Michelin awards 2019: three Cork restaurants earn one-star status

Number of Michelin starred restaurants operating in Ireland increases to 16

Takashi Miyazaki moved to Ireland from Japan in 2008. He now lives in Cork with his Irish wife Stephanie and their two sons. The couple own and run two restaurants in Cork city, Miyazaki and Ichigo Ichie.

 

There are three new Irish restaurants, all of them in Cork, included in the 2019 edition of the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland, which was launched at an awards ceremony in London on Monday evening.

This brings to 16 the number of Michelin-starred restaurants in Ireland, with only Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud having two-star status. All of the previously awarded stars were retained, but speculation that The Greenhouse would be elevated to two stars proved unfounded.

The new additions to the one-star ranks are Ichigo Ichie, a Japanese restaurant in Cork city centre; Restaurant Chestnut, in a former pub in Ballydehob, and Mews, a seasonal restaurant in Baltimore. Both Ichigo Ichie and Restaurant Chestnut opened in April of this year.

Ichigo Ichie: Takashi Miyazaki has opened Ireland’s most exciting new restaurant. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Ichigo Ichie: Takashi Miyazaki has opened Ireland’s most exciting new restaurant. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Ichigo Ichie is a 25-seater that offers a no-choice kaiseski, a Japanese tasting menu of 12 courses, for €95. Its chef proprietor, Takashi Miyazaki, is originally from Fukuoka in Japan, and came to Ireland 2008.

He met his Irish wife, Stephanie, when he was head chef at an Irish pub in Hiroshima and she was teaching English in the city. He opened his first restaurant in Cork, Miyazaki, a takeaway with just five counter seats, in 2015.

“I bring Japanese techniques to local ingredients,” said Miyazaki in his acceptance speech, while the inspectors said that he “mixes long standing Japanese traditions with his own interpretations and contemporary touches, and dining here is a very special experience.”

The only other Japanese restaurant in Ireland to have been awarded a Michelin star was Shiro in Ahakista, Co Cork, which held the honour between 1996 and 2001. Cork has not been as strongly represented in the Michelin Guide since 1975 when Arbutus Lodge, Ballylickey House and Ballymaloe House each had one star.

Rob Krawczyk, chef-proprietor at Restaurant Chestnut in west Cork
Rob Krawczyk, chef-proprietor at Restaurant Chestnut in west Cork

Chef Rob Krawczyk returned to his west Cork roots to open Restaurant Chestnut with his partner Elaine Fleming, who runs front of house. The 18-seater serves a three-course menu for €50, and a tasting menu for €65, featuring the house-made charcuterie for which Rob and his father Frank are renowned.

“It spoke to us; it has a lot of character,” Krawczyk said of the former pub, which has just six tables. The inspectors said the menu “is virtually written by the seasons” and is “all about pure natural flavours. Rob also instinctively knows when he needs to leave a dish alone.”

Cork’s one-star count rose to three with the inclusion of Mews, a seasonal restaurant in Baltimore. Mews is run by James Ellis and Robert Collender, with head chef Ahmet Dede and sous chef Remi Lachiaille.

Mews offers a 14-course tasting menu for €69, using “100 per cent west Cork ingredients, gathered from a network of over 50 local foragers, fishermen and market-gardeners,” according to Collender, who works front of house along with Ellis.

“To the people of West Cork – we did it baby,” said Dede, accepting the award.

The inspectors said that at Mews, “The ingredients inform the menu and the dishes reveal a fine craftsman at work here.”

“We will be opening for our longest season yet – until the end of October this year,” Collender told The Irish Times.

Mews restaurant in Baltimore, Co Cork
Mews restaurant in Baltimore, Co Cork

In Dublin, The Greenhouse, on Dawson Street, had been hotly tipped to earn a second star, joining Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud in the ranks of establishments considered by the guide’s inspectors to offer “excellent cooking, worth a detour”.

Finnish chef Mickael Viljanen has been head chef at The Greenhouse since 2012. The restaurant was awarded one star in the 2016 edition of the guide, and is generally thought to be consistently out-performing at that level.

The Greenhouse, Dawson Street, Dublin 2. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times
The Greenhouse, Dawson Street, Dublin 2. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Also in Dublin, there was considerable speculation as to whether Glovers Alley by Andy McFadden, which opened in the Fitzwilliam Hotel on St Stephen’s Green in February, would be be awarded a star. However it appears only in the Michelin Plate selection of the guide, signifying good cooking, but not at one-star level.

McFadden returned to Dublin from London, where he had been head chef at Pied à Terre and L’Autre Pied, to open the restaurant. He was at one stage the youngest chef in London with a Michelin star. “I am extremely lucky and extremely proud that since I’ve been a head chef I’ve always had a Michelin star,” he told The Irish Times in January.

Patrick Guilbaud at his restaurant in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
Patrick Guilbaud at his restaurant in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Michelin-starred restaurants in Ireland 2019

Two-star

  • Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Dublin

One-star

  • Ichigo Ichie, Cork New
  • Restaurant Chestnut, Ballydehob New
  • Mews, Baltimore New
  • Aniar, Galway
  • Campagne, Kilkenny
  • Chapter One, Dublin
  • L’Ecrivain, Dublin
  • Eipic, Belfast
  • The Greenhouse, Dublin
  • Heron & Grey, Blackrock, Co Dublin
  • House (Cliff House Hotel), Ardmore, Co Waterford
  • The Lady Helen Restaurant (Mount Juliet Estate), Thomastown, Co Kilkenny
  • Loam, Galway
  • Ox, Belfast
  • Wild Honey Inn, Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare
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