Celebrating another year at Oysters Restaurant

As a new year commences we at Oysters look back in appreciation of 2018!

Last year saw Oysters Restaurant receive a number of accolades; including recognition for the third consecutive year by Good Food UK as 1 of 100 Best Restaurants (from approximately 600,000 potential eateries UK wide), Food Awards Ireland – Co Tyrone winner of Best Restaurant, LCN finalists for Northern Ireland Restaurant of the Year 2018, Restaurant Association of Ireland- Best Restaurant Tyrone, Best Casual Dining Tyrone and Best Kids Sized Meal Tyrone.

Blue plaque

Another highlight of 2018 saw Oysters receive the honour of becoming custodians of a blue plaque in commemoration of Annie Russell Maunder. The plaque was unveiled by The Ulster History Circle and the then Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Maoliosa McHugh on May 21st.

According to The Dictionary of Ulster Biography:

‘Annie Maunder was born Annie Scott Dill Russell in Strabane, Co Tyrone in 1868. Her father, the Rev William A. Russell, was the minister of the Presbyterian Church in Strabane.  Annie was educated at the Ladies’ Collegiate School in Belfast which later became Victoria College.  She won a scholarship to Girton College, Cambridge and in 1889 gained honours in the mathematical tripos but was not awarded a degree as women were denied degrees until 1948.

In 1891 she joined the staff of the Royal Greenwich Observatory in London as a ‘lady computer’ and was assigned to the solar department at a salary of £4 per month.  Russell assisted Walter Maunder, the head of the department, in taking daily photographs of the Sun.

In 1895 Annie married Walter and had to resign her post due to the ban at that time on married women in the public service.  Annie was 27 and Walter, a widower, was nearly 45 with a family of five children.  In addition to her domestic duties, Annie edited the journal of the British Astronomical Association and assisted her husband on a voluntary basis.

In 1898 the Maunders went on a solar eclipse expedition to India.  Annie photographed the solar corona with a camera of her own design and captured an image of a very long streamer.  The couple took part in two further eclipse expeditions and Annie was regarded as an expert in eclipse photography.

The name Maunder is usually associated with the ‘butterfly diagram’, a depiction of the 11-year sunspot cycle which shows how the latitudes of sunspots change with each cycle.  The Maunders were also interested in a period of 70 years from 1645 to 1715 in the middle of the Little Ice Age when the Sun was almost devoid of sunspots.  They showed that when sunspots are scarce there are few magnetic disturbances and auroral displays.  The ‘Maunder Minimum’ is of particular interest in debates about climate change.

When the ban on women in the Royal Astronomical Society was finally lifted in 1915, Annie was one of the first to be made a Fellow, more than 20 years after her name was first put forward.  Walter Maunder died in 1928 after a long illness. Annie survived her husband by nearly 20 years and died in London in 1947 in her 80th year.

The Maunders are jointly commemorated by a crater on the Moon.’

2018, in true Oysters style, was drawn to a close by our renowned Gala evening. As always, New Year’s Eve at Oysters is an evening where families gather in the presence of fine wine, exquisite food and magical song to ring in the New Year.

Pan Seared Scallops, Foie Gras, Grape and Madeira
Woodcock and Celeriac Tartlet with Kale and Thyme Jus
Mc Carrons Beef Wellington – Truffle Mash, Rainbow Carrots & Red Wine Jus

The management and staff of Oysters would like to extended their deep gratitude to each customer who chose Oysters as their dining destination during 2018.

We wish each and everyone of you a very happy and prosperous New Year and look forward to welcoming you all again this year as we too prepare for an exciting 2019.

#FoodNi #FreshFood #LocalProduce #Food #Strabane #CoTyrone #NorthernIreland

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.

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!

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.

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”

Egg and Soldiers
Pan-Roasted Beef Fillet & Short Rib
Pan-Fried Turbot & Maple Glazed Chicken Wing
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

Game & Wine Tasting Evening

By Michaela Clarke


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…


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.


**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.