In the ‘Pynck’ in Killarney at the Porterhouse Gastropub

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PYNCK.COM was at the Porterhouse Gastropub in Killarney, County Kerry recently and just had to encourage anyone who is ever in that part of the Kingdom to sample the food and drink on offer and in the high season, the nightly live entertainment.

The Porterhouse is one of the few, true gastropubs around, its warren of rooms with walls that, if only they could talk; food running the gamut from duck spring rolls with hoisin sauce for starters to fish, lamb and steak main courses as well as an interesting roasted balsamic beetroot and shallot tart.

A confirmed carnivore, the vegan starter options or at least, two of them came top of the list on this occasion. When there are so many dishes on the menu featuring balsamic vinegar and reduced at that, there seemed too much going on to resist the stuffed pesto Portabello mushrooms paired with crispy red skin potato wedges, each for €9. The Portabello mushrooms were an obvious choice for most meat-lovers: known for their meaty taste and texture and dense structure, this particular pair filled with sun- dried tomato red pesto and topped grated vegan cheese was rich in flavour, the pesto roasted in to the pair generous caps for an aromatic concoction that definitely gave the steaks here a run for their money.

The homemade crispy skins were filled with creamy potato and topped with grated vegan cheese and spring onions and between the two starter courses there was even enough for sharing, although so much the better kept all to one’s self! The kitchen here likes to use balsamic vinegar on house salads that appear with the starters. Fresh and full of green young leaves, a julienne of carrots and ripe cherry tomatoes the reduction was of a light, sweet and tart consistency very near that of
honey, as it should be. What Portabello mushrooms offer is a mature, strong flavour unlike the immature source of the fungi, the humble, younger button mushroom and the choice of red potato skins turned out to be excellent, the creamed potato filling light and floury, seasoned well and full of flavour.

The place itself is full of nooks and crannies, the kind of place where the music is entertaining, the food, excellent and the wine and craft spirits lists quite generous. While the menu here offers desserts including banoffee pie, Bailey’s and Malteser
cheesecake, vegan chocolate cake among them there simply wasn’t room for more, the starter options as an evening meal choice doing their jobs in giving a sample of what is available here, seven days a week.


The Porterhouse Gastropub at 26 Plunkett Street, Killarney is online at . Bookings are encouraged by sending an email to or phone +353 (0)64 667 1130.

Kim Mullahey

Kim Mullahey is’s Ireland Correspondent. She holds an honours undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Chicago and has taught Adult Education Creative Writing Studies. Through a media career spanning nearly 25 years Kim has written and photographed regional news, national and international horse sports, fashion and lifestyle. Kim lives with her husband and son in Kildare Ireland, and a stray marmalade cat who has adopted the family.

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