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famous italian chef popup at Kai

If you want a whole other kind of food experience you need to come and see these guys Sunday week. – here’s the deets….

Bon viveurs and vivacious gourmands Paul Lewis and Frank O Connell, former proprietors of An Crúibín and The Silk Purse bar and restaurant in Cork City, will team up with their old friend and mentor, Spanish celebrity chef Paco Guzman, in a 7 course extra to be served up in the inimitable surroundings of Kai restaurant Galway.

Lauded by the McKennas as “the new Celts”, or a culinary Gilbert and George by Conde Nast Traveller, Paul and Frank have just relocated to Galway following a years residency in Paco’s famed Santa Maria restaurant in Barcelona.

Expect to taste a curious mix of finest Cork cuisine combined with some Hibernian and Iberian classics from Paco, (known in Spain) of the most important cooks of his generation, bound by the finest local Gaillimh ingredients. Dodo meat sprinkled with gold dust wont be appearing, as our supplier has become extinct.

Tickets are 45 euro. Kick off is at half six! Just dont mention El Bulli to Paco, he denies ever having trained underAdria!



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Linalla Ice Cream
Coming from just down the road in the middle of the Burren, Linalla is a very special ice-cream that we use in the restaurant.
It comes from a place where there is little but baron rock, birds, and a few animals.
Life has always been difficult in the Burren as locals struggle to live and work in the area without having to leave, however one family have successfully adapted to their surroundings and created an incredible little business that prides itself on its surrounds, using the unique environment to its benefit.
While many ice-cream company’s are based in industrial estates and large commercial units far away from the cattle that produce its raw ingredients, Linalla is the complete opposite.
This family run ice-cream parlour has its own herd of forty eight Friesians and Shorthorn cattle from which the milk and cream is taken and used in its own ice-cream.
Run by Brid and Roger Fahy, they are fellow members of Good Food Ireland, and committed to upholding a strong consistent level of quality.

The ice cream has been produced since 2006 when the family looked for new ways to increase turnover on the farm. Training in Ireland, UK, and Italy the couple learned how to both produce their own product, and to develop new recipe ideas.
Ice cream is made in small batches with the farm’s pasteurised milk and cream then adding fruit, biscuit, nuts and any other ingredients.
Linnalla ice creams include mellow Honeycomb Crunch, Strawberry Sensation, Superior Vanilla, Intense Chocolate, Wild Berry, and cool Mint Choc Chip. In addition to these flavours the company also produces seasonal favourites such as rhubarb and custard, strawberry and blackberry all locally sourced.
If you are around the Burren make sure to pop in to say hello at the Linnalla Café Ice Cream Parlour and Dessert House which has stunning views of Galway bay, and a childrens playground right down on the flaggy shore in New Quay – a great day out – and an even better excuse to visit the Burren!!

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Connemara Smokehouse and the Roberts family

Here at Kai we are always looking for the best quality products to use in the kitchen. We don’t just use the best quality products regardless of source or content, but we are committed to finding the best natural, organic and locally sourced produce.

There is a growing number of smokehouses throughout the country ands we are lucky to have one of the finest production facilities just out the road.

The family run Connemara Smokehouse has been in operation by the Roberts family since 1979, and is now run by husband and wife Graham and Saoirse.

Grahams parents, John and Bridget founded Connemara Smokehousewith a smoking kiln that was first commissioned in 1946—and it’s still smoking today.

Situated on Bunowen Pier, just outside Ballyconneely the company encourage visitors to tour their facility and learn about its products and the process of smoking.

The smokehouse is one of the few remaining smokehouses that specializes in smoking wild Atlantic Salmon, along with tuna, herring, cod and mackerel.

 Connemara Smokehouse Smoked Mackeral fishcakes at Kai

Graham Roberts hand-fillets each fish to ensure quality and consistency is upheld with all of the companys products. 

Sea salt and beechwood smoke create the flavour and texture in all the smoked products.
In the restaurant we use the smoked mackerel for fish cakes which is often seen on the lunch boards. We also use the smoked salmon in many of our dishes.
We believe that by supporting traditional companies that have standards as high as ours, and an ethos of quality we can work together to offer the best finished product to our customers.

If you want to find out more about the Smokehouse make sure to visit them in Connemara, or check out their website on

Have a look at the Nationwide feature on Connemara Smokehouse to get a real sense of what goes on there – 


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Another of the wonderful home-grown chesses that we love to use in the kitchen is that of Knocklara all the way from Waterford.
As far as cheesemakers go we seem to have a superb selection of Irish cheeses at the moment, a skill that’s being honed with great success as a cottage industry.
Knocklara farmhouse is an old favourite producing a selection of cheeses of which we use their sheeps cheese.
The chief chessemakers Agnes and Wolfgang Schliebitz are very serious about cheese, and have been making their specialty sheeps cheese since 1990, that’s more than 20 years of refinement, and it seriously shows in the finished product.
If you are a regular to Kai you will surely have tasted the mouth-watering cheese at some point.
Cheese is handmade at Knocklara using traditional methods and vegetarian rennet. This method increases the health benefits of the cheese, and increases its flavour.
The cheese is available to buy at Sheridans if you fancy trying some at home. And if you are feeling adventurous why not try this recipe out with your dinner guests courtesy of Café Paradiso…our favourite veggie restaurant in Cork.
Deepfried courgette flowers with Knockalara sheep’s cheese & capers and a tomato-citrus broth

6 tomatoes
100mls olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
zest of 1 orange
2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
2 sprigs fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon tomato passata
100mls water or vegetable stock
8 courgette flowers
200g Knockalara cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
60g rice flour
40g plain flour
200mls sparkling water
oil for deep-frying

Bring a pot of water to a boil. With a sharp knife, score the base of the tomatoes with a cross and drop them into the water for 30 seconds or so. Remove them to a bowl of cold water, then peel off the skins. Deseed the tomatoes and finely dice the flesh.

Heat the olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the tomato and garlic, and cook for one minute. Add the orange zest and herbs, and cook for one minute more. Add the passata and 100mls of water or vegetable stock. Simmer for one minute, then remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Leave the broth to cool to room temperature.

Stir the capers and chives into the cheese. Open the flowers and fill them to about halfway with the mixture. Twist the ends of the flowers to partially close them.

Combine the flours and whisk in enough cold sparkling water to get a thin batter.
Heat some vegetable oil to approximately 180°c in a deepfryer or pot.

Drop the flowers into the batter to lightly coat them, then lower them carefully into the oil, a few at a time. Fry for 3-4 minutes, turning once, until lightly coloured and crisp. Drain on paper.

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Kai Cafe and restaurant is the kind of place that loves the things its customers love.
Head chef and proprietor Jess Murphy thought that she could bring two of those passions together to entertain and teach those interested in food. 
There are book clubs, and supper clubs the world over – but no cookbook clubs. At Kai the ethos is to always be innovative, which sparked the creation of a cookbook club.

The club is about people learning, talking, and sharing their passion with others. “It is great for people to share their love of cooking and cookbooks with like minded people.

The club is a place for individuals and groups of people to come and talk about food, ask questions, and find out how to be a better home chef” says Jess.
The cookbook club takes place this evening Wednesday May 8. Tickets are available in advance from the restaurant at €35 for three courses including one glass of wine.
This months installment of the cookbook club features Ottolenghi’s book, ‘Plenty’.
Each course will be served with Jessica explaining the technicalities of the dish, best places to source the freshest food, and how to serve a feast to happy customers.
Places are limited so make sure you book early.
For more information contact Kai on 526003 or visit

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