Enjoy your first (or last) taste of home at Kirby’s Korner


Posted on: 10th June, 2016

Category: Food & Wine

Contributor: West Cork People

We all look forward to delicious meals out on our holidays…and we all hate overpriced airline food. Well why not get in the holiday mood on the way to the airport by stopping at Kirby’s Korner in Ballinhassig for a slap up meal that will keep you full until you land. Or treat hungry visitors you have just collected and allow everybody to catch up and refuel before hitting the road home to West Cork.

One of Lucinda O’Sullivan’s ‘Great Places 2016’, Kirby’s Korner has built a reputation for both fish and seafood dishes and its great service. The spacious 65-seater bar and restaurant is run for the past 15 years by husband and wife team Billy and Diana Kirby, who have carried on the business from Billy’s parents.

“As a family business we’re always here ourselves to welcome people and make sure everything is running smoothly,” says Diana who takes care of front-of-house. “I began working in hospitality as a very young teenager in Baltimore and I’ve loved it ever since. As the gateway to West Cork we’re the first stop for many tourists and its nice to give them a delicious meal and great welcome as their first impression.”

As Head Chef, Billy’s domain is the kitchen where he is always thinking up new dishes for Kirby’s ever-changing Specials Menu. Despite the proximity to Cork Airport, there are no air miles involved here and that means cooking what is local and in season.

“Knowing your suppliers and where everything is coming from is very satisfying, says Billy. “The crab craws are from Denis Fleming in Courtmacsherry, the meat from Dan Moloney in Bandon, the veg from Twomey’s farm at the top of the hill here. Seemingly small things like freshly prepped carrots – not out of a plastic bag – are reflected in the taste.”

As a restaurant popular with families and groups, there is something for everyone on the menu, from classic Bacon and Cabbage or Seafood Pie to more international dishes like Monkfish Risotta or Pasta with Gubbeen Smoked Bacon and Chicken. “People’s tastes are changing and they’re more adventurous,” says Billy, “but we like to include traditional Irish dishes too.”

Billy and Diana have seen trade really increase over the past three years and are expecting a busy summer. “The Wild Atlantic Way is brilliant for tourism,” says Billy. “Kinsale is busy and we get a lot of tourists arrive in that are staying there but have received a recommendation. We take that as a great compliment given the number of fantastic seafood restaurants in Kinsale.

“We also have some lovely boutique B&Bs in Ballinhassig that send us a lot of custom.”kirbys4

With both cosy corners and long banquettes, the contemporary dining room is very flexible to suit couples, small family gatherings or larger groups alike. It’s a popular venue for things like ICA outings so ring to enquire if you have an outing in mind.

Food is served daily from 12 to 8.30pm and on Sundays from 12.30 to 6.30pm. For bookings call 021 4885282 or just pop in next time you’re travelling to the Airport, or are out for a Sunday drive.

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