Merrow – the latest addition to the Galway food scene

Food File: New take on chicken in a pot; food events in Boyne Valley and nominations are open for Community Food Awards

Liga Jarovoja (right) and Bronagh Beattie, head chef and sous chef at the new Merrow restaurant in the PÁLÁS Arthouse Cinema in Galway

Liga Jarovoja (right) and Bronagh Beattie, head chef and sous chef at the new Merrow restaurant in the PÁLÁS Arthouse Cinema in Galway

 

Merrow restaurant, named after the mermaids of Irish folklore, opened this week at the PÁLÁS Arthouse Cinema in Galway’s Latin Quarter. Latvian-born Liga Jarovoja, who previously worked at Ard Bia in the city, is head chef for the venture with Bronagh Beattie as sous chef.

“Bronagh and I became great friends while working in Dublin a few years ago,” says Jarovoja, whose kitchen will serve seasonal local produce “with subtle nods to the food of eastern and central Europe”. Highlights from the launch menu include Galway seafood chowder; hake with chorizo, potato and lemon aioli and confit duck with fig, rocket and pomegranate salad. A dessert of chocolate, popped corn and caramel is a nod to the restaurant’s location.

Merrow will open on the ground floor of the cinema from 8am to 9pm Monday to Thursday, 8am to 10 pm on Friday and 10am to 10pm at weekends, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, with an all-day weekend brunch menu. There is a full bar menu available, and drinks can be taken into the cinema’s three screens.

Merrow joins the city’s Kai Café and Loam restaurant in working towards a zero waste ethos. See merrow.ie.

Pots for protein lovers

The Dublin Meat Company, which has seven outlets in the city and county – Stillorgan, Artane, Blanchardstown, Kinsealy, Swords – as well as two in Drogheda, has just launched Protein Pots, a convenience food based on lean chicken.

“The idea came from the lack of natural healthy snacks for when people are on the go. If you look in most shops, grabbing a ready-to-eat healthy option is extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible. So we decided to fill the gap with the protein pots which are low in sugar, calories, carbs, preservatives and high in protein,” says Luke O’Reilly of Dublin Meat Company.

The pots contain cooked chicken breast meat, marinated or plain, with a variety of “clean sauces”, which O’Reilly describes as “having no msgs, no added sugar and no preservatives or added colourings”, and must be refrigerated.

The 155g pots come in four varieties: mango and chilli with a cucumber chutney; Mexican with taco sauce; Cajun with barbecue sauce, and plain steamed chicken with sweet chilli sauce. The sauces are in a separate container inside the pot, along with a disposable fork.

They are made in Dublin, and cost €3.95 (two for €7 and three for €10), with online same day delivery available anywhere in Dublin for €3.95 (minimum order €30). They are also on sale in the company’s seven retail butcher shops. See dublinmeatcompany.com.

Food delights in Boyne Valley

The Boyne Valley Food Series continues in October with a series of food and drink events highlighting the region’s many attractions. Today (Saturday) is the final day of Oktober Fest, being celebrated at The Central, a collection of bars and restaurants in Navan, with local pork products being teamed with local craft beers.

On October 13th, there is an opportunity to make gin at Listoke Distillery, Ireland’s only gin school. The €90 booking fee includes instruction, samples, finger food, and a bottle of your own making to take home.

Cooney’s Irish Cider in Kilmessan is opening its orchards to the public for a guided walk, also on October 13th, noon to 4pm. This family owned farm has 6,500 cider apple trees planted, and the walk is open to adults and children without pre-booking, with a suggested €5 charity donation per adult.

On Sunday, October 28th, the Old Racecourse at Dowth, part of the Brú na Bóinne Unesco world heritage site, hosts a point-to-point and country fair. The Discover Boyne Valley Flavours marquee will feature local artisan food and craft drinks producers.

Community Food Awards: nominations open

Do you know of a food business, an individual or an organisation doing great work in the area of social responsibility? Nominations are now open for the Irish Food Writers’ Guild’s Community Food Award. It is the only one of the Guild’s awards which is open to public nominations, and application forms are available from Caroline Hennessy, bibliocook@gmail.com. For profiles of previous winners of this award, see irishfoodwritersguild.ie. Nominations will be accepted until October 12th, the Guild will vote on nominations in November and the award will be announced in March 2019.

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