There are not many Dubs who have grown up and managed to escape an annual trip to sunny South East during the summer holidays, certainly for both of us it was a rite of passage every year. With our own kids however we hadn’t ventured down in a quite a while and with a bit of recent sunshine and the annual Gorey Market Festival in full flow we took a spin down on a recent Sunday.
Less than an hour and a half from Dublin City we arrived to a bustling Gorey, thronged with locals and tourists alike. Call it nostalgia but there is definitely something unique about this part of the country and the fact that somehow the sun always seems to be smiling down here. This is probably one of the most kid friendly towns you will come across, most of the venues are heavily focused on providing spaces where kids are welcome and well catered for on the menu.
Several of our friends have holiday homes around Wexford and one name that constantly pops up as their go to for family dining is The Kitchen in Gorey. On this particular trip we had the unusual presence of our eldest lad and believe us sometimes teenagers can be just as hard to please as the little ones. The Kitchen is set right in the heart of Gorey town and has a modern bistro feel from the outside that is hard to miss but don’t let the facade fool you, inside they have managed to maintain a homely feel with the humble layout that is reminiscent of eating at your granny’s kitchen table.
The menu is value based and represents lots of humble European dishes using the best local ingredients and lets be honest in Wexford there is no shortage of excellent quality produce. Their evening menu reads like a producer spotlight and is littered with provenance, everything from Kilmore Quay squid, Ballincollig honey, Gubbeen Smokehouse chorizo to Armagh cider sauce. Generally when you see a restaurant that takes this care with their sourcing you can rest assured that dinner should not be a let down.
We decided to share The Kitchen Sharing Platter (€16) packed with Gubbeen Smokehouse chorizo, Italian salami, Parma ham, Tipperary yoghurt labne, Kilmore Quay battered squid, pesto and plenty of wood-fired breads which were happily replenished throughout.
The teenager being a soup addict settled on a thick, rustic Pea and Ham Soup (€5.50) with homemade mini soda loaf which he conceded “actually tasted pretty decent” no mean fete to gain this discerning diners approval.
For mains we opted with a simple enough dish of Chargrilled Slane Valley Spring Lamb Skewers (€21), which arrived with a light and fluffy olive and red pepper cous cous and mint and honey Tipperary yogurt dip which complimented the lamb beautifully.
Over the other side of the table a hearty looking 12hr wood-fired O’Neill’s Pulled Pork Pie (€16.50) arrived packed with apple; smoked bacon, set in an Armagh Cider sauce and topped with a billowy pastry and a generous helping of garlic baby potatoes, it certainly lived up to its home classics title.
The grumpy teen’s faced suddenly became a lot more cheery when his slow cooked Prime Hereford Rib Eye (€26.50) surfaced with sizeable portion of triple cooked chips, although not a fan of onions he did give the thumbs up to the char-grilled Portobello mushroom.
We did have one little one with us and although she had the choice of a Wexford Beef lasagne or Kilmore Quay Cod and Chips amongst others there was no swaying her from the delicious aromas of the kids Wood Fired Oven Pizzas (€6.50) and judging by the empty plate she had chosen wisely.
We finished off with a trip down memory lane and ordered an old school Pina Colada Ice Cream Sundae (€6.50), packed with the most heavenly rum and pineapple jelly and layered with one of Wexford best dairy producers – Coolhull Farm’s legendary coconut ice cream, all topped off with a glazed sticky meringue. Simple, sweet and delicious, everything a desert should be.
Not to be outdone across the table was a Storm in a Teacup (€6.50), thankfully not in the proverbial sense but rather a tasty little blueberry cheesecake served in a dainty little cup and saucer exactly like your Granny would take out to impress the neighbours.
The Kitchen is not trying to break any culinary moulds but what it is doing is serving top class Irish produce in an approachable way, cooked well and in an inviting family friendly setting. We left (for once) all in agreement, with our bellies full and our hearts a little warmer, that Gorey has something very special here in The Kitchen and we can’t wait to return, even the moody teenager !
Our bill for four, excluding service with two coffees came to a very reasonable €110.80
1-4 North Parade