A feast of flavour at Midleton Park Hotel
Mary Jane O'Regan
My first impression of the recently renovated Park 89 Bar and Bistro at The Midleton Park Hotel was ‘wow!’ They have done a great job of creating a contemporary comfortable bar and bistro that is spacious and still has the welcome The Midleton Park is well known for.
I had a drink at the bar first. There was plenty of staff on which meant that throughout my visit the team were happy to chat and recommend wine and food.
The convenience of the location to places like Spike Island and the Jameson Distillery means that the guests are from different age demographics and the bistro reflects this. There is the option of booking for larger groups too.
The menu itself is appealing, with all the traditional best sellers like fish cakes, chicken wings, pasta and curry. The chef Michael has curated a menu that is a crowd pleaser, with the option of three courses for €36.50. The food is locally sourced and fresh.
The roast of the day changes regularly and I was torn on what to order when I saw the turkey and ham. However, I opted for a la carte as I wanted to have just two courses and had heard that the portions were quite big.
I ordered the steak, which came with chips and a light crispy onion and parmesan salad (this was in a bowl not a garnish) and homemade pepper sauce. I may sound greedy but I love when the main course comes with a proper side order. The steak was heavenly and the sauce piquant.
My dining companion had fresh Ballycotton haddock and chips and the batter was light and crispy and cooked to perfection. Ballycotton is world renowned for fish and seafood and only a short distance from Midleton so local is definitely a focus of the menu. The sauce was a sriracha mayo which went so well with the fish.
We shared a portion of beer battered onion rings from the sides section of the menu for the true fish'n'chips, steak and chips experience. The presentation of the meal was a delight and the service from Johanna was fantastic. She ensured we had everything we needed, the perfect host.
Dessert was decadent, a zesty lemon cheesecake (in a glass) with handmade shortbread. I had the brownie served warm with a sumptuous, salted caramel ice cream. If dessert is a priority, then Midleton Park will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth. The night ended with a wonderful musician from 9.30pm and this really added to the ambience of the evening.
Overall, my personal experience was wonderful; the bistro is spacious, and the chairs are comfortable for dinner and drinks. There is perfect privacy as the tables are spaced well apart and the atmosphere created by a happy team is unbeatable.