The best things in life are meant to be shared

Posted on: 7th March, 2017

Category: Food & Wine

Contributor: Mary O'Brien

Top chef and RTÉ Today Show resident Richy Virahsawmy, who runs an award-winning restaurant in Clonakilty, has always embraced change. “With change comes opportunity,” comments the successful restauranteur, who celebrates 15 years in business this year. “We learn from it and become better through experiencing it.”  Although the core ethos of this busy restaurant –  to serve flavoursome dishes using fresh locally sourced ingredients  – has always remained steadfast; over the past 15 years, change has shaped and grown the thriving business that Richy’s is today. Now, building on the warm and relaxing atmosphere that Richy’s has become renowned for, the restaurant is moving in a new direction and offering an exciting new Sharing Menu.

“Particularly over the past year, we’ve noticed that people are eating smaller plates of food and looking for a greater variety of dishes and cuisines. Sharing is very sociable and fits right in with the feel of our restaurant” explains Richy “it’s an exciting development for us.”

Regular customers who enjoy the existing menu will be happy to hear that the favourites will be kept. Rather than replacing them, the Sharing Menu served after 5pm seven days a week, will complement these dishes, adding a new dimension to the experience that is Richy’s. “The emphasis will be on casual dining with sensational tastes from around the world,” comments Richy.

This global culinary journey will include dishes such as lamb koftas with cucumber and cumin raita; mini Clonakilty black pudding samosas served with chard; and popcorn chicken, or Thai chili chicken satay with peanut dipping sauce. If you’re a lover of seafood, you’ll be able to share some calamari with garlic aioli; marinated anchovies served in a tin; bouillabaisse; or a delicious broth of local mussels cooked in coconut milk with chilli and coriander.

Vegetarians will also have choice with dishes including nachos jalapenos’ salsa and sour cream; falafels; red onion or kale frittata; and vegetable tempura. There are also vegan and gluten-free options available.

This is a very affordable gastronomic experience with sharing plates starting at €4.50 up to €12.

The menu isn’t the only thing that’s changing. Karen and Sara of Loved Again Interiors have come up with a contemporary decor to reflect the new menu and dining experience at Richy’s. Using lots of different textures and materials – a combination of upcycled, recycled and Fair Trade objects –the overall finish, although contemporary, will also be very laid-back. The stone wall, fireplace and bar will stay and be offset by a stunning new feature wall, combined with a new colour scheme and warm lighting effects.

Located in the heart of the cosmopolitan town of Clonakilty, which has also embraced change and welcomed new developments over the past few years, Richy’s is part of the artisan food movement that has put Clonakilty on the map as a destination for food lovers.

Richy Virahsawmy has been working in kitchens since he was 14-years-old. He trained in London and started his professional career in the Strand Palace Hotel as a first commis chef. He travelled in Australia but returned to the UK working up the ranks in kitchens. He was promoted to a senior sous chef at the age of just 21. Richy then worked in senior chef positions at the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry and has worked at No 10 Downing Street catering for banquets for the Prime Minister, moving on as Executive head chef at the world’s second largest pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca in Park Lane London before moving to Ireland to work at Inchydoney Lodge and Spa in Clonakilty. In May 2002, Richy realised his dream of opening his own restaurant and opened Richy’s Restaurant. In 2012, Richy also opened RCafe in Clonakilty to turn the business into a seven-day-a-week multi-operational business.

“Our mission was and will always be to provide our guests with great flavoursome dishes, freshly prepared in our kitchen using fresh locally sourced ingredients and providing service that is friendly and efficient in welcoming surroundings,” says Richy passionately.

Richy’s is open seven days a week, serving breakfast to dinner and everything in-between. Fully licensed, the restaurant has a varied wine list, house cocktails, gin bar and a selection of craft beers and ciders.

Whether you are catching up with a friend after work or celebrating a special occasion, everyone is welcome, including groups.

This exciting concept begins on March 3. To book a table call 023 8821852.

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