Gorey surprise tasting menu a big hit with fine-dining fans

Food File: One Hundred Degrees in Co Wexford; Monaghan gin; and NZ wines

Praba Sankaran in his restaurant One Hundred Degrees, in Gorey, Co Wexford

Praba Sankaran met his Irish wife, Carina, when he was at culinary school in the south of France and she was attending business college there. "We met in an Irish bar, such a cliche," says Carina. Fast-forward a couple of decades and they are now proud owners of a restaurant and wine bar, One Hundred Degrees, at 100 Main Street in Gorey, Co Wexford, near Carina's hometown of Shillelagh.

The restaurant’s seven-course tasting menu (€70), served on Thursday evenings, has been drawing in diners from across the county and farther afield, with word spreading about the elegant and beautifully presented “modern Irish-European” menu. “There’s always something a bit different on it,” Carina says of the surprise tasting menu. On the other days of the week, there is an a la carte, featuring a south Indian tasting plate main course that allows Sankaran to draw on his culinary heritage.

Having worked in restaurants in several Irish cities, Sankaran first opened an Indian restaurant in Gorey in 2008, but sold that to concentrate on cooking European food, with the aim of opening a fine-dining restaurant. That dream came true in May 2019, and although they had to deal with lockdown closures and switching to takeaway during the pandemic, the restaurant is now busier than ever, with evening opening Wednesday to Saturday, plus lunch and dinner on Sunday, and afternoon tea on Friday and Saturday.

Carina has an administrative role in the business, and the couple’s 21-year-old daughter, Lea, works front of house and weekends and on breaks from her college studies in Dublin.


Monaghan gin

Mo Chara pink grapefruit gin

With sunny summer drinks in mind, the new small batch Mo Chara pink grapefruit and pineapple gins from Old Carrick Mill Distillery in Co Monaghan could be useful building blocks for cocktails, or to serve on ice or with mixers.

Steven Murphy, founder of the distillery, has devised two cocktails for the new spirits (€19.99), which are now on sale in 150 Aldi stores nationwide. The Irish Lady involves shaking 35ml of either of the gins, with 25ml each of triple sec and lemon juice, 10ml each of sugar syrup and egg white, and ice. The pineapple cooler has 5-10 leaves of mint, muddled, then 25ml each of lime juice and sugar syrup are added. Pour over ice and add 35ml pineapple gin and 15ml elderflower liqueur, stir and add apple juice to taste.

Taste of New Zealand

There is an opportunity to try some of New Zealand's best wines at a wine fair open to the public on Monday, May 9th. The New Zealand Winegrowers' event takes place at the Radisson Blu hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8, 6.30pm-8.30pm. Tickets, €20 each, can be purchased online from Jean Smullen, jeansmullen.com.