Friday, September 17, 2010

Restaurant Review - Ship Ahoy, Crosshaven, Co. Cork

The Ship Ahoy opened in Crosshaven back in July, just in time for Cork Week. My mother in law asked if we wanted to try it for dinner on Saturday night so she booked us a table. We got there a little early, but they were still able to seat us which was nice. The building is really beautiful and the atmosphere in the restaurant is great. It used to be a furniture market, so it was basically just a long building with no character, but they did up the inside very nicely. Some of the chairs were old church pews, there were beams added to the ceiling, and the restroom was nice and clean. I never saw the place before, but my in laws and husband were very impressed. They sat us at a table which seemed perfectly fine to me, but then my husband sat down and we realized the table was very low. So low he couldn't get his legs under it. This would have been fine if we were there just to have drinks, but it's not exactly comfortable for him to eat his meal. The wait staff was really nice and they gave us a different table.

The menu was nice and varied and we were all able to find something we liked. We ordered nachos for our starter. Wes and my father in law had chicken stuffed with garlic cheese and wrapped in bacon. That was served with 'rustic' potatoes and salad. My mother in law had a pepper burger which was served on mashed potatoes with a creamy pepper sauce. I had the chicken caesar salad. They don't have a wine license, so it's BYOB with a corkage charge of 4.50 euro per bottle. This suited us just fine and it was definitely cheaper than buying two bottles from the restaurant.

Over time I've become less skeptic of nachos outside of the US, and just take them as they come. These nachos were served with a little pot of white stuff that I assumed was sour cream. It was very lemony and it tasted sweet. Frankly, it was gross. Without the sauce the nachos were fine. The restaurant was quite busy with some large parties, so it took a little while for our main meals to come out. That was fine as we had no place we needed to be and we were enjoying our wine. We all tuck in and my mother in law goes, 'This is really hot.' I asked 'Temperature hot or spicy hot?' 'Spicy hot.' Then she took another slug from her water glass. After she was finished she asked us to taste the sauce. OOOWEEE!!! They must have poured an entire bottle of black pepper into that sauce! I can't believe she ate the whole thing! I would have found it inedible to be honest and sent it back. All you could taste was black pepper. She gets this meal often when she goes out and she's never tasted anything like this sauce. I guess that was okay, because she said the 'creamy mash' was actually instant potatoes. What?? You don't give an Irish person instant mashed potatoes!!! At 13.50 euro, a side of some sort of vegetable would also have been a nice touch.

The guys had the chicken and they both really liked the chicken itself. It could have done with a quick minute under the broiler as the chicken and the bacon wrapped around it were looking a bit bland. Wes thought the 'rustic potatoes' were actually just frozen roast potatoes that they threw into the oven. There was nothing 'rustic' about them. He said the salad was 'not right'. I asked him to explain further and he just kept telling me it 'wasn't right'. Umm...okay. The portion sizes were actually pretty good, so if the taste was improved the 14.95 euro would be a very fair price. 

I had the chicken caesar salad. It was a pretty bog standard Irish-version of a caesar salad. There wasn't enough lettuce and there was a load of bacon at the bottom of the bowl. Wes was appalled when I told him it was 14.95 euro for my salad. It was no where near the size of a dinner portion salad.

Only my FIL got dessert and we all agreed it's pretty hard to mess up ice cream! He got five scoops, so that was great. My MIL said the cup of tea she had was the best part of her meal.

It's a shame the food wasn't better. The wait staff was fantastic and the atmosphere was wonderful. We decided we would give it a few months to work out the kinks and maybe try it again. At this point though, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.


  1. i love ship ahoy crosshaven

  2. Hi just a few comments on your meal , the mash is homemade and certainly not instant and the rustic are actually par boiled potatoes and then sauted in a pan . I go there quite regularly and know the staff, and my fav is actually the pepper burger ! Working in the industry myself for many years and love ship ahoy and the price is very reasonable with comparison to what you get and is far better than alot of places i have been to.

  3. I appreciate that some people enjoy their experience at the Ship Ahoy, but I stand behind what I said about our experience there. My husband and I were just talking about it again the other day and we agreed it was the worst meal we've ever had. We understand that we were there soon after it opened, so perhaps they were still working out the kinks, but we're not willing to go back and see if it's improved.