Tag archive for : restaurant

  • September 14, 2013

kai galway, award winning food

This is the time of year when those luscious black berries appear on bushes along the roadsides of rural Ireland. Blackberries stir childhood memories with most of us, reminding us that the summer is gone and schooldays have come around again.

Having had such a great summer this year the berries are big, ripe and juicey – just the way we like them. There was nothing more satisfying than leaning over the gigantic bushes as a child and getting stung by nettles just to pick the juciest berry on the bush. The sting never mattered as the prize was well worth it.

Irish mammies have lots of blackberry jam recipes for spongecakes, pavlovas, and summer tarts, however it’s always been a good idea to preserve some of your crop to ensure the memory of summer fades slowly. Try not to use shop bought berries as it’s just not as satisfying.

Here’s a simple Blackberry recipe that will have you tasting the summer fruits long into winter.


8 cups blackberries (2 lbs or 1 kg)

1/2 cup water

1/4 lemon juice

4 cups granulated sugar


In a large pot add the blackberries, water and lemon juice and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Add the sugar slowly, constantly stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved reduce the temperature to a medium heat until the liquid thickens. This can take up to 15 minutes.

To test if it’s set put a small spoonful of jam on a cold plate(from the freezer), if it wrinkles – you’re good to go!

Get the jam jars out and spoon the jam in.

Make sure to have a nice scone ready to enjoy the fruits of your labour. There’s nothing nicer than trying the fresdhly made jam straight out of the pot!

Filled Under : Recipes

It’s always nice to be publicy congratulated for something you do with an award. It gives us a lift and makes us all feel fabulous!

Usually in the food industry we get awards for our food, or our contribution to the industry, so it’s great to be recognised for something new.

This week we received an award for the best designed restaurant in Ireland. The McKennas were kind enough to name us as one of the best rooms last year, so it’s great to have the love for our home reinforced.

There are so many beautiful places in Ireland that we love to eat, all special for their own reason. From rural retreats to urban diners, buildings vary between natural and designer, new and old!

It seems so long since we were preparing to open the doors for the first time!

When we set about creating Kai we were blessed with being offered this beautiful building on Sea Road with so many raw original features. When we saw the space it immediately told a story, the story of Kai – a place where our food and home could happily co-exist, and compliment each other.

The building was sympathetically restored by owner Frank Heneghan who also restored the Bridge Mills. Our beautiful roof beams were taken from the Bridge Mills and fit so well they look like they were a part from the building from its original build.

The flagstone floors and unique glass roof at Kai also told us that this was somewhere special, this was somewhere that Kai could grow, love, live, and be apart of something equally as special.

We had the venue, we had the vision, all we needed then was someone who could put it all together.

This is when Stephen Walton came along. Stephen appreciated our philosophy, and understood our passion for food. He loved the building as much as we did and knew that the only way to create an amazing dining experience in such a natural building was to keep it all minimal, natural, and unobtrusive.

Stephen took on the project as if it were his own, his love and passion for his work is inspiring. His eye to detail and understanding of space, concepts and the materials he works with are second to none.

Everything flowed with Stephens build, everything fitted, and felt right. He was always busy salvaging wood, and industrial items into lampshades, tables, seats and shelves, and making them look awesome!

The process was simple, sympathetic and reflected everything we wanted to communicate about Kai. It was the perfect space for our food, and to begin our journey

This week the awards ceremony, dubbed the ‘food oscars’, Kai Café and Restaurant picked up an award for Best Restaurant Design in Ireland.

According to Pádraic Óg Gallagher, president of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, this year’s awards were the biggest and most competitive to date.

“They are the awards everyone wants to be associated with, and everyone wants to be a winner,” Mr Gallagher said. “We’ve seen a huge increase in nominations and votes since last year, with 30,000 votes cast across 10,000 nominations for Ireland’s favourite restaurants, chefs, gastro pubs, hotel restaurants, and local food heroes throughout the country. The Irish Restaurant Awards are all about celebrating those who have brought acclaim to the Irish food scene from abroad and who keep the restaurant industry thriving at home.”

We have to say a special thank you to Steve and all his boys for their work on the build. And of course a thank you to all our customers from coming and enjoying the experience with us! What a ride!

Filled Under : Award

This weekend saw the 7th annual Burren Slow Food Festival take place in Lisdoonvarna.

It’s a great event run by the Slow Food group in Clare that invites food producers, consumers and industry experts to come together to experience and sample the grass roots of food culture in Ireland.

Slow Food is a group like no other, spanning 150 countries since 1989 the organization beliefs are based upon the following statement:

“Slow Food believes that everyone has a fundamental right to the pleasure of good food and consequently the responsibility to protect the heritage of biodiversity, culture and knowledge that make this pleasure possible”.

Understanding the motivation behind Slow Food indicates that they are different, and the events they run come from the heart, and without any monetary or political agenda.

Last weekends event was such a typical Slow Food event in every manner of the word. It was based in a community centre in Lisdoonvarna and yet the likes of Richard Corrigan made sure he turn up to see what was going on.

The event is so much more than a food festival. The term food festival so often conjures a picture of food stalls lined along a city street, and often run for commercial means. Well, this festival is not run as a commercial event, but by a volunteer group that are passionate about food, where it comes from, it’s producers, and promoting everything local.

The Burren event was a chance to sample local artisan foods, meet local producers and growers, engage with fellow foodies, and enjoy cookery demonstrations from well-known chefs.

The producers that attended the market were not the familiar market aficionados but small scale cottage industries. These small businesses are an important backbone and testground for our food culture in Ireland.

From one mans locally produced hedgerow wines to a selection of locally foraged seaweed snacks there truly was a taste of Clare at that market.

Our very own Jess took part in a live cooking demo with JP from Aniar producing a wonderful wild salmon ceviche with a lovely wild salmon that turned up that morning, while JP showed onlookers how to pan fry raywing.

Other super events held over the weekend included Seaweed Foraging, guided walks, beer tasting and talks on the Atlantic Coastal Food Community hosted by John and Sally McKenna.

It was a big, wholesome, organic event that gave so much more than any foodie could ask for, and all run by people who love food.

If you can go next year put it top of your list for Food Festivals in 2014. We go every year and it never disappoints!


Filled Under : Slow Food

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