NI Year of Food & Drink ’16

By Michaela Clarke

Last Wednesday night saw the launch of NI’s Year of Food & Drink 2016 at Belfast’s Ulster Hall and Oysters Restaurant was honoured to be numbered amongst the 200 distinguished guests.

The venue was transformed into a stunning backdrop for a celebration of our local products and a taste of the exciting festivities for us all to indulge in from now until March 2017.

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 NI Year of Food & Drink 2016, New Year Banquet- Ulster Hall 13/1/16

On the evening, Yellow Door Deli provided the catering, serving up pan-seared Lough Neagh Eel with bacon cubes, Armagh Bramley apple puree, black mustard frills and sweet pickled beetroot to start. For main course guests enjoyed roast Baronscourt Venison and shoulder fritter with celeriac, smoked Comber potato fondants, chanterelles, crispy Calvo Nero and Ruby Blue blackcurrant jus. The flow of local produce continued with, caramelised pear and Bushmills whiskey tart with chocolate and candied hazelnut crumb and buttermilk sorbet served for dessert.

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At one of her first public engagements as First Minister, Arlene Foster commented that:

“There is no better time for tourists as well as our global markets than now to enjoy Northern Ireland” – First Minster, Arlene Foster

We are invited as a nation to develop, enhance and promote Northern Ireland as one of the best isles for food and drink. With so many wonderful artisan producers and award-winning restaurants in the region, now is the time to showcase this to the rest of the world.

One of the most exciting announcements to come on the evening was that Northern Ireland will be host to the BBC Good Food Show in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast in October.

“This year provides a strong link with people and our native soil” – Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness

With many exciting events taking place across the country we, at Oysters, are only too excited to jump on NI Year of Food & Drink’s bandwagon and join in in the celebration of our local, heritage and food to promote the local Strabane area and put it on the map as a foodie destination.

Keep watch for specialities and events that will bring monthly themes to our customers. #enjoyni16

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NI Year of Food & Drink 2016 – Calendar of events

 

 

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As we wave goodbye to 2015, we say hello to a bright 2016

By Michaela Clarke

As we enter into a new chapter in 2016, we say goodbye to a fabulous year at Oysters Restaurant.

2015 kicked off with one of our famous Food and Wine Tasting Evenings. To reflect the season, fresh Oysters, paired with a fabulous Sauvignon Blanc, was one of the dishes on offer. In addition, in November past, we held a Game and Wine Tasting Evening to also coincide with seasonality.

January and February are crucial months in the business. This is when time and effort is spent in drawing-up menus as well as the whole team coming together to discuss and developing new ideas for the year ahead. This year will be no different as Niall will base his new menu ideas on the best of local fresh fish and meat delicacies to suit the evolving seasons.

Having been listed as one of Northern Ireland’s top five restaurants in 2015 at the LCN Awards, the year was off to another great start and prompted an enhanced strive in both kitchen and front house to become better and initiate new challenges, by way of delivering an even better dining experience for our customers. In addition, being listed again, as a member of the Taste of Ulster for seven years running is always an achievement each year that we gladly welcome.

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Kevin & Caroline at the LCN Awards Ceremony 2015

Mid-way through the year we once again welcomed children and their families celebrating either Holy Communion or the Holy Spirit, all with that personalised touch that Oysters offers.

As the year progresses from Spring to Summer, the menu at Oysters comes alive with an array of fresh seafood, made possible by Kevin’s personal trips to Burtonport Harbour every few days to hand-pick the freshest of fish from the boats. Lobster is a highly anticipated dish that many customers look forward to indulging in, season permitting. Building this, Oysters appeared at the Flavours of the Foyle Festival during the summer months, showcasing the cookery skills of our talented chefs.

Summer witnessed the emergence of yet another, Wine Tasting Evening enticing patrons to sample a taste of what the team at Oysters envisions as true Summer cuisine. This evening also marked the significant 50th birthday of Kevin, thereby turning the night into even more of a magical celebration!

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Celebrating Kevin’s 50th Birthday!

In October we were ecstatic when it was brought to our attention that we received this spectacular review in The Irish News and are extremely grateful for their kind comments.

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The Irish News review

Winter is probably one of the most loved seasons at Oysters in regards to menus. Venison, pheasant and woodcock become the mainstay of menus at this time of year. Many customers share this same passion and annually anticipate the coming of Winter.

Our year always comes to an end with our renowned New Years Eve Gala. The highlight of this year’s menu was the ‘Egg and Soldiers’ dessert, constructed by Niall to resemble the breakfast favourite. One diner commented,

“The chef deserves a standing ovation for the dessert”

This penultimate course lent well to the previous dishes on the menu as the mango and vanilla crème pat filled egg shell, finishing off the evening with a light fruity dessert to complement the palate. The ‘soldiers’ element of the dessert was constructed from home-made shortbread and white and chocolate sugar disguised as salt and pepper to give the dish its authentic look. Check out a selection of the dishes on offer below.

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Egg and Soldiers

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Pan-Roasted Beef Fillet & Short Rib

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Pan-Fried Turbot & Maple Glazed Chicken Wing

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Scallops with Pork Belly

Here at Oysters, we are excitedly anticipating for Northern Ireland’s Year of Food 2016 which has kicked off with January being breakfast month. Make sure to keep up-to-date with our latest posts to find out more in the coming months, lots of exciting food creations to deliver the monthly themes at Oysters.

As we now welcome the New Year 2016, we gratefully thank all our valued patrons for their custom and continuing support. – Kevin & Caroline Clarke