graced with smooth toasted cereal, floral aromas and fruit notes. Available for both Original and Vertuo systems, Master Origin Peru Organic brings the highest coffee quality while helping to protect the natural ecosystems of coffee terroirs and improving the livelihood of coffee producers. Best served black as an espresso or lungo cup size, Master Origin Peru Organic will be available as a limited edition in Original and permanently on Vertuo.
Like many people, you might have come to terms with cooking every meal for yourself at home. Experimenting with herbs and spices, trying out meal-kits for your favourite eateries and maybe you’ve even attempted to bake your own sourdough bread. But it’s safe to say we still miss the luxury of fine dining. While we may have to wait another few weeks before we can step inside a restaurant again, The Vintage Kitchen in Dublin 2 has launched their very own takeaway service. Bringing the restaurant experience to you, customers can choose from one of four menus. Each menu starts with a risotto of prawns, chilli and soft herbs as well as a cajun seafood chowder. For the main course, each menu varies slightly with options such as Côte de boeuf, seafood Bouillabaisse and slow-cooked duck legs to pick from. Each menu then finishes with a half baked chocolate cake to share. Prices start at €55 and can be ordered from thevintagekitchen.ie
Think outside the box
The past year has been tough on us all but perhaps the most significantly hit was the hospitality sector. On March 20, 2020, an entire industry ceased trading, bookings evaporated, with no idea how or if they'd be back. COVID-19 has changed restaurants and bars as we know them. Three people who know this to be all too true are Conor Duggan, Neil O’Reilly and Conor Mulligan. With a combined 30 years working in the hospitality, bar and wine industry, the trio was forced into coming up with a new livelihood: Boxofwine.ie - Ireland’s first ‘tailored to your taste’ wine subscription company. The clever innovation provides a bespoke wine offering which is tailored to your taste and delivered safely to your door. For an introductory price of €49 per month, you will be invited to take part in a quick 30-second quiz where they will get to know your taste profile and the rest is up to them. Each month you will then receive 3 bottles of wine that have specifically chosen for you according to your tastes and preferences, including a mix of old classics and exciting newcomers. The perfect treat for a lockdown birthday – or an excuse to sample tipples of a Friday night. See boxofwine.ie for more information.