Soda & Starch’s chef and patron, Raymond Moran, left, is congratulated by Ciaran O'Neill, managing director of Bishop's Gate Hotel.
The significant contribution that Derry-based eatery, Soda & Starch Pantry and Grill, makes to every day Irish food has been recognised once again as the Sunday Times Ireland features the premises in its 100 Best Restaurants.
Only eight Northern Ireland businesses made it onto the coveted list which was published by John and Sally McKenna.
This is the second consecutive year that Soda & Starch has made it onto the prestigious list.
A partnership between top chef, Raymond Moran, and local entrepreneur, Ciaran O’Neill, managing director of the award-winning Bishop’s Gate Hotel, Soda & Starch is nestled inside Derry’s Walls in the heart of the Craft Village, and is open Wednesday to Saturday and serves lunch and dinner.
Describing the culinary artistry of Soda & Starch’s chef and patron, Raymond Moran, in their recommendation John and Sally McKenna said: “Look at the way he riffs on old warhorses like steak and onion rings, or seafood cocktail, or chocolate pudding, or a plate of pork belly and fillet.
“These are all Irish staples, standards of the kitchen. But Mr Moran takes them on a dance of culinary delight by rebirthing, refining, and adding depth to their potential. He understands these dishes, and he understands how to make them better.”
Explaining why the recommendation was important, Soda & Starch 's Raymond Moran said: “The Sunday Times 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland list is iconic. All genres of restaurant are reviewed to ensure that those recommended are representing modern, high quality venues that are striving to define creative Irish cooking.
“Being included is a massive endorsement. It reinforces the fact that what we’re creating is amongst the best.
“Our team is passionate about food and we’re committed to using high quality, seasonal ingredients from carefully sourced local suppliers to create delicious authentic cuisine.
“I love taking classic dishes like steak and onions and giving them the Soda & Starch treatment to make them taste exquisite.
“I’ve grown up embedded in Irish cooking traditions and hopefully that shines through in our menu offerings. We consistently strive to delight our patrons and it’s fantastic to have our approach to hospitality recognised in this way.”
Congratulating Raymond and the wider team, Ciaran O’Neill, said: “Making it onto this list for the second year running is no small feat.
“The competition in the hospitality sector is fierce. Chefs are always pushing themselves and their teams to innovate, to create new dishes and explore new combinations of flavours.
“John and Sally McKenna, who compile the list, have tasted and sampled the best of what’s on offer in Ireland, so it is a massive honour to be recommended.
“I want to thank Raymond and the entire team for their ongoing commitment and dedication. They are the driving force that has ensured Soda & Starch Pantry and Grill made it onto the Sunday Times 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland 2020 list. We’re honoured that we can showcase what Derry- Londonderry has to offer to ‘foodies,’ tourists and visitors who use the list as a guide when selecting places to visit.”
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