9 Farmhill Road
From town, follow R825 towards goats town. Turn right at Larchfield Road. Farmhill Cafe & Restaurant located on the left hand side at the top of Farmhill Road.
There’s nothing like having a really good reliable neighbourhood restaurant on your doorstep to slip down to on a regular basis, be it for breakfast or brunch, for a casual bite in the evening or all those family occasions. They get to know what you like, where you like to sit, your odd little quirks and all the family birthdays. The denizens of Goatstown found out all the benefits of this sort of gem with the arrival of the eponymous Farmhill restaurant on Farmhill Road.
With a cool New England style ‘washed’ decor it’s the sort of place where you can roll in for a casual breakfast or brunch and return a few hours later for dinner to find it transformed into evening mode with all the bells and whistles. Whatever you do, pay a visit to the loo, with its fab Moroccan style Farrow & Ball hand screened wallpaper, and its glittering chandelier, it’s good enough to have a tea party in! Their aim is to provide a relaxed atmosphere which will appeal to all generations and simply become their ‘local’ eatery.
We went along on the for a late Sunday brunch and thoroughly enjoyed pretty well everything we had. There is a focus here on artisan seasonal produce with the Tipperary Food producers featuring widely, including Nora Egan’s fantastic Inch House black and white puddings in the Farmhill breakfast, Crossogue Preserves tequila and lime Seville orange marmalade, and the superb Boulaban ice-cream. Prices were very good and the brunch menu also had plenty of healthy options including a raw energy fruit salad, natural yoghurt with fresh fruit or honey, and granola with natural yoghurt and homemade fruit compote. All of the eggy favourites are there including Eggs Benedict on sourdough with Hollandaise sauce, scrambled egg and bacon with toast, as well as Croque Monsieur with streaky bacon, béchamel, Gruyere cheese and salad, and a savoury quiche with goats cheese and sundried tomato. Brendan kicked off with a whopping great puffed up pancake with lovely chopped fresh fruit and a little jug of maple syrup on the side. I had the soup of the day, which was a very good mushroom blend served with brown bread. They are doing a roast each Sunday, which on our visit was slow roasted loin of pork, two big tender tranches served with roast potatoes cooked using James Whelan Beef Dripping. I had an excellent tender Scarlet Heifer rib eye steak, which came with mixed vegetables and a side order of fries.
Their wine prices are very good also and we had a bottle of South African Culemborg, Chenin Blanc 2015. If you do feel like pushing the boat out a bit, treat yourself to the New Zealand ‘Picnic’ Riesling 2014 from Two Paddocks winery, which is owned by movie star Sam Neill and which features his grandfather, wine merchant Sydney Neill, on the label.
On a recent return visit, there were starters like chicken liver pate with toasted bread and mixed leaves or bruschetta of tomato, parmesan, olive oil and fresh basil, but prawns with fresh chilli and garlic with toasted sourdough was just perfect for me, whilst Brendan had their salad of beetroot, rocket, goats cheese, mandarin segments, cherry tomato and sunflower seeds.
For the mains a 7oz scarlet heifer beef burger sounded tempting with cheese, Crowe’s Farm crispy bacon, mixed leaves, tomato, relish and homemade chips, as did a fillet of hake with red onion and tomato salsa, roasted baby potatoes and vegetables with an oyster sauce. I decided to try a tortelloni pasta dish, which is like tortellini but bigger, and it came stuffed with ricotta, mushroom and spinach in a white wine cream. Brendan went straight for the 8oz prime Irish fillet steak, an impressive hunk, served with sauté mushrooms and onion, gratin potato and a red wine jus.
For puds, there was lots to consider, like traditional crème brulee, or lemon tart, but, feeling rather full, we decided to split a delicious apple crumble which was accompanied by a fantastically flavoursome, crystallised ginger ice-cream.
A great spot, do pop along.