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.

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

#FoodNI #NI #Food

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”

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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

#FoodNI #LocalProduce #LocalSuppliers #Strabane #CoTyrone

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

By Michaela Clarke

Christmas is fast approaching and it is a time to share love and joy with friends and family. With an indulgence in memorable food and tantalising wine, Oysters is the perfect venue for the festive celebrations.

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As well as our usual Lunch and A la Carte menus we also offer a set Christmas Lunch and Dinner menu, to get everyone in the festive mood.

If you are out and about doing some Christmas shopping why not pop in for a hot roast dinner. As the weather is beginning to get a lot colder, we need time-out to recuperate!

Our ever popular Christmas Eve lunch is filling up fast so if you are interested in unwinding just before the Christmas festivities begin and fancy some complimentary mulled wine, made by Kevin himself on Christmas Eve morning, then pop in the midst of the hustle and bustle that this day brings and take time out.

The staff and management at Oysters looks forward to seeing everyone over the Christmas period and hopes everyone enjoys their celebrations.

#NIFood #LocalProduce #LocalSuppliers #NorthernIreland

Game & Wine Tasting Evening

By Michaela Clarke

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Oysters Game & Wine Tasting was kicked off with an Apéritif made by Kevin himself.

Starters consisted of a Game Terrine, made up of Duck, Pheasant and Woodcock or Roast Breast of Wood Pigeon, elegantly matched by Charles Robb to bring out the fruity flavours of the dishes.

Charles described how, “We build the wine up in weight.”

The wine selection started off quite light and as the evening and menu progressed the wine selection became darker and richer in colour with more body – further enhancing the palate.

The Soup Course, ‘White Bean, Parsley & Parmesan Soup served with homemade bread was paired with South African, Boland Reserve Chenin Blanc which went down a treat!

For Main Course diners were offered a choice of ‘Stuffed Breast of Pheasant’, ‘Roast Loin of Venison’ or ‘Pan-fried John Dory’.

Popular choice of the evening  – Venison was accompanied by a glass of Micini Nero Davola, a rich, juicy and ripe in medium body wine, originating from Sicily coupled with cherry flavours and black pepper notes.

As the menu wound down, customers feasted on Dessert following by a Cheese Course with carefully selected dessert wine and the finest port.

#FoodNi #Game&WineTasting #Wine #LocalProduce #NorthernIreland

Tonight is the Night

By Michaela Clarke

The night has finally arrived when our diners will indulge in an evening of good food, fine wine and majestic music.

Commencing at 8pm customers will enter the restaurant and be greeted with a glass of our ‘Special’ cocktail of the evening.

The food will then begin with Niall and his team in the kitchen serving up delicacies all evening, ranging from Woodpigeon, Vension, to tempt you…

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The evening will draw to a close on the food and wine side with a cheeseboard and vintage port duo to tantalise the taste buds one last time.

Charles Robb, of Robb Brothers Wine Merchants will be here all evening to explain each wine pairing and how it matches exquisitely with the dish to bring out the flavours in both.

You can then sit back and enjoy the superbly talented Ronan Doherty with a share of classic and original songs.

Nearly Wine Tasting Time

By Michaela Clarke

In under a week our much anticipated Game & Wine Tasting Evening will be underway. Both front of house and kitchen staff are looking forward to this event as it is an opportunity for staff to participate in something different, not just your usual service.

Kevin has been busy this week, liaising with Charles Robb, of Robb Brothers Wine Merchants in order to supply customers with an exquisite selection of wine for the evening.

Meanwhile, Niall takes charge in the kitchen of menu matters. The finalisation of the menu will take place this week as our head chef makes some final touches to taste.

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**Menu Preview** ‘Roast Breast of Woodpigeon’ served with fig tart, rocket and thyme jus to start and for main you can look forward to, ‘Roast Loin of Venison’ with butternut squash, roast salsify, curly kale and juniper berry jus.

You’ll have to wait until next Friday to find out what else is on!

As our guests look forward to next Friday, we look forward to welcoming you all to a wonderful evening of great wine and fine cuisine.

Game and Wine Tasting Evening – 27th November 2015

By Michaela Clarke

We are pleased to announce that on Friday 27th November we will be hosting a Game and Wine Tasting Evening. As many know, this night is highly renowned with many customers constantly asking “when is the next game night?” Well put 27th November in your diary and get booked in as soon as possible. With high demand, booking is essential.

The evening consists of a five course, set menu wherein you get to sample all delicacies through from pigeon, venison and pheasant, all locally sourced. Each course is then accompanied with a finely selected wine to complement the game. A representative from Robb Brothers, our wine supplier actively roams the restaurant, educating our patrons on the selected wine and why it has been deliberately chosen. It is an excellent experiment for the restaurant itself as Kevin can gain much appreciated feedback on the wine which ultimately make their way onto the wine list. Having won Best Wine Experience in 2014, Oysters is well-equipped to host this event.

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Oysters invites you to come along and allow your palate to savour the culinary delights of our Head Chef, Niall Gorham. Each course is complimented by a veritable wine matching and sampling experience.

An avid hunter himself, Niall takes pride in cooking venison, pheasant or pigeon, to name a few. Pairing venison with braised red cabbage, roasted butternut squash with a butternut puree and wild mushroom jus.

Our diary is marked
Our diary is marked, is yours?

Keep a close eye on how our preparations are going …

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